HBAA to focus on ‘Next Generation’ at 2019 Annual Forum

UK: The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) will focus on the ‘Next Generation’ at the 2019 HBAA Annual Forum, from 11-12 July at the Voco St John’s Hotel in Solihull.

It has created a special separate half-day NextGen programme of campfires on the second day exclusively for members under 25 years of age or who have less than three years’ experience in the industry. It is also offering them a discounted rate of £35 for the Friday.

The two days will include key sessions highlighting the next generation, beginning with a panel debate on Day One, entitled ‘NextGen’s Future Focus.’ The HBAA’s first ever NextGen Board members – Olivia Woolley from Hotel & Travel Solutions, Ryan Doyle from Park Regis Birmingham and Anthony Kwokori from The Barbican – will present their strategy and discuss the industry’s future with other up-and-coming contributors.

The HBAA’s year-long theme of supporting young people will see Leadh Woolley of The Prince’s Trust talk about the trust’s programmes, including ‘Get into Hospitality & Events’ that was created in partnership with HBAA.

The second day opens with a business session on ‘Creating a Personal Brand’, followed by a rotation of seven campfires designed to give attendees opportunities to learn, share and build their industry networks.

The HBAA’s campaign to increase mental health awareness will feature prominently over both days. This includes an inspirational keynote session from Manwell Benagues about the life-changing powers of Breathwork, news from Leigh Cowlishaw on the HBAA’s campaign so far and next steps and workshops.

Keynote speakers include national newspaper and TV political journalist Steve Richards on the subject of ‘Breaking Brexit’, marketing expert Louise Fowler on making customers the centre of attention in a digital age, and inspirational entrepreneur Shed Simove on creativity and innovation.

There will also be an update on fundraising and vital support from HBAA members for the HBAA’s chosen charity Buses4Homeless and charity founder Dan Atkins will be showing buses that have been bought and fitted out as a result.

Meanwhile, an Annual Forum Dinner and Rockeoke night will be held, with another discounted rate for NextGen participants.

On Day Tw, streamed workshops that are suitable for mid to senior attendees will feature topics including how to grow booking rates and win more agency contracts for venue members, as well as how to grow and broaden your business for agency members.

The NextGen programme of campfire sessions will feature industry experts on topics including how to manage supplier relationships, knowledge pathways to success and for growth, social media, managing personal data in events, career building blocks and wellbeing in the workplace.

Angie Mason, chair of the HBAA, said: “The development of young professionals is the central focus this year with our overarching strategy of ‘Supporting the Next Generation’. With a packed programme of campfire sessions specifically designed to help inspire and propel young talent to senior management positions, new and established professionals alike will be sure to find this year’s Forum to be highly valuable and productive.”

For more information on how to register, visit the website here.

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