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Finalists announced for 2016 M&IT Awards

Finalists announced for 2016 M&IT Awards | Industry Press | Scoop.it
The shortlisted nominees have been unveiled - with winners set to be revealed at the awards ceremony on 26 February
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M&IT Award 2015 Best Intermediary Agency fewer than 40 employees HD - YouTube

Watch the moment First Choice Conference & Events picked up the M&IT Gold Award for Best Intermediary Agency for fewer than 40 employees. Penny Banyard & Daniel Sweet go up to collect the trophy and speak just after.
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HBAA Members dominate at The Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Industry Awards | HBAA

HBAA Members dominate at The Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Industry Awards | HBAA | Industry Press | Scoop.it
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Exciting new hotel opens at Old Trafford

Exciting new hotel opens at Old Trafford | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

The team at First Choice Conference & Events eagerly await Manchester’s latest venue – Hotel Football, due to open on the 2nd March 2015.  This is the brainchild of two ex-professional footballers supported by a team of industry experts and will offer unique event spaces, fun surroundings and food to shout about!

Located at the home of Manchester United the hotel will have 133 bedrooms, stylishly designed with unrivalled views of Old Trafford and the Manchester skyline. All will have rain showers, King size Hypnos beds, Smeg fridges packed full of retro goodies and big TVs with Sky Sports!

The two Michelin star chef, Michael Wignall and Group Executive Head Chef, Brendan Fyldes will make the food outlets something to get excited about, including an onsite pie shop!

For your events they have their very own ‘Heaven!’ a five-a-side rooftop football pitch with breath-taking views of the city of Manchester.  Situated on the 11th floor of the hotel and with a retractable roof it caters for parties up to 180 guests. In Heaven anything is possible - a drinks reception, sit down dinner, wedding, BBQ, concert or a football match.   In addition to this’ one of a kind’ space there are also 11 meeting rooms with capacities from 10 -600, all with natural daylight from floor to ceiling windows.

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Shortlisted nominees unveiled for 2015 M&IT Awards

Shortlisted nominees unveiled for 2015 M&IT Awards | Industry Press | Scoop.it
The finalists have been named - but the winners won't be revealed until the awards ceremony on 3 March
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QHOTELS EXPANDS PORTFOLIO TO 27 HOTELS

QHotels has added six former De Vere Hotels and De Vere Luxury Lodges to its portfolio. The QHotels brand is looking to strengthen its nationwide presence and complement its award winning guest offer with premium golf, spa and leisure facilities.

First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

 

The six hotels, located across the UK include the luxury 5-star Cameron House in Loch Lomond and the Elizabethan-style Dunston Hall in picturesque Norfolk. They will be managed alongside the existing QHotels portfolio of 21 hotels led by Managing Director Michael Purtill and Finance Director Ian Goulding.

 

Michael Purtill commented: “This is a really positive move that will help drive long-term, sustained growth for the QHotels brand. The 6 hotels are an excellent fit as they are renowned for their first-rate facilities, catering and service. This aligns with our guest-first ethos and enables us to effectively expand our UK reach.

 

“We will be working with each hotel on an individual basis to ensure we build on the best of what they have to offer and complementing this with our experience and expertise. This will help to maximise the conference and events potential of each of the hotels, while strengthening our portfolio in terms of a wider golf, spa & leisure offering.”

 

With investment earmarked for each of the six hotels over the coming months, the hotels will be integrated into the QHotels portfolio.

 

Michael concluded: “Our first priority is business as usual for the teams and guests, ensuring we fulfil our commitments for existing bookings. We are then looking at where we can invest in developing the hotels to emulate the award winning standards QHotels is renowned for and which drives guest satisfaction and loyalty.”

 

On the 22nd September QHotels was awarded AA Hotel Group of the Year 2014, which recognises the group’s proven track record of offering the very best levels of service, food and accommodation across its range of 21 properties.

 

Other recognitions includes QHotels being rated No. 1 UK Hotel chain 2013 by independent watchdog, Which? and, for the second year, awarded ‘Recommended Provider’ status.  It also landed three prestigious VenueVerdict Brand Awards for Gold Standard Group, No.1 Large Group and Event Sales Enquiry Handling.

 

The former De Vere Hotels, joining the QHotels portfolio, include

 

Cameron House, Loch LomondDunston Hall, NorwichOulton Hall,  LeedsMottram Hall, Macclesfield, CheshireSlaley Hall, Hexham, NorthumberlandBelton Woods, Grantham, Lincolnshire

The former DeVere Luxury Lodges, are located at Belton Woods, Cameron House and Slaley Hall

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QHOTELS TOPS THE BOARD AGAIN QHOTELS NAMED 2014-2015 AA HOTEL GROUP OF THE YEAR

QHOTELS TOPS THE BOARD AGAIN QHOTELS NAMED 2014-2015 AA HOTEL GROUP OF THE YEAR | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

In what can only be described as an outstanding achievement, the industry leading credentials of QHotels have been recognised with the group scooping the prestigious AA Hotel Group of the Year 2014/15 award on 22 September in London.

 

A hugely prestigious award, won by QHotels for the second time, this latest accolade underlines the group’s commitment to deliver outstanding standards of product and service across its collection of 21 unique and four-star hotels within the UK.

 

Demonstrating a range of award-winning qualities, QHotels are recognised for their ongoing investment plan, a progressive approach to their corporate and social responsibility, an unwavering focus on the quality of food & drink, and for delivering a level of customer service that ensures every guest has a personalised experience that exceeds their expectations.

 

Michael Purtill, Managing Director at QHotels said: “It has been a fantastic year for QHotels and this prestigious accolade comes on the back of several other awards this year including No.1 UK Hotel Chain from Which? and Hotel of the Year for The Midland at the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Awards.

“At the heart of QHotels is a great team of people working across our 21 hotels. Our ‘Inspired by You’ approach, which we introduced to the market last year, touches every area of our business including recruitment, training and operational delivery and as a result the people we employ are passionate and responsive; they genuinely enjoy serving our customers and giving them a tailored experience. It’s simple, but it makes a real difference.

“We’re delighted that our progressive approach has been recognised by the AA who have chosen us as Hotel Group of the Year 2014-2015 and we look forward to sharing the QHotels experience with many more customers over the coming months.”

 QHotels continues to gain recognition for its commitment to great customer service across all areas of the business. Not only did the hotel scoop No.1 UK Hotel Chain from Which? in October 2013, this latest success follows the group receiving top honours earlier in the year too - VenueVerdict’s Gold Standard Group award, No. Large Group award, and most recently celebrating industry success with The Midland crowned Group Hotel of the Year at the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Awards 2014. 

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Southampton’s Grand Harbour Hotel multi-million pound refurbishment is now complete.

Southampton’s Grand Harbour Hotel multi-million pound refurbishment is now complete. | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

The hotel is one of Southampton’s most recognisable landmarks and - in its 20th anniversary year - has just undergone a complete £4 million makeover, transforming its conference facilities, rooms, restaurants and spa

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Venues have to prove their value in multiple ways

Venues have to prove their value in multiple ways | Industry Press | Scoop.it
"The least expensive venue does not guarantee that you are selected. You have to prove your value in other ways"


Daniella Middleton is a
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Banksy confirms Cheltenham 'Spybooth' art is his

Banksy confirms Cheltenham 'Spybooth' art is his | Industry Press | Scoop.it
Months of speculation about the origin of a piece of wall art in Cheltenham have been brought to an end with a simple word – yes.

Renowned Bristol street artist Banksy has admitted on his...
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

View photo's of the team https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152061124816326.1073741861.123856741325&type=3

 

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5 downsides of DIY team building events

As an HR manager or a Communication manager, you are charged with the task of organising a team-building on a regular basis.
Should you organise it yourself or hire an outside agency?

Organising an in-house team building sure is tempting. For starters, it typically costs less than outsourcing it, so you can save some money.
Despite the initial draw, however, an in-house team building comes with a few hidden costs that more than offset the lower initial price.
So, if you want to get a better return on investment, then outsourcing may turn out to be the better choice. Here are 5 downsides of DIY team building events:

 


#1 Picking the right venue is hard
Every organisational problem you face needs a specific approach and theme to address it. And just as importantly – a specific venue.
Organising a team building in your office building is not the best idea for a number of reasons. Events can get loud and noisy and act as a disruption to those not participating in them. Also, your office is all too familiar to your coworkers, so they might have a hard time shaking off the mindset that they are still at work. A team building event should never be perceived as a work task. And let’s not forget that a lot of the popular team building activities, such as archery, paintball or the ever more popular It’s a Knockout just can’t be organised indoors.

Therefore, you need to go out of your way to find the perfect venue. This can be a daunting task, that’s not only time consuming, but financially burdensome too. Professional corporate event organisers have rich experience and established partnerships with various venues. If you leave the choice of venue to them, they will come up with the most suitable pick and get it at a preferential rate too.

#2 You will interrupt your own work flow
Speaking of time consuming, team building organisation is probably not your primary task as an HR specialist. But if you decide to organise the event yourself, it will have to become your primary task.
This means temporarily putting away your other work, which will create a dent in your schedule. All that work will be waiting for you in a pile once everything is over. If you work with an outside expert, you can work shoulder to shoulder and you can delegate as much (or as little) of the organization as you want.

#3 Planning takes focus away from the content
Organising a team building or another corporate event is no small business. There are a ton of things you need to plan in advance – logistics, materials, refreshments, schedule and a number of technical details that you would never have thought prior to organising the event.
Unless you are a seasoned event planner, chances are you will miss something. If it creates a disruption, it will be your responsibility. Furthermore, it may compromise your authority in front of the participants and hurt your goals.
When you use the services of professional event planners, you will have a dedicated team of experts taking care the organisation. That means you’ll be free to focus your energy on what matters most – how the team is coming together and resolving issues.

#4 Building a balanced concept is tricky
When planning the event, it’s hard to come up with an event concept that really transfers into tangible benefits to your business.
If you want people to learn, give them something fun to do. Scientific research shows emotionally charged events have a direct positive impact on learning. At the same time, many team building events focus solely on a fun experience and fail to deliver anything beyond that.
Another common mistake is planning activities which foster a competitive spirit too much or ones that are too mentally or physically challenging. This makes some participants feel disgruntled and all the effort ends up being counterproductive.
It takes a team of experienced psychologists to come up with a balanced strategy, one that is custom-built and tailored specifically towards the needs of your company.


#5 Close relationships to employees prevents objectivity
Part of your job is to supervise internal processes and identify problematic areas. And this often gives good results precisely because you work with the same people all the time.
But this can be a limitation when it comes to team building events. Being part of the organisational culture yourself, you might be missing some important issues. Or you might have preconceived notions towards some of your co-workers. These limitations can only be overcome by someone who has a bird-eye’s view of your company.
If you outsource your team building event, an outside expert will come to your company, run an analysis, and find issues you couldn’t see before. This is a great catch-all. You can share your findings and work together on drafting ideas that will address both the issues you and they identified.

 

Lachezar Stamatov



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An interview with - Daniel Sweet, First Choice Conference and Events | KEW Marketing | Marketing Consultant Watford | Hertfordshire

An interview with - Daniel Sweet, First Choice Conference and Events | KEW Marketing | Marketing Consultant Watford | Hertfordshire | Industry Press | Scoop.it
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Cheltenham-based business is First Choice of judges | Blog

Cheltenham-based business is First Choice of judges
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Triple gold for First Choice Conference & Events

Cheltenham based boutique event management and hotel booking agency, First Choice Conference & Events have big values and ambitions, which have set them apart from their competitors since 1995.
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First Choice Conference & Events win ‘Best Intermediary Agency’ award

First Choice Conference & Events win ‘Best Intermediary Agency’ award | Industry Press | Scoop.it
Cheltenham based boutique event management and hotel booking agency, First Choice Conference & Events, has won the 2015 Gold Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry ‘Best Intermediary Agency’ (fewer than 40 employees) Award
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Biggest ever M&IT Awards honours stars of events industry

Biggest ever M&IT Awards honours stars of events industry | Industry Press | Scoop.it
More than £36k raised for Meetings Industry Meeting Needs at glittering ceremony at Battersea Evolution
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First Choice Conference & Events | 20Years

First Choice Conference & Events | 20Years | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events are delighted to announce we are now trading in our 20th year of business, and things are looking brighter than ever. This is a testament to our close-knit team (both current and past) who have gone through extensive training procedures to demonstrate they are the best in the industry for providing our clients with bespoke event proposals and negotiating deals and added value (further proven by the 3 HBAA Agent of the Year awards that sit proudly in our office!)

Of course, none of this would have been possible without our wonderful clients; many of which have remained loyal over the years, which has enabled us to forge long-lasting relationships with some lovely people in almost every business sector possible. Thanks must also go to all the fabulous venues (both here and abroad) with whom we have formed trusted partnerships in order to supply our clients with successful and memorable events.

We are so proud of what we have achieved, and look forward to the next 20 years with great enthusiasm. The team already have 117 years of industry experience between us, so who knows where we will be booking events in 20 years’ time – maybe the moon!
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Accor to open two hotels in Scotland | HBAA

Accor to open two hotels in Scotland | HBAA | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

French-owned hotel giant Accor has signed deals to open two new hotels in Scotland in 2015.

The move will bring the total number of hotels Accor operates in the country to 20.

In Glasgow, Accor has signed a franchise agreement with MCTH Trading Limited to open an ibis Styles on Miller Street in the current Telfer House, which is undergoing a refurbishment. This is the city’s first ibis Styles.

Management company, Redefine|BDL Hotels, will take on a new team to operate the 101-room, eight-storey hotel, creating 25 jobs ahead of the scheduled opening in autumn 2015.

In Edinburgh, Accor has signed a deal to open a brand new Mercure hotel at 38 Gardner’s Crescent in central Edinburgh. The 110-room, midscale hotel will be opened with a franchise partner; Edinburgh City Hotels Limited, in spring 2015. All bedrooms boast Apple TVs and there will be high-speed internet throughout the hotel.

Thomas Dubaere, managing director, Accor UK & Ireland said: “These new hotels will help us to expand the Accor brands in Scotland, where our business is already enjoying great success. We’re especially pleased to be working with franchise partners for these economy and midscale hotels, as these are segments where we see a lot of growth potential. Scotland is an important region for us, with its enviable tourism industry and flourishing business ecosystem, so we continue to seek new opportunities to grow and participate in the local economy.”

See more here: http://bit.ly/1r0lZaQ

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The Langham to begin £7.5m refurbishment

The Langham to begin £7.5m refurbishment | Industry Press | Scoop.it
The Langham, London will undergo a £7.5m refurbishment that will introduce three new areas to the hotel: the Regent Wing, The Langham Club Lounge and the Sterling Suite.
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Jenny Phung's curator insight, October 7, 2014 6:22 AM

To celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2015, the investor of The Langham, London will introduce 3 new areas which are Regent Wing, the Langham Club Lounge and the Sterling Suite. These three new areas will contribute the huge amount of profit in the future and give the guests more options when they choose The Langham, London to stay. These areas focus on the VIP guests by providing a private check in, check out, private four bed room apartment, private butler service and a private media lounge. This movement will bring The Langham, London to the higher level in the Resort and Hotel industry. Now, it not only provide rooms to stay but also all the modern facilities and services in one hotel. The guests can get everything they want here and they will be satisfied. It will gain the reputation for the hotel.

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Staff move up the ladder in First Choice Conference & Events

Staff move up the ladder in First Choice Conference & Events | Industry Press | Scoop.it

Laura Irwin has been promoted to Senior Account Manager after starting at the company as a Conference Executive 6 years ago. Cheryl Brunwin has now been appointed Director of Sales after over 4 years at the company and is part of the company’s plan for continued growth.

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Puma Hotels rebrands to The Hotel Collection

Puma Hotels rebrands to The Hotel Collection | Industry Press | Scoop.it
First Choice Conference & Events (www.firstchoice-ce.co.uk)'s insight:

We are excited to announce that Puma Hotels Collection has rebranded to The Hotel Collection. We still have the same 21 hotels across the UK, each with its own distinctive identity, architecture and ambiance; their settings range from glorious open countryside to historic towns and cities and classic seaside resorts. Above all, there will still be outstanding service, offering you the warm welcome that makes our hotels so special.


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The Story of Four Seasons

The Story of Four Seasons | Industry Press | Scoop.it
The story of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is a tale of continuous innovation, remarkable expansion, and a single-minded dedication to the highest of standards. For more than 50 years, the Canadian-based company has transformed the global hospitality industry by combining caring service with the finest traditions of international hotel keeping. In the process, Four Seasons has re-defined hospitality for the modern traveller.

Via koushikchakraborty
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Conference Aston opens first chapter of multi-million pound refurbishment | HBAA

Conference Aston opens first chapter of multi-million pound refurbishment | HBAA | Industry Press | Scoop.it
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New website that measures ‘venue experience’ is set to shake-up meetings and events industry

A new industry website, which is being described as the Trip Advisor for conference venues, is set to shake up the meetings and events industry by giving delegates and event organisers a forum to share their venue experiences.
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