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HBAA to get ‘back to basics’ in 2016

HBAA incoming chair Leigh Cowlishaw says 2016 will see the association focusing on a specialist approach

Pictured: Louise Goalen and Leigh Cowlishaw

The HBAA’s incoming chair Leigh Cowlishaw says 2016 will see the association go ‘back to basics’.

Cowlishaw, director of supplier partnerships at Capita Travel and Events, and vice chair Louise Goalen, business director – venue finding at Ashfield Meetings & Events, shared the HBAA’s inaugural five year plan at its AGM and kick off meeting, held at Royal Armouries International in Leeds.

Cowlishaw said: “In 2016 we’re going back to basics. When I took on the 2015 vice chair role, I said that the executive committee would continue driving the association forward and shaping it in line with the industry and technology developments. The fact remains and we want to support that by remembering how we got here; by being specialists in what we do.

“Being a member of the HBAA is increasingly requested as basic criteria in bids for agencies that provide accommodation, venue find and event services to businesses. Our new strapline - ‘setting the standard in the hospitality and events sector’ - represents our intention to focus on the specialist approach and ensure that HBAA membership remains the mark of quality assurance for the sector.”

Goalen said: “This is the plan that our successors and members will inherit. We’ve worked hard to get it right and to make sure it will deliver the benefits that our members need to help their businesses and their customers get the best value from our industry. 

“The conference and dinner have been great opportunities for members to get a head start on 2016 by networking with the executive committee and other industry peers, to learn how we can all get involved in the association’s future.”

Key calendar dates were revealed as the conference highlighted ways that hotel, apartment, venue and agency members can get the most from the benefits of membership. The association’s 2016/17 charity partner was also announced; Beyond Food Foundation, a charity that inspires people who are at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness to gain meaningful employment.

Jacqui Kavanagh, the HBAA’s outgoing chair, concluded by sharing her optimism for the association’s future growth.

She said: “I’m delighted to be passing the HBAA baton to Leigh. As the association continues to grow, Leigh, supported by Louise as her new vice chair, will bring to life the plans that we’ve been working with on behalf of the association’s members.” 

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