The 8th Annual Hotel Conference which took place earlier this month in Manchester has become the UK’s leading conference for independent hoteliers with over 350 delegates there to network, debate and pick up tips from industry experts, who included key note speaker Kiaran MacDonald, general manager of The Savoy in London. Previous speakers have included Sir Rocco Forte.
The event was the brainchild of Squire Sanders Hammonds’ Manchester-based partner, Chris Eddlestone and began life as a small internal seminar for clients; however it has now developed into a fully fledged conference aimed at independent, boutique and small chain operators and managers.
Delegates attended a selection of breakout sessions on subjects which included social media, finance, channel management, hotel restaurants, sustainability and cost re-engineering.
Christopher Davy, National Chairman of the British Hospitality Association, highlighted the significant contribution the sector makes to the UK economy, despite factors such as the second highest VAT rate on hospitality in Europe. Key amongst the findings of a recent report is the estimate by Oxford Economics that over half a million new jobs could be created by the sector in less than a decade.
Commenting on the conference Squire Sanders Hammonds’ partner Chris Eddlestone said: “The Annual Hotel Conference or anything that showcases the city’s transformation and identifies Manchester as a good place to be, has to be a good thing. Manchester now has industries in culture, media, science and advanced manufacturing and is a place where people want to spend their leisure time.
“Over 70% of the hotels in the UK are independently operated demonstrating that there is a real thirst for knowledge on an independent level.”