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www.brightoncentre.co.uk/conference Conference Oce: 01273 292643 Follow us on Twitter @bcconferenceSee theBrightonCentre in adifferentlightThe Brighton Centre is opening it's doors for The Ultimate Site Visit on 21 June 2012, offering conference organisers, corporate business, associations and industry media the chance to see just how much as changed over the last year such as the extended, modernised glass fronted foyer and third floor restaurant, redesigned to provide a dramatic, sweeping vista of the famous city seafront.The Centre has also radically improved its connectivity and technological infrastructure, both real and virtual, and using film, sound and performance, The Ultimate Site Visit will showcase the creative, logistical and technical capabilities of the venue and the city.If you would like to attend this uniquely Brighton experience, contact us on: 01273 292643 or email rebecca.edwards@brighton-hove.gov.uk for more details.

May 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 27 HOTEL GROUPSan Thomas, Commercial Director at QHotels: We offer an all-inclusive package that has no hidden extras and offers organisers everything they need. It can be tailored to individual needs, for example we have a training package at our specialist training hotels, which includes extra benefi ts for the trainer and delegates.We have noticed that clients are constantly looking for added value and expect hotels to go the extra mile, as well as meeting the usual high expectations in terms of package choice, price, quality and service. We offer added extras through all our packages. A prime example of this is our investment in free Wi-Fi for all delegates and we now offer 90Mbps of extra dedicated bandwidth for conferences and meetings. A hotel group can offer a consistent standard of service, along with offering a better rate for multiple bookings across a number of hotels. Sophie Lemm, Director of Sales - Agency at Malmaison and Hotel du Vin: The key question we always ask is 'What is important to you?' This allows us to fully understand and appreciate the client's requirements and for us to then tailor our package accordingly. Too often the key objective that a client is trying to achieve through an event is missed, which doesn't allow you Ito offer added values, which makes a difference to the meeting. We are seeing a late pick up regarding group bookings; traditionally larger groups would be placed well in advance, however over the last six months we have seen a trend of last minute meeting and accommodation requests coming through. We have also noticed that you have one opportunity to put your best rate forward for a proposal, gone are the days of going back and forth with negotiations, you have to go in with your most competitive rate and added values fi rst time or you risk not securing the booking. If a client has multi-destination requirements then they are looking for consistency across all elements of the event from the rate through to the level of service.Andrew Adey, Director of National Sales UK at Marriott: We will always qualify every call to understand what is important to the customer, we will then work with them to develop a meeting that works. This can be anything from adapting packages or creating a bespoke solution for them.We are experiencing more enquiries electronically than ever before, less residential training over a few days and enquiries are often just for one or two nights, usually a peak night. Price remains key, however.With Marriott Rewarding Events, we make it possible for organisers to earn rewards every time they host a meeting or event at our hotels. We make booking easy with direct access to group and conference room availability for 19 hotels across the capital with our central sales offi ce. Availability and rates can be confi rmed in an instant. No second call, no call-back and no call transfers.Tony Troy, CEO of Principal Hayley: We've conducted research with our training customers to capture their specifi c needs, resulting in the development of new concepts. This provides organisers with a tailored package and access to services such as Training Zones, providing an offi ce admin If a client has multi-destination requirements then they are looking for consistency from the rate through to the level of serviceHotel heavyweightsWorking with hotel groups can have its advantages and drawbacks. Sarah O'Donnell asks a selection of chains what they can do for meeting planners and bookers, and what makes them unique