Industry Insights: The CHS Show Experience
Anyone who works in hospitality will agree that our industry is ALL about people – making connections, sharing insights and hopefully having a little bit of fun in the process! The recent CHS Show at the ICC in Birmingham saw all of these elements combined which I attended. I always look forward to the CHS Events as they’re focused on bringing together suppliers and event professionals to network, do business, learn and grow both professionally and personally.
My Debut Education Sessions at CHS
This year was a first for me as I was approached by CHS a few months ago to ask if I would be happy to be part of their education programme and facilitate four ‘drop in’ sessions in their ‘PA Lounge’, created exclusively for PAs, EAs and Office Managers who organise events as part of their role. I’ve been sharing my industry insights for the last couple of years via my webinars from the comfort of my home office and without a ‘visible’ audience in front of me; being mic’d up and in front of ‘real’ people was a whole new kettle of fish but I’m pleased to say it all went very well and dare I say it, I really enjoyed the whole experience!
Exploring New and Exciting Venues
The four sessions were based around the topics of; New Venues, London Venues, Back-to-Basics and Christmas Parties. New properties are constantly popping up both in the UK and globally and it’s not easy to keep up with refurbishments and who is doing what, when and where. Globally, Hyatt have 13 properties opening between now and 2025 which is a great example of huge investment in the brand and closer to home in the UK, the likes of Down Hall and Center Parcs have seen major refurbishments of their event space and bedroom offerings. This session seemed super popular with standing room only and lots of head nodding which is always good to see!
Spotlight on London’s Event Spaces
My London Venues session focused on those properties that have recently seen improvements and investments; from The Peninsula and Pan Pacific to 34 Bloomsbury and Ocean Diva, we have an amazing choice of event spaces in our capital that I could talk about all day long! I also shared my thoughts around whether it’s possible to get a good deal in London with the energy crisis driving up costs for everyone.
Back to Basics: Simplifying Event Planning
My third session focused on ‘Back to Basics’ where I cut through some of the jargon used in the meetings and events sector as well as explaining the differences in room layouts available. I touched upon the importance of asking the right questions at the enquiry/proposal stage to ensure the client essentials are all taken care of and nothing is overlooked! Again, this was also a popular session with only standing room available and interestingly, had the most pictures taken by those that attended.
Festive Season Planning: Christmas Parties Unwrapped
My final session took place after lunch and focused on the fast approaching festive season and Christmas parties. I shared the benefits of early booking, the packages currently available out there and my tips and tricks for getting the best possible deal. Some of those that attended my morning sessions loved them so much that they came back for more and also joined me for this one!
Gratitude and Looking Ahead
A big thank you to anyone who came along, asked questions, got involved and supported me with lovely nods and smiles! I really enjoyed being able to share my pearls of wisdom and hope the information was useful.
Anticipating CHS Leeds 2024
And finally, a big thank you must be said to Lou Hindley and the team for inviting me to join them and share my insights – you put on a fantastic show and I’m already looking forward to joining you all at CHS Leeds to walk the show in April 2024.