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Focusing on the future at the Commercial Forum 2019

Focusing on the future at the Commercial Forum 2019

January 9, 2020 | Community, News, Openings, Our Team, Signings


The Interstate Hotels & Resorts International Commercial Forum gives our team the chance to come together, to recognise our star performers, to learn from our key partners and each other, and to look ahead to the future, understanding future trends and how they will shape our business in the year to come.

In her latest blog, Carol Dodds – Senior Vice President Commercial reflects on the two-day event.

Here at Interstate, we’re big believers in taking time out as a team to both reflect and look ahead at changes in the market and our own business, too.

The Commercial Forum, held annually for our corporate and on-property commercial teams across sales, revenue, distribution and marketing, provides us with a great chance to do just that, this time at the Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

This year our theme for the event was ‘Brave, Bold, Best’.

The event’s purpose? To educate and inspire our commercial teams as they develop their 2020 commercial plans and strategies, during this period of uncertainty across the globe, with the context of an ever-changing economic and political landscape.

Looking ahead

Over the two-day event, we welcomed six esteemed guest speakers: Alistair Turner from Eight PR & Marketing; Graham Pope from Cvent; Nima Vaez-Zadeh from Booking.com; Joe Stather from CBRE; Ben Pask from Rare Consulting; and David Clouston – Managing Director from Clouston Group Ltd.

The speakers covered a range of fascinating topics including global trends to watch, focusing on sustainability, wellness and the perspective of the younger generations, through to how to maximise OTA channels, and forecasts for our industry in the months and years to come.

Andrew Jordan and Jamie Grittman from Aimbridge Hospitality – Interstate’s US-based parent company – also spoke at the event to give our teams an overview of the recent merger.

During the forum, delegates were offered breakout sessions, too, including an idea generation workshop designed to tackle key commercial challenges in our industry.

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:

Festive Quest: Holiday Inn Southend

Marketing Award: Olga Dukhovich – Renaissance Minsk Hotel

Innovation Award: Sameer Gangoli – Radisson Blu Cardiff

Revenue Management Award: Rhianne Roberts – Radisson Blu Cardiff

Commercial Team of the Year: The Alexander, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Yerevan

Sales Manager of the Year: Louise Merrell – Holiday Inn Southend & Holiday Inn Express Folkstone

Better Together Award: The View Hotel

Team Player of the Year: Chris Evetts – Holiday Inn Fareham-Solent

BDRC Highest Score 2019: Marine Troon Hotel

BDRC Most Improved 2019: Holiday Inn Southampton Eastleigh

RGI Growth 2019: Hotel Indigo Durham

Highest RMM Scores 2019: Ibis Coventry

Special Recognition Award: Radisson Blu Cardiff


Outstanding Contribution Awards

Jas Sandhu – Director of Sales Holiday Inn & Staybridge Suites Heathrow Bath Road

City Hotel Derry

Portrush Atlantic Hotel

Staybridge Suites The Hague


Rising Star Awards:

Nikki Capobianco – Holiday Inn Express Stockport

Angelika Swoboda – Hotel Indigo Manchester Victoria

Laura Taylor – Hampton by Hilton Blackpool

Isa Laflouriere – Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites Heathrow

Harriett Brace – Crowne Plaza Leeds