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May 2, 2008

Catering raises profile as key events component

The International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA’s) UK and Ireland chapter has formed a strategic three-year partnership with corporate hospitality and venue specialist caterer Leith’s, acknowledging the growing importance of catering to the success of an event.

The relationship will help expand and enhance the ICCA member activity programme as well as raise the profile of catering in the events industry.

Andy Hardy, operations director at Leith's, said: "This partnership is an important progression for both the catering and meetings industries. Leith's and the ICCA UK and Ireland chapter will be working together to raise the profile of the catering function as one of the key components of any meeting, in an international multi-cultural context. ICCA will utilise our expertise and experience within appropriate chapter events and joint initiatives. The first practical example of this will be at the ICCA UK and Ireland chapter's summer conference at ExCel in London in June. The theme is Future Global Meeting Challenges, so an experienced conference banqueting practitioner from Leith's will talk on how the catering industry is responding to these challenges.”

This is the first time that the ICCA UK & Ireland chapter has entered into such a business partnership with a commercial organisation. The partnership was brokered by Steve Norcliffe, commercial director at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and the ICCA board member with responsibility for marketing.

Commenting on the new partnership, the ICCA UK and Ireland chapter’s chairperson Brian Horsburgh said: “The three-year business partnership with Leith's has given the chapter a major boost to enable it to grow our member activity programme and develop activities with other chapters, such as joint conferences and leads exchanges. We chose Leith's because it is a major UK caterer and part of the global Compass Catering Group. The relationship will be a joint working partnership for both parties. The ICCA UK and Ireland chapter will involve Leith's in its activities, and invite Leith’s to engage with the industry on key catering issues.”

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