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HBAA link up boosts Barbican's agency business

London venue reports a 13 per cent increase in event business placed by agencies through HBAA partnership

Pictured: Jackie Boughton, the Barbican's head of business events

A closer relationship with an industry association has helped central London venue the Barbican to register a 13 per cent growth in business placed by event agencies.

The venue, which can host conferences for up to 2,000 delegates, has closely aligned with the HBAA (formerly the Hotel Booking Agents Association) in order to build relationships with agencies. Previously, the Barbican had concentrated on direct contact with clients, and the move towards intermediary agents has paid off says Jackie Boughton, head of Barbican Business Events.

“For a long time the Barbican focused on the development of relationship directly with corporate clients and associations. While this approach delivered significant results there was a clear opportunity to develop our profile in the agency sector,” Boughton said. “Through the HBAA and personal relationships at several key agencies we have seen significant growth amongst agencies, so much so that we are now regularly receiving in excess of £1 million of enquiries each week across the Barbican Business Events portfolio.”

Among the agencies to place business with the Barbican is Grass Roots Meetings & Events, which says the venue is now at the ‘forefront of mind among our teams working in a variety of sectors, including financial, automotive and technology’.

HBAA consultant executive director Juliet Price added: “Agencies account for around 60 per cent of business placed across the UK events market, they are an incredibly powerful part of our industry and key to the long term success of many suppliers. Working with the HBAA to make the most of those relationships and deliver clear results demonstrates not only the impact the HBAA has as an association but also the professionalism of the Barbican.”


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