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VIEWS: 331 PAGES: 44

                                        Official magazine of the BSI group of companies Issue 5

Video conferencing
Is it changing the face of global communication?
Also inside:
News from across the BSI group of companies
Ultimate destinations visits the Thames Valley


                                                                                                                                        BSI news
It seems that everywhere you look at the moment, you can’t escape the
recession. The outlook in every TV channel, newspaper and radio station
is one of gloom. And yet the economic crisis does have an up-side. As
demand for hotel accommodation and meetings space has fallen, so too
have rates as hotels and venues compete to secure contracted business.

Understandably, the impact on hotel operators’ profitability has not been so
positive, and companies who have found themselves over-extended on the
back of bouyant 2008 property prices have gone out of business. Indeed it                              CONTENTS
would not be alarmist to say that there will be more casualties.
                                                                                                     BSI News
During this period of uncertainty, BSI has to be quick to respond to both the                     02 News from across the
needs of our customers, and to support relationships with our suppliers.                             BSI group of companies
Reduced room and meeting rates are central to the key performance
indicators which underpin each BSI client relationship and we will shortly be                        Industry Zone
launching Project Spectrum, through which our Supply Management team                              06 News, views and
will generate additional customer savings through rate reduction programmes                          developments from the
in both the accommodation and meetings sectors.                                                      serviced apartment,
                                                                                                     hotel and meetings industry
BSI is also working closely with hotel groups and independents to reduce
distribution and process costs within transactions and are looking to drive                          Intelligence Zone
incremental value to our partners through customer value programmes.                              20 Industry forecasts, Q&A
                                                                                                     on virtual - or online - offices
As we’ve seen from past recessions, tough economic conditions tend to                                and the World of Jargon
challenge prevailing procurement thinking and what is perceived as ‘best
practice’. No element of expenditure is immune from examination, and it is                           Client Zone
only natural that the specialist approach and solutions offered by BSI should                     26 Hot topics - internal meetings
be so attractive.                                                                                    space and convergence

Despite - or perhaps due to – the downturn, in the first quarter of 2009 BSI                         Feature Zone
has seen record levels of new client accounts wins in both the meetings and                       30 Video conferencing, the
accommodation sector as more companies see the clear advantages of our                               Thames Valley and Hotel
expertise.                                                                                           Babylon

Although the British economy is forecasted to shrink by 3.5% in the next                             Coffee Zone
12 months, it is in such climates that opportunities arise in abundance to                        36 Relax and take a break!
demonstrate how BSI can help it’s clients adapt to, survive and emerge even
stronger in the future. My team and I will look to explore these with you as a                       Twilight Zone
matter of priority.                                                                               40 Bob Papworth identifies
                                                                                                     ‘twaddle and guff’...
Trevor Elswood
Managing Director

    THE HIVE is published by the Travel Intelligence Network on behalf of the BSI group of companies
    TIN, Argent House, 13 Argent Close, Egham, Surrey TW20 8XB
    Publisher:           Stuart Tandy     
    Editor:              Mark Harris      
    Contributors:        Maggy Sainsbury  
                         Bob Papworth     
                         Catherine Chetwynd
    Design & Print:      Creativo         
    Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, Travel Intelligence Network,
    BSI or Creativo cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
2   the

    BSI news
              BSI wins Fujitsu
              ‘Gold services provider’ award
                  Fujitsu Services, one of Europe’s leading
                  IT services companies, has recognised
                  BSI’s achievements on its behalf with a
                  ‘Gold Services Provider’ award at Fujitsu’s
                  2nd Annual Awards Ceremony in late April.

                  BSI’s Gold award followed their participation          John Moss, Head of Services Sourcing at
                  in year two of the Fujitsu supplier management         Fujitsu Services, commented: “The BSI team
                  programme that aims to deliver great service           deserves a lot of credit in achieving Gold status in
                  and long-lasting business value to their customers.    year one, providing a service that is very emotive
                                                                         for our staff and that has gone through a number
                  BSI was successfully evaluated against a set           of initiatives in order to maximise our ability to
                  of weighted criteria including: quality, health        get the best rates. They continue to demonstrate
                  & safety, environmental & corporate social             commitment to understanding, embracing and
                  responsibility, financial & commercial metrics,        delivering what’s important to Fujitsu in order to
                  organisation & account management, governance          drive cost savings and service excellence and
                  & compliance, people and technology.                   we would like to congratulate them”.

                                                                         Two BSI representatives were present to collect
                                                                         the award on the night; Nicole Sheekey-Jones,
                                                                         BSI’s Fujitsu Account Manager and Trevor
                                                                         Elswood, BSI Group Managing Director.
                                                                         Elswood commented: “We are delighted to
                                                                         have received the award, which is a tribute to
                                                                         our relationship with Fujitsu and our ongoing
                                                                         dedication to meeting clients’ needs and
                                                                         exceeding expectations. A special note of
                                                                         thanks goes to all those that serve Fujitsu within
                                                                         the BSI team who work tirelessly and with great
                                                                         commitment to deliver consistently high results”.
                  BSI’s Trevor Elswood and Nicole Sheekey-Jones
                  receiving the award from Guy Allen, Fujitsu Services
                  Director of Sourcing and Supply.

    Issue 5

BSI re-secures

                                                                                                           BSI news
Marks & Spencer
global contract

Marks & Spencer has re-appointed BSI as               compliance and reduction in transactional
the sole provider of its accommodation                costs. BSI’s innovative, end-to-end
requirements, following a four-way tender.            technological solutions also gives them the
                                                      ability to provide joined up solutions with Travel
BSI was the only specialist accommodation             Management Companies meaning that
provider short-listed and will now continue to        partnering with TMCs can be seamless for
manage Marks & Spencer’s international and            clients wishing to use a TMC.
domestic accommodation expenditure, having
originally won the contract in 2000.                  Marks & Spencer will derive further controls of
                                                      expenditure from BSI’s other areas of expertise,
As well as very competitive tender submission,        including meetings and event management
the contract was awarded to BSI based on              solutions and a specialist operational business
the company’s excellent levels of service             unit providing alternative solutions for long-stay
provision resulting in increasing policy              requirements including serviced apartments.
compliance levels to 96% in the period of
2007-08 and a UK average rate decrease in             Sejul Shah, Procurement Manager for Marks &
the period of 2004 – 2007.                            Spencer, commented: “We have worked with
                                                      BSI since 2000 and have been impressed by
Another key differentiator for BSI is their           their high levels of service and the strength of
ongoing effective management of the Marks             their strategic Account Management team.
and Spencer internal corporate housing,               As well as a very comprehensive and
Rooms@MarbleArch (RAMA) in London.                    competitive tender, experience tells us that
BSI has actively driven cost avoidance and            BSI can deliver on their promises and we
optimised hotel savings for the retailer by raising   therefore feel confident that they can continue
RAMA’s the low occupancy levels from 54%              to deliver a top quality service under this new
in 1999 to a high of 89% in 2007.                     contract.”

BSIDirect™, BSI’s online self-booking tool will
be implemented by Marks & Spencer in order to
support the drive for increased policy
4   the

               OCS appoints BSI
               OCS, which provides property support services, has                    In addition, OCS will benefit from the
               appointed BSI as the sole partner for the provision of                implementation of BSIDirect™, the online self-
               accommodation and meetings requirements in the UK.                    booking tool. The tool is being used by OCS
                                                                                     bookers located across their UK-based offices
                               A dedicated OCS team of consultants based             to influence long-term savings by driving policy
                               within BSI’s Cheadle operation is fulfilling the      compliance and reducing transactional costs.
                               account, and ongoing account management               It provides OCS with access to BSI’s UK and
                               includes the negotiation of rates and food            international accommodation database of over
                               & beverage discounts at OCS preferred                 115,000 properties. OCS’s online adoption of
                               properties.                                           the tool already stands at an impressive 67%.

                               OCS will benefit from cost savings and in             Employee duty of care is also a top priority
                               particular a high scrutiny of hotel service, which    for OCS and BSI is working with them to
                               was an important requirement and one vital            communicate the importance to business
                               reason for their decision to partner with BSI.        travellers of booking within the OCS travel policy,
                               Part of BSI’s service includes proactively vetting    so that they can always be quickly and easily
                               the performance of hotels and venues by               located wherever they are in the world.
                               encouraging OCS feedback through dedicated
                               channels. Properties that do not meet agreed          Gill Yates, Strategic Buyer at OCS, commented:
                               minimum standards cannot be added to the              “We were impressed by the savings that BSI’s
                               OCS preferred property list.                          service was able to offer OCS and their
                                                                                     approach to duty of care. BSI’s proactive
                                                                                     account management team also conduct regular
                                                                                     surveys with our bookers to ensure that they are
                                                                                     happy with everything from the knowledge of the
                                                                                     BSI consultants and speed and accuracy of
                                                                                     confirmations to hotels’ value and location and
                                                                                     satisfaction with the online tool. Our travellers
                                                                                     care about quality of service from booking to
                                                                                     departure and BSI’s approach to ensuring the
                                                                                     highest levels of customer service were key in
                                                                                     our decision to appoint BSI.”

           WSP appoints BSI
              WSP, one of the world’s fastest-growing design,                       The tool will be used by nearly 400 users at
              engineering and management consultancies, has                         WSP, and offers the company’s employees
              appointed BSI to provide accommodation, conference                    negotiated rates as well as significantly
              and venue finding services in the UK.                                 discounted rates across a UK and international
                                                                                    accommodation and venue database of over
              The contract was awarded to BSI following a successful three-         115,000 properties. WSP’s online adoption of
              month trial that commenced in October 2008. During this time,         the tool was already at an impressive 53%
              BSI was able to demonstrate the company’s innovative, end-to-         following its first week after the launch date.
              end technological solutions and committed approach to raising
              policy compliance, increasing added value and lowering                Humi Asif, at WSP, commented: “By appointing
              expenditure for WSP.                                                  BSI, we feel confident that we will not only
                                                                                    achieve preferential rates for accommodation
              BSIDirect™, BSI’s user-friendly online self-booking tool, has         and meetings, but will also help our staff reduce
              also been implemented at WSP to influence long-term savings           the resource time needed to make and manage
              by driving policy compliance and reducing transactional costs         bookings.
              along with delivering arranger convenience.

    Issue 5

                                                                                                            BSI news
BSI appoints northern                                  BSI chief
operations manager
Following last year’s appointment of
Jan Cearns as Cheadle based Operations
Manager - Conferences and Meetings, BSI
has appointed Val Glaze to the new role as
dedicated Northern Operations Manager
for the accommodation side of the
                                                       name change
business.                                              The decision by UK association the
                                                       Institute of Travel Management to change
In her new position, Val will be responsible for       its name to Institute of Travel and Meetings
managing the IR (International Reservations)           has been welcomed by BSI.
team based in Nottingham, along with the
Cheadle accommodation team to create a                 Group Managing Director Trevor Elswood, BSI,
consistent customer experience across the              comments “this is a really important move for
two Centres of Excellence.                             the sector, as we see changing trends in the
                                                       way businesses are structuring their decisions
Val’s operational and customer service                 and spend when it comes to meetings and
experience began as Customer Service                   events. Historically, training and meeting
Manager, followed by Events Manager for                budgets were fragmented, being allocated to
Cadbury Trebor Bassett. She moved on to                each department separately. We have seen a
become a General Manager before accepting              move away from this over the last two years,
the position of Operations Manager with IR             and I believe this is a very positive step forward
in April 2003.                                         for the institute to recognise this new trend by
BSI Group Managing Director Trevor Elswood             changing its name”.
comments: “Val brings more than 20 years
                                                       Around two thirds of UK travel managers also
experience in customer service to this new role
and I am confident that she will bring synergy         have responsibility for their organisation’s
to the customer experience between our                 meetings and events spend. On average, that
two Centres of Excellence, Nottingham and              spend equates to between 12% and 35% of
Cheadle.                                               an organisation's total T&E costs depending
                                                       upon industry sector. “With 60% of all meetings
“The new role empowers Val to encourage                held in hotels, consolidating transient
and motivate both teams which will result in           accommodation and meetings expenditure, or
the delivery of best practice in our Northern          ‘convergence’, is an increasingly compelling
operational customer service and an enhanced           proposition for the corporate buyer.
reputation for best-in-class accommodation             I am pleased that this has been reflected in this
management ”.                                          name change” Elswood concluded.

                                                       event management company and other
Latest industry                                        suppliers to deliver their event. However, the
                                                       growing involvement of procurement
brief published                                        professionals in purchasing events services has
                                                       changed these traditional relationships.
The Brief™ number 4 - Beginners’ Guide to
Events and Event Management                            Many companies are reducing the number of
                                                       external events they stage and attend in the
BSI has published the latest edition of The Brief, a   prevailing economic climate, although this is
series of quick reference guides for those new to      being partially offset by organisations diverting
purchasing accommodation, meetings or events           marketing funds from advertising – with
on behalf of their organisations. Each edition         escalating costs and declining returns - into live
provides the essential knowledge on a key topic.       events that deliver face-to-face contact with
                                                       customers and prospects.
The latest edition focuses on the challenges
facing procurement executives now charged              Whatever the size or nature of the organisation,
with adding events to their ever-growing               few procurement people or meeting planners
portfolios of responsibilities. As procurement has     are now without some responsibility for events.
strengthened its grip on meetings expenditure,         If you fall into this category, the Beginners’
the close connection between meetings and              Guide to Events and Event Management could
events made consolidated purchasing inevitable.        be a very useful tool indeed. Download your
Historically, event planners would select an           copy now from
6    the

    industry zone

              apartments                                                                 GLOBAL

                  The Amaia Residence in Kuwait is a new                 Staybridge Suites Newcastle opened in April
                  offering with 41 units of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom           2009. Located in Buxton Street close to the
                  apartments all designed and furnished with state       Quayside area the property offers 128 rooms,
                  of the art equipment and amenities including           31 bedroom suites with kitchen, dining room,
                  state-of-the-art technology, a swimming pool,          bathroom and living areas, and 97 studio suites.
                  gym, business centre and wireless internet.            Both suite types have all the services needed
                  Situated in the heart of Salmiya, a primary shopping   for an extended stay, including a fully-equipped
                  and business district, Amaia Residence is only         kitchen, entertainment centre with flat-screen TV,
                  10 minutes from Kuwait City and 15 minutes             modern bathrooms with great showers and
                  from Kuwait International Airport. Marina Mall         direct telephone numbers and personal voicemail
                  and Al Corniche Club are both 3 minutes away.          – just like home. Complimentary services include
                                                                         a daily breakfast buffet, ‘after work’ receptions,
                  Anantara, the luxury resort and spa operator in        free wireless broadband, onsite laundry room,
                  Thailand has opened its first serviced apartments,     exercise room and an onsite convenience store.
                  in central Bangkok. The Anantara Baan                  The public areas incorporate a Hub Kitchen and
                  Rajprasong Serviced Apartments includes                Living Room with open fire, the Pantry and 24/7
                  97 one and two bedroom apartments, located             mini convenience store and an outdoor terrace
                  close to the city’s shopping and business              with barbeque. The Guest Services team are on
                  districts and just 100 metres from a BTS               hand to help guests settle in to their suites and
                  Skytrain station. Each apartment features a            also provide 24/7 assistance during their stay.
                  fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and laundry
                  service, and guests can enjoy a deli-style             The W Doha Hotels and Residences has
                  restaurant and 12th floor Club Lounge. The             291 guest rooms including 31 suites and 154
                  complex also features a meeting and library            residences, plus two restaurants, a champagne
                  area, fitness centre, swimming pool and spa.           bar and event space. The property offers studio,
                                                                         one bedroom and to bedroom apartments.
                  Bridgestreet has opened its latest property            Situated in the West Bay of Doha on the Qatar
                  called Liverpool One in the city’s new retail,         Peninsula, the hotel is across from the city centre
                  leisure and residential complex. There are 77          and approximately 15 minutes by car from the
                  one, two and three-bedroom apartments, all             airport.
                  with kitchens and room facilities including
                  flatscreen TVs, iPod docking stations, Freeview
                  TV and wired / wireless internet access.

                  THE Swiss-Belhotel Doha Suites &
                  Residences, a complex of two towers housing
                  a 165-room four-star hotel and 78 fully furnished
                  serviced apartments is located 8km from Doha
                  International Airport in the business district of
                  the city. One tower houses the hotel while the
                  other has the serviced apartments. The fully
                  furnished two and three bedroom apartments
                  range from 140 sq m to 180 sq m. Apartment
                  guests can enjoy the restaurants and lounges,
                  room service, business centre, recreational
                  facilities and basic services like laundry provided
                  by the hotel.                                          W Doha Hotels and Residences

    Issue 5

                                                                                                                 industry zone
                               The Dutch hotel group Golden Tulip has gone

                               into voluntary receivership. The group, which
                               owns or franchises 780 hotels around the world,
                               said it was in talks with Apollo Hotels (a Dutch
                               hotel group) over a possible merger. It is also in
                               talks with a private equity firm. The chain, which
                               has its headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland,
                               blamed low occupancy and the cost of investing
                               in new properties as the causes of its demise.

                               Jurys Doyle Hotel Group has rebranded as
                               The Doyle Collection and is working to reposition
The Westbury Hotel
                               itself within the luxury five-star category, with
                               nine of it 11 properties due to be completely
                               refurbished. The new names for the properties
                               within The Doyle Collection are:

                                   The Cork Hotel (previously Jurys Cork Hotel)
                                   The Westbury Hotel (name remains unchanged)
                                   The Croke Park Hotel (previously Jurys Croke Park Hotel)

Weir Bar, The Cork Hotel            The Bristol Hotel (Previously Jurys Bristol Hotel)
                                    The Marylebone Hotel (Previously Jurys Clifton Ford Hotel)
                                    The Great Russell Hotel (Previously Jurys Great Russell Street Hotel)
                                    The Kensington Hotel (Previously Jurys Kensington Hotel)

                                 The Back Bay Hotel (Previously Jurys Boston Hotel)
                                 Washington DC
                                 The Normandy Hotel (Previously Jurys Normandy Inn)
                                 The Dupont Hotel (Previously Jurys Washington Hotel)
                                 The Courtyard by Marriott (name remains unchanged)

The Back Bay Hotel, Boston

                                                                        Send all news items and press releases
                                                                        to Maggy Sainsbury at
8    the

                                   hotels                      UNITED KINGDOM

                                                       The 4 star Ardencote Manor Hotel in
                                                       Claverdon, Warwickshire, has completed
                                                       the final stage of a twelve year transformation
                                                       project – the last phase being the new
                                                       40-bedroom courtyard extension, with a fully
                                                       heated solar-powered courtyard swimming
                                                       pool. There are nine meeting rooms and eight
                                                       dedicated syndicate rooms - all with natural
                                                       daylight, air-conditioning and complimentary
                                                       internet access. The leisure facilities include
                                                       indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools;
                                                       a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and outdoor
                                                       whirlpool; tennis and squash courts; a gym
           Ardencote Manor Hotel
                                                       and dance studio - plus a nine hole golf course.

                                                       The 162 room Crowne Plaza London
                                                       Kensington has opened following an £8 million
                                                       refurbishment. The property offers 31 club
                                                       rooms and 20 split-level suites all offering
                                                       exclusive club lounge access. The four
                                                       Syndicate Suites are designed to cater for
                                                       meetings for up to six people. There are also
                                                       five meeting rooms all with natural lighting,
                                                       two of which overlook the hotel's secluded
                                                       one acre landscaped garden - the largest
                                                       room seats 110 delegates theatre-style.
                      Crowne Plaza London Kensington

                                                       The 218 bedroom Courtyard Gatwick Airport
                                                       opened in March. The hotel is 5 minute walk
                                                       from Gatwick’s South Terminal – a chargeable
                                                       shuttle service operates between the two and
                                                       there is also parking on-site which is chargeable.
                                                       Bedrooms are all air-conditioned and have
                                                       high-speed internet access, a large desk,
                                                       LCD TV and in-room tea and coffee maker.
                      Courtyard Gatwick Airport
                                                       The property has a restaurant called Volare.
                                                       Meetings can be accommodated in 3 meeting
                                                       rooms - the largest of which will seat up to
                                                       875 delegates theatre style.

                                                       Hoole Hall Country Club and Spa in Chester,
                                                       an 18th Century Manor House, convenient to
                                                       Manchester and Liverpool is completing the
                                                       finishing touches on a £27.5 million
                                                       transformation and has officially been re-branded
                                                       as the Doubletree by Hilton Chester.
                                                       Situated just minutes from Chester’s city centre
                                                       the hotel's facilities feature a Grade II English
                      Doubletree By Hilton Chester

    Issue 5

                                                                                                               industry zone
Heritage listed conservatory and stunning                 Jury’s Inn Exeter is a new 170 bedroom hotel
grounds and gardens. The property has 110                 opening in the city centre. Jury’s Inn Swindon
guestrooms and suites. All bedrooms are                   is a new build 229 bedroom hotel in the city
air-conditioned, feature 32-inch, flat screen             centre. Both open in May and all bedrooms are
TVs, complimentary high-speed internet access,            air-conditioned and have flat screen multi-channel
a fridge and an electronic safe. There are six            TV and high-speed internet access. The hotels
flexible meeting venues encompassing more                 each have a restaurant, bar and coffee lounge
than 7,200 sq. ft., including a spectacular               and seven meeting rooms.
3,500 sq. ft ballroom
                                                          Originally opened by the Prince of Wales (later,
A five-star designer hotel has opened in Great            King Edward VII), in 1865, the 5 star Langham,
Victoria Street in the heart of Belfast. The              London, situated on Portland Place, at the top
130 rooms Fitzwilliam Hotel has superior,                 of Regent Street has completed its £80million
executive and king rooms as well as six studio            two year restoration and refurbishment
suites and a two-bedroom penthouse overlooking            programme. It now has 382 redesigned
the city. It reflects the “baronial modern” style         guestrooms (previously 425 rooms), new-look
of the renowned Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin. The             conference and banqueting suites including the
themes and look combine that of a grand,                  historic Grand Ballroom, a new lobby and the
stately baronial mansion house with cutting               new Palm Court which is now the centrepiece
edge modern décor. There are three conference             of the hotel. The main restaurant is The Landau
rooms, an oak-panelled private dining room,               and the cocktail bar is called Artesian named
fitness suite for hotel residents, valet parking          after the 360ft-deep artesian well under the
and a business centre.                                    hotel. Leisure facilities include a 16-metre
                                                          swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, and
£1.4 million has been spent on air conditioning           a fully-equipped gym. There are fifteen meeting
throughout Hilton London Green Park, perfect              rooms ranging from the Grand Ballroom seating
for staying cool in the city this summer. This            up to 300 delegates (theatre style) to the
listed townhouse hotel, in London’s Mayfair               Marylebone Suite seating fifty plus a wide
will have state-of-the-art air conditioning in            selection of smaller rooms for boardroom
every one of the guest rooms, as well as in               meetings or private dining. All options equipped
the meeting rooms, bar and restaurant by                  with video conferencing, LCD projectors and
June 2009.                                                WiFi internet access.

Hilton Reading on the outskirts of the town
centre is opening in May 2009. Three minutes’
drive from the hotel, Reading station provides a
non-stop rail service to London Paddington in
less than 27 minutes. The hotel has 210 guest
rooms with wired and wireless internet access.
All rooms are air-conditioned and have a laptop
safe, workspace and minibar. Leisure facilities
include a 12m pool, sauna, steam room, dance
studio and 24-hour gym. The Larder restaurant
serves local and international dishes, whilst Bar
K offers a warm and relaxing area for a coffee,
snack or nightcap. Eight air conditioned
meeting rooms accommodate up to 420
delegates and feature floor-to-ceiling windows,
wireless internet access and the latest multimedia
technology. The main ballroom has audio/visual
screen and projectors and touch control lighting.
There is also a pre-function area.

                                    The Langham, London
10    the

                   London Heliport                                     Premier Inn’s eco design

                   A 70-room business hotel is under construction      Premier Inn has opened Britain’s greenest hotel
                   at London Heliport in Battersea. The develop-       in Tamworth (Staffordshire) - the building
                   ment is part of the Bridges Wharf regeneration      materials and technology used in the new 20
                   project, which will see the Heliport upgraded       bed hotel have been heralded as an example
                   with a new reception, VIP lounge, waiting area,     to other hotel chains by The Carbon Trust.
                   meeting room, offices and control room. The         The hotel will reduce energy use by 80% vs.
                   new build von Essen hotel will feature its own      a standard hotel; thanks to radically different
                   heliport terminal, a range of meeting rooms and     approaches to heating, cooling, lighting and
                   a function room located over the heliport           ventilation. Guests will be able to see the energy
                   providing space for 120 guests. The riverside       saved as part of a visual display in the hotel
                   hotel will also feature a spa and a 100-cover       lobby, as well as learn about the technologies
                   fine dining rooftop restaurant with terrace.        that have gone into the new building. Key
                   von Essen consulted with buyers on the              features include:
                   position of the hotel in the market, the
                   conference and banqueting spaces and also           • Natural Energy From the Earth – ground-
                   some elements of the bedroom design and             source heat pumps will use the earth’s natural
                   content. Following their suggestions the            energy to cool and heat rooms and provide hot
                   conference floor layout has been amended and        water throughout the hotel.
                   adjustments are being made to the proposed
                   bedroom layout. Completion is due to coincide       • Re-using Water - toilets flushed with recy-
                   with the 50th anniversary and re-launch of the      cled water from showers and baths will save
                   heliport in the summer.                             20% of the hotel’s entire water usage and will
                                                                       provide 100% of the hotel’s toilet water usage
                   IHG has opened the 4 star Hotel Indigo
                   London Paddington – the first Hotel Indigo          • Inventive Insulation – sustainable sheep’s
                   outside North America. The 64-room hotel is         wool from British sheep is used in the walls to
                   a row of nine converted Georgian townhouses         create exceptionally efficient thermal and
                   in London Street just minutes from the station.     acoustic insulation
                   The boutique hotel which has a Phi Brasserie
                   and a small fitness centre will make changes        • Clever Lighting – low energy Light Emitting
                   to its décor in line with the changing seasons to   Diode (LED) lighting with motion sensors
                   keep the hotel feeling brand new and interesting    ensures lights are only on when needed – an
                   for guests.                                         energy saving of 80%.

                                                                       • Here Comes the Sun - solar panels will heat
                                                                       bath water

                                                                       Premier Inn St Mary’s Gate in Sheffield is the
                                                                       group’s first fully self check-in hotel using auto-
                                                                       mated check-in pods which the group claims
                                                                       reduces check-in on arrival from 8-10mins
                                                                       down to under a minute.

                   Hotel Indigo Paddington
                                                                                      Send all news items and press releases
                                                                                      to Maggy Sainsbury at

     Issue 5

                                                                                     industry zone
The former Radisson Edwardian Marlborough
has reopened following a £25million refurbishment
as the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury
Street Hotel in London. Its 174 air-conditioned
rooms now offer complimentary WiFi, satellite
and pay movies, an in-room bar and Vi-spring
beds. The redesigned meeting rooms all have
air conditioning and are equipped with HD
ceiling mounted data/video projectors, an
electronic wall mounted wide-screen, a
professional speaker sound system and touch-
screen control for the AV systems. The largest,
the Folio Room can accommodate up to 300
delegates theatre style plus there are six smaller   Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury
rooms for between 10-30 delegates in board-
room layout.

April saw Design Hotels open the Sanctum
Soho Hotel. The 30-room property is spread
across two renovated Victorian townhouses on
Warwick Street in London’s Soho. Four colour
schemes – brown, silver, pink and mauve make
up the decoration throughout the property.
Rooms have been individually designed, with
the rooftop apartment featuring its own garden.
Facilities include iPod docking stations, DVD
players, Wii game consoles with fit boards, and
complimentary WiFi internet access. There will
also be a 45-seat Cinema at Sanctum, which
can be converted into a meeting space for up
to 100 delegates, as well as a rooftop spa and
No. 20 restaurant serving modern British
                                                     Sanctum Soho Hotel
Travelodge is to open 12 hotels in the UK
as part of a £77 million investment. Locations
for the new properties include Cambridge,
Edinburgh, Egham, Liverpool, London Waterloo,
Northampton and Rugby. The expansion will
add 1,443 rooms, including 575 in London.

A new VILLAGE hotel has opened in
Farnborough with 123 bedrooms, a quality
restaurant, atmospheric pub and a fully
equipped, state-of-the-art health and fitness
club. All bedrooms have free wireless internet,
a flat-screen television and an iPod docking
station. There are six meeting rooms and a
conference café serving refreshments all day.
                                                     VILLAGE Hotel, Farnborough
12    the

                   Best Western is offering amenities and services

                                                                      Hilton Hotels has opened the Doubletree by
                   for business travellers at more than 500 hotels    Hilton Kosice located in Slovakia’s second
                   in North America. The new programme, called        largest city. The 14-story hotel features 187
                   Best Western Business Plus, offers breakfast,      guestrooms and suites, as well as more than
                   express check-out, corporate rates, free           13,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space
                   weekday newspaper, free business centre            with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment.
                   access, free high-speed Internet access            All guestrooms are equipped with a comfortable
                   (in-room and in all public spaces), free long      workspace with ergonomic chairs and a spacious
                   distance access, free local calls under 30         bathroom, as well as flat-screen LCD televisions
                   minutes, in-room coffee/tea makers and irons       and WiFi internet access. Rooms also feature
                   and ironing boards in every room.                  the brand’s signature Sweet Dreams™ by
                                                                      Doubletree sleep experience.
                   Moscow’s newest international exhibition centre
                   Crocus Expo is continually developing its          The newly opened 328-room Crowne Plaza
                   infrastructure. The new 3 star Hotel Aquarium      Paris is the fifth Crowne Plaza in France and
                   is directly inside the new Pavilion 3. The hotel   the second in Paris, alongside the Crowne Plaza
                   features 225 rooms including 102 standard          Paris Champs Elysées. Built in 1865 during
                   rooms, 47 rooms with a Moskva River View,          Napoleon III's reign, the building boasts the
                   64 Studios and 12 Deluxe Suites. The property      classic Parisian Haussman-style exterior and a
                   is located just 15 km from the international       historic inner courtyard. Its bar, 10 Bar, offers
                   airport Sheremetyevo 2.                            views directly onto the République square while
                                                                      its new restaurant, 10 Restaurant, serves
                   The first two Best Western Premier hotels          French cuisine. Its 18 meeting rooms cover
                   open in the Middle East in May 2009. They          815sq m, with 16 providing natural daylight.
                   have rebranded the 282-rooms-and-suites            Located metres from the République metro
                   Dhow Palace Hotel in Bur Dubai which offers        station, it is just three stops from the Gare du
                   newly refined superior standards, amenities and    Nord, home to the Eurostar terminal and with
                   services, complemented by four restaurants,        high speed trains to both Roissy Charles de
                   a bar, a health club, a rooftop swimming pool,     Gaulle and Orly Airports.
                   and magnificent meeting rooms. The second
                   hotel is the newly built 210-room Best Western
                   Premier Creek, Bur Dubai.

                   Dhow Palace Hotel                                                     Crowne Plaza Paris

     Issue 5

                                                                                                         industry zone
                                                     Grand Hyatt Doha
Grand Hyatt Doha, a hotel and residential
complex, 12.5 miles from Doha International
Airport is the latest addition to Qatar’s luxury
hospitality offerings and the first Hyatt hotel to
be built in the country. Located along a private
quarter-mile beach the property offers 249
guest rooms along with 91 private residences.
Key features include spectacular public spaces,
an oversized atrium, and a grand lobby featuring
a floor-to-ceiling, 55 ft glass window. The
property also offers three outdoor swimming
pools, one indoor swimming pool, a fully
equipped fitness centre, and a large day spa.
The large conference centre features a
magnificent 16,000 sq ft ballroom which is
divisible into three; eight meeting rooms and
three boardrooms.

Hyatt has opened the Park Hyatt Istanbul - its       features meeting rooms and banquet facilities,
second hotel in Istanbul. The 90-room hotel is       a health club, an indoor swimming pool, CHI
housed in a restored art deco building dating        the Spa and a club lounge. It houses more than
back to 1922. Rooms feature reclaimed                2,000 pieces of artwork and 50 chandeliers
American walnut flooring, oversized wet rooms,       handmade in the Czech Republic by Lasvit.
separate vanity and dressing area, flatscreen
TVs, DVD players, iPod docking stations, digital     Starwood has opened its first hotel in the Czech
telephones, internet access, work areas, minibars    capital, the Sheraton Prague Charles Square
and laptop safes. The hotel is emphasising           Hotel. The hotel features a total of 160 rooms
environmentally-friendly thinking and having         and suites (122 deluxe and executive rooms
placed special taps in each room which offer         and 38 junior, premium and duplex suites),
drinking water it is saving some 10,000 plastic      and is housed within a renovated building.
bottles every year. There are 2 boardroom style      Rooms have the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed,
meeting rooms. There is an outdoor swimming          flatscreen TV and WiFI internet access. The
pool, and a spa including saunas and a fitness       hotel’s Brasserie Delice has live music on Friday
centre.                                              and Saturday evenings, and there is an all day
                                                     Sweet Coffee Cup Café. For meetings there
Park Inn Muscat officially opened its doors to       are two function spaces (the largest measuring
guests in March. This 4 star hotel consists of       106sq m), plus a rooftop terrace which is
175 rooms decorated with comfortable and             available for private hire.
contemporary furniture all in vibrant colours.
In addition to the hotel's 5 meeting rooms and       Accor has opened its first MGallery hotel in
business centre, it also boasts two international    Asia with the launch of Vie Hotel in Bangkok.
restaurants that includes RBG Bar & Grill            Built on the site of a former cinema and flanked
Restaurant and The Atrium. The Atrium                by top retail outlets its 154 rooms and suites
Restaurant is a casual international restaurant      are spacious with large windows for scenic city
that offers cuisines from India, The Middle East     views. All rooms have a safe deposit box and
and Asia. There is also a roof top bar with a        internet access. There is a restaurant, 3 bars
panoramic terrace both located near the pool         and rooftop swimming pool. Hotel security
on top of the hotel where guests can relax and       includes a 24hr security team, video camera at
enjoy the view of the gulf of Oman.                  the entrance & video surveillance in hallways.
                                                     For meetings and conferences there is a
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has opened its         ballroom catering for up to 150 with high
first hotel in Japan. The 202-room five-star hotel   ceilings, natural lighting and city views, while
occupies the top 11 floors of Marunouchi Trust       the adjoining foyer provides the ideal pre
Tower Main Building, a 37-floor, mixed-use           function area. There are an additional 5 meeting
building next to Tokyo station. The Shangri-La,      rooms catering for between 15 (U Shape) up
Tokyo has two restaurants. The hotel also            to 112 (theatre style).
14    the

                       country inns
                                       UNITED KINGDOM

                              Located just 500 yards from J6 of the M40, the
                              44 bedroom Lambert Arms in Aston Rowant
                              is less than 15mins from Oxford city centre.
                              It offers its own individual style and character
                              and originality. The Inn offers a brand new
                              function room accommodating up to 140 guests
                              and featuring floor to ceiling windows with views
                              over the Chiltern Hills. It comes complete with
                              integral data projector and screen, along with
                              state of the art lighting and sound systems.
                              An adjoining room with its own dedicated bar
                              is perfect for breakouts, drinks receptions and
                              pre-registration, whilst the furnished outdoor
                              courtyard area is ideal for al fresco dining and
                              relaxed receptions. Smaller rooms and cosy
                              areas are available for informal meetings. With
                              Michelin-star chef Rob Clayton as group executive
                              chef, food and drink adds the ‘wow factor’ to any
                              event, from a simple reception to a sophisticated
        Lambert Arms          dinner, and providing a talking point.

                              The 4 star Talbot Inn in Ripley, Surrey is
                              located just a few miles from the A3 and the
        Talbot Inn            M25, The Talbot Inn has 39 new refurbished
                              bedrooms and now also offers the Wisley
                              Room, a self-contained conference space for
                              up to 120 delegates, banqueting for up to 80
                              guests plus up to 300 guests in a deluxe
                              marquee. There is also a separate pre-registration
                              area. The Wisley Room divides into two creating
                              2 smaller rooms and comes complete with integral
                              data projector and screen, along with state of
                              the art lighting and sound systems. Emma’s is
                              another room full of character situated in the
                              original Coaching Inn for smaller events
                              accommodating up to 40 guests. Later in 2009
                              the property will be unveiling some additional
                              meeting facilities, in addition to a gym and two
                              treatment rooms. Michelin quality food is provided
                              from the kitchen using 70% of ingredients being
                              sourced locally.

     Issue 5

                                                                                                          industry zone
                                                                 CCT Venues, Canary Wharf

CCT Venues, the London-based training and
conference specialist, has doubled the capacity
                                                                              UNITED KINGDOM

                                                      AV, production services and theming can be
                                                      arranged if required. Located next to the
of its Canary Wharf conference centre with the        motorway network and Manchester Airport
addition of an east wing. This self-contained         there are over 2,200 hotel bedrooms within
facility has eleven rooms, all on one floor, and      a 3 mile radius of the Conference Centre.
a maximum delegate capacity of 275. The main
rooms have large windows and many have                Epsom racecourse opened its brand new
waterfront views. There is a dedicated computer       £28million grandstand in April. The development
zone with PCs and free internet access. There         features the ground floor Oaks Hall with over
are two large terraces and a separate atrium          1,000sq m of conference and exhibition space,
restaurant, all with waterfront views. The            vehicle entry doors which can accommodate up
expansion allows CCT Venues-Canary Wharf              to 800 theatre style. On the first floor the
to be run as two separate suites, or one large        Diomed Suite has full-length windows front &
venue with 25 rooms on one floor and a                back with views across the racecourse and to
combined capacity of 495 delegates. Canary            the city of London. This room has full blackout
Wharf, like all CCT Venues, offers free WiFi          facilities, will seat up to 400 delegates theatre
access, the latest AV equipment, DDA                  style and subdivide into three smaller units.
compliance and facilities for the disabled.           On the second floor is the Downs View Suite
                                                      which seats 100 theatre style plus fourteen
The new £1m state-of-the-art Concorde                 boxes each seating up to 15 guests.
Conference Centre, in the heart of the
Aviation Viewing Park complex near                    Haslington Hall near Crewe is a new
Manchester airport is themed around BA’s              conference venue in a 15th century English
flagship Concorde. It has a main auditorium           country manor house located in 15 acres of
of over 2,000 sq m, plus a range of flexible          gardens which can be used for outdoor
meeting spaces, full audio-visual facilities and      team-building activities. The Hall also has a
dedicated on-site catering. The centre incorporates   newly converted training centre in a modern
specially designed water and heating systems          single-storey brick building – it includes two
to provide a very low carbon footprint. The           ground floor rooms, the largest of which will
Concorde Hall, ideal for large meetings and dining    seat up to 25 (U-shape) plus a reception area
in the shadow of the world famous aircraft also       and syndicate space. There are seven
has plenty of space for associated exhibitions or     bedrooms in the Hall to cater for small
displays. Within the main building there are two      residential meetings.
smaller meeting rooms for 30 and 95, ideal for
breakout sessions. For a real aviation flavour
there are also three aircraft and their cabin
interiors for use for smaller meetings of up to
72 delegates. Concorde itself is not open for
conference use, but an add-on package (the
Concorde Experience) is available incorporating
a guided tour, check in desk and ‘boarding
cards’ branded with your logo. Organisers are
welcome to use their own equipment, however
                                                      Haslington Hall
16    the

                   venues                                                            UNITED KINGDOM

                                                                           Leeds Metropolitan University has opened
                                                                           The Rose Bowl, a new five story conferencing
                                                                           facility situated behind the Civic Hall in the heart
                                                                           of the city’s Civic Quarter. Available year round,
                                                                           it is one of the largest conference venues in the
                                                                           city with a selection of seven lecture theatres
                                                                           accommodating between 64 and 256 delegates
                                                                           with breakout facilities for larger conferences.
                                                                           Two of the lecture theatres can be linked to
                                                                           accommodate up to 400 in theatre style for
                   The Rose Bowl at Leeds Metropolitan University
                                                                           conferences and exhibitions and product launches
                                                                           etc. As the new home for Leeds Business
                                                                           School the Rose Bowl is also equipped with the
                                                                           latest in audio visual technology including free
                                                                           WiFi broadband, data projection, portable and
                                                                           permanent screens, DVD and video monitors.
                   Manchester Spinningfields

                                                                           Regus have opened four new conference
                                                                           centres at the following locations:-
                                                                           • Cardiff Gate Business Park (capacity 100)
                                                                           • London Wood Street close to Moorgate
                                                                              (capacity for 236)
                                                                           • London St James’s Park (capacity for 70)
                                                                           • Manchester Spinningfields (capacity for 36)

                                                                           There is also extra capacity available at Regus in
                                                                           Bristol Aztec West. Rooms are available by the
                                                                           hour, half-day or day and all feature free local
                                                                           and national calls and free internet access.

                                  Send all news items and press releases
                                  to Maggy Sainsbury at

     Issue 5

                                                                                                           industry zone
                                                   The fourth floor of the Kuala Lumpur
                                                   Convention Centre, now called TenOnCall, has
                                                   been renovated to cater for smaller meetings in
                                                   the city, specifically aiming to provide services
                                                   for last-minute meetings, Clients can walk into
                                                   TenOnCall, select their pre-set room configuration
                                                   and execute a same-day meeting, be it for 2
                                                   or up to 150 in a combined space. The newly
                                                   refurbished area now provides 10 spacious
                                                   meeting rooms, welcome lemongrass drinks,
                                                   natural light in the open atrium, cuisine from a
                                                   centralized food station and drink choices ranging
                 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre    from fine leaf teas and gourmet coffees to fresh
                                                   fruit smoothies.

                                                   Lufthansa Seeheim has always been a place
                                                   of inspiration, creativity, communication and
                                                   development. The Lufthansa Training &
                                                   Conference Centre Seeheim is a new building
                                                   which opened for corporate events in the
                                                   Spring. With 483 bedrooms in various categories
                                                   (393 economy rooms, 60 business rooms, 24
                                                   executive rooms, 4 studios and 2 rooms with
                                                   disabled facilities), and over 80 conference,
                                                   seminar and function rooms catering for between
                                                   6 and 600 delegates (classroom style). Other
                                                   facilities include a restaurant with 400 seats and
                                                   outdoor patio, cellar bar with 100 seats and
                                                   outdoor patio, individual banquet and catering
                                                   service, lounge bar, library and lounge with open
          Lufthansa Seeheim                        fire, pool area with saunas and fitness room,
                                                   jogging trails and mountain bike rental. The
                                                   venue is situated in the middle of the countryside
                                                   in the heart of the Rhine-Main region – there is a
                                                   bus shuttle service from/to Frankfurt Airport.

                                                   The Townhouse Hotel has opened a state-of-
                                                   the-art new Conference Centre in the heart of
                                                   Cape Town’s CBD. The culmination of an 11
                                                   million Rand refurbishment of this 4-star rated
                                                   inner city hotel, the impressive new functions
                                                   space, is set to become one of the premier
                                                   function venues in the Cape. Spread across two
                                                   levels, linked by a light, airy foyer and atrium, the
                                                   Centre has been conceived for maximum spatial
                                                   flexibility. There are large, full-volume spaces,
                                                   which can seat as many as 220, or accommodate
The Townhouse Hotel Conference Centre              product launches and formal banqueting, and
                                                   they can also be sub-divided into more intimate
                                                   venues for breakaway meetings or smaller sessions.
                                                   Each venue can be custom-equipped with
                                                   state-of-the-art staging, presentation and audio-
                                                   visual facilities according to individual needs.
18    the

               EVENTS CALENDAR


               7-9      MPM - Meeting Place Mexico                                               Puerto Vallarta
               9-11     MARKEX - Marketing, Promotions & Special Events Exhibition               Capetown
               10-11    HSMAI's Affordable Meetings West - Hospitality Sales & Marketing
                        Association International                                                San Jose, California
               11-14    ITE - Business & Incentive Travel Expo                                   Hong Kong
               15-16    City Break                                                               Gothenburg
               15-18    ALTM - Asia Luxury Travel Market                                         Shanghai
               17-18    BTM Business Travel Market                                               London (EXCEL)
               22-25    HITEC - The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference      Anaheim, CA
               24-25    RSVP                                                                     Melbourne


               4-8      AIPC Annual Conference - International Association of Congress Centres   Coruna Spain
               11-13    Travel & Tourism Fair                                                    Kolkata
               11-14    MPI - World Education Congress                                           Salt Lake City
               22-23    RSVP                                                                     Sydney
               26-28    SAACI - South Africa Association for the Conference Industry             Pretoria
               28-30    Destination Marketing Assn International Annual Convention               Atlanta


               6-8      ISES Eventworld 2009 - International Special Events Society              San Francisco
               12-13    ACTE Asia-Pacific Education Conference                                   Singapore
               25-27    EMEX - Exhibition for Marketing, Communication and Events                Zurich

     Issue 5
For more information or
reservations, contact BSI.
20    the

     intelligence zone
                         UK regional and London hotel                                      London is expected to see greater falls in
                                                                                           revPAR than in the regions, peaking in Q3,
                           performance projections for                                     down 15.6%. The overall outlook for 2009 is
                                                                                           expected to see a £12 fall in revPAR to £82
                                       year-end 2009                                       driven by a 5.8% decline in occupancy and
                                                                                           a 7.3% decrease in average room rates. The
                     London hoteliers are expected to see a 12.7% drop in
                                                                                           outlook for 2010 suggests that revPAR in the
                   revenue per available room (revPAR) by the end of 2009                  capital will suffer to a similar degree as 2009.
                     according to Hotel Market Outlook, a quarterly report                 However, average room rates are expected
                                                                                           to lead much of the decline.
                                                                 released by Deloitte
                                                                                           Regional UK hotels are not expected to suffer
                                                                                           as much as those in London, with revPAR falling
                                                                                           7.8%, as occupancy drops 2.9% and average
                                                                                           room rates decline by 5.1%. Overall, revPAR
                                                                                           is expected to settle at £44 for the year. The
                                                                                           independent econometric model suggests that
                                                                                           hotels across the regions could start to recover
                                                                                           in early 2010.

                                                                                                       % change previous year
                                                 Year        Occupancy    Average       Revpar     Occupancy       Average        RevPAR
                                                                         Room rate                                Room rate

                                           2007 (actual)       70.80       68.23        48.30         -0.1%          2.7%           2.6%
                  Regional UK              2008 (actual)       68.60       68.99        47.33         -3.1%          1.1%          -2.0%
                                           2009 (forecast)     66.60       65.48        43.63         -2.9%          -5.1%         -7.8%
                                           2007 (actual)       81.10      111.73        90.86         0.8%          10.5%          11.3%
                  London                   2008 (actual)       79.80      116.94        93.52         -1.6%          4.7%           2.9%
                                           2009 (forecast)     75.20      108.38        81.62         -5.8%          -7.3%         -12.7%

               Source: Deloitte Hotel Market Outlook

                                   Room rates expected to sink to £100 in the capital
                                   London is set to experience a “never seen before” fall in revenue this year according
                                   to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

                                   • London will see a 14.2 per cent decline in            • The provinces are predicted to suffer more
                                     room rates to £100.31 per night. Occupancy              severely than anticipated late last year, with
                                     will also suffer a sharp decline, dropping by           RevPAR forecast to fall by 11.6 per cent this
                                     13.3 per cent, to around 69 per cent by the             year, having already seen three quarters of
                                     end of the year – a level last seen in 1992.            RevPAR decline in 2008.
                                     This will also drive a 25.6 per cent fall in
                                     revenue per available room (RevPAR), which            • UK forecast is for an overall drop in RevPAR
                                     is the biggest slide since the research was             of 18.9 per cent underpinned by an annual
                                     first undertaken in 1979.                               GDP contraction of 3.3 percent.

     Issue 5

TRI Hospitality Consulting reported UK                                while other hotels suffered from cancellations or

                                                                                                                          intelligence zone
hotels generated gross operating profit per                           the postponement of functions. RevPAR was
available room – expressed as Income before                           down 10.4% at £80.75, following a 3.2% fall in
fixed charges (IBFC) of £31.41 in February                            occupancy to 74.7% and a 6.6% drop in rates
down from £39.60 in February 2008. The fall                           to £108.15. Payroll costs proportion grew to
was driven by an 11.4% decline in revenue per                         27.4% from 26.9%. The severe weather at the
available room (revPAR) to £57.69 and an                              start of February was a mixed blessing for
increase in payroll costs as a proportion of total                    London hotels; some were filled with stranded
revenue to 31.4% from 30.4%. Occupancy                                travellers for one or two nights but others
slipped by 4.1 percentage points to 68.1%, with                       suffered from cancellations or postponements
average room rates decreasing 6.1% to £84.66.                         of functions.

London hotels held up better than those in the                        Provinces - In the provinces, IBFC per available
provinces, seeing profitability decline by 16.9%                      room was 25% lower year-on-year at £22.23
year-on-year to £47.75. per available room                            in February, with payroll costs proportion
compared to £57.46 the same month a year                              increasing to 34.4% from 33.2%. Occupancy
earlier. The severe winter weather at the start                       fell by 4.6pp to 64.5% and rates by 6.2% to
of the month caused a mixed outcome for the                           £69.39, resulting in a 12.5% slump in revPAR
London hotel market. Some hotels were filled                          to £44.75. RevPAR decline by 12.9% in January,
with stranded travellers for one or two nights,                       9.9% in December and 6.5% in November.

UK Chain Hotels - February 2009                                                          % change previous year

                             Occupancy          Average             Revpar        Occupancy     Average         RevPAR
                                               Room rate                                       Room rate
   UK Total                          68.1          84.66             57.69          -4.1%        -6.1%           -11.4%
   London                            74.7         108.15             80.75          -3.2%        -6.6%           -10.4%
   Provinces                         64.5          69.39             44.75          -4.6%        -6.2%           -12.5%
Source: TRI Hospitality Consulting

European Chain Hotels - February 2009                                                    % change previous year

                             Occupancy          Average             Revpar        Occupancy     Average         RevPAR
                                               Room rate                                       Room rate
   Amsterdam                         57.1         150.10             85.64         -1.30%       -13.2%           -29.3%
   Berlin                            56.0         152.31             85.22          -4.7%        -7.4%           -14.6%
   Brussels                          63.4         123.55             78.29          -6.9%        -7.6%           -16.7%
   Hamburg                           68.1         108.78             74.05          2.3%         -3.3%            0.1%
   Munich                            62.1         110.24             68.42          -5.1%        -6.1%           -13.2%
   Paris                             62.5         148.43             92.71         -12.1%       -13.0%           -27.1%
   Prague                            39.1         116.27             45.50         -18.4%        -1.5%           -32.9%
   Vienna                            48.3         147.35             71.21         -12.1%        2.3%            -18.2%
   Warsaw                            60.4          86.33             52.16          -2.4%        2.2%             -1.6%
Source: TRI Hospitality Consulting

New York Hotel rates

                                            Manhattan                                   All New York City
                               Average                    Annual                  Average               Annual
                               Daily rate                 Change                  Daily rate            Change
   January 2009                 $222.92                    -11.5%                  $199.05               -13.1%
   December 2008                $338.55                     -8.3%                  $296.43               -10.2%
   November 2008                $346.98                     -9.9%                  $295.05               -11.6%
   October 2008                 £357.71                     -2.9%                  $311.86               -3.0%
   September 2008               $380.83                     8.6%                   $325.62               7.2%
Sources: PKF Consulting (Manhattan data): Smith Travel Research (New York data)
22    the

            Just four months after its launch, the free global encyclopaedia
            of travel and meetings terminology, now has members in most sectors of the
            travel and meetings industries and has notched up an audience in over 80 countries.

            Amongst the latest additions to the site are 200+ capitals of the world and national
            flags of the world - shortly business travel management jargon and industry
            publications sources (including newsfeeds and newsletters) will be added.

            This month we include some terminology used in the world of serviced apartments.

               Word/Phrase/Acronym                                                            Description

               Condominium                         A Real Estate development in which each unit owner has title to a unit in a building, an undivided
                                                   interest in the common areas of the development, and sometimes the exclusive use of certain
                                                   limited common areas. Each individual owner may sell or encumber his/her own unit.

               Corporate Housing                   These are residential apartments which are up-graded for shorter term lets and packaged together
                                                   with services such as cleaning, utility charges, telephone and TV for stays of 30 days or more. This
                                                   type of product also works as company apartments for either regular visitors or those on extended
                                                   projects. The term corporate housing was coined in, and is still used mostly in the US. There are
                                                   two types of corporate housing; apartments let and maintained by the operator on an on–going
                                                   basis, and those rented specifically for a particular housing requirement and length of time, after
                                                   which they are handed back to the owner. The latter category is also referred to as virtual housing.

               Deposit                             A sum of money given to bind the sale of Real Estate (earnest money), or a sum of money given to
                                                   ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan. Deposit could also be the
                                                   deposit paid to a landlord as part of a rental transaction.

               Extended stay hotels                Aparthotels and All-suite hotels. Typically their apartments will be in urban locations, range in
                                                   standard from budget to deluxe and hotel services such as 24hr reception desks, Many are run by
                                                   major players in the hotel market such as Marriott, InterContinental and Hilton. In an extended stay
                                                   hotel the guest can expect a no frills approach – compared to mainstream hotels. There are no
                                                   restaurants, large lounge areas or room services, although some operators serving the luxury end of
                                                   the market, and high-end hotels which have apartments annexed to their buildings (such as the
                                                   Athenaeum in London) will probably make a full range of hotel services available to their clients.

               Rent                                Fixed periodic payment made by a tenant or occupant of property to the owner for the possession
                                                   and use of the property, usually by prior agreement of the parties via a written contract.

               Rental Agreement                    An agreement, written or oral, which establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules,
                                                   regulations, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and
                                                   premises; a lease on residential property.

               Rental Transaction                  Rental arrangement essentially means, for a monthly fee, the property is let out by the landlord to a
                                                   tenant. Most often than not, there is a Security Deposit as well as the monthly rental. This may also
                                                   be termed as Advance Rent. This is normally equivalent to 6 weeks in the UK, but may vary. The
                                                   Security Deposit or Advance Rent is repayable to the tenant after the tenancy is terminated without
                                                   interest after deduction of any monies to rectify any damages to the property.

               Serviced Apartments                 Serviced apartments vary in style and standard, however most are fully furnished with en suite
                                                   bathrooms, a fitted kitchen & lounge/dining area including a sofa bed. Apartments serving the
                                                   business market usually provide a working area, a desk & an office chair, internet access & direct
                                                   telephone and/or fax lines. Public areas are usually limited to a hall and the communal lounge/dining
                                                   area. Urban locations may provide a small meeting room or meeting rooms. The services provided
                                                   include once or twice-weekly cleaning, laundry and reception. High end properties may provide
                                                   laundry equipment in each apartment, whereas properties of a lower standard may provide access
                                                   to shared laundry facilities.

               Tenant                              Someone who is not an owner but enjoys possession of a property from the owner on certain
                                                   specified terms and conditions for a temporary period.

            To book any of the featured apartments and more, call 0844 245 5700 or email or you can visit
   for information on ABODE, BSI Group’s dedicated serviced apartment booking service.

     Issue 5
 “          WORLDWIDE                                                       With over 120 hotels in 19 countries

                                                             Millennium & Copthorne Hotels o er you four and ve star properties in
                                                             Europe, Asia, Middle East, North Africa, North America & New Zealand.

                                                                    For more information please contact your BSI Account Manager

VILLAGE HOTELS                                                                   At VILLAGE hotels

      Welcome to more
                                                                               The HUB. State-of-the-art meeting
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                                                                               surroundings, delicious food and
                                                                               fine wine from fresh, creative
                                                                               seasonal menus.
Come and stay with us in one of our contemporary and relaxing hotels
                                                                               the victory pub & kitchen. A great
this summer. From our comfortable and stylish en-suite bedrooms                pint, proper grub, ive sports and
to our array of bars, restaurants and fantastic health and fitness suite;      exciting events in a refreshingly
our range of facilities are outstanding and we guarantee to deliver            different atmosphere.
everything you could ever want from a hotel and more...
                                                                               StarbucksTM Coffee House. Wake
North East & Yorshire                                                          up and smell the coffee and sample
  Hull, Leeds North, Leeds South & Newcastle                                   their tasty range of pastries,
                                                                               muffins and cookies.*
  Liverpool, Manchester Ashton, Manchester Bury, Manchester Cheadle,           *Starbucks Coffee Houses only at certain hotels.
  Manchester Hyde, Warrington & Wirral
Midlands                                                                        Visit
  Birmingham Dudley, Birmingham Walsall, Coventry & Nottingham
   Cardiff & Swansea
                                                                                Subject to availability. May not be used in
South                                                                           conjunction with any other offer. Terms and
  Bournemouth, Farnborough, Maidstone & Watford Elstree                         conditions apply.
24    the

                              ask the expert

                            online meetings
                             In this issue’s Ask the Expert, we look at virtual – or online – meetings with Simon Hunt,
                             Commercial Director, Global Meeting Room and Video Conferencing at Regus plc.

            What is driving interest in VC?        The average virtual meeting lasts      end of the market. Online meetings now use IP
            Doing business online is very          around 90 minutes and costs            (i.e. data) lines rather than ISDN telephone lines.
            different to holding meetings          £300 per hour for both ends of         This means that users no longer have to pay
            online, so we need to differentiate    the meeting, equating to a total       dial-up charges that historically drove 20% of
            between booking and staging            cost of around £900. Compare           video conferencing cost, and so Video over IP
            meetings on line.                      that to sending two or three senior    consumers face lower charges for using VC
                                                   executives to a meeting in New         technology.
            Although webcasts have exploded        York at a cost of £4,000 including
            in popularity, online meeting growth   flights and accommodation. The         Doesn't an online meetings offering
            is coming from a mix of new & old      savings increase exponentially for     compete with Regus' core business?
            technologies. Images are now           organisations with a significant       VC meeting lead times are typically 3 - 7 days
            consistently clearer, (there are no    T&E spend.                             and getting shorter, and therefore help us fill
            time delays in transmission), and                                             any gaps in inventory. Average lead times for
            global wide area networks can          Is cost savings the only reason        virtual meetings using Telepresence are 7 – 10
            carry VC traffic over increasingly     to use VC?                             days, which is still shorter than most face to
            cheaper data lines.                    Holding meetings online helps to       face bookings.
                                                   give people their private lives back
            There is also a massive difference     because instances of travelling in     The key is having global real-time systems that
            between still-developing desktop       one’s personal time can be             deal with demands for space instantly and offer
            video conferencing, mobile video       reduced dramatically and lost          more smart working solutions with shorter notice
            conferencing units in which only       diary time restored.                   periods to a mobile workforce. Regus believes
            one or two people can take part,                                              that this adaptability and responsiveness meets
            and the new larger Telepresence        Not only corporates are driving        our customers needs and will ultimately determine
            Virtual Meeting systems with           online adoption. Online meetings       who survives in the longer economic term.
            HD-quality imaging and                 help agencies to show their clients
            connectivity of high-end systems       how to reduce expenditure, but         What are the main challenges involved with
            with mobile/plasma VC units.           many lack the access to the video      online meetings?
                                                   conferencing networks that enables     Although educating users remains a challenge,
                                                   them to tap into the big savings       the two major issues are security & reliability.
            What impact is the recession           that can be generated from taking      The last thing any organizer wants is for the
            having on the adoption of              global meeting programmes online.      system to fail, and for user confidence to be
            online meetings?                       This problem will disappear as         lost. Ironically, the problem is more acute now
            90% of consumers now shop              these networks open up access.         because, whereas you can re-dial if an ISDN
            online to save time, but the savings                                          line goes down, if a data line fails, there is no
            from virtual meetings are more         What types of meeting or               such option.
            compelling, especially when bringing   corporate sectors lend
            two teams or parties together in       themselves to being held online?       This is where specialist ‘bridging’ companies
            one Telepresence session.              Online works particularly well for     come in, de-risking VC by running tests before
                                                   the legal sector for witness           virtual meetings, testing data lines, connectivity
            This kind of virtual meeting           depositions, whilst the recruitment    and checking that firewalls are not going to
            environment truly captures             sector has been a quick adopter        prevent connections. By solving connection
            participants’ body language and        because VC allows long lists to be     reliability issues, bridging companies are
            can replace the need for face-to-      whittled down to short ones            expanding the access to VC networks.
            face contact by eliminating            quickly and cheaply.
            travelling time, lost productivity                                            Another challenge is locations – or lack of
            queuing in airports and the            The infrastructure supporting VC       them. In order to offer a global solution,
            expenses incurred.                     is also helping the price sensitive    tomorrows VC providers need a network of

     Issue 5
2,500 global locations across 70 plus countries because
in any one month between 40 and 60% of meetings will
be cross-border and cross-time zone. If you can’t offer
cross time zone coverage with a global network you
significantly reduce the revenue opportunity and force
the user to adopt multiple suppliers therefore adding
unnecessary cost and inconvenience.

How is Regus overcoming these challenges?
In addition to our online meeting activity and offering
online corporate discount & credit facilities, Regus has
teamed up with three partners who are able to expand                                                  Rates
our network of locations from the 529 units we have
right now, together with the 50 Telepresence studios we                                   e           from
                                                                            efits for th
are adding in this next year, to a network of 2,500 VC          Special ben            er            £22 - DD
                                                                              organis                         R
                                                                                                     £99 - 24 ,
locations. When you couple this coverage with a global
bridging partner then you offer the occasional or volume
                                                                             k guarante
                                                                                          es on              hr
customer a solid VC solution.                                    Money bac                  ises
                                                                             arceló Prom
Is there a single killer application with online meetings?       our MeetB
                                                                                sponse to yo
                                                                  Two-hour re
For the user, there is no single USP. It is a combination
                                                                  initial enqu
of a global location offering multiple convenient access
points to users, the de-risking that bridging companies
offer and, of course, the savings to be realised.
What advantages does Regus offer over other online                 during your
meeting products?                                                                w, when an
Instant answers and last room/hour global availability              Meals – ho
combined with the largest VC network and underpinned                where you
                                                                                  mmission pa
by the security and reliability of global bridging. We will
simply give our customers what they want, when they                  Agency co
want it, where they want it. Delivering what customers               within 10 d
want works.
                                                                                 in –
                                                                      Meet & Tra            r
                                                                                 package fo
To what degree is the lack of a meetings-equivalent                   dedicated
                                                                      training org
of GDS a barrier to online adoption amongst UK
GDS is now not the only method of inventory distribution
and can be bypassed by providing a number of access
options such as voice and online booking options. Few
vendors have global, real time meeting room availability
so will therefore struggle to offer virtual meetings at all.
This is a bigger barrier to corporate adoption as
competition is healthy for the customer. When GDS
players eventually enter this market adoption will grow
if the distribution costs are competitive.                            Delivering on
Are UK corporates any more or less receptive to
online meetings adoption?
                                                                      our promises
In my experience, Scandinavians and Americans are
more web savvy than the Brits and this is backed up                   at your events
from research about the adoption rates of web based
offers, but corporates want flexibility, transparency and a
slick process. The corporations, with global travel budgets
are very receptive to VC because they have most to gain
– especially those operating across time zones. The
                                                               21 four-star hotels across
recession has reduced corporate headcounts globally
and therefore they are ever keener to adopt smart
                                                                        the UK
working solutions that increase productivity and
corporate agility, facilitate trade across time zones,
                                                               Part of the Barceló family with 187 hotels
reduce travel and costs. These common needs are                  in 16 countries across 3 continents
driving online meeting adoption.
                                                               For more information or reservations, contact BSI
For bookings, please contact your BSI team.
26   the

     client zone

               internal affairs    As the recession has added more than a little urgency to the five year trend
                                   towards cost reduction (if not elimination), organisations of all sizes have
                                   focused more attention on more effective use of internal meetings space.

                                   According to the ACTE                   Together with a steady rise in rates for both
                                   (Association of Corporate Travel        residential and non-residential meetings, these
                                   Executives) 2008 Travel Spend           factors have combined to make the argument
                  By Mark Harris   Survey, 39% of companies world-         for going off-site much less compelling, and
                                   wide will reduce the number of          even more so for internally-facing meetings.
                                   internal meetings in 2009, whilst
                                   32% focus on travel alternatives.       Like the convergence of transient and meetings
                                                                           spend (examined by ICOR’s Peter Dennis on page
                                   Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s a        28 of this issue of The Hive™), the opportunity
                                   corporate culture emerged of taking     for additional savings from greater use of internal
                                   meetings ‘off-site’. To relocate to     facilities creates another challenge for the buyer;
                                   an environment free of distraction,     that of consolidating internal and external meetings
                                   telephone calls and possessing an       space booking processes.
                                   ambiance more conducive to the
                                   task in hand. The result was that       In the same way that the hotel rate is only one
                                   last year service office provider       aspect of the total journey cost to be tracked,
                                   Regus estimated that as little as       so the external venue costs is only one item within
                                   a third of British business’ internal   the overall corporate meetings programme.
                                   meetings space was in use at any        Buyers now have to look at their own meetings
                                   one time.                               space from the same perspective that a venue
                                                                           operator would do a meeting room available for
                                   Ironically, parallel to the growth of   external hire.
                                   the away day has been corporates’
                                   (and the professional services sector   Using the PA’s diary to book internal space and
                                   in particular) decision to invest in    a specialist venue sourcing agent such as BSI for
                                   the refurbishment of offices and        external meetings is inviting problems, however
                                   facilities to a standard not far from   the buyer has to consider the issue of paying the
                                   that of the average three or even       agent to manage both external and internal
                                   four-star hotel. Many corporations      meetings space. For many smaller agents working
                                   have invested in video conferencing     mainly on a commission basis, this is a problem
                                   suites, whilst even medium sized        because internal inventory offers no immediately
                                   firms have access at least to AV        obvious opportunity for them to earn commission.
                                   equipment for their meeting rooms.      However, for the larger specialist such as BSI,
                                                                           routinely operating on a management or
                    39% of companies worldwide                             transaction fee, this does not present any such
               will reduce the number of internal                          The technology to bring about the consolidation
                    meetings in 2009, whilst 32%                           of internal and external meetings space is a vital
                                                                           component in the process because company
                       focus on travel alternatives                        users want, and need, to be able to book internal
                                                                           meetings space online. However, a single
                                                                           technology platform has yet to emerge, and

     Issue 5

whilst some corporates have developed bespoke               1. Identify the periods of peak demand, how

                                                                                                                                        client zone
systems, others await the development of a                     space is booked currently and the types of
standard application.                                          meeting for which internal space is used
                                                            2. Link the process for internal and external
BSI has a long history of engaging customers on                space bookings
all technology issues. After developing                     3. Engage the business - train people to think
BSIDirect™ for online hotel bookings, BSI started              about meetings space
looking at the potential of making simple meeting           4. Match the available space to the appropriate
bookings online. As Group Managing Director                    size of event
Trevor Elswood explains, “we felt that the technology       5. Remember that flexibility is often required
could easily be developed. Although there are a                when booking internal or external rooms
number of tools available that claim to offer online        6. Use a system that provides detailed usage
meetings the key obstacle is content.”                         statistics

Or as BSI’s IT Director Ian Lower puts it “you can          Although internal and online meetings share
have the best looking rocket in the world, but if           some technology challenges, the former
you’ve got no fuel….The GDS were simply not                 offers some immediate and substantial saving
created to take venue bookings with their                   opportunities. In an age of convergence and
complexities of detail. In availability terms, most         consolidation, the case for a more realistic
hotels’ meeting rooms have differing capacities,            balance between the use of external and internal
whereas a bedroom is a bedroom. Expecting                   space is a compelling one. It is also one for
a venue to allocate specific meeting rooms is               which BSI is uniquely equipped amongst
always going to be a challenge; instead venues              meeting, and transient sourcing specialists.
offer allocations based on a number of possible
meeting rooms with a specific capacity in layout
(e.g. theatre, boardroom etc). This enables the
hotelier to manage their yield.”

The agency developed a secure supplier extranet
to enable suppliers to upload content, rates and
availability, whilst utilising supplier relationships to
find effective ways to get real-time availability content
from preferred partners via XML technology.

As Trevor Elswood explains, “this means we’ve
got the fuel to deliver real-time online bookings.
If every online booking became a request then                 CASE STUDY - Telecommunications Company
users would feel the tool was useless and go
back to making offline bookings. BSI is working               Key objective:
closely with a number of venue suppliers including            Key office locations were incurring vast meetings costs whilst internal
Regus, Radisson Edwardian, De Vere Venues                     meeting space was not being maximised. The client wanted to
and others to ensure we get as much live                      maximise usage prior to incurring external venue costs.
availability as possible.
                                                              Recommendations Implemented:
Having previously managed Orange’s internal                   • Unique reference numbers & referral process created with validation;
meeting space manually, BSI recognised that the               • All meeting/event planners checked with Internal Meeting Team
opportunity to blaze a trail by offering a consolidated         (IMT) who provided a reference number if internal space unavailable;
internal meeting space management and external                • Only nominated, authorised bookers for specific cost centre
venue bookings service. This is done by the client
                                                                were able to make bookings via BSI;
effectively acting as a supplier and loading the
                                                              • BSI only accepted bookings when a validated reference number
company’s own meetings space content via the
                                                                was provided – if no validated reference number was provided
secure supplier extranet. It’s working too, as
                                                                the request was rejected back to IMT;
Trevor Elswood confirms. “This aspect of the tool
played a major part in BSI securing the Tesco                 • Reference number was captured against the booking for MI
account and they are testing the system for us                  reporting purposes;
now. “                                                        • BSI negotiated discounted rates with preferred local venues
                                                                that were booked in a ranked order to maximise cost savings.
Later this summer, BSI is publishing an in-depth
guide to Total Meetings Management as the latest              Results:
issue of its Industry Eye series. In the meantime             Enforced internal checks ensured internal meeting space was max-
though, what are the main dos and don’ts for                  imised with a subsequent reduction in external venue spend due to
any organisation seeking to take greater control              a focused selling order of internal and external space.
of internal meetings space?
28    the
                   Convergence BPO
                                            In-Source or Out-Source?
                                           “Convergence” is a hot topic in the corporate
                                           travel world right now; the bringing together
                   By Peter Dennis         of corporates’ transient hotel, meetings and
                   Head of ICOR
                                           events spend.

                           Many in the industry believe this is the last         Meetings Management Process. However for
                           major opportunity for significant efficiencies        many companies there is no rocket science
                           and savings via the resulting leverage with key       involved; it boils down to working and negotiating
                           hospitality and leading hotel chain suppliers.        with approved and preferred suppliers in order
                           The UK’s Institute of Travel Management’s             to drive the real savings and to ensure that duty
                           recent decision to change its name to the             of care considerations are met in selecting and
                           Institute of Travel & Meetings is reflective of       sourcing the right hotels and venue suppliers.
                           this trend, so it is clearly on the business travel
                           radar at present.                                     Many corporates prefer to conduct their own
                                                                                 annual hotel RFP’s in-house, believing that by
                           Within ICOR - the BSI Group’s specialist              dealing direct with the hotels themselves they
                           consulting and procurement division - there has       will achieve the best deals. However, I believe
                           never been more interest and focus amongst            that these organisations should be asking
                           our customers on the benefits that convergence        themselves the following questions. How much
                           could bring, and how working with a specialist        time, effort, resource and costs are involved in
                           like us can help achieve that goal.                   conducting the annual RFP. What tools are
                                                                                 required in order to achieve this for both hotels
                           This heightened focus is being driven in part         and venues? How can the rates offered be
                           by the effects of the recent economic downturn        benchmarked? The list goes on.
                           and the ever-pressing needs of corporate
                           procurement personnel to drive more savings           These considerations, combined with the trend
                           and efficiencies for their organisations in these     towards convergence, are leading more and
                           two categories, plus their need to capture and        more corporates to outsource the RFP process
                           control all of the related spend.                     to procurement specialists such as ICOR. They
                                                                                 are doing so because we have the tools and
                           Recently there has been a lot of debate, and          processes, the hotel and venue databases from
                           much written, about SMMP - the Strategic              which to source and benchmark, together with

     Issue 5

                                                                                                           client zone
people who have the experience, the knowledge           alongside their preferred hotel suppliers to
and the supply side relationships to achieve the        create preferred meeting venue programmes.
very best deals and source the most suitable            This is where the specialist and sourcing aspect
accommodation and venue providers.                      comes in. At ICOR, we know where the
                                                        potential venues are located in relation to
Supplier relationships are key because most             clients’ offices and preferred hotels. We also
hotel chains still split their transient and meetings   understand and know what sort of deals can
sales teams. Rarely do they adopt a joined-up           be achieved with these venue suppliers through
approach to converged needs, although this is           our supplier relationships and benchmarking
slowly changing within some of the larger global        capabilities.
chains. At ICOR, we are increasingly engaging
with chains at their highest management levels          There is no doubt, that the financial crisis and
to evaluate what sort of deals can be obtained          resulting recessionary pressure on corporates
for our corporate customers through convergence         and procurement personnel is beginning to
strategies. The results are very encouraging            drive increased adoption of BPO (Business
indeed, particularly in light of suppliers’ need to     Process Outsourcing) as an operational
secure volume deals in the wake of the current          cost-cutting exercise across many different
economic downturn.                                      categories and services. Isn’t it time therefore
                                                        that you considered outsourcing your annual
Equally important within any convergence                hotel and venue sourcing RFP to a convergence
strategy is the technology aspect. Here both the        specialist who can save you not only time and
RFP sourcing and controlled search-and-book             resource, but drive real cost saving initiatives
issues must be considered from property                 and efficiencies?
suitability and policy perspectives.

In terms of the annual RFP, we have found that
most of the leading hotel RFP tools out there           Given the convergence drive,
are either US-designed or GDS-centric and
primarily focussed on the transient-only sector
                                                        it will become increasingly
instead of venue and meetings sourcing.                 important for corporates to negotiate
Consequently, ICOR has developed a proprietary
suite of procurement tools – known collectively
as RFP Central. These tools allow us to source
both accommodation suppliers (i.e. hotels,
serviced apartments etc.) in addition to
conference and meetings venues.

From the controlled search and booking
perspective, there are very few (if any) tools
today that combine the ability to book hotel
bedrooms alongside meeting rooms in
real-time, let alone give you the ability to book
an internal meeting room within your own office
environment as a first choice policy option.
For this reason we are about to roll-out a new
version of our BSI Direct™ online self-booking
tool which allows users to book all of these
elements collectively.

Given the convergence drive, it will become
increasingly important for corporates to negotiate
with specialist meeting venue suppliers
30    the

     feature zone
            The Grove
                                               Thames Valley
                        Thames Valley – a name to strike fear into the hearts of any motorist glancing down at the
                        speedometer to discover that the needle has nudged inexplicably past the 70mph mark.

                        In those days, and until the appointment of the        But while its connections to London and
                        current Chief Constable of North Wales, the            overseas remain arguably Thames Valley’s
                        Thames Valley constabulary had an unrivalled           greatest asset, increasing road congestion,
                        reputation for zealously upholding the laws of         inadequate rail services (Great Western is
                        the highways and byways within their jurisdiction.     paying the price of a deferred modernisation
                                                                               programme) and Heathrow Airport’s capacity
                        In more recent times Thames Valley has come            and access problems threaten to undermine
                        to represent Britain’s equivalent of Silicon Valley.   its competitive edge.
                        Also known as the M4 corridor, centred on
                        Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire,            The indigenous workforce relies on the road
                        taking in Reading, Windsor, Slough, Henley and         network. 40,000 people commute into Slough
                        Oxford – not to mention the Sunningdale set,           to work, while 30,000 commute out every day.
                        Thames Valley has enjoyed steady growth, near          And despite congestion-relieving innovations on
                        full employment, and a strong skills base.             the M4 including traffic lights on slip roads to
                                                                               smooth traffic flows, Highways Agency maps
                        There are more scientists and technologists            of England’s most congested roads show the
                        in the Thames Valley than any other region in          section of the 1960s-built M4 between London’s
                        Europe. Thames Valley is also home to the              orbital M25 and Maidenhead now operating at
                        European headquarters of the world's largest           between 130 and 150 per cent of its effective
                        information technology companies, as well as           capacity – one of England’s highest rates.
                        many companies undertaking cutting-edge
                        research in the life sciences, biotechnology and       Hotels & Venues
                        environmental technology. In fact, the region
                        makes a net contribution of almost £4bn ($8bn)         As you would expect from such an affluent
                        to the British economy.                                area, there are some rather splendid hotels to
                                                                               choose from, as well as plenty of less spectacular
                        Connections                                            but no-less quality venues. Here we look at just
                                                                               a small selection of those on offer.
                        Most locations in Thames Valley lie within an
                        hour of Heathrow Airport (further information:         At the high, or luxury end, The Grove, in
               First Great Western’s        Chandler’s Cross, has established itself as one
                        train services link the region to London by a          of the best country house hotels in Britain.
                        similar journey time (     The 227-room property set in 300 acres of
                        whilst South West Trains is the dominant               Hertfordshire parkland is ideal for a conference
                        suburban train operating company, linking the          or away day, not least because of the 18-hole
                        main towns with Basingstoke, Bracknell,                championship golf course with separate putting
                        Woking and others (          green and driving range.

     Issue 4

                                                                                                            feature zone
A few years back, a scant number of business
users would have considered staying at Oxford
prison (unless forced to do so!). Today, the former
gaol is the Malmaison Oxford, of which Conde
Nast wrote “today's inmates can expect a
considerably cushier stay than those of old.”
Five former cells have been converted into
meeting rooms, the largest of which holds up          The Aviator
to 20 delegates, offers views of the wine cellar
and boasts its own dedicated terrace. We’re           Across town at Farnborough Airport, Dakota
not sure what Inspector Morse would have              Hotels has converted a former RAF Officer's
made of it all.                                       Mess at Farnborough Airport into 160-bed hotel
                                                      The Aviator. The hotel has two wings either side
Amongst the more recently refurbished                 of a central hub with aluminium and dark solar-
properties, just a few miles down the road in         controlled glass panelling. In addition there is
Thame, a £8million refurbishment programme            a nine-room conference suite, a Dakota grill
at the Oxford Belfry has included updating all        restaurant and bar, a residents-only gymnasium
17 meeting rooms to parent Q Hotels' standard.        and free parking.
The largest room can accommodate 300 (theatre)
450 (reception) delegates & vehicular access          The IT sector was an early adopter of serviced
gives the option of combining conferences and         apartments as an alternative to hotels for long
presentations. The Trinity Suite seats a max of       stays. So it comes as no surprise to learn that
270 delegates theatre style & can be used as 3        apartment operators have been quick to open
separate meeting rooms seating 90 people theatre      properties in Thames Valley. Last year, SACO
style in each. All conference/meeting rooms are       Apartments opened two in Reading; at Clipper
all on the ground floor and have natural light.       House in Reading’s city centre, and at an extension
                                                      of its Castle Crescent apartments, which now
The Hampshire Court near Basingstoke has              offers to 28 one and two-bedroom apartments,
recently extended its conference and function         duplexes and townhouses.
facility to accommodate up to 250 delegates.
The £6 million renovation has reinvented the          Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum,
hotel from a former tennis academy to a fully         Travelodge has opened a 120-room hotel in
functioning conferencing hotel. Offering a choice     Uxbridge that was built with modified shipping
of 11 conference rooms (9 on the ground floor)        containers in the first hotel construction project
for 12 - 220 people, all but two have black out       of its kind in Europe. The hotel was made from
facilities and natural light.                         86 steel containers which were modified and
                                                      fitted with hotel room fixtures and fittings in
Across to the east of the Thames Valley region,       Shenzen, China, shipped to England, trucked to
and just 15 minutes from Heathrow is Great            the site and then fitted together in a framework
Fosters House in Egham, a grade 1 listed hotel        to form the building. Travelodge plans to build
in which the former coach house has been              a 307-room hotel at Heathrow using the same
converted into three board room style meeting         technique.
rooms, breakout area and 22 bedrooms complete
with plasma screens and iPod docking stations.        There are, quite literally, thousands of hotels
The main part of the hotel houses four additional     to choose from in this region. The location of
meeting rooms which can accommodate                   Thames Valley alone makes it a natural choice
between 8 and 120 delegates. All rooms have           for meeting planners, and a regular destination
natural daylight and complimentary high-speed         for overnight stays too. For the latest information
WiFi access.                                          and the best rates, ask your BSI consultant.

Thames Valley has seen its fair share of new
venues open in the last 12 months, the largest
of which has to be Farnborough International
Venue and Events (FIVE) in, err, Farnborough.
FIVE is a purpose-built flexible conference,
meeting and exhibition centre designed for large
events and exhibitions as well as meetings,
conferences and corporate events. The main
ground floor space will seat up to 3,000
delegates theatre style or 1,000 for a dinner
with a smaller mezzanine-floor meeting room
seating up to 240 theatre style.
32    the

        A decade ago, the idea of sitting in a conference room and talking face to face on a screen with someone
        the other side of the world was almost inconceivable and at the time, the quality of video-conferencing
        equipment was such that you wouldn’t have recognised the person in the street afterwards. Now, however,
        VC is increasingly the norm and many companies have installed equipment across numerous locations.

                                                                          In September last year (08), the Meetings
                                                                          Industry Association looked into the impact of
                                                                          the credit crunch on the conference and events
                                                                          market, taken from a snapshot of buyers and
                                                                          venues, and one of the prevailing messages
                                                                          from corporate buyers concerned the effect
                                                                          of virtual meetings through increased technology
                                                                          and greater awareness of environmental
                                                                          sustainability. “The current economic climate,
                                                                          together with green issues, have resulted in
                                                                          an increase in video-conferencing,” said
                                                                          communication and PR manager for corporate
                                                                          banking at HSBC London Shani Reynolds. “In
                                                                          our company, quarterly conferences are now
                    There are sizes to suit every                         becoming annual conferences.” She added that
            requirement, from PC to auditorium,                           although initial outlay for VC equipment can be
                                                                          high, around the £10,000 mark, compared with
                 and software that facilitates the                        the high cost of running face to face meetings,
                                                                          it is becoming a far more effective option.
               sharing of data and drawings on
                                                                          Not only are the sound and picture quality of
                    top of standard face to face                          the latest kit impressive but widespread use of
                                communication.                            broadband contributes to that and is cheaper
                                                                          than ISDN, which incurs telephone charges.
                                                                          The number of serious players in the market
                                                                          has also increased, with Tandberg, Hewlett
                                                                          Packard, Teliris, Microsoft, Polycom and Cisco
                                                                          all competing for customers, the latter two
                                                                          so hotly that they launched their respective
                                                                          UltimateHD and TelePresence brands on the
                                                                          same day in 2006. There are sizes to suit
                                                                          every requirement, from PC to auditorium,
                                                                          and software that facilitates the sharing of data
                                                                          and drawings on top of standard face to face
                                                                          communication. The ultimate is Cisco’s

     Issue 5

                                                                                                             feature zone
TelePresence 3200, which is designed for              the World Land Trust will protect an acre of rain
gatherings of up to 18 around a virtual table,        forest. The winner also receives an e-mailed
where the screen is attached to the (real) table,     link, so that they can see their acre, complete
giving the impression that the people you are         with bluebirds, etc.
talking to are sitting in the room, a feature Cisco
claims makes it different from other options.         The incentive was launched on World Environment
And that comes complete with eye contact,             Day, June 5, 2008, and retrospectively measured
a feature that has been lacking to date.              to Q4 of 2007. “So far, we have protected
                                                      1000 acres of Ecuadorian rain forest,” says
PricewaterhouseCoopers has made a significant         Mark Avery.
investment in video-conferencing equipment,
now standardised across Polycom and                   There is, however, no suggestion that PwC
Tandberg (desktop), with up to 45 suites in 30        partners should use video-conferencing as a
offices across the UK and growing. The installation   substitute for all travel. “Three things dictate the
is one part of an ongoing sustainability and CSR      decision: cost, time and carbon,” he says. “And
campaign and was endorsed from the top.               we want a balance between the three. It is no
                                                      good taking one of them and saying it is going
 “The chairman and senior partner in the UK           to drive everything.”
wrote personally to the firm,” says head of
business services Mark Avery. “And the head           In addition to allowing companies to cut their
of sustainability sends out a quarterly personal      carbon emissions, video-conferencing also
card and statement to the top 1600 travellers,        reduces wear and tear on the individual. Partner
providing data on carbon usage and information        at international property advisor GVA Grimley,
on how to change behaviour and use rail and a         Chris Jones runs the firm’s technology group
percentage of video-conferencing in preference        and even though the international network uses
to air.” However, simply installing cutting edge      VC (Tandberg) to keep in touch, face to face
VC equipment is not enough. Communication             contact is indispensable and he still flies to the
and motivation are essential and to that end,         US and Asia every four to six weeks. Apart from
Avery teamed up with the World Land Trust             cutting down travel, video-conferencing also
and devised an incentive scheme for the use           allows better recognition of cultural differences.
of video conferencing. The chair of a meeting         “The ability to have a visual understanding of a
receives an increasing number of points for a         person from another culture allows you to be
domestic, short haul or long haul video conference.   more sensitive,” he says. “I do business in 27
When they have 10 points, they have a tonne of        countries but I do not speak a variety of
air carbon and for each tonne of carbon saved,        languages, I am expecting them to understand
34    the

                   mine. Video-conferencing is definitely superior     between here & Israel; and for another client we
                   to being on the telephone.”                         are about to connect with Manila and Mumbai
                                                                       for a three-way management meeting.”
                   Radisson SAS Hotel Manchester Airport is
                   the only property in the region to offer            Video-conferencing equipment is a viable option
                   video-conferencing at short notice because          to travel and now that most companies have a
                   it has equipment on site. “Typically it takes 15    CSR policy that is driven from the top, there is
                   minutes to set up and test in any room, including   little reason not to investigate how it could
                   large multi-site conferences in the Scandinavian    support that policy. And as HSBC discovered,
                   Ballroom,” says event technology manager,           it repays the investment ends.
                   PSAV presentation services Clive Harrington,
                   who is based at the hotel. The property has
                   Polycom Viewstation, which can connect with         “Video-conferencing is
                   three other sites.
                                                                       definitely superior to
                   Automatic camera tracking means the camera
                   moves to a person as they start to speak but it
                                                                       being on the telephone”
                   can also be set according to the client’s wishes,
                   staying with the delegate who has priority.

                   Use of the equipment varies enormously. “We
                   have regular users, one of whom used the system
                   for a management meeting at the end of January,
                   with a link from here to Milan and the US,” says
                   Harrington. “In October 2007, we repeated a
                   North Manchester General Hospital meeting
                   between here, Hamburg & Mumbai with great
                   results, showing endoscope operations in great
                   detail from the remote sites. We had a Rabbi in
                   at the beginning of the New Year conferencing

     Issue 5

                                                                                                                        feature zone
              In this regular feature new to The Hive™ CATHERINE CHETWYND
              takes a 'behind closed doors' look at what people working in key
              posts within hotels have to contend with when dealing with the
              business user.

A concièrge’s work is never done – and               Although a concièrge’s stock in trade is
particularly not at an airport hotel. Head           producing the impossible on a handbrake turn,
concièrge of Radisson Blue London Stansted           guests could do themselves (and the concièrge)
Airport (formerly Radisson SAS) Matt Cook            a favour by thinking ahead about their
starts work at 5.45 in the morning. “There is        requirements; and to remember that a concièrge
normally a queue of people at reception and I        may not have a team of helpers behind the
assist with check-out face to face or help those     scenes, he is doing it all himself. “On the
using check-in/check-out machines in the lobby.      administrative side, if someone is asking me
Then I deal with the hand-over from the night        how to get to the hotel, I will drop them a line
before and action anything from there,” he says.     on e-mail,” says Matt Cook. “Some concierges
                                                     in London have people doing that for them but I
On the surface, it might look as though a            like doing it.”
concièrge’s job is humdrum – organising theatre
tickets, taxis, changing flight details, finding a   Matt Cook recently won the BAA Excellence
charger for a mobile phone or a travel adaptor       in Customer Service Awards. “There are 1,300
but as Cook points out: “Guests tend to think        people working in the airport and I was really
that concièrges are magicians.” As a result,         pleased to be nominated, let alone win,” he
they find themselves dealing with some pretty        says. He was put forward by a client who brings
demanding tasks.                                     groups to the Radisson Blu for a show-round.
                                                     “I always look after her, it’s part of the Yes I can
Concièrge at the Sheraton Skyline Lalldeo            spirit.” Modesty is another characteristic of
Bhantoo was confronted with a large group            concièrges.
of conference delegates from an electronics
company in Asia. The group was led by a
woman whose first request at 4pm was for a
translator from Mandarin into English – within
the hour. “It was not easy to do,” he says.
“I got one but not within the hour.”

A guest at the Radisson Blue recently
approached Matt Cook, asking whether her
tickets to the Chelsea vs Barcelona match had
arrived. She was expecting an envelope. There
was nothing. Cook rang the offices of the outfit
where she had bought them on line but they
had been sold on. She had paid €700 for them.
“So I made a couple of phone calls and got her
better tickets than she had originally,” he says.
“She had to pay £1200 but she got to see the
game with her son.”

What the guest does not see is the stress factor
for the concièrge. Perpetually like the proverbial
swan – serene on top but paddling like hell
underneath – Cook says it is essential that the
guest does not see any trace of tension or
strain. And inevitably, the better a concièrge
does his or her job, the more likely guests are
to overlook the effect of their demands.                                                                    Matt Cook
36   the

     coffee zone
                                                   Ideal room
                                                   of the future
                                                   Our Hotel Room is the first hotel room
                                                   to be developed collaboratively online.
                                                   More than 1,000 collaborators took part during the initial
                                                   phase of the campaign in early 2009 registering what they
                                                   wanted to see in their ideal hotel room. The aim now is to create
                                                   a showcase hotel room with the most useful technology and hospitality
                                                   services for today’s hotel guests, based on the votes and suggestions
                                                   received over the last few months.

                                                   The results of the experiment can be seen below.


                                                   17% of respondents rated tiered internet connectivity, including a free
                                                   service, at the top of their list.

                                                   Contributors wanted more responsive charging systems, with 13%
                                                   asking for room charges to be linked directly to services used, instead
                                                   of a flat rate. Many also wanted to remove check-in and check-out and
                                                   offer hotel services via credit card swipe or pin number, instead of a
                                                   central booking system.

                                                   The third most popular choice was a demand for personalised digital
                                                   entertainment packages, incorporating video, audio and guest services,
                                                   allowing guests to configure the room for their own entertainment
                                                   demands (12%).

                                                   More surprisingly, guest segregation was also a popular request with
                                                   suggestions to divide hotels into family and business floors while also
                                                   offering male/female room options for single occupancy.

                           3% 3%
                                     17%               Tiered internet connectivity - 17%
                                                       Room charges linked directly to services - 13%
                                                       Personalised entertainment packages - 12%
               10%                                     Docking stations for mobile and mp3 players - 12%
                                             13%       Full digital TV service - 11%
                                                       Biometric security entry - 10%
               10%                                     Heating and lighting control via mobile device - 10%
                                                       Free mini-bar - 9%
                                                       Video conference facility - 3%
                                                       Access to recorded content at home - 3%

     Issue 5
              SOLUTION - EASY                         SOLUTION - HARD                              ANSWERS
                                                                                                   PUZZLE Despite good time-tabling and buses leaving depots on time, bunching is unavoidable because of the
              4   7   9   8   2   5   3   1   6       9   3   8   4   1   2   7   6   5            following effect: Whenever a large group of passengers gather at a stop, the first bus along will be delayed while
                                                                  7           4                    people board, allowing the bus following to catch up a little. When this second bus arrives, passengers will have
              3   8   5   1   7   6   2   4   9       2   1   5       8   6       3   9            had less time to gather, which allows it to pick up and go quickly. When the first bus reaches the next stop another
              6   2   1   9   4   3   8   7   5       4   6   7   5   9   3   2   1   8            large group will have gathered due to its late arrival, allowing the following bus to catch up further. This continues
              8   3   7   4   9   1   6   5   2       5   2   9   1   7   4   3   8   6            until the two buses are together, at which point it behaves like a single late big bus, which then allows a third bus
                                                                                                   to catch up.
              1   9   2   6   5   8   4   3   7       8   7   1   6   3   9   5   4   2
              5   6   4   2   3   7   9   8   1       3   4   6   8   2   5   1   9   7
                                                                                                   LATERAL THINKING He was a mail courier who delivered packages to the different foreign embassies in the
              9   4   3   5   1   2   7   6   8       1   9   2   3   6   7   8   5   4            United States. The land of an embassy belongs to the country of the embassy, not to the United States.
              7   1   8   3   6   9   5   2   4       7   5   3   9   4   8   6   2   1
              2   5   6   7   8   4   1   9   5       6   8   4   2   5   1   9   7   3            QUIZ 1. Defencelessness. 2. Marilyn Monroe 3. Yes so don't try it! 4. Elephants 5. Women blink nearly twice
                                                                                                   as much as men.
                  Do men or women blink more?                                                 5.                         mills in Ireland!
                  What are the only animals that can't jump?                                  4.                         clockwise. Except for the wind
                  Do pearls melt in vinegar?                                                  3.                       • Windmills always turn counter-
                  Which famous actress had six toes?                                          2.                         almost twice the area of the USA.
                  'E' five times and no other vowels?                                                                  • The Russian federation covers
                  What 15-letter word contains the letter                                     1.                         as "Hollywoodland."
                                                                                                                         erected in 1923. It was first erected
                                                                                      Quiz                             • The Hollywood sign was first
                                                                                                                         in the world.
                                                                                                                       • India has the most post offices
                                                                                                                         to sleep 100 people.
                              accord. He did this in one day. How?                                                       in Sweden that has the capacity
                              country, and left each one of his own                                                    • Every year, an igloo hotel is built
                              countries. He was welcomed in each                                                                                   Did you know?
                              managed to visit over thirty foreign
                              clean police record but no passport,
                              An ordinary American citizen, with a                                               Why do buses come in twos and threes?
                                                  Lateral thinking                                                                                                           Puzzle
                                              9        2 5                                                                                             5 6 7   4
                          2 1                     8                                       7                                          2               7       6
                          5                           6                                                                    8                           4   5 1
                          9                                   8                           3                                1                         5 6 4
                                              5                           1
                          6                       4                                 2                                      6 5 2                                                                8
                                                       9                            6                                        7                        4 3                                       6
                          9                                   7                   2 1                                       9                         7                                 8
                                                  1 2                     8                                                         5 3 1                             8
                                                                              HARD                                                                                                      EASY

coffee zone
38    the

     competitions                                                                                Please refer to the BSI web site for terms &
                                                                                                 conditions and to enter any of these competitions,
                                                                                                 go to

               Stay includes accommodation plus breakfast for two.
               Vaild until 31st March 2010 subject to availability.

                                                                      Mercure Hotels
                                                                      Mercure’s reputation is based on comfort, quality service and hospitality.
                                                                      Built and decorated in harmony with their environment, Mercure hotels each
                                                                      possess their own personality, style and character.
                                                                      Our staff share with their guests a complete and reliable knowledge of their
                                                                      local city and its surrounding area. Our guests' wellbeing is at the heart of our
                                                                      business, unrivalled hospitality and outstanding personal service ensures every
                                                                      personal comfort.
                                                                      The Mercure restaurants give an honourable place to the region's cuisine. With
                                                                      recipes giving high quality local produce pride of place. To reinforce this local
                                                                      base, the Grands Vins Mercure wine list offers a selection of rigorously chosen
                                                                      great wines at accessible prices.
                                                                      Meetings & Conferences
                                                                      In short, when it comes to corporate meetings and conferencing, few hotel
                                                                      groups can match us for sheer scope, style, technical sophistication and
                                                                      adaptability. What's more, at any of our hotels, your delegates can look forward
                                                                      to an exquisite range of the finest, often award-winning, cuisine complemented
                                                                      by our signature Les Grands Vins list of excellent wines at exceptional prices.
                                                                      Add to all of this superb accommodation ranging from cosmopolitan chic to
                                                                      old world grandeur and a terrific range of leisure facilities and you have every
                                                                      possible ingredient for a business event par excellence.
                                                                      Unique Facilities
                                                                      Mercure are proud to offer some of the country's most impressive meetings and
                                                                      events facilities. From a discrete board meeting to conferences and product
                                                                      launches, team building events, interviews and lavish banquets, Mercure has a
                                                                      host of venues that are perfectly placed to meet all your needs, accommodating
                                                                      up to 1,150 delegates. When teams need space to think or an environment
                                                                      where they can get creative and find the best in themselves, we offer some
                                                                      of the most inspiring locations in the country.
               What is the name of the Mercure wine list?             Relax
                                                                      To ensure delegates enjoy life after work, our leisure facilities will guarantee total
                                                                      relaxation. Our emphasis is on making you feel completely comfortable, whether
                                                                      you want to sink into a sauna, exercise in our techno gym, do gentle aerobics,
                                                                      indulge in a deep massage treatment or just chill out. We are here to create a
                                                                      unique solution for you, allowing you to take time out, relax, refresh and restore.

               WIN A TWO NIGHT STAY
               IN OLD WINDSOR
               Vaild until 31st March 2010 subject to availability.

                                                                      Relax and unwind in style at the impressive White House in Old Windsor.
                                                                      Sitting within the beautiful and extensive grounds of Beaumont Estate,
                                                                      this elegant hotel offers the best in indulgent furnishings and warm hospitality.
                                                                      Your luxurious suite will instantly transport you away from your busy lives and
                                                                      the combination of the beautiful location, uplifting interiors and great service
                                                                      will make the whole experience unforgettable.

                                                                      Enjoy a two night stay with breakfast for two with dinner on the first night*

                                                                      The White House is part of Principal Hayley Hotels and Conference Venues,
                                                                      a collection of over 20 hotels and venues throughout the UK and Europe.
                                                                      *subject to availability

                                                                      Which Estate is The White House located on?

     Issue 5
In a world of
uncertainty, you need
certainty above all else.
This is the answer.
The answer is yes.
Now what’s the question?
In these uncertain times you need certainty. The De Vere Collection
gives you seven promises to guarantee you a successful meeting,
conference or event. We stand by these whether you’re holding a
grand conference or an intimate one-on-one meeting. Add to this
a suite of enticing offers including for the first time ever, a 10p per
mile rebate for delegates attending residential meetings, and it
looks like it wont only be us saying yes in 2009.

Ask your BSI representative
for more details.
Terms & conditions apply. See website for full details.
40    the

     twilight zone

                   by Bob Papworth
                                                                         and guff?
                   He – and it invariably is a ‘he’ – is something       like you to enjoy the “re-defined lobby
                   squeaky in viral marketing, he’s about 12 years       experience”, featuring “welcome podiums
                   old and distinctly moist behind the ears, and         and signature elements”.
                   he’s really very excited at the prospect of sharing
                   some face-time to, y’know, bat some bleeding-         Some mincing, loft-dwelling interiors guru with
                   edge issues about to see what nukes the fridge        spikey hair and a post-ironic tie made from
                   and – hey! Cool! He’s got a window Tuesday            barbed wire will have used a “palette of blues
                   ack-emma, what say we do a ’Bucks around              and cherrywoods” in the public areas, and
                   eight? Kick some ass? Big-time??                      you will be impressed by the way they result
                                                                         in a “fun, eclectic mix of textures”. You’ll be
                   “Eight? Eight? In the morning? Are you retarded       particularly struck – if you’re not careful – by
                   or something? Didn’t they teach you anything          his “over-sized nature elements”.
                   at business school? Whaddya think I am?
                   Nocturnal?”                                           You want dinner? No way, José. What you’ll get
                                                                         is a “refreshing dining option” prepared by a
                   Except, of course, you don’t say any of that,         “culinary team” who sole object in their sad,
                   because Zak – or Jett, or Skip, or whatever his       effete lives is to “inspire”. If you ever get to
                   name is – has a budget the size of Jupiter, and       your room, you’ll be invited to check the
                   your boss has made it clear that he expects a         thread-count of your Egyptian cotton sheets
                   fair chunk of that moolah to find its way into        before taking a “spa-inspired shower”. The
                   your company coffers, owing to the looming            toiletries will, of course, be “signature”, and
                   letting-people-go scenario, no pressure, know         consist of more invigorating lemon-grass and
                   what I mean?                                          papaya oil than you ever believed possible.

                   And so, rather than have to peel yourself out of      Of course, when you get to meet Si (or Rafe,
                   bed at four in the morning to go and meet this        or Thad, or whatever his name is) the next
                   drivelling upstart, you book yourself into a hotel    morning, he will be so-o-o-o impressed, y’know?
                   within casual strolling distance of his office.
                   A couple of drinks at the bar, a decent night’s       Not that this will matter in the slightest, because
                   kip, good hot shower in the morning, and              by the time he gets to his “work-station” he
                   Bob’s your uncle. What could be simpler?              will have been “down-sized” by some bluff
                                                                         northerner who’s decided there’s no bloody
                   Unfortunately, in this hyper-hyped day and age,       future in this viral marketing baloney and is
                   the old bar/bed/bath concept just doesn’t hack        going into whippet-breeding instead.
                   it any more.
                                                                         And, in time, you, he, and his like, will finally
                   What you’ll be offered is “a blend of style and       convince the hotel industry that all this
                   personal renewal”.                                    pretentious twaddle and guff is a complete
                                                                         waste of time, effort and money, and that
                   Before you even get to your “over-sized guest         anyone who peddles or perpetuates it –
                   room” (presumably available only because the          let alone writes it – will be strung up by the
                   over-sized guest failed to show) the “global          signature elements until his or her experience
                   power brand” with whom you are staying would          is beyond re-defining.

     Issue 5
Mercure - the right choice for you
                       4 star quality
                 Personal service
                    Unique venues
                     Unique events

                          ENGLAND: NORTH
         Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, Blackburn      Business is a pleasure at our indivdual hotels
         Last Drop Village Hotel & Spa, Bolton
Norton Grange Hotel & Spa, Manchester North
               St.Paul’s Hotel & Spa, Sheffield
                      ENGLAND: MIDLANDS
                                                 With 31 hotels in the UK and over 700 hotels
                  Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham
                                                 worldwide, Mercure is a network that brings with it
          Brandon Hall Hotel & Spa, Coventry
      Albrighton Hall Hotel & Spa, Shrewsbury    the reassurance of the guaranteed standards of a
     Shakespeare Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
                 Parkside Hotel, near Woburn
                                                 well-established international brand.
                          ENGLAND: SOUTH
                  Whately Hall Hotel, Banbury    Recognised for their individuality, all of the hotels
                           Francis Hotel, Bath
                Burford Bridge Hotel, Box Hill
                                                 within the brand have their own character –
                       Brigstow Hotel, Bristol   whether it’s a new hotel in a city centre of a
           Holland House Hotel & Spa, Bristol
                  White Horse Hotel, Dorking     country mansion set in its own grounds. And
                      Southgate Hotel, Exeter
                        Bush Hotel, Farnham
                                                 whichever hotel you choose as a business traveller,
            Hythe Imperial Hotel & Spa, Hythe    you’ll find an emphasis on traditional hotel keeping
Letchworth Hall Hotel, Letchworth Garden City
                       Eastgate Hotel, Oxford    that sees a warm welcome, professional personal
                     George Hotel, Readimg
                   White Hart Hotel, Salisbury
                                                 service and a pride in quality food and wines as
                Thames Lodge Hotel, Staines      essential ingredients.
                   Wessex Hotel, Winchester
                        Castle Hotel, Windsor
                                                 The majority of our hotels carry an AA 4-star rating
                        London City Bankside     and are equipped with outstanding leisure and spa
                      London Gatwick Airport
                                      WALES      facilities. Everything the business traveller needs.
           Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff
                          Lodge Hotel, Cardiff
         Ardoe House Hotel & Spa, Aberdeen         For more information or reservations, contact BSI
                       Point Hotel, Edinburgh

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