HOSPA CEO Jane Pendlebury looks back at HITEC and forwards to HOSPACE 2017
June and July have been packed months. I’ve been in Toronto for HITEC; plans and bookings for HOSPACE 2017 are progressing apace; an exciting programme of topical HOSPA member meetings has been arranged for September and October; and, as ever, our annual July Quiz night proved an overwhelming success.
It is always a privilege to visit HITEC. A massive exhibition attracting exhibitors and delegates from around the world, HITEC showcases the latest developments in hospitality technology. We are delighted that some of the show’s exhibitors will be displaying and promoting their products and services at our HOSPACE 2017 exhibition at the Royal Lancaster London on 2 November.
HITEC provided a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues from North America, Europe and Australasia and learn about the remarkable new technologies being offered to our profession. Robots and AI solutions seemed to attract a lot of attention. I even learnt how to throw an axe against a wooden wall, thanks to a crazy and enormously fun evening organised by FourteenIP.
Big thanks go to all of you who joined us for our annual Quiz Night, held at Browns Covent Garden in London’s St Martins Lane. We had a fabulous evening, with a superb quiz master in John Williams from Availpro. Like last year, it was a baking hot day and we were very grateful for the restaurant’s air conditioning. An impressive Marriott IT team took the Quiz Night honours; and Katherine Doggrell’s full report on the event, with a picture of the winners, can be seen on page 8.
I’m now calling all HOSPA Scottish members to ensure their Quiz Night on 13 September at our regular venue - The Collage Corner Bar within the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow - will be equally successful and fun. There are still some tables left, so please get in touch with us to book your space (www.HOSPA.org)
We have a great series of HOSPA Members Meetings lined up for you after the summer break. A full list can be found at the back of The Overview, but here are some examples of stand-out events.
We are working with Andrew Evans, Chief Executive of Keystep Solutions, on a London event: ‘Bridging the gap between traditional and technology’, at Red Carnation’s recently refurbished The Rubens at the Palace. A winning combination of informative speakers on installing technology in such a classic setting, and the hotel’s renowned hospitality make this an eagerly awaited event on Thursday, 21 September.
Another association HOSPA works very closely with is The Chartered Institute of Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). I am delighted to announce that we are joining forces with them on 28 September to run a seminar on staff and skills issues in the hospitality industry - to be hosted by Mazars at their London offices at Tower Bridge House in St Katherine’s Way, E1W 1DD. The challenges posed by Brexit make this an especially pertinent event to attend. Topics will include the sensitive service charge/tronc issue, as well as hidden extras such as staff uniforms and accommodation. Concerns over the modern slavery act also will be covered during this meeting, so well worth a couple of hours of your time.
The beginning of October sees a new initiative from our sponsors Atos, who are eager to work closely with our industry. Atos will be hosting an event on 5 October at their impressive offices in central London, focusing on embracing digital and how we, in the hospitality industry, can transform ourselves.
Finally, on 18 October before HOSPACE on 2 November, we are running an event at the Sofitel London St James hotel, on ‘Asset Management - Friend or Foe? Does it really add value to the top and bottom line?’ With the increase of owners and management companies, asset management is a growth area within the hospitality industry. Organised by HOSPA with the help of many HOSPA members, I can’t wait to hear the exceptional speakers we have lined up for you.
Please go on to the events section on www.HOSPA.org to book your places. I hope you manage to take a break this summer and can contain your excitement until September.