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Focusing on the future at the Commercial Forum 2018

Focusing on the future at the Commercial Forum 2018

February 15, 2019 | Community, News, Openings, Our Team, Signings


The Interstate Hotels & Resorts UK Commercial Forum gives our team the chance to come together and share examples of the great work taking place across our portfolio, and to look ahead to the future.

In her latest blog, Carol Dodds – Vice President Commercial for the UK, at Interstate, reflects on the two-day event.

Here at Interstate, we’re big believers in coming together to reflect on and look ahead at changes in the market and within our own business, too.

The Commercial Forum, held annually, provides us with a great chance to do just that, bringing all of our hotels together – as well as some of our colleagues from Europe and the US – under one roof, this time at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge Gatwick.

This year our theme for the event was ‘fresh thinking’.

In today’s increasingly competitive market, each day requires our team to bring new and innovative ideas that not only enhance the customer experience, but drive revenue, too.

And, while 2018 has been a great year for Interstate here in the UK, opening a number of hotels across the country in locations including Belfast, Manchester and London Heathrow, we’re not ones to rest on our laurels, so sharing best practice featured high on the forum agenda.

We heard great examples from hotels including the Holiday Inn Leicester – who set up their own blog to support their recent hotel refurbishment, and The View at Eastbourne – where they’ve created a new video to support their wedding business.

And, we hosted a number of breakout sessions for delegates to choose from, on topics ranging from account management through to social advertising and data driving.

Industry insight

Over the two-day event, we welcomed four esteemed guest speakers: Cindy Estis Green – CEO and founder of Kalibri Labs, Ed Lyons of Google, Gareth Nash – consumer insight director at MCA & HIM Insight and Joe Stather – associate director at CBRE Hotels.

Cindy shared her thoughts on the importance of a strategic approach to revenue management and the impact major players such as Amazon and Facebook will have on the hotel market.

Ed ran a session on innovation and disruption and how the culture at Google supports this.

Gareth’s presentation looked at the trends in the food and beverage market, sharing some fascinating insights, such as the fact 93.5% of UK adults now eat out – the highest number on record.

And Joe Stather delivered a session on STR forecasts for 2019, taking questions from the team on topics including Brexit and UK market performance.

In addition, Debbie Johnson, our Vice President – Operations, delivered an invaluable presentation on the links between operations and commercial.

Rewarding excellence

The event culminated with our annual Commercial Awards – a chance for us to recognise and reward our hard-working team.

Congratulations to the lucky winners:

  • People’s Choice Award – Festive Quest Lip Sync Battle: Holiday Inn Basingstoke
  • Marketing Award – The View Hotel Eastbourne
  • Innovation Award – Holiday Inn Southend
  • Revenue Management Award – Antony Parkes, Staybridge Suites Birmingham
  • Commercial Team of the Year – Hampton by Hilton Stansted
  • Sales Manager of the Year – Jen Woolmer, Sales Manager, Holiday Inn Leicester
  • Team Player of the Year – Alex Mackee, Hampton by Hilton Newcastle
  • Better Together Award – Holiday Inn Fareham
  • BDRC Highest Score 2018 – Holiday Inn Fareham
  • BDRC Most Improved – Crowne Plaza Felbridge Gatwick
  • RGI Growth 2018 – Ramada Encore Bournemouth
  • Highest RMM Scores – Holiday Inn Express Stockport
  • Special Recognition Award – Holiday Inn Leicester

Outstanding Achievement Awards:

  • Billy Harris, Drayton Manor Hotel
  • Kristina Skaburskyte-Tocco, Hampton by Hilton Newcastle
  • The team at Holiday Inn Express Stockport
  • The Holiday Inn Gatwick nights team
  • Katie Lockhart, Days Inn Liverpool
  • The team at Holiday Inn Farnborough

Rising Star Awards:

  • Alfonso Canturiense, Holiday Inn High Wycombe
  • George Thomas, The View Eastbourne
  • Prasit Pala, Holiday Inn Leicester
  • Stacey DeRome, Hampton by Hilton Blackpool
  • Adam Stokoe, Hotel Indigo Newcastle