HOSPA CEO Jane Pendlebury is hopeful as the sector looks to reopen at last, with support along the way from HOSPA’s webinars and events.
Has it really only been a month since the last edition of The Overview? Such a lot, and yet so very little has happened! At least now we have a re-opening date for some hospitality businesses, although sadly not all. While it’s great news that some revenue streams will start again, they are unfortunately not likely to match pre COVID-19 expectations. Social distancing will also prevent some places opening at all and will severely restrict others from operating profitably. Despite these stumbling blocks though, there is, at last, light at the end of the tunnel for most! As HOSPA members know only too well, re-opening is not a straightforward process.
There remain many unanswered questions as to how things are going to work moving forward. Hard work and determination will, of course, help but it will need plenty of positive attitudes and smiles, with committed support from every single team member if it’s to be a success. From the finance director to the owner, the guest facing team and the back of house crew – never has pulling together and caring for colleagues been more important than now. I know many of you have tuned in to our new series of webinars – so thank you for that! I hope they have been both useful and inspiring. The most recent one was all about sentiment. Will guests rush to return to our venues or will there be a reluctance, especially for those usually busy town and city centre properties? Will the rural and coastal local communities welcome visitors? Will our staff be willing and able to return to work? If you missed it, you can listen to it (and the previous editions) by going to https://www.hospa.org/webinars.
Our webinar the previous week focussed on using tech focused on using technology to increase engagement whilst reducing contact – some ingenious new products were discussed alongside some more established solutions that have suddenly found a whole new world of relevance. The first two webinars were broadcast with the support of the experts from the HOSPA board. We kicked off with a finance-related one, during which our panel of finance specialists were able to answer many diverse queries and explain some of the ins-and-outs of the recent Government support schemes. The second board webinar was more general and also very well received.
We covered revenue management, staffing, and the impact of the closing of venues on hospitality technology systems. To move onto forthcoming events briefly (yes, they do still happen), I trust you all have this year’s HOSPACE in your diary? It will be on Thursday 19th November. Please keep the day clear. We are working closely with The Royal Lancaster on a plan to run a more exclusive (and potentially socially distanced) event at the hotel, but also to widen the delegate reach through a virtual platform.
There are a plethora of virtual conference solutions out there, but we are confident we have found a great solution that will offer benefits beyond our initial expectations. The HOSPA team remain focussed on making an enormous success of the event and will use all the people and technology we can to make it our best yet! Stay safe and best wishes, until the next time.
Jane Pendlebury, HOSPA CEO