‘Time-consuming considerations shouldn’t deter planners’ say HBAA members

At the recent face-to-face HBAA Agency Engagement meeting, event professionals got the chance to share perspectives on the industry landscape.

“There are so many new, more time-consuming considerations that event planners will have to face in arranging meetings under the new guidelines, though this shouldn’t be a deterrent from organising live meetings and events,” said Amy Bewley of HTS and co-organiser of the HBAA meeting.

The event, which was the first in a new series of face-to-face events launched by the HBAA, brought together 25 agency members and board members, while a further 45 people who took part virtually.

HBAA said the event received a lot of positive response, with many attendees praising the ability to meet face-to-face for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down live events.

Nick Scott of arrangeMY said: “It feels so much better to talk to people in person, particularly people I speak to quite often. Even while abiding by social distancing, there is a warmth that an online conversation can’t match.”

Callum McLean of Capita Travel and Events added that: “There is nothing better than being face-to-face with people at a meeting” before summing up saying “the experience is boosting our confidence about the reality of attending a live meeting so we can convey this confidently to our clients.”

The event also gave agency members a perspective on the worldwide landscape of the industry, Speakers included Hamish Reid representing the Dubai Convention Centre, Florian Gerdes of Hamburg Convention Bureau, Lindsey Thorpe of Conventions Malta and Cathy Joyce for Melia Hotels.

Alongside this series of face-to-face events, the HBAA has launched an initiative to encourage its agency members to begin venue visits and site inspections and to share their experiences and pictures on social media as part of its #HBAAFuturefit #businessready campaign.

The association’s next event – HBAA FutureFit Live – will be held in Birmingham on 6 October, just a few days after large events are set to begin again and it’s anticipated that many of its 300 members will attend in person.