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PEOPLEFebruary 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 97 InterviewName - Andrew ColleyDate of Birth - 11 SeptemberPlace of Work - Audleys Wood Hotel, BasingstokeJob Title - General ManagerHow did you get into the events industry? I studied hotel management at Portsmouth University and joined Thistle Hotels' management training scheme. My fi rst job was as a Conference and Banqueting Porter at its Brands Hatch Hotel. What has been your most rewarding professional achievement to date?When I arranged a 'jamming' session in the bar at the Mayfair Intercontinental following a Nelson Mandela concert at Wembley. The hotel's resident pianist was given an early night and replaced by Denzel Washington, a fantastic pianist. The bar then had a singalong with Anita Baker, Natalie Cole and a dozen other performers from the concert. They fi nished just before breakfast service started the following morning. I should have sold tickets for that event.What frustrates you about the industry? The industry lacks any formal grading system which would assist guests making an informed choice of venue. Industry benchmarking is vital in today's business world.Greatest idea you have ever had?Some years ago we introduced The Tuck Shop in the breakout areas of a property I worked in. It provided old fashioned sweet selections, bottled soft drinks and a local ice-cream selection. This proved popular and provided an extra revenue stream. Top tips for surviving the downturn? Do not dilute or cheapen your brand, it takes a long time to build a good reputation. Be fl exible with your customers. Be aggressive in your marketing. Business is there, you just have to look harder for it. Travel management company Portman Travel has appointed James Warwick as Regional Sales Manager. Linda Hill has been appointed as Group Conference Sales Manager for the Southwater Event Group team in Telford. Andrew Theobold has joined Legacy Hotels and Resorts as Associate Director. He will act as an independent hotel consultant. Coventry-based Ricoh Arena has appointed Will Aylott as its new Head of Sales to drive event bookings at the venue. Keele Conferences and Events has appointed two new sales people. Jo Tipper joins as Head of Sales and Rachel Gibbs joins as Senior Sales Executive.Simon Maier has joined international event management agency TFI Group as Board Director.Maier, who only joined event management agency MCM a few months ago from Grass Roots, will be responsible for business development at TFI. The QEII Conference Centre has restructured its commercial team. The restructure sees Becky Hoffman appointed as Revenue and Commercial Manager, Catherine Cook becomes Senior Account Manager, with Jamie Ades, Tony Brinsden and Susie Evans becoming Account Managers. Nuthurst Grange Country House Hotel in Hockley Heath has recruited Sales Consultant Stuart Maun to help its marketing drive. Emma Bond and Victoria Mayhew have joined events crewing fi rm Gallowglass as Sales Administrators; Robert Doolan is the company's new Crewing Co-ordinator, and Lee Benney joins as HR Administrator. Jazmin Beale has joined London-based conference and exhibition centres EC&O Venues as Marketing Manager. The Business Travel Show has recruited Rosie Walters and Rochelle Jayawardena as Marketing Executives and George Thornton to the Hosted Buyer team.Left: Theobold; Top middle: Aylott;Top right: Beale;Bottom Right: Gibbs and TipperOn The Move

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