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HOSPA CEO Carl Weldon fills in the gaps in this year’s HOSPACE.

HOSPA CEO Carl Weldon fills in the gaps in this year’s event.

We talked last issue about the angles of HOSPACE – but no names or faces? Without wishing to imply that our speakers have angular faces, let’s see who we have. The Leaders’ Panel will be chaired by the ever-effervescent Peter Hancock, CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels – with us for the third time and still getting rave reviews. He will be asking the panel what’s important to them? “Them who?” you ask. Jonathan Ragget, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels will be providing the full service, award-winning angle, with another angle again from Mark Hird, Managing Director of Tavistock Hospitality. Mark will be talking not just hotels – but self-branded restaurants, a brewery and a distillery with an award-winning gin - all from the north of England (see February’s Overview for an in-depth article on Mark) and Andy Townsend - Chief Executive Officer - Legacy hotels. The fully-branded franchise view will come from Les Asplen, the Managing Director of Best Western Hotels. Completing the set will be the vastly-experienced Peter Cashman, CEO of Focus Hotels, who loves management contracts with multiple brands.

Hospitality and the Digital Challenge - helping us navigate this topic will be Dr Cris Tarrant, CEO BDRC Group – the UK’s largest independent research consultancy – and a familiar face to the global branded hotel operators. Cris will be extracting knowledge and information on the F&B angle from Stephen Minall, Director and Owner of Moving Food, with marketing represented by Mark McCulloch, Founder at Spectacular Marketing expert in Brand, Digital, and Social. Mark has previously presented to The HOSPA IT Community on digital.

They will be joined by Dr Michael Toedt, Managing Partner of dailypoint, an expert on Big Data – in fact Michael has written the book on the subject (“Data Revolution How Big Data Will Change the Way of Doing Business”) and will have some to giveaway at HOSPACE. Expedia will also be represented, Irene van der Watt, Area Manager, Regional UK & Ireland, giving us the viewpoint of the online travel agents. We must not forget the operators of course, and we haven’t.

We will be joined by Carson Booth, SVP for Global Property Technology at Starwood Hotels & Resorts – who knows all about the things Starwood are doing with their Digital approach such as keyless doors. Finally let’s add in a younger (in company terms at least) digital specialist in the form of the CEO of Flypay, Tom Weaver, a new entrant into the digital payment arena. With such a stellar panel, I think we are covered!

We are delighted to announce that the ‘HOSPACE Interviews’ at HOSPACE 2015 will be with two of the hospitality industry’s most influential and dynamic leaders – British Hospitality Association CEO Ufi Ibrahim and citizenM Hotels’ Co-partner, Founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Levie. Michael will be interviewed by leading hospitality financial journalist Andrew Sangster, the Founder and Editorial Director of Hotel Analyst. Michael and Andrew will be aiming to provoke serious debate and topic areas for us to consider over lunch. I will have the honour of interviewing Ufi Ibrahim again on stage, specifically to discuss and find out more about the BHA’s vitallyimportant ‘Cut Tourism VAT’ campaign, currently supported by 126 MPs across all parties, and Ufi’s hope to reach the target of 200 MPs by May 2016.

The BHA is focused on highlighting the benefits of the hospitality and tourism industry to the UK economy – and how HOSPACE delegates can help the BHA in  its objective.

In the afternoon – after a choice of up to seven Workshops and Technical Updates every half hour - we will examine the fragmented nature of the hospitality business over three sessions, with a varied group of experts and angles to choose from.

Chairing the challenging panel of ‘Managing Inwards and Outwards’ will be Paul Slattery, Co-Founder and Director at Otus & Co – famous in the industry but his first time at HOSPACE.

He will be aiming to extract views and angles from: Heiko Figge, who is responsible for overseeing the MREF Hotels portfolio at The Moorfield Group. As an owner he is of course a Gamekeeper turned Poacher after his experience as an operator with Thistle. The advisors’ view will come from Robert Barnard, Managing Partner at BDO’s Hospitality Division. Sarah Freeman, Director Business Partner at InterContinental Hotels Group, will be providing a procurement angle from an operator which includes ownership, management contracts and franchises. And then the customer – and who better to represent the customer than TripAdvisor? With the trends and specialist view of our industry will come Adrian Hands, Senior Director of CPC/META for EMEA, Trip Advisor.

Finish this off with great pre-dinner magic… a superb Gala Dinner (we have already tasted the food) at the Sofitel at T5 – then the legendary after-dinner entertainment and games - who knows, there may even be dancing in the street. 

Please come and join us for a superb day of information, education and inspiration. And don’t forget the networking! HOSPA members get special rates of course. 

Watch out for more news on Twitter (@HOSPATweets), Facebook and LinkedIn and extend your networking to social on the day with questions for the panels or commentary on the day’s events.

For more news and bookings, please contact us via: or +44 (0)203 418 8196.


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