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September 14, 2008

HBAA launches rebrand at its annual forum

In the run up to National Meetings Week, which takes place over the next five days, the Hotel Booking Agents Association held its annual forum at the Park Inn, Heathrow, London on 11 and 12 September, proclaiming a new era for the organisation.

Dropping the full title in favour of simply HBAA, the association presented its new branding to delegates, as a way of better representing its growing membership. The new symbol and logo is now underscored with the words ‘accommodation, conferences, meetings, events’, to draw attention to the function of its membership, which has now broadened out to include hotels, conference centres, booking agencies and event management companies, with the emphasis very much on meetings, conferences and events.

More than 200 delegates attended the forum, made up of 38% members, 52% partners and 11% others, which mainly consisted of media representation.

Kicking off with an interesting keynote speech from Google’s industry head of the UK Travel Team James Van Thiel, the event then guided delegates through a choice of various syndicate seminars and debates over the two days. The forum was supported by Crystal Interactive’s innovative interactive technology, allowing feedback to queries in seconds and instant posting of questions from the floor, making for a much more engaging event.

The event also saw the launch of the HBAA’s first white paper entitled The Future of Booking Venues, with promises of more to come from the association’s executive director Peter Ducker.

Marking the new era of HBAA, the organisation is shortly to launch a video-led web portal providing a host of engaging information for people considering the meetings sector for a career. The aim is to encourage more people to enter the sector by debunking some of the myths and presenting a vibrant lively image through key figures talking about how they entered their field and the variety of career opportunities on offer.

For more details, visit www.hbaa.org.uk

Look out for video interviews with key speakers at the HBAA Forum coming soon to MEETINGS:review.


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