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Venues place agents back under the spotlight

Thanks to popular demand, last week the Meetings Industry Association (mia) put more of the UK’s top booking agents under the spotlight at its third ‘Agents Day’.
Following hot on the heels of the last event in April, the latest sell-out session held at Whittlebury Hall Conference and Training Centre, Hotel and Spa in Northampton on Thursday (25 August) provided delegates with an invaluable insight into how booking agents select their chosen venues.

Commencing with an ‘Agents in the Spotlight’ session chaired by Custard Communications’ managing director Petra Clayton, the fun and informative day provided the opportunity for delegates to pose questions to leading agencies such as Absolute Corporate Events, Bien Venue Ltd, Ellis Salsby and Choice Locations as well as Inntel, Pandora Events, Crème Conferences, Capita Travel and Events and tobook.

The hot topics included discussions surrounding pricing, lead times, conversion rates, commissions, wildcards, site visits, FAM trips and virtual show rounds as well as tips on proposals and responding to the brief in a timely manner.

Karen Guile, director, tobook said: “It was another exceptional event hosted by the mia, Off Limits and Custard Communications at Whittlebury Hall Hotel. The mia provides a great platform for venue and agent engagement. In particular, the ‘Agents in the Spotlight’ session enables us all to share and understand our mutual challenges and needs, which encourages us to all work more cohesively together. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile day.”

Thoughts that were also echoed by the delegates. “It was an excellent day. I found the ‘Agents in the Spotlight’ very useful as well as the networking opportunities. The venue was fabulous and I really enjoyed it,” said Kathy Lambert, sales co-ordinator, The Lensbury.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “We were delighted to host our third Agents Day to date as they offer a unique opportunity for venues and booking agents to gain a better appreciation of each other’s needs and creates better business relationships long-term. There are always lots of great questions that help venues take a fresh look at their approach. It also provides a great platform to debate the hot issues such as the ramifications of BREXIT, budgets, added value and future trends.”

Attendees also got the chance to take part in a fun group activity run by Off Limits where teams worked together to complete a ‘Crystal Amazed’ challenge that offered further networking opportunities in a more relaxed environment. The day concluded with a celebratory drinks reception where the mia presented an award to the winning team.

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