The Hotel Booking Agents Association is to focus on growing its agency membership as part of its plans and objectives for 2014.
The plans have been released following the HBAA’s Annual Strategy Meeting and HBAA Chairman, Chris Parnham, says the association will continue to work towards more training, relevant content at meetings, value for members and inclusion. The Executive Committee is to drive the recruitment campaign and has set a target of a 20 per cent increase over the year. As part of this drive to increase HBAA affiliates, the Executive Committee will participate in a week-long roadshow.
“We will be visiting our members at their offices, rather than always making them come to us,” says Parnham. “We will also host member recruitment events to encourage those who have not joined up yet to find out more about the HBAA.”
Collaboration will be a further key objective of the HBAA for 2014. The association already engages in partnerships with Eventia, Confex, The Meetings Show UK, BVEP, mia and MPI, with joint events and awards, and shared objectives.
Juliet Price, the HBAA’s Executive Director, will spearhead this drive to increase collaboration.
In addition to this strategic change, the HBAA will also be modernising its Code of Conduct, expanding its International Charter. The association will also begin formal consultation to establish how membership may be extended to travel management companies (TMCs), who are now much more active within the events sector.
Parnham said: “Feedback from our members assures me that they like the changes we are making, and they feel that the association is fresher, more relevant, and is delivering more value. An effective industry association is not a club for a select group of members: it should be a voice to the industry, representing its members’ interests. My team and I have worked really hard this year to make all members feel included. The two-tier membership, giving agency members more rights of engagement with their venue counterparts, has been removed. Venue members may now chair committees and even be elected to the association’s Executive Committee.
“We are only just beginning, and the chance to do a second year as Chair is a terrific opportunity to make sure the changes implemented to date are locked down, and to continue on my promise to members to make the association more relevant and useful to them. We are a fresh, dynamic, relevant association with a voice that is provocative, meaningful, thoughtful and challenging. Our members love their HBAA, and it’s my job to make sure their passion, support, trust and commitment isn’t squandered or neglected. I take this job seriously and remain, as always, here to be judged on success.”
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