The HBAA drew over 70 hotel, apartment and venue suppliers to its Venue Members Meeting, hosted at Zibrant’s flagship head office in Derby on Thursday 6th June 2013. The full day focussed on how agents and hoteliers can work better together in today’s changing market.

Zibrant’s MD Fay Sharpe opened the session with a précis of her organisation and its achievements, before a panel of industry experts discussed agents’ expectations from their supplier bases. PHR’s Jonathan Ashley Cowan, BSI and Capita Business Travel’s MD Trevor Ellswood, BookOTtel’s Nick Scott and Heather Cheetham, Zibrant’s procurement executive, imparted their thoughts, frustrations and preferred routes for developing relationships, market share and longer term revenues.

Key considerations raised included a unanimous need from agents for suppliers to have a greater depth of understanding of agents’ business. The panel also pointed to suppliers ensuring that they develop long term relationships that engender trust and partner relationships. In addition, the panel highlighted that, where possible, hotels and venues should maximise the content on the agents’ online systems in order to differentiate and maximise enquiries.

Further sessions included a review of the considerations to be understood before a supplier looks at override agreements by Hotelscene’s Adam Woods and a consideration of how hotels, venues and apartments can better conduct face to face appointments.

Carolyn Peers, operations manager at the HBAA, said: ‘We strive to impart knowledge and best practices to our members, and today was a perfect example of agents displaying candour and openness on how suppliers can look to maximise their market share. There have been some very interesting points to come out of the sessions, all of which we will build upon to ensure we give our members maximum value from their membership.”

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Notes to Editors:

  • HBAA is the trade association for the hotel booking agency and venue community.
  • Formed in 1997, the association currently has 80 agency and 205 venue members.
  • Member agents are specialists whose core business involves booking hotels, serviced apartments, conferences and events on behalf of their corporate and public sector clients.
  • Member venues are comprised of the leading hotel chains, serviced apartment operators, training centres and independent hotels and venues.
  • HBAA strategy is driven by an Executive committee of industry figureheads who oversee separate committees including: technology, memberships, marketing & PR, events, serviced apartments and education.
  • Twitter: @HBAA2013