Photo Credit: HBAA

HBAA, the association for the meetings, events and accommodation industry, has revealed its new vision and a broader executive team to drive forward and aid delivery.

The vision, launched to the membership earlier this week, is: “Driven by leaders, united by collaboration and a significant contributor to an industry which delivers £70bn* spend into the UK economy.” HBAA has further sharpened its focus and will be “spearheading representation to government and policymakers, elevating a sector voice and championing change and sustainable economic health.”

HBAA’s renewed vision will be underpinned by four pillars – resilience, innovation, ethics and quality – to ensure it is fit for purpose and ready to help the industry bounce back. Members will always be at the core of the HBAA’s strategy with plenty of opportunities for them to get involved in the association.

The body’s volunteer board will now have seven roles, including three new ones, plus two executive directors. A major change is that the role of Chair has been discontinued along with the executive committee and the sub-committees.

The decision is a natural evolution of the #HBAAfuturefit vision which aims to ensure the organisation is robust, relevant and fit for purpose in the future, as well as being an inclusive platform for those underrepresented in the meetings, events and accommodation sector.

HBAA 2020 Chair Lex Butler, who will move into the new role of strategy director from next year, explained: “At the start of 2020, I announced a year of review and regeneration. It unexpectedly turned into an extremely challenging period for our industry and it became even more apparent while fighting for our industry’s survival and supporting our members, that our plans to restructure and spread the workload of effecting change were essential. We have recruited our new board for their specialist areas of expertise, to better represent our breadth of membership and give us a stronger collective voice.”

“Our strategic partnerships and industry collaboration have continued to grow and develop in 2020 as we have worked to form a united voice across the sector for the sustainability of our industry. This will remain very much part of our plans for 2021 and beyond.”

Photo Credit: HBAA

The new board roles include two membership directors, which will be filled by Julie Shorrock, managing director of Hotel and Travel Solutions, and Callum McLean, director of Business Partnerships at Capita Travel and Events. Beckie Towle, the founder of The Events Raccoon, has been appointed as marketing director. Angie Mason continues as treasurer and Sian Sayward as governance director. Des McLaughlin, managing director of Meet Events, becomes a strategy director along with Lex Butler.

Callum McLean said: “The HBAA has a remarkable history of driving forward best practice and standards across our industry. I firmly believe in the HBAA’s role of uniting a network of members to empower the industry with a strong and consistent voice – not just while we navigate the challenges of Covid-19 but long into the future.”

Julie Shorrock
said, “Having been part of the HBAA Executive Committee for over four years, I see this is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with the board in continuing to raise the profile of the HBAA and strengthening our voice through who we represent.”

Beckie Towle commented: “Since joining a year ago, the HBAA has given me so much help, support and guidance with navigating TOMS, Brexit and most recently COVID-19 and I’m not quite sure where we’d be without that. Through taking this role I am hoping, in turn, to give something back.”

David Taylor, formerly managing director of Grass Roots Meetings & Events and a non-executive chairman of BCD Meetings & Events, has joined as an advisor. A second advisor will be announced imminently. David Taylor added: “I am delighted to be joining the HBAA board in an advisory capacity. This is a pivotal time in the history of the HBAA as the industry looks to re-emerge from the pandemic. I am looking forward to being part of the team as we look to help innovate and support our sector’s Service and Solution providers over the coming months.”

Juliet Price, in her eighth year as consultant executive director, will continue to work alongside her fellow consultant executive director Leigh Cowlishaw.

Find out more at HBBA’s website.

A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.