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Fast Forward 15: meet the mentees: Angela Hebden

Name: Angela Hebden

Company: Accor Hotels

Job title: Strategic account manager – Global Sales and Distribution

Outline of responsibilities: 360 Degree Account Management of 5 high profile strategic clients – managing corporate travel, meeting and events and long stay programmes.  I have a great account team that I manage and am also mentor to an Accor Talent and Culture Manager.

How long have you worked in the events industry? I have worked in the hotel industry since 2006.

Q&A

What does it mean to you to be included in the FF15 programme? I feel very honoured and lucky to have been selected for FF15 and intend to embrace the next 12 months.

Who is your mentor, and what advice have they given you so far? My mentor is Caroline Jackson and so far she has shown a knack to get me talking and thinking a lot! I am currently working on pinning down my goals and am feeling very inspired!

What do you enjoy most about working in the industry? I love the people and finding the right solution for my clients. I believe in building strong partnerships, above and beyond any transactional relationships, as this is when you can make the most difference.

Who, or what, has inspired you? I am always inspired by professional sports people – I have always participated in multiple sports and am inspired by the results you can achieve if you are dedicated. In general I find positive people in any environment to be inspiring.

What do you see are the biggest challenges facing the industry over the next three years? The industry is constantly evolving, agencies merging and hotels being absorbed by larger groups. Smaller groups may struggle when faced with huge organisations or they may thrive by offering the personal touch. The trick will be to innovate and stay at the forefront of whatever you do.

What message would you share with young women thinking about a career in the events industry? I would always recommend anyone to work in the events and wider hospitality industry. It is hard work but it is also rewarding and even though it is challenging underneath it all it can be great fun! The industry is starting to recognise that equality is necessary to evolve and I believe opportunities for women will continue to grow.