Perhaps surprisingly we have grown
through the recession. I put this down to two key things: a need to belong to
an organisation through which you can monitor industry trends to ensure that
your business is tracking the norm for your sector, and an increased need to
network and be part of the big picture.
We have suffered a few losses as
companies have either gone to the wall or merged, but thankfully very few. Most
businesses have ‘hunkered down’ and are managing their cash flow carefully.
Our revised code of conduct is a further
evolution of a document that started life over 10 years ago, and is now in its
fourth iteration. Each time it addresses issues that have either become
relevant or increased in importance to venues or agents. Our most significant
move in this area has been the launch of our international charter. This is
designed to facilitate business between UK agents and overseas venues; reacting
to client demand for the same level of comfort and protection in that arena as
they now expect in the UK thanks to the HBAA Charter.
We have everyone from global brands to
small independent venues in membership, and their needs are very different in
some ways and surprisingly similar in others. The larger businesses look to us
for thought leadership, interpretation of the impact of legislation on our
sector (eg TOMS or the UK Bribery Act). Smaller businesses value our meetings
and education highly. They all enjoy our networking.
I am old enough to remember a time when
hoteliers regarded agents as the enemy, taking bread from the mouths of their
children. I like to think that the HBAA has played its part in driving
that change in opinion.
Any comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org