HBAA incoming chair goes ‘back to basics’ at 2016 AGM

The HBAA shared its inaugural five-year plan at its AGM and kick off meeting, at the Royal Armouries International in Leeds on 14 January. The new agenda represented a return to the basics of delivering value for members and focusing on quality assurance.

The focus of the association’s new plan was presented by incoming association chair Leigh Cowlishaw, director of supplier partnerships at Capita Travel and Events, and vice-chair Louise Goalen, business director and venue finding at Ashfield Meetings and Events.

Cowlishaw said: “In 2016 we’re going back to basics. When I took on the 2015 vice-chair role, I said that the executive committee would continue driving the association forward and shaping it in line with the industry and technology developments. The fact remains and we want to support that by remembering how we got here, by being specialists in what we do.

“Being a member of the HBAA is increasingly requested as basic criteria in bids for agencies that provide accommodation, venue find and event services to businesses. Our new strapline – ‘Setting the standard in the hospitality and events sector’ – represents our intention to focus on the specialist approach and ensure that HBAA membership remains the mark of quality assurance for the sector.”

Goalen added: “We’ve worked hard to get [the plan] right and to make sure it will deliver the benefits that our members need to help their businesses and their customers get the best value from our industry.

“The conference and dinner have been great opportunities for members to get a head start on 2016 by networking with the executive committee and other industry peers, to learn how we can all get involved in the association’s future.”

The association’s 2016/2017 charity partner was announced as the Beyond Food Foundation, a charity that inspires people who are at risk of, or have experienced homelessness to gain meaningful employment.

Jacqui Kavanagh, the HBAA’s outgoing chair, said: “I’m delighted to be passing the HBAA baton to Leigh. As the association continues to grow, Leigh, supported by Louise as her new vice-chair, will bring to life the plans that we’ve been working with on behalf of the association’s members.”

Emily King

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Emily King

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