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HBAA to hold its first face-to-face board meeting since lockdown

The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has announced the launch of a series of face-to face meetings and events to take place over the next few months, starting on 29 July.

The HBAA is also launching an initiative to encourage all agency members to re-start venue visits and site inspections. The initiative encourages them to share photos and posts of the visits and inspections on social media using the hashtag #HBAAFutureFit.

HBAA consultant executive director, Juliet Price, said: “We are hoping that posts where members capture agents’ visits to reopened, permitted hotels, venues and serviced apartments and experience the measures that have been put in place to ensure the safety and welfare of guests, delegates and employees, will send positive messages beyond our industry.”

In August, HBAA will be holding an engagement meeting for its agency members and is aiming to have the maximum permitted audience of 30 attendees in the room, whilst continuing to exercise social distancing.

On 6 October, HBAA FutureFit Live, the HBAA members event, will take place in Birmingham. FutureFit Live aims to be a live only event, under the condition that the industry is permitted to hold an indoor meeting of this size.

Price added: “Months ago we would not have felt the need to showcase that we were meeting face to face at a board meeting, this was ‘a given’. However, now more than ever, leading by example is essential for our industry, and the HBAA board is keen to show its commitment to re-establishing customer confidence for corporates, event planners and delegates by arranging these meetings and events. HBAA will also be supporting other organisations and initiatives that are promoting shoulder to shoulder live events in the coming weeks. Virtual platforms will not and should not replace such activities.

“Only if the industry goes out and meets face to face will the recovery of meetings and events gain momentum and drive the return of corporate customer confidence in the sector.”