CN talks to Jurys Inn director of sales Richard Money
What attracted you to the events industry?
I fell into it, I started my career in a hotel leisure club at the lovely Belton Woods Hotel, after working my way to manager and many shifts as a hotel duty manager I realised that it was the sales & marketing side that I wanted to specialise in.
What has kept me attracted to the industry is the people, both colleagues and clients.
What is the USP of your company?
We have 43 well-positioned hotels across five brands/sub brands that the Jurys Inn sales team represent. Over the past three years we have invested £75m in upgrading our hotels. We also offer a 12 point service promise.
Are there other sectors the events industry can learn from?
I’d have to say technology, if I think of the likes of Apple or Samsung I think of how they strive for excellence.
Market share is so competitive in the technology sector yet they appear to have the systems in place to record this; our industry needs to find a way to improve the MI in order to assist with our understanding of true market share opportunities.
What can the industry do better?
Work together, respect our product and protect the rates. As hoteliers and event professionals we have to find a way to stop devaluing our hotels and meeting space to win business.
What are your plans for developing the M&E business within Jurys Inn?
The M&E business is fundamental to the growth and development of the brand. The goal is to reposition Jurys Inn as venues of choice across MICE and banqueting.
Greatest achievement in your career?
The decision to live and work in Singapore. The opportunity to work overseas and experience our industry in Asia was something that will be with me forever.
What is your biggest weakness?
Not being able to say ‘No’ enough! The challenge will always be to keep all of the plates spinning or all the balls in the air. There does however come a time when we have to put one down to pick another up, you can’t do everything; I’ve not mastered it yet but I’m certainly trying to be better.
What single piece of great advice did you receive in your formative years at work?
There are two quotes from two separate GM’s that have I’ve never forgotten:
Adrian Trumper used to have a quote on his desk that faced you and read: “It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises – but only performance is reality”. The quote is from Harold S. Geneen. And Steve Dunford who addressed his team at Belton Woods for the first time, asked staff what the most important thing about work was. Each came back with a work related answer. Steve said the most important thing is your significant other – people that care, love and support you through good times and tough. It is they that are the most important.
What has been the most difficult situation you have dealt with?
I’ve had many tough conversations over the years with either colleagues or clients but the most difficult situation I’d have to say was administering CPR. This has happened twice and as a first aider it is something you have to be prepared for. If your hotel doesn’t have a defibrillator I’d urge them to get one.
Advice for those looking for a future career in the industry?
Don’t job hop from one role to the next, invest time in yourself and be willing to learn. Set your own career goals and share them with your employer, they may be able to help more than you think.