The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) attracted over 70 hotel, apartment and venue suppliers to its Venue Members Meeting, hosted at full service meetings and events agency Zibrant’s head office in Derby on 6 June. The day focused on how agents and hoteliers can work better together in today’s changing market.
Zibrant’s MD Fay Sharpe opened the session with a précis of her organisation and its achievements before a panel of industry experts discussed agents’ expectations from their supplier bases. PHR’s Jonathan Ashley Cowan, BSI and Capita Business Travel’s MD Trevor Elswood, BookOTel’s Nick Scott and Zibrant’s Procurement Executive Heather Cheetham, imparted their thoughts, frustrations and preferred routes for developing relationships, market share and longer term revenues.
Key considerations raised included a unanimous need from agents for suppliers to have a greater depth of understanding of agents’ business. The panel also mentioned suppliers ensuring that they develop long term relationships that engender trust and partner relationships. In addition, the panel highlighted that, where possible, hotels and venues should maximise the content on the agents’ online systems in order to differentiate and maximise enquiries.
Further sessions included reviews of the considerations to be understood before a supplier looks at override agreements by Hotelscene’s Adam Woods and a consideration of how hotels, venues and apartments can better conduct face-to-face appointments.
“We strive to impart knowledge and best practices to our members, and today was a perfect example of agents displaying candour and openness on how suppliers can look to maximise their market share,” said Operations Manager at the HBAA, Carolyn Peers.
“There have been some interesting points to come out of the sessions, all of which we will build upon to ensure we give our members maximum value from their membership.”
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