Skip to main content


You are: home > news archive > 03/2020

Ahead of the Budget, HBAA Chair Lex Butler has asked the Chancellor to provide financial support to encourage people to build careers in the hospitality and events industry so that the UK can maintain its reputation for first class service.

“The industry now needs new talent more than ever. Following the Government’s post Brexit immigration plans, the shortfall of skilled staff is likely to increase still further in 2021. 

“This comes at a time when the industry is under financial pressure as a consequence of cancellations linked to Coronavirus, while major venues may need to recruit more staff as a result of the introduction of Martyn’s law.

“This is a major industry that contributes substantially to the British economy.  We’re working hard to recruit more UK based talent to build careers in this sector but we’ll not be able to replace all the migrant workers by the time the regulations come into place.

“Financial incentives and support are vital to attract people of all ages into this sector and to train them. It’s now urgent.”

iVvy Inc., the leading Venue Management Software company, today announced its partnership with caterers Delaware North at Wembley Stadium, the world-renowned sporting and entertainment arena. The team at Wembley has selected iVvy’s award-winning sales and catering software for optimising its group sales, meetings, and events.

“iVvy instantly stood out as an end-to-end system that would help us to improve our M&E business,” explains Andrew Galloway, Wembley Stadium Head of Sales, Delaware North UK. “Its ease of use, effective sales tools along with individual and group reporting were a clear benefit to help improve the efficiency of this giant, iconic venue. iVvy’s software has seamlessly integrated with our financial systems and provides us with consistent reporting across all our venues. Delaware North and iVvy are both progressive companies constantly looking to improve their user experience and it truly shows in our intercommunication. Our relationship is already proving to be hugely positive for both parties.”

The differentiating features that won over the Wembley special events team during the selection process include the cloud-based CRM and advanced event booking system, which enables them to manage their business more effectively than any other system on the market. iVvy facilitates online group bookings and allows sales managers to centralise, track and automate leads, and related activities, including marketing, contracts, and follow-ups, on any device, anywhere. With the platform’s unique multi-venue capabilities, Wembley’s sales teams can view live availability at other venues, thereby increasing revenue and chances of referrals. Recognised for its superior user experience, the solution is intuitive and increases efficiencies by over 50%.

“We continue to build our partnerships in the stadium space by providing solutions to a growing number of UK customers,” explains Lauren Hall, CEO of iVvy. “What sets us apart is our team’s industry knowledge, skills and ability to speak the language. We truly understand our clients’ goals and how we can help. We pride ourselves on delivering a solution that really works for the venue’s specific needs. Designed to enhance productivity and drive sales, iVvy offers all-encompassing software with so many features that are not available on other platforms. We’re honored to welcome Wembley Stadium to our family of clients and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

The iVvy - Delaware North at Wembley Stadium roll out has commenced with additional Delaware North UK venues, including London Stadium, to begin implementation of the iVvy system in Spring 2020.

the eastside rooms has launched a new website that gives event organisers insight into how Birmingham’s meetings and events landscape will change over the next ten years. The site includes an interactive map and is designed for meeting and event planners looking to confirm longer lead business into the city. The 3D map includes a timeline that can be dragged to show new buildings and infrastructure growing out of the ground from 2020 to 2030.

“This is a really important tool for us and really underlines how much we’re going to see the meetings and events landscape of Birmingham develop over the next ten years,” commented Leanne Bladen, Director of Sales & Marketing at the eastside rooms. “The 3D map allows the organiser to see what the Eastside area of the city will look like every year from now until 2030; what the developments are, what they will look like and where they are in proximity to the eastside rooms.

the eastside rooms opens in Birmingham next summer and will be taking events business from September 2020. The new venue is part of a wider development of Birmingham’s fashionable Eastside, which is also being branded ‘The Knowledge Quarter’. The area, which is a three-minute walk from the HS2 development, will see an influx of innovation & business hubs, and infrastructure built around the knowledge economy, over the next few years, with more joining later in the decade. The new developments will join the three universities already within a walk of the eastside rooms.

“Birmingham really is a new city every day, and we want to be able to bring to life what it is now, and what it will look like in the future, for event organisers,” concluded Leanne. “With the Future Birmingham website, we have a really smart tool that helps us do just that.”


London, UK – March 5 2020 –  Women Team Members at Hilton London Heathrow Airport are celebrating their career paths, as part of this year’s International Women’s Day.

IWD is a global event – taking place on 8 March – which this year is showcasing the need for gender equality as one of its main themes.

Staff at the Hilton at Terminal 4 are using the day to highlight the senior positions that many women hold at the hotel, in line with Hilton’s worldwide ranking as one of the best companies for women to work for.

Among those in senior roles at Hilton London Heathrow Airport are Commercial Director, Roxanne Mongie, Director of Sales, Caylee Unsworth, Assistant Front Office Manager, Benedetta Sole, Executive Office Manager, Amy Flynn and Alessia Gammella, who is Cluster Marketing Manager for three Hilton properties.

All of the women have risen through the ranks and have been promoted over their years with the company, which they believe gives everyone the same opportunities for growth.

Roxanne has spent 13 years with Hilton, working in South Africa and Dubai before coming to London.

“I believe Hilton is a great organisation for anyone – not only women – as they promote equal opportunities based on merit and performance,” she said.

The Commercial Director believes International Women’s Day is “an important celebration of equal opportunity, allowing us all to reflect on how the world has and is changing to be more inclusive.”

Cluster Marketing Manager Alessia Gammella, who now manages marketing at three hotels including Hilton London Heathrow Airport, added that International Women’s Day was a great opportunity not just to highlight the need for equality but also to celebrate companies that are leading the way.

“Hilton is a great organisation for women to work for,” said Alessia.

“It gives me the flexibility to balance my personal life and my work life.  Being part of Hilton means I can believe that nothing is impossible even if others think I cannot do it. It gave me the opportunity to progress in my career from executive to manager, providing the training and development I needed to succeed.”



A huge congratulations to our HBAA members who took home an M&IT Award on Friday night. Here’s a full list of our award-winning members and partners…


Best UK Hotel

Silver: Chewton Glen

Bronze: Coombe Abbey Hotel

Finalist: The Landmark London


Best Overseas Hotel

Finalist: Grand Hotel Huis Ter Duin


Best UK Conference Centre

Gold: Imago Venues - Burleigh Court

Silver: ACC Liverpool

Finalist: ExCeL London

Finalist: Wyboston Lakes Resort


Best Venue Group Meeting Product

Gold: Hilton Worldwide

Silver: Marriott International

Bronze: Radisson Hotel Group

Finalist: De Vere

Finalist: etc venues

Finalist: IHG Hotels and Resorts

Finalist: QHotels


Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees)

Gold: First Choice Conference & Events


Best Intermediary Agency (more than 40 employees)

Gold: Conference Care

Silver: Inntel

Finalist: BCD Meetings & Events

Finalist: Capita Travel and Events/NYS


Best Academic Venue

Gold: Imago Venues - Burleigh Court

Bronze: Warwick Conferences


Best UK Unusual Venue

Gold: Alton Towers Resort

Silver: Coombe Abbey Hotel

Finalist: Cliveden


Best Event Provider

Gold: KDM Events

Finalist: Off Limits Group


Best Food & Beverage Supplier

Gold: Imago Venues - Burleigh Court

Barbican International Enterprises (BIE), part of the Barbican’s wider arts and commercial event offering, creates opportunities to collaborate with partners and venues to bring its globally renowned exhibition programme to destinations across the world.  Bringing a wealth of experience in travelling exhibitions and a portfolio consisting of some of the Barbican’s most successful shows, BIE is seeking partnerships with international destinations and venues through to 2025.

BIE, based in the Barbican - the City of London’s world class arts, learning and event venue, develops and curates exhibitions focused on contemporary culture, emerging technology and digital creativity. Often immersive and experiential, these major shows, exhibitions and events travel internationally, reaching a wide variety of audiences. 

Over the course of the next year, BIE is embarking on a global campaign to identify and partner with venues and destinations looking for high quality creative content that will appeal to audiences of all types and raise profile.

In particular BIE is seeking to work with:

  •        Destinations that can support and identify suitable venues within their region and city that would be interested in hosting the shows.
  •        Venues looking to host shows that will drive significant commercial revenue, increased profile and critical acclaim.

Over the past 10 years, BIE has delivered more than 10 shows to more than 52 venues in 27 destinations around the world. During this time, nearly 5 million visitors have engaged with a BIE exhibition across the world.

Shows on tour and available to commercial partners include:

  •        Game On is the first major international touring exhibition to explore the vibrant history and culture of computer games.
  •        Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics presents the largest ever selection of original artworks from Asian comics, displayed alongside their printed, mass-produced forms.
  •        Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction is the genre-defining exhibition of art, design, film and literature.
  •        AI: More than Human is an unprecedented survey of creative and scientific developments in Artificial Intelligence, exploring the evolution of the relationship between humans and technology.

“Barbican International Enterprises delivers significant footfall, profile and income to our partner venues and destinations around the world.  Potential venues range from arts centres, museums, galleries and cultural hubs to event venues and private buildings,” comments Neil McConnon, Head of BIE.  “Our shows have travelled extensively, engaging and exciting audiences from our home in the UK to Australia, China, Canada, the Middle East and South America.   Exhibitions range in size from 700 to 1,500 m2 and are available for a minimum of 3 months at a time.  The next year presents a real opportunity for us to develop new partnerships and relationships and I look forward to seeing our programme grow as we identify and work with new international collaborators.

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, the 4-star luxury Hotel in Newmarket, Suffolk, has been crowned Best Hotel at the Norfolk & Suffolk Tourism Awards 2020. Scooping the award from amongst the finest hospitality destinations across the region, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa was named top in the Hotel category after demonstrating an impeccable performance across the board in delivering the ultimate guest experience.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards celebrates East of England businesses and showcases the very best of the region’s booming tourism industry. Joining Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa in the winner’s enclosure was the Best Small Visitor Attraction, Palace House, National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, which regularly partners with the Hotel for guest experiences and comes highly recommended as a local attraction from the Hotel’s concierge staff. The awards highlight the hard work, innovation, and passion of the thousands of hardworking people in the sector.

To be considered for the Awards, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa had to provide a written entry demonstrating excellence across all aspects of the business – from customer service and community initiatives, to Hotel amenities and exceptional food and drink. During the final judging stages, staff at the Hotel welcomed the esteemed judging panel to showcase the warm welcome and luxurious experience every guest of the Hotel enjoys. The prestigious awards ceremony took place on Thursday 27 February at Kesgrave Hall in Suffolk.

Noel Byrne, Chief Executive at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, comments: “It is a huge success for Newmarket to win two of the top awards at the Norfolk & Suffolk Tourism Awards 2020 – this is a true showcase of our town’s exceptional tourism offering, and really puts us on the map as a fantastic day or weekend out. I would like to congratulate all of my team at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa for their ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional service, and their relentless hard work and commitment, as well as the team at Palace House. A celebration is certainly in order!”

Tracey Harding, Manager of Discover Newmarket, comments: “As the town’s official tourism body we are immensely proud of the team at the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa for being named as Hotel of the Year in the Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards. This victory highlights Newmarket’s growing reputation as a visitor destination.”

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa’s dedication to outstanding service has been recognised through a variety of prestigious accolades. The Hotel has maintained its status as a 4 AA Red Star Hotel since 2014, and is one of only a handful of hotels in the UK to hold the accreditation. Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa is also a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels, a luxury, members only consortium.

  • As of 09:00 on 2 March 2020, a total of 13,525 people have been tested in the UK for Covid-19, of which 13,485 were confirmed negative
  • The Chief Medical Officer for England has announced that a further four patients in England have tested positive. This brings the UK total to 40, including one case in Northern Ireland, one in Wales and one in Scotland. 15 cases have been discharged following two consecutive negative test results
  • Globally as of 09:00 on 2 March 2020 there have been 89,070 confirmed cases, of which 80,026 are in China, 4,212 are in South Korea, 1,694 are in Italy and 978 in Iran
  • The fatalities to date are 3,043. 131 of these fatalities have occurred outside of Mainland China (Iran (54), Italy (34), Republic of Korea (22), Japan (5), cases on Diamond Princess Cruise ship (6), Hong Kong (2), France (2), Taiwan (1), Philippines (1), USA (2), Thailand (1), Australia (1))
  • WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • A COBR meeting between the UK Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officers and senior Ministers was held today to finalise a plan for countermeasures
  • The UK Government advice remains unchanged. 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.
  • Here is the link to the UK Government advice for businesses



Other travel measures, advice and updates:

  • Borders will remain open
  • There is no need to cancel major cultural or sporting events
  • The countries will share medical knowledge and measures taken in response to the coronavirus outbreak


Partner updates

  • In order to gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on British trade with China, CBBC are running a survey for all British companies trading with China (either exporting or importing) to collect information on the problems being faced. CBBC will use the information gathered by the survey to work with their members and partners towards identifying practical pathways to help companies resolve their issues. The survey will run close at 5pm (GMT) on Tuesday, 3 March, with a detailed report available soon after. All information provided in this survey will remain anonymous. To complete the survey click here:
  • The BVEP has shared a couple of advisory documents issues by their members for your information - one is a document prepared by an event safety company on advice to event organisers. The other is advice to staff from Formula E Racing.


You can also visit our website where we continue to share advice for businesses and links to key updates and information.

2 March 2020 by Ellie Kahn

Worldwide counter-measures have been strongly condemned, as UK government holds emergency Cobra committee meeting.

Guevara at the World Travel And Tourism Council 2019 Global Summit


Worldwide governments must not overreact with “disproportionate” measures in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, says the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The comment comes as the government’s emergency Cobra committee convenes at Downing Street this morning to sign off a “battle plan” to address the outbreak.

“Governments and those in authority must not seek to choke travel and trade at this time,” said Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC.

“Closing borders, imposing blanket travel bans and implementing extreme policies are not the answer to stopping the spread of coronavirus.

“Past experience shows that taking such extreme action has been ineffective at best. We urge governments to explore fact-based measures which don’t affect the vast majority of people and businesses for whom travel is essential."

She continued: “It’s important to remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the virus, for the vast majority of people, are very remote if they travel responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures.”

Her sentiments were echoed by the European Tourism Association's (ETOA) CEO Tom Jenkins, who said that the fear being generated by the coronavirus threat is “inherently irrational.”

"Local governments spray antiseptic over buildings. Facemasks are used as a prophylactic against disease rather than a block to spreading it. You cannot reason with such irrationality. All you can do is file it alongside the Cholera bonfires of the nineteenth century, rubbing yourself with a dead pigeon to cure the plague or striking an offending body part with a bible to cure syphilis,” he said.

“At best this is harmlessly weird behaviour, but it becomes genuinely alarming when confidence is eroded. A balance has to be struck between containing what is becoming a pandemic and the damage such containment measures cause. The danger lies when governments act because they feel they need to pander to fear.”

He said that where travel can continue, it must and that ETOA operators will continue to run tours unless explicitly ordered otherwise.

WTTC analysis shows that so far 33 countries have reported cases of Covid-19, and the majority of patients have fully recovered. Covid-19 has a lower mortality rate than previous viral outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.

The ETOA anticipates that the COVID-19 will fizzle out with the spring.


News archive