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02/2020

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Wyboston Lakes Resort is one of the SundayTimes’ ‘Best 100 Companies to work for’ in 2020.

The Bedfordshire-based conference, training and leisure venue was placed in 85th position in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to work for’ List 2020 which was announced yesterday (20 February).

Based on employee feedback Wyboston Lakes Resort was also awarded a 2-star accreditation, meaning the venue is considered an ‘outstanding’ employer in terms of workplace engagement.

Steve Jones, Managing Director said: “We are delighted to have achieved such a high position and be rated ‘outstanding’. We are committed to supporting our team and invest heavily in training and development to enable them to progress as far as possible in their careers, and to making this a fulfilling and hopefully fun place to work. 

“As an indication of this we were one of the first companies to sign People 1st International’s new ‘Our Hospitality Commitment’, as well as the ‘Work Placement Commitment.’ Creating a positive work-life balance for our team members and taking great care of everyone’s mental health is also very important and forms part of our company values.

“We believe that having a happy healthy team makes the difference to our guests, to each other and to the future success and growth of our business.”

The 380-acre resort employs over 300 people across two conference venues, a four-star hotel, full spa, 18 hole golf course and extensive service offices.  After the £3m plus investment last year into the Woodlands Event Centre, there will be a further significant investment in its meeting and training facilities in 2020 starting in March.

The Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies to work for’ accolade is regarded as among the UK’s most comprehensive and coveted, with a rigorous process determining the merits of organisations from all industries, by assessing the methods in which they encourage, motivate and engage with their employees.

The list is compiled using scores (on a scale of 1 to 1000) from employees’ responses to questions within the Best Companies survey on a range of factors including leadership, pay and work-life balance. Ratings are then determined from that score, with one star acknowledged as ‘very good’, two stars as ‘outstanding’ and three stars as ‘extraordinary’.

For more information, please visit https://www.wybostonlakes.co.uk

Lex Butler, Chair of the HBAA says: 

The Government’s post Brexit immigration plans will put at risk the UK’s position as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism. 

The industry is working hard to recruit more UK based talent to build careers in this industry but we shall not be able to replace all the migrant workers by the time the regulations come into place. 

The "economically inactive" suggested by the Home Secretary are not the solution. We are already making every effort to encourage them to take up the many exciting career opportunities in our industry but the UK unemployed aren’t interested in lower paid ‘service’ jobs.

I don’t think upping the number of seasonal workers allowed in is any help to our industry except perhaps when it comes to caterers for the summer sporting events. 

Once again being relatively low paid is immediately equated with low-skilled even though in this industry many staff with high levels of responsibility and skill fall below this financial threshold.

www.hbaa.org.uk

 

  • As of 18 February, a total of 4,916 people have been tested in the UK, of which 4,907 were confirmed negative and 9 positive.
  • Globally as of 18 February there are 73,421 cases of which 72,436 are in China. The fatalities to date are 1,873 (1,868 of these are within China, Japan (1), Hong Kong SAR (1), Taiwan (1), France (1), Philippines (1)).
  • This morning the FCO issued a statement regarding repatriation of British passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, saying, “Given the conditions on board, we are working to organise a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible”.

 

Practical advice and guidance

 

Immigrations guidance for Chinese visitors

Reassurance document from VisitBritain relating to attraction and accommodation providers who are expressing concern around accepting bookings for ExploreGB educational trips in May 2020 can be seen here.

 

 

Inntel are a fast paced and dynamic meetings and travel management company.  As they plan for their new three year business strategy with innovative and revolutionary new products and services, there is a strong growth strategy that will see a number of new key positions created at the agency.

Jo Stockdale has been appointed as a Business Analyst.  Jo reports directly into Sian Sayward, Head of Commercial Partnerships and Projects who said, “Jo’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for Inntel.  As we embark on our new strategy, her role will initially support the Client Relationships department with consultancy and analytics to optimise their clients’ meetings and travel programmes”.

Jo, has worked in Inntel’s Meetings and Events Team for fifteen years and has secured this promotion as a result of her industry experience and Inntel expertise.  Her passion for data analytics and creating solutions will help deliver successful results in the internal and external projects that she will work on.     

Douglas O’Neill, Inntel CEO said, “Jo is a valued member of our team and has been for many years.  I’m delighted that she has moved into this position and am confident that her experience and analytical skills will result in success for her and for our clients”.

Jo said, “after being at Inntel for so many years, I’m really excited about my role in a new department and am looking forward to working on some key projects within our new three year strategy’.

17th February 2020, UK: Twickenham Executive Head Chef Tom Rhodes has announced a plant-first approach to the stadium’s match day and non-match day hospitality. The approach, which coincides with the chef’s experiment of ‘going vegan’, is part of the venue’s wider environmental policy, and the increasing demand for plant-first options within events.  

Tom will continue to serve the very best, locally and responsibly sourced meats and fish, but will also be rebalancing the menus to offer better plant-based and vegan dishes. “This isn’t just coming from guests and delegates to the stadium, it’s coming through strongly from our event organiser clients who are learning more about the relationship between food and the environment,” commented Tom. 

“Plant-first isn’t vegan, it’s about offering the very best plant-based menus to make them a viable option to both meat and non-meat eaters,” continued Tom. “To those that want to eat meats and fish, we’ll give them ethically sourced, local produce which tastes amazing, and serve it with as much care and attention as everything else on the menu.” 

On his decision to go vegan, Tom also sees this about fulfilling a wider responsibility as a chef, “It’s been a really amazing experiment actually. Chefs always say they treat vegetarians and vegans with the same respect as every other diner, but until you have actually been one, it’s difficult to know. Our approach has changed since I’ve been vegan, from giving them a good option, to incentivising everyone on the table to try a plant-based diet.” 

“Events are about bringing people together, not making them feel isolated around the table,” concludes Tom. “We’re making some subtle changes to menu and service that are both good for the environment and great for the event.”

 

 

On 16 February, day 3 of London Fashion Week, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi presented their seasonal ready-to-wear collection in the dome-shaped Assembly Hall of Church House Westminster.  

Founded in 1996 by husband and wife team Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, fans of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi include the Duchess of Cambridge and Michelle Obama. 

Designs are an aesthetic of darkly romantic and effortlessly modern, often juxtaposing the masculine with feminine. Since its first debut collection at London Fashion Show Spring Summer 2001, the label has become synonymous with deconstructed London cool. 

This season’s collection takes its inspiration from Venice. Following a holiday to the Biennale, Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton combined their impressions of the city with cinematic references from ‘Don’t Look Now’. The show, which was attended by more than 500 guests, featured the dramatic soundtrack of the film and displayed opulent textures including gold and glitter.    

It is worth noting that half of the fabrics in the collection were sustainable. Tweeds made from end-of-line stock from British Woollen Mills were used, as was recycled knits, sustainable viscose, and georgettes created from recycled plastic waste.  

Models leading the catwalk included Cecilia Chancellor, Yasmin Le Bon, and Ragnhild Jevne, demonstrating that the brand is universal in its appeal. 

Following the catwalk on Sunday, Paulette Caletti, producer at Prettybird, remarked: "A huge thanks to the team at Church House for making the show one of our best". 

Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, commented: “As in previous years, the London Fashion Show provides an excellent opportunity for leading designers to match their inspired collections with creative event spaces in London. The vibrant and spacious Assembly Hall with its gold historic reliefs and elegant oak panelling was a perfect match for this catwalk, delivering on versatility and providing a stylish backdrop”.     

  • As of 17 February, a total of 4,501 people have been tested in the UK, of which 4,492 were confirmed negative and 9 positive. Of the nine people in England who have tested positive for COVID-19,  eight people have been discharged from hospital and one person remains in the care of the NHS.
  • Globally as of 17 February there are 71,329 cases of which 70,548 are in China. The fatalities to date are 1,775 (1,770 of these are within China, 1 in the Philippines, 1 in Hong Kong and 1 in Japan, 1 in France, and 1 in Taiwan).
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working across Government on repatriation plans for entitled persons from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan
  • Flights to the UK from mainland China are continuing to provide health announcements to passengers and are still providing a general declaration an hour out from landing.
  • On 14 February the Department for Transport issued guidance for staff in the transport sector that frontline staff may find useful.
  • The Home Office and UKVI have issued immigration guidance for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China.

Inntel are a fast paced and dynamic meetings and travel management company.  As they plan for their new three year business strategy with innovative and revolutionary new products and services, there is a strong growth strategy that will see a number of new key positions created at the agency.

Jo Stockdale has been appointed as a Business Analyst.  Jo reports directly into Sian Sayward, Head of Commercial Partnerships and Projects who said, “Jo’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for Inntel.  As we embark on our new strategy, her role will initially support the Client Relationships department with consultancy and analytics to optimise their clients’ meetings and travel programmes”.

Jo has worked in Inntel’s Meetings and Events Team for fifteen years and has secured this promotion as a result of her industry experience and Inntel expertise.  Her passion for data analytics and creating solutions will help deliver successful results in the internal and external projects that she will work on.     

Douglas O’Neill, Inntel CEO said, “Jo is a valued member of our team and has been for many years.  I’m delighted that she has moved into this position and am confident that her experience and analytical skills will result in success for her and for our clients”.

Jo said, “after being at Inntel for so many years, I’m really excited about my role in a new department and am looking forward to working on some key projects within our new three year strategy’.

  • The World Health Organisation has confirmed the official name for the novel coronavirus as COVID-19. 
  • Public Health England have publish a blog around contact tracing explaining what it is and how it is being used to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Business Events Partnership has reported that an individual who has been identified to have COVID-19 attended a conference at QEII conference centre last week. QEII are working closely with Public Health England and the event organisers to trace the delegates and give them advice on the situation as a precaution. The QEII Centre remains fully open and events will continue to take place as normal. Staff and suppliers have been briefed on the situation and actions to take if they have any concerns about their health. A media plan has also been put in place to ensure that everyone has a clear view of the current evolving situation. 
  • As of 14 February, a total of 2,964 people have been tested in the UK, of which 2,955 were confirmed negative and 9 positive.
  • Globally as of 14 February there are 64,437 cases of which 63,851 are in China.
  • The fatalities to date are 1,383 (1,380 of these are within China, 1 in the Philippines, 1 in Hong Kong and 1 in Japan).
  • The China Britain Business Council has shared a regional response update where they outline how local and provincial governments in China are supporting local and foreign businesses, the most common measures include:
    • Preferential tax and social security policies, with filing deadlines deferred or suspended
    • Direct financial support for heavily affected businesses
    • Rent reductions or suspension
    • Preferential loan and financing support
    • Reduced utility fees
    • Bespoke legal and administrative aid
    • Employment support and special labour regulations regarding quarantined employees

Travel related updates

  • The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued a statement on 13 February outlining enhanced policies due to the ongoing COVID-19, the enhanced measures include:
    • CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
    • CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days before embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.
    • CLIA Members are to conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.

 

All other advice remains unchanged

HBAA is the first association to endorse the manifesto launched by EventWell, a charitable social enterprise focusing on mental health and wellbeing in the events industry.

This initiative by the HBAA Board is part of the association’s ongoing focus and strategy on mental health, led by association past Chair and board member Leigh Cowlishaw.

The HBAA is inviting members and non-members to sign the five-step EventWell manifesto, which calls for an events industry where the mental health of its professionals are supported and protected.

Helen Moon, Managing Director of EventWell says “We are delighted that the HBAA is leading the association charge by being the very first to sign up to the EventWell Manifesto. This shows a real commitment, in line with and complimented by its event programming and mental health first aid training, to making a positive impact and change to the mental health and wellbeing of not only its members but of the event industry.”

One of the five steps encourages organisations to use Mental Health First Aid training, on which the HBAA Executive Committee and Board were all trained last year when the HBAA ran several courses.

This year, the HBAA will again be running Mental Health First Aider Training for both members and non-members, with the first one taking place from 16-17 March at the Park Regis Birmingham. The course, accredited by Mental Health First Aid England, will give participants a recognised qualification to be a Mental Health First Aider. Places are still available.

The HBAA Mental Health event programme also includes a workshop titled ‘Half Full’, which will focus on root causes, emotional triggers and continuous culture in relation to mental health. This event will take place on 12 May in London. Venue TBC.

Dates and details of half day and full day Mental Health Awareness Training events are available here

www.hbaa.org.uk

https://eventwell.org/eventwell20/

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