The headline event, hosted by the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, this year centred around a Better Business Toolkit – part of the association and current chair Jacqui Kavanagh’s aim to help members do better business, and do business better together.
The first day saw both agent and member venues attend a session delivered by behavioural economist and strategist Roger Martin-Fagg, who explained his outlook on the economy over the next three years, and how members can learn to be even more economically intelligent. Continuing on the economy, Alistair Turner from the Business Visits & Events Partnership and Britain for Events described what is on the government’s agenda when it comes to recognising the importance of the events industry.
The educational programme also included a central panel session focusing on procurement. Senior representatives from companies including Capita Travel and Events, British and American Tobacco and Compass Group UK & Ireland discussed how they dealt with the recession – and how it provided them with the opportunity to add value and profitability to all aspects of selection, purchasing and interaction with suppliers.
Day Two of the event began with Jonathan Bradshaw, CEO of the Meetology Group, exploring the science behind business success. The programme continued with a mix of agent workshops and seminars on crisis management, corporate pricing and social media – as well as a look at what today’s tech-savvy client really needs in terms of technology.
Jacqui Kavanagh, chair of the HBAA, consultant executive director of the HBAA Juliet Price and HBAA Venue Chair Hayley Stokes also delivered a breakdown of what the association had achieved so far in 2015, and its vision for the future. Attendees also enjoyed multiple networking sessions and a ‘Best of British’ themed dinner.
Jacqui Kavanagh said, “We were delighted to return to Birmingham for our Forum this year and privileged to be joined by some distinguished guests and speakers. Our aim was really to raise the bar in terms of educational content this year, and with a mix of sessions on procurement, economical intelligence, human interaction, cultural values, technology and social media to name just a few, we are thoroughly pleased to have delivered all the components of a better business toolkit that will certainly be of benefit to our members in the months ahead.”