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  • As of 27 February, a total of 7,690 people have been tested in the UK, of which 7,675 were confirmed negative. A further two patients have tested positive bringing the total to 15. The virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife, the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres.
  • Of the 15 cases, 8 people have been discharged from hospital.
  • Globally as of 27 February at 10.00am there are 82,125 cases of which 78,497 are in China, 1,595 are in the Republic of Korea and 400 are in Italy. The fatalities to date are 2,798 (of which the following are outside China: Hong Kong SAR (2), Iran (19), Cases on Diamond Princess Cruise ship (4), Italy (12), Japan (1), Taiwan (1), France (2), Philippines (1) Republic of Korea (12)). 
  • Scotland have made COVID-19 a notifiable disease.

ITB Berlin

  • The crisis team of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior will talk about the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus on ITB Berlin tomorrow, Friday 28 February. They need to balance health protection and economic interests, stated Horst Seehofer (CSU*), Minister of the Interior on Thursday in Berlin. We will update you tomorrow on any outcomes.

In the meantime you can visit our website where we continue to share advice for businesses and links to key updates and information.

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  • As of 09:00 26 February, a total of 7,132 people have been tested in the UK, 7,119 have been confirmed negative. Four further patients have tested positive bringing the total to 13. The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres.
  • Globally as of 26 February at 10.00am there are 81,050 cases of which 78,064 are in China, 1,146 are in the Republic of Korea and 322 are in Italy. The fatalities to date are 2,768 (of which the following are outside China: Hong Kong SAR (2), Iran (15), Cases on Diamond Princess Cruise ship (4), Italy (10), Japan (1), Taiwan (1), France (1), Philippines (1) Republic of Korea (11)).
  • British Airways is continuing to operate to and from Italy and they are continuing to monitor the situation closely. They have introduced flexible rebooking options for customers booked to travel to/from to travel between London and the Northern Italian destinations including, Milan (Linate and Malpensa), Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona up to 2 March 2020. Customers can rebook to a later travel date up to 31 March 2020.
  • easyJet and Ryanair flights are still operating as normal.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for outbound travel

  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is still advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • The FCO is also advising against all but essential travel to:
    • the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
    • ten small towns in the Lombardy region and one in the Veneto region of Italy
  • The FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks.


Other travel measures, advice and updates:

  • The World Health Organisation and UNWTO have issued a joint statement on tourism and COVID-19 calling for coordination. The key take outs are:
    • Tourism’s response needs to be measured and consistent, proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment, involving every part of the tourism value chain – public bodies, private companies and tourists, in line with WHO’s overall guidance and recommendations.
    • UNWTO and WHO stand ready to work closely with all those communities and countries affected by the current health emergency, to build for a better and more resilient future. Travel restrictions going beyond these may cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector.

ITB updates

  • On 26 February the organisers of ITB Berlin announced that on the advice of German public health authorities all exhibitors at ITB Berlin will be required to fill out a declaration form. The declaration form is a condition for access to the exhibition grounds and serves to identify persons belonging to a COVID 19 risk group.
  • They have also said “This is a precautionary measure in order to protect those participating in ITB Berlin and the public in general. The Federal Ministry of Health and the Robert Koch Institute have assessed that the health risk in Germany remains low.

Practical advice and guidance

  • The World Health Organisation has issued advice to the publicIf you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not travelled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting it are currently low.’

In the meantime you can visit our website where we continue to share advice for businesses and links to key updates and information.

Please also see an interesting article from Conference and Incentive Travel about the Hong Kong Government providing a subsidy of US$130 million to the exhibition and convention market to reinvigorate the industry after Covid-19 event cancellations.

BMA House kicks off 2020 with promotions for key staff as well as growth in its sales team.  The changes include Kat Winfield taking on the role of venue manager.  The new roles reflect increased business across the venue’s conference, meetings and events offering.

Kat Winfield, formerly venue sales manager at BMA House, has been promoted to venue manager. Having worked for the venue for nearly five years Kat has extensive knowledge of the venue and is looking forward to continuing its growth and success.  Kat comments: “This is a new and exciting challenge for me. I am looking forward to further developing my team and ensuring BMA House is a leading venue for corporate events.  In particular I am passionate in my desire to ensure we maintain our reputation for sustainability and the delivery of truly memorable events.”

Sasha Dearden has been promoted from sales and events planner to senior sales and events planner. In her previous role at BMA House, Sasha sold event space and planned clients’ corporate and social events; working with them from the initial proposal through to the event itself. Sasha will now use her experience in this role to guide the rest of her team and ensure every event is executed to the best of their ability. In particular she will now be responsible for maintaining long-standing relationships with key clients to ensure BMA House retains its high level of repeat business.

Hannah Robinson has also been promoted to senior sales and events planner (from sales and events planner).  She will focus on gaining new clients through proactive activities. Hannah’s outgoing and confident personality lends itself to networking and the development of long-term relationships, whilst her creative skills allow her to identify innovative solutions to client challenges.

BMA House’s has also recruited Michael McGowan, who takes up the position of venue sales manager. Michael previously worked as sales and marketing manager for Prince Philip House and has an extensive background within the events industry. In particular his role at Prince Philip House brings with it an in-depth understanding of BMA House’s catering partner CH&CO, which will foster new opportunities between the two partners.

Kat concludes: “This is a fast moving and exciting time for BMA House, we have won significant new business recently and need to ensure we have the best team in place to support that growth.  I am proud to see Sasha and Hannah taking on more senior roles, having watched them develop whilst here at BMA.  Michael is a welcome addition to the team and I look forward to seeing his impact over the coming months.”

For further information on holding an event at BMA House, please contact the events team on 020 7874 7020 or visit


26th February 2020, UK: Lime Venue Portfolio has launched Chapter III of its Beyond Food Report, this time looking at the relationship between food and mental health. The report, which continues its exploration of food within the events industry, is produced in partnership with BCD Meetings & Events and once again includes empirical evidence, expert commentary, and opinion from both within and outside of the world of events.

Within the report is a piece created by MIND, the mental health charity, that breaks down how different food groups can support good mental health practices. Their top five include:

  • Eat regularly: it keeps your blood sugar levels up, helping prevent irritability and tiredness
  • Eat more wholegrains: they release energy gradually, stopping the feeling of a rush then a slump as energy levels remain steady
  • Eat more greens: for folate, zinc and magnesium
  • Eat more fruit and veg: your five a day contain a rich mix of minerals and vitamins, essential for a healthy mind.
  • Eat plenty of protein: it contains an amino acid called tryptophan which has been linked with healthy brain function

The report then looks at how these practices can be incorporated into menu design for delegates and also better eating options for pressurised event organisers. The Chapter also has a contribution from Mindy Hanzlik, Senior Solution Designer, BCD Meetings & Events, with some top tips for event organisers looking to design ‘food and mood’ supportive menus. They include:

  • Not everyone drinks alcohol – so make sure there are plenty of choices for them too
  • Group exercise can cause anxiety
  • Take a tech break
  • From breathing to meditation

Also, included within the report is a fascinating interview with Andrew Walker, Executive Chef at – Chartwells, Compass Group’s education business, who explores the unique relationship between food and mental health.

Within the report Andrew comments, “We already know that food has a larger impact than the initial sensory experience; it can play a role in productivity, mood, concentration – all things we need to consider in the events world when we feed large numbers of people.”

Chapter III of Beyond Food looks to bring together both the empirical evidence that supports food and mental health, with the ‘beyond sensory’ benefits that reward the guest by showing them that, just by eating the food, they are doing good; Andrew explains, “We can help delegates feel good about themselves if they know that we care about food wastage and provenance as much as they do. Whether cooking at home or for a large-scale event, the green credentials and principles behind it have to be real. Good food needs to equal good mood.”

“We need to expand the discussion from just food and physical health to food and wellbeing – both physical and mental,” adds Jenner Carter, Head of Marketing, Lime Venue Portfolio. “As businesses that take on the responsibility of feeding hundreds of delegates every day, we are in a unique position to advocate the positive effects food can have on mental health. It’s a conversation that will continue to take place in the industry and we’re excited to be part of it.”

Chapter III of Beyond Food follows on from Chapter I which looked at food wastage and #FORO (fear of running out), and Chapter II which looked at the Emergence of the Plant-Based Menu. Chapter IV of the six-part series will shortly turn to ‘The Blue Planet Effect’.

Chapter III of the report can be downloaded here.




The Westminster venue’s 2020 wine and drinks list include an extended range of alcohol-free alternatives alongside its range of fine wines, Champagnes, beers, ciders and spirits. The new additions are in response to the growing number of guests who, for whatever reason, choose not to drink. 

The new wine list features two red and two white alcohol-free wines, as well as an alcohol-free sparkling wine, whilst the bar tariff offers an alcohol-free beer, cider and two gins. The alcohol-free wines sourced from Germany and Spain are made with grapes selected by winemakers for their ability to maintain the true taste of the grape variety after the alcohol has been removed. Advanced techniques are used to ensure that as much of the original character and flavours of the wine are kept intact. 

The additions to the list are not intended to deter guests from partaking in an alcoholic drink, but simply to offer a more like-for-like substitute. For many years the alternatives to alcohol have been very limited, and, to be honest - boring. More recently there have been some more creative solutions offered, however, these still tend to be very sweet and unsuitable for drinking with food.  

Church House has also witnessed a decline in alcohol consumption from younger guests in recent years. According to an article earlier this month from the Financial Times, only 48% of males aged 16 to 24 now drink at least once a week, down 16% since 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics. In almost a similar movement as ‘Meat Free Mondays’, mindful moderate drinking is increasingly being practised to boost wellness and make drinking a positive indulgence. 

Commenting on the new additions to the list, Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, said, “None of us think twice about catering for every dietary requirement that is thrown at us, but have we really catered for the growing number of people who don’t drink? Whether it be for medical, religious, dry January, driving or simply not fancying a drink, more and more people are choosing to either not drink at all or limit the days that they consume alcohol. With alternatives widely available in supermarkets and most pubs, why not at events?”.


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  • As of 09:00 25 February, a total of 6,795, people have been tested in the UK, 6,782 have been confirmed negative. Four further patients have tested positive bringing the total to 13. The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres.
  • Globally as of 25 February at 10.00am there are 80,250 cases of which 77,658 are in China, 977 are in the Republic of Korea and 229 are in Italy. The fatalities to date are 2,663 (of which the following are outside China: Hong Kong SAR (2), Iran (12), Cases on Diamond Princess Cruise ship (2), Italy (6), Japan (1), Taiwan (1), France (1), Philippines (1) Republic of Korea (10)).


New travel advice


  • The UK Government is advising anyone who has travelled, or returned, to the UK since 19 February from Iran, specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy, special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea, Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days) to call NHS111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms.


  • The UK Government is also advising is advising anyone who has travelled, or returned, to the UK from Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, to stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111.


Other travel measures, advice and updates:

  • On 24 February the organisers of ITB Berlin published a new reassurance statement confirming that the event will be going ahead as planned.


Practical advice and guidance


In the meantime you can visit our website where we continue to share advice for businesses and links to key updates and information.


Barbican Business Events has appointed Emma Dickinson as a new Events Manager. Emma, who is well-versed in the events industry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.  The new role will see Emma support the Barbican Business Events team, which recently announced significant new business wins and sales growth.

Emma previously worked as events and catering manager for Twickenham Stadium, which required management and delivery of large events, including conferences for up to 1,500 people. She also held a similar role at Leicester City Football Club.  Emma’s experience includes communication and liaison with high profile clients and stakeholders as well as managing substantial on-site teams.

As a Business Events Manager at the Barbican, Emma will be responsible for the management and delivery of a range of corporate events.  These will include AGMs for blue chip clients, corporate presentations, graduation ceremonies, seminars, photo and film shoots and other conference and events business.

The Barbican’s Head of Business Events Management, Lee Dobson comments: “Emma joins us at an exciting time for the Barbican. Our Business Events team are constantly innovating, we have added new spaces to the commercial events offering and are seeing significant growth across association and corporate markets.  Her skillset and knowledge are a perfect match for our team and I look forward to seeing her flourish in the role.”

Emma Dickinson concludes: “After many successful years within the industry I am looking forward to a new adventure with the Barbican. Having previously worked with venues that offer more than just conference facilities I am looking forward to bringing a host of transferable skills to this role and working with a team dedicated to making 2020 a success.”

Aprirose, the real estate investment company, has appointed hotels expert Richard Moore as Group Chief Executive of its hotel management platform. The appointment comes as Aprirose unveils the new Almarose name.

Moore joins Almarose with a wealth of experience, with dual expertise in finance and an in-depth knowledge of the hotels sector. Moore most recently served as Area Senior Vice President UK, Ireland and Western Europe for Radisson Hotel Group.

Qualified in both hotel management and business finance, Moore has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel and hospitality industry. He has held a number of high-profile positions in the UK and Europe including Managing Director of QMH Germany and QMH UK, Director of Hotel Consultancy Services for CBRE Hotels and Area Senior Vice President at Radisson Hotel Group.

Moore will lead and develop Almarose Hotels & Resorts, Aprirose’s hotel management platform, as the business continues to look for opportunities to grow and invest in its upscale portfolio. The company, which Aprirose launched in February 2019 to create a newly dedicated senior leadership team to manage assets under its ownership, now operates under the name Almarose Hotels & Resorts, with Moore at the helm.

Manish Gudka, CEO of Aprirose, said: “Following the launch of Aprirose’s hotel management platform, we are celebrating an exciting time for the business as we not only unveil the Almarose name but also welcome Richard as the Group CEO.

“His extensive experience in the UK and Europe, alongside his strong relationships working with hotel groups and third-party brands, makes him perfectly placed to fulfil this role. Our dedicated platform for owned and operated hotels continues to go from strength to strength. The team currently manages 20 properties within its portfolio, for a number of high-profile brands including Delta Hotels by Marriott, Double Tree by Hilton and QHotels, which Aprirose acquired in September 2017.”

Richard Moore, Group Chief Executive of Almarose, said: “As a new entity, a year into its journey, the company has clear aspirations for growth, a best in class team and a committed parent company dedicated to operational excellence and delivering strong results. There is ample opportunity available to build on the strength of the hugely professional management in place. I look forward to working alongside Aprirose, and to lead the team at Almarose, to develop this agile and ambitious business.”

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

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.



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