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SilverDoor announced today the appointment of Martin Klima to its board of Directors as Chief Customer Officer.  

Klima joined the reservations team at SilverDoor in 2012 aged 25 and has progressed from taking enquiries, through every level of the company on his journey to the Board. He has built a team, taken responsibility for his own accounts and, latterly, managed relationships with many of SilverDoor’s largest key clients.  

During eight years in which SilverDoor has enjoyed year on year growth and expansion from one to five global offices, including the acquisition of its largest competitor Citybase Apartments, Klima has played a key role in developing a truly global value proposition to some of the world’s largest corporations, travel and relocation management companies. 

As Chief Customer Officer, Klima will become responsible for SilverDoor’s entire Client Relationships function on a global level, centralising international client operations and implementing plans for growth from board level. 

Klima said: 

“Our clients are global; they demand a round the clock service that is consistently exceptional – regardless of where in the world they are calling from, or travelling to. Moreover, the importance of safety, security and confidence has never been greater for the modern business traveller and I’m excited and honoured to be leading our client teams to continue to meet this challenge head on.  

“2020 has been a challenging year for the global economy, however SilverDoor has emerged from the year, not only in profit, but seeing enquiries from many of our global markets restored to pre-pandemic levels. 

"It is my intention and my belief that all our international offices will grow in 2021 as the benefits of self-contained accommodation become all the more compelling to the mass business travel market.” 

 SilverDoor’s Group CEO Stuart Winstone said of the appointment: 

“It's really important to me that our clients have proper representation on our board and that the person leading this has the right spirit and experience to become a Director of SilverDoor. 

“I have had the pleasure to work with Martin over a number of years, and he is someone that I respect and trust immensely. It’s vital to me that we develop our people internally, and I can think of no-one who understands our business and embodies our client-focused culture better than Martin.” 

Klima will join seven other directors on SilverDoor’s board: 

Stuart Winstone, Group CEO 

Marcus Angell, Founder and Chairman 

Angie Angell, Non-Executive Director 

Imogen Brettell, Chief People Officer 

Hanish Vithal, Chief Information and Technology Officer 

James Buckley, Chief Financial Officer 

Sophie Brinsley, Vice President, APAC 

HBAA announces comprehensive expanded board structure

to deliver ‘HBAA future fit’ vision for members and drive industry recovery

HBAA, the association for the meetings, events and accommodation industry, has revealed its new vision and a broader executive team to drive forward and aid delivery.

The vision, launched to the membership earlier this week, is: “Driven by leaders, united by collaboration and a significant contributor to an industry which delivers £70bn* spend into the UK economy.” HBAA has further sharpened its focus and will be “spearheading representation to government and policy makers, elevating a sector voice and championing change and sustainable economic health.”

HBAA’s renewed vision will be underpinned by four pillars – resilience, innovation, ethics and quality – to ensure it is fit for purpose and ready to help the industry bounce back. Members will always be at the core of the HBAA’s strategy with plenty of opportunities for them to get involved in the association.

The body’s volunteer board will now have seven roles, including three new ones, plus two executive directors. A major change is that the role of Chair has been discontinued along with the executive committee and the sub committees.

The decision is a natural evolution of the #HBAAfuturefit vision which aims to ensure the organisation is robust, relevant and fit for purpose in the future, as well as being an inclusive platform for those underrepresented in the meetings, events and accommodation sector.

HBAA 2020 Chair Lex Butler, who will move into the new role of strategy director from next year, explained: “At the start of 2020, I announced a year of review and regeneration. It unexpectedly turned into an extremely challenging period for our industry and it became even more apparent while fighting for our industry’s survival and supporting our members, that our plans to restructure and spread the workload of effecting change were essential. We have recruited our new board for their specialist areas of expertise, to better represent our breadth of membership and give us a stronger collective voice.

“Our strategic partnerships and industry collaboration have continued to grow and develop in 2020 as we have worked to form a united voice across the sector for the sustainability of our industry. This will remain very much part of our plans for 2021 and beyond.”

The new board roles include two membership directors, which will be filled by Julie Shorrock, managing director of Hotel and Travel Solutions, and Callum McLean, director of Business Partnerships at Capita Travel and Events. Beckie Towle, founder of The Events Raccoon, has been appointed as marketing director. Angie Mason continues as treasurer and Sian Sayward as governance director. Des McLaughlin, managing director of Meet Events, becomes a strategy director along with Lex Butler.

Callum McLean said: “The HBAA has a remarkable history of driving forward best practice and standards across our industry. I firmly believe in the HBAA’s role of uniting a network of members to empower the industry with a strong and consistent voice – not just while we navigate the challenges of Covid-19 but long into the future.”

Julie Shorrock said, “Having been part of the HBAA Executive Committee for over four years, I see this is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with the board in continuing to raise the profile of the HBAA and strengthening our voice through who we represent.

Beckie Towle commented: “Since joining a year ago, the HBAA has given me so much help, support and guidance with navigating TOMS, Brexit and most recently COVID-19 and I’m not quite sure where we’d be without that. Through taking this role I am hoping in turn to give something back.”

David Taylor, formerly managing director of Grass Roots Meetings & Events and a non-executive chairman of BCD Meetings & Events, has joined as an advisor. A second advisor will be announced imminently.

David Taylor added: “I am delighted to be joining the HBAA board in an advisory capacity. This is a pivotal time in the history of the HBAA as the industry looks to re-emerge from the pandemic. I am looking forward to being part of the team as we look to help innovate and support our sector’s Service and Solution providers over the coming months.”

Juliet Price, in her eighth year as consultant executive director, will continue to work alongside her fellow consultant executive director Leigh Cowlishaw.

* Source: BVEP: The UK Events Report 2020

Wyboston Lakes Resort’s latest sustainability initiative is introducing new technology to identify further energy usage savings

Wyboston Lakes Resort’s latest initiative in its continual search for new ways to be more sustainable is to introduce a highly sensitive energy measurement system that will provide precise real-time usage data for many locations within its hotel, conference, training and leisure facilities.

MeasureMyEnergy is connected to significant energy use electrical circuits throughout the Resort. The system measures and records the electricity used on each circuit each second, building a picture of the electricity use each hour, day and year.

The clear visibility of utility usage will benefit the Resort by highlighting in real time any devices that are wasting energy. Knowing the time of day when energy is used is particularly valuable in reducing costs. The system will also provide alerts to unusual energy usage that can be a sign of pending device failure for preventative maintenance. This will avoid costly down time and increase the life of critical assets and improve customer experience.

The MeasureMyEnergy system has been installed by the Resort’s partner The Energy Check as part of its commitment to Wyboston Lakes Resort to develop and drive an energy efficiency and carbon reduction programme.

Steve Jones “We are going beyond just compliance, we are actively managing or sustainability programmes and measurement is critical to that. It’s a crucial step in us understanding our waste, our efficiencies and our goals for the future.”

This latest development supports Wyboston Lakes Resort ‘2020 Green Objectives’ initiative, which includes reducing its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2025.  

Some of the initiatives already in place include the reduction of energy consumption throughout the venue by upgrading the lighting across site to the latest energy efficient LEDs which are turned off by movement sensors when a room is not in use. Energy ratings are considered as part of the purchasing decision for all new heavy equipment. Ten more electric car supercharger points were recently installed for guests to encourage electric car usage so there are now a total of 24 charger points on the site. 

The Resort recycled over 20,000kg of cardboard waste in the last year, is continuing to fulfil its ‘Zero waste to landfill’ promise for the fifth consecutive year and actively supports the mia’s  #20percentless campaign to cut back on single-use plastics each year. 

This commitment to sustainability has recently been recognised and accredited by three leading organisations. Wyboston Lakes Resort has now achieved Gold Standard with the Green Tourism Awards, Greengage and the International Association of Conference Centres Green Star certification programme. The information from the MeasureMyEnergy system will be valuable in any further applications for certification.

Following a significant increase in demand, the Barbican has expanded its meeting and event packages to include a half day DDR, specifically created for trainers and training companies.

“Trainers and training companies are a key part of our market, having historically used the Barbican’s many flexible spaces for both full and multi-day events.  However, due to our extensive work to ensure we are a COVID-secure venue for events of up to 30 people, we have recently seen a significant increase in enquiries for shorter events,” comments Barbican Business Events’ Business Development Manager, Glenn Mainwaring.  “To support our clients, we have developed a simple half-day DDR package that recognises the unique needs of trainers for an all-inclusive and comprehensive venue solution. This allows them to focus on the delivery of their content and training materials rather than worry about the specifics of event logistics.”

The half-day packages complement the Barbican’s full DDR training packages. Half day packages start from £35+VATpp, full day packages from £55+VATpp and include venue hire, basic AV and catering.

Barbican Business Events recently announced a wide range of COVID-secure hybrid and digital events packages, which complement this new training offer.

In support of its evolving event offering, the Barbican has achieved both AIM Secure and the Visit Britain Good to Go accreditations, two industry safety standards demonstrating that the Centre is following the official Government and public health guidance.

Further information is available from the Barbican Business Events team via

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) has now been re-established as an official APPG in Parliament following the appointment of a new Chair and Vice Chair.

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, will be the new Chair of the APPG. Theresa takes over from James Heappey MP, who was Chair for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces prevented him from serving in that role. Robert Largan, Member of Parliament for High Peak, will serve as Vice Chair. The APPG will continue to act as the industry’s voice in Parliament and has been credited with establishing stronger links between the events industry, Parliament and Government in recent years.

Theresa is a very experienced and highly regarded Member of Parliament, having served her constituency since 2005, and having previously held the positions of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Minister of State for Transport.

Commenting on the APPG, Theresa said; “I am delighted that the APPG for Events is being re-established. At a time when the conference and events sector has been devastated by the Covid outbreak, it is more important than ever that we have this group working in Parliament to speak up for this crucial part of our economy.”

PR and Brand Communications Agency, davies tanner, will continue to manage the APPG, as it has done since 2011, and act as its official secretariat. It will also act as special advisors to Theresa Villiers and members of the APPG.

The APPG are in the process of inviting members from both Houses of Parliament, and from all parties, to join the group, and are targeting over 250 MPs and Peers, in particular those who have either event venues or major events within their constituencies.

A series of industry briefings are being scheduled over the coming weeks, which will form the basis of a plan of advocacy, designed to provide as much support to the industry as possible as quickly as possible, which will be published later in the year.

Further information or questions can be obtained via and the industry can follow further developments and updates from the official APPG for Events twitter feed @appgevents.


etc.venues saw a noticeable increase in bookings for meetings and events for both its UK and New York venues immediately after the news of the imminent availability of a Covid 19 vaccine.

Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing and US Sales says: “The organisers of several major events provisionally booked for Q2 and Q3 2021 confirmed them while at the same time there was an influx of new enquiries and bookings for Q1 onwards.

“This clearly demonstrates that, given a reason to be more confident, event planners are ready to return to running live and hybrid events as soon as they feel safe to do so. It’s very encouraging.”

etc.venues has continued to host many meetings for less than 30 people throughout recent months, both in-person and hybrid.

The company has also gained a supplementary source of revenue from bookings for its rooms as workspace as a result of changes to requirements and working practices resulting from Covid-19.  It has acquired £2m of bookings from businesses of all sizes for workspace for the second half of 2020 and many of these regular bookings are set to continue into 2021.

The scholarships, with a total value of £60,000, are particularly tailored to support students who need financial assistance whilst rewarding those students who have achieved a high standard of academic performance.

The scholarships will also provide recipients with a career-path into the hospitality sector through the provision of paid placements with Compass Hospitality in the UK during their vacations and management training/career opportunities in the UK and abroad upon graduation.

“We are delighted to be offering these scholarships for students of the University of Hull,” mentioned Matthew Welbourn, Executive Vice President of Compass Hospitality UK. “We have a strong legacy of providing scholarships in Asia as we believe in the importance of education and welcome the opportunity to play a role in advancing the education and providing job opportunities to deserving students. We are also pleased that this effort will further enhance our already robust staff training and development programmes”

“The University of Hull is constantly exploring avenues for expanding the opportunities available to our students, and establishing ties with industry has always been an important part of this process. We therefore extend our gratitude and recognition to Compass Hospitality for its support of these students, and will look forward to entering into this fruitful and valuable relationship,” added Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull.

The scholarships will be launched in January 2021.

Wyboston Lakes Resort’s Woodlands Event Centre has been voted Best Conference Venue for 450 to 1100 people theatre style at the prestigious Conference Awards 2020.

A panel of industry expert judges awarded the honour to the venue, ahead of many famous venues that were also on the short list for this coveted title.

This is the second major success in recent weeks for the Bedfordshire venue. In late October it reinforced its status as a leading UK conference venue by winning the award for Best Mid-Sized Meeting Space at the hospitality industry’s CHS Awards.

The Woodlands Event Centre was transformed by a £3m redevelopment programme which was completed in 2019, designed to ensure it meets the needs of event organisers and delegates for many years to come.

Louisa Watson, director of marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “I am so chuffed with this. We’ve entered these awards for 7 years and following all the spectacular work on the venue, we’ve won at last. To win two major awards in 2020 is wonderfully uplifting – amazing!”

The Woodlands Event Centre is one of two major venues at the 380-acre resort, alongside the Willows Training Centre which was extensively refurbished early this year. There is also a four-star hotel, a spa and golf course,

The resort has recently launched a hybrid - live and virtual - event solution, which enables organisers to host live events through a virtual platform and with up to 30 guests in-person at the venue, as permitted by government guidelines. The resort has also been certified as a Covid-secure venue following accreditations from the AA, the Meetings Industry Association and Quality in Tourism.

“We’ve now reached the halfway point of our current lockdown period and I would encourage event planners to build on the confidence of the UK Government and use this time to look at life after lockdown, 2021 and beyond.

“The recent announcement of vaccines plus the trial of mass-testing in Liverpool gives every reason to be assured of a positive outlook for the business events industry. Our PM Boris Johnson has said he can hear the distant sound of the bugle coming over the hill and the share prices of large hotel’s chains and airlines have risen, signalling that there’s an end to this crisis.

“These milestones are all building blocks towards the live events sector – that’s meetings, events, conferences and exhibitions – finally opening up after an incredibly tough year. Let’s be cautious – but confident ,” Michael Begley, managing director of, urges the business events sector to plan for 2021 with confidence.

‘Plan for 2021 with confidence’

“I’m calling on planners to use ‘lockdown 2.0’ to plan for a return to events in 2021. Planners can be assured that venues and suppliers have put into place measures to support this – including flexible cancellation terms and robust safety measures as highlighted in HBAA’s ‘Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30’ campaign. Venue planners should see this as the trigger they need to get their event diaries back up and running, ” Michael continues.

“While Boris likes the sound of bugles, I prefer The Sound of Music! To quote a line from the musical’s song ‘I have confidence’: ‘My heart should be wildly rejoicing”. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and the minute the end of lockdown is announced, I’m calling on every venue and every agent to reach out to their corporate clients and meeting planners by email, social media or phone -  let’s flood them with confidence that they can now book!” 

Wyboston Lakes Resort has created a new online tool to make booking small meetings and accommodation fast and easy for event planners.

The flexible portal can be used to check live availability and directly book day meetings of up to 20 delegates. Planners can book multiple meeting rooms and dates, food and beverage options as well check bedroom availability all at one visit to the portal. It is also possible to reserve three months in advance for the new Woodlands Event Centre and six months for the newly refurbished Willows Training Centre.

Christine Gomez, Director of Revenue at Wyboston Lakes Resort, explained: “When we decided to develop our own online bookings tool for meetings, we knew it had to do more than just book a meeting room. It had to be able to book multiple dates, different set-ups and have the ability to add catering options and check bedroom availability all at the same time. People are happy to book online as long as it does what it needs to do simply and quickly. We think we are providing all that and more – along with preferred rates for frequent bookers.”

The 380-acre Bedfordshire conference, events and training centre has also recently launched a comprehensive Hybrid Events solution to allow event organisers the opportunity to create all the elements of a successful live conference or event within a combined virtual and live format. The resort is also recognised as a Covid-secure venue following accreditations from the AA, the Meetings Industry Association and Quality in Tourism.



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