Inaugural International Forum hosted by Huis ter Duin Hotel in the NetherlandsThis weekend, 27-28 March, the HBAA hosted its first International Forum at the five-star Huis ter Duin Hotel in the Netherlands.
Recognising its growing international membership, the association partnered with DBF Events and bought together over 50 leading agents with international hoteliers and venues. During the International Forum delegates shared market knowledge, best practices and carried out comprehensive networking that saw more than 600 face to face appointments between suppliers and buyers.
Attendees were drawn far and wide from across Europe with representatives including La Manga Club, Marriott Hotels Paris and Byblos, St Tropez.
The first day culminated with the presentation of DBF Events noted "All About People Awards". The awards recognise account management excellence of individuals in the meetings and events sector. Using the Forum's bespoke app, designed by Double Dutch, votes were cast by client and suppliers and were presented to:
· Supplier of the year - Robbert-Jan Meinardi, Huis ter Duin
· Client of the year - Matt Curran, Chew Events
Over 3,000 international properties are now signed up to the HBAA's International Charter which fosters best practices and pointedly acknowledges the commercial model by which UK agencies work.
Michiel Fortuin, partner, DBF Events Ltd said, "We have built a strong series of events that bring together key agents and suppliers throughout the year. We were delighted to widen the scope by partnering with the HBAA for the event at the stunning Huis ter Duin. Our awards are always highly coveted as they are based on personality and voted for by their peers; we are therefore delighted for both Robbert and Matt who really do personify that it is the people who make this industry."
Steve Ockerby, Chair of the HBAA International Committee commented on the success of the International Forum: "This has been a landmark event for us and underlines how significant the UK outbound market is to the international hotel and venues. Those that have signed up to the International Charter understand the UK agency business model, consequently they benefit from HBAA agents’ buying power on outbound meetings, conferences and events. I think I can confidently say the International Forum will be an annual event, so put it in the diary for next year!”