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Stay Connected – now and in the future

HOSPA CEO Carl Weldon uses his final column to stay in touch


At the recent HOSPA Revenue Management Members' Meeting at the Le Meridien Piccadilly we asked the assembled group what they wanted in the future. The great news is that Revenue Managers - really beginning to understand what being part of an Association really means now - responded with the following:


• Keep the format fresh • Link with other associations • Encourage wider audiences (not just RM) • Encourage networking - including social media • Have some RM leaders present, with a possible debate? • Create RM standards? • Define the role(s) of Revenue Management


We realised on the last point that HOSPA has already created and defined some of the career paths for the Hospitality Guild               - for example here http://www.hospitalityguild.co.uk/A-Careerin-Hospitality/Career-tools/Career-Map#/role/Revenue-Manager but that we have not featured this on our own website - proving that it is always valuable to hear directly from you - our members. The other aspect of the above is of course is that of one of the most valuable aspects of being a member of any association - staying connected - or networking.


It is very easy to stay in the office day-to-day (even in a busy hotel) - and so become isolated. It is even easier to stay in your business and never pop your head ‘above the parapet’ and look at the outside world of the profession you are in. Being a part of HOSPA you have access to this monthly magazine and the exclusive members area of the website (you will need your membership number and password) - and our professional development courses and qualifications.   

But the area you will obtain huge value - and get a kick from - is meeting  others in your profession -finding out what they do and how they do it - what they are planning to do and what they have do to achieve this. It took me a while to convince some Revenue Managers that this does NOT mean sharing your RM Strategy with others - much like the Finance Managers do not sit down and compare their P&Ls. It means sharing thoughts on roles, standards, approach and technical aspects while listening to leadership in the industry.


This is why the sharing of discussion between Revenue Management, Finance and Technology departments or roles is so important. An IT Director recently shared his thoughts with me on doing a hospitality technology certification - the biggest value he assigned to his learning process was understanding


We must remember that our hospitality guests want to stay connected also. In today’s world of social media, email and fastloading information apps our customers need access to their own networks.


If you look up ‘Stay Connected’ on Google one of the highest ranking results is this website address - http://www. hiltonworldwidestayconnected.com/ . It says “Hilton Worldwide developed the StayConnected programme to ensure our guests receive high quality, consistent, internet access and support at each of our hotels”. If the industry as a whole does not all aspire to this - our guests will come and connect with us - but as not-very-happy complaining guests which is not the kind of connection, we really want.


We must remember that technology is affecting us all in many ways - but that we still want to meet up with people. You do need to look up about six inches from your Smartphone or tablet to meet others - but that will get you a much better feeling of ‘Staying Connected’ .


When I look at the recent press release about what we have done at BAHA and HOSPA over the past 11 years a great deal of it has been about these connections. The new website, the new Overview (and electronic version), HOSPACE with over 460+ attending, regional members’ meetings, members lounge at Hotelympia and Hospitality Show, HOSPA’s now extensive social media reach, HOSPA Blog, career and future career scholarships, professional awards, jobs board, Finance and IT Directors’ dinners - to name but a few. All of these have helped

HOSPA members and others connect and interact with others in their professional field.


It has been my absolute pleasure to lead and develop both BAHA and HOSPA over the past decade or so. It has been fun a lot of the time - which has also been a key part of our approach. When I look back I am sure it’s the people I will miss most - the discussions and debate - and the partnerships and dedication of those that really do make a difference to the development of an organisation like HOSPA.


I have been a member of this organisation since the early 1980s' when I used to receive Russell Kett’s ‘pink sheets’ of information through the post - and I will not be going far - really just only ‘over the road’ and I will be still ‘connecting with’ and indeed supporting HOSPA via HFTP.


I am sure I will see you in the future at a HOSPA members’ meeting or even at HOSPACE or Hotelympia from 29th February to 3rd March as I am there for the whole of what will be my last week.


If you going to attend Hotelympia, make sure you register (for free) via the HOSPA specific link for Premier status (www.hotelympia.com/hospa)


After that please do ‘Stay connected’ with me. I am on LinkedIn and Twitter and my phone number will remain the same at +44 7831 616982.


I wish HOSPA members and HOSPA the best for the future and I look forward to supporting you from a different perspective in the future.


Congratulations to one of our Financial Management learners, Kamila Lipnicka, who gave birth to a baby boy, Adam, on Christmas Day, weighing in at a healthy 8lb 13oz!  Not fazed by having a newborn to worry about, Kamila sat her Stage One exam just three weeks later. Kamila works as an Accounts Assistant at the Radisson Blu Belfast, who supported her throughout her studies and for her exam. Best wishes to you all and good luck with your results Kamila!

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