. . . and 80 delegate dishes tapas-style, reports Sydney PauldenJackie Brown, as Director of Meetings & Events Sales of GLH Hotels, is responsible for filling the function rooms of 36 properties. They are all members of the Guoman or Thistle brands. There are five Guomans and 31 Thistles.
‘We are very much London-based’, said Jackie when I met her at The Meetings Show in Olympia. ‘The five Guomans are iconic properties strategically located in all the desirable parts of the capital plus a dozen Thistles dotted around London.’
The Guoman properties are the 5-star Royal Horseguards and the 4-star deluxe The Tower Hotel in East London, the Cumberland at the western end of Oxford Street, overlooking Hyde Park, the Grosvenor Hotel at Victoria Station and the very central Charing Cross Hotel.
‘In whichever area of London an organiser wishes to place an event, we have a choice of venues we can offer. They all have a range of purpose-built MICE facilities.’
Naturally, Thistle hotels can be found around Scotland – and also in Manchester and Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle and other key cities in England. ‘Only three of my properties’, continues Jackie, ‘are outside the UK – two Thistle resorts in Malaysia and a Guoman in Shanghai.’
Jackie has long experience with the events sector and is very ready to receive calls from organisers and venue-seekers to talk over their needs. ‘Wi-Fi is a free service’, she points out, ‘and we are constantly checking with our corporate and association clients in order to ensure we are up-to-date on requirements. Our latest approach to feeding delegates at events is evidence of that.’
‘Yes. Let’s face it, there can be as many likes and dislikes about food as there are delegates. So, we can now offer a uniquely wide choice of dishes. When an event is being planned, we show as many as 80 different bowls of food and the organiser chooses a selection of, say, fifteen or so. During the event, these selected dishes are offered tapas-style in small bowls to the delegates who can then decide to eat them in any combination that suits them.
‘They fit in with all kinds of diets. At the same time, it is possible to have an appetising meal without delegates feeling bloated before an afternoon conference session’.