Watch the highlights from this year's Hotel Insights Forum

The Hotel Insights Forum is a full day event, driven by our exclusive customer insight data. Industry luminaries will tackle the threats, opportunities & challenges faced by the hospitality industry.

Details of the 2018 Hotel Insights Forum will be announced soon.

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Our 2017 programme included market data, insight to influence brand strategy, UX, meetings industry and more.

State of the Nation

Cris Tarrant (BDRC) and David Bailey (CBRE) present their annual keynote into the state of the UK hotels market.

This session will provide economic and market stats from the last 12 months, the current situation, and what future trends are on the horizon for the industry. This is essential viewing for your 2017/18 business plan.

Rise of the robots

This session will consider the impact that various technologies are set to have on the hotels, hospitality and meetings industry. The presentation will be followed by a lively panel.

Confirmed panellists:

- Frank Reeves, Avvio
- Nick Crawford, Twist Consultancy
- Kelly Cronin, Interstate Hotels and Resorts
- Steve Lowy, Umi Digital

The power of words

Discussing the impact of online discussion and reviews.  Leonie Bulman (BDRC) joins forces with Jo Robinson from design agency Clarity to look at the impact of social media on the brand message. And how can brands can actually own the message, or at least steer it in their desired direction? Find out at the Hotel Insights Forum!

In bed with the homesharers

Getting under the skin of those who have snubbed hotels in favour of the sharing economy to understand how (and if) it’s possible to win them back.

When things go wrong

Building on a popular session we ran previously which covered the various digital and physical risks hoteliers face, in our 2017 forum will discuss how to pick up the pieces when things go wrong.

Enhancing the digital experience

Learn how you can optimise your digital user experience with cross-sector examples. Richard Smith (BDRC) shares how the agency helped a highstreet bank to make incremental improvements over 2-week sprints.

How to leverage Brand Trust

Jon Young (BDRC) will unpack the components of brand trust, drawing on his findings from a recent qualitative research study.

'Meeting' the future head on

Matt Costin and James Bland (BDRC) explore what’s next for the meetings market, supported by data from recent market research.

Followed by talks from various industry experts as outlined below.

The future of meetings

  1. The financial business case for meetings space - Melvin Gold, Melvin Gold Consulting
  2. Hotel Security Audit - Deborah Heather, M Assessment Services
  3. Bandwidth and Data Security - Irvin Aldridge, Airangel

The future of meetings

  1. Immersive technology - Simon Hunt, Close Global
  2. Eventwell (concerning the health of professionals in the events industry) - Samme Allen, Sequioa
  3. Visualising the meeting room of the future - Mark Cooper, IACC

The future of meetings

  1. Key driver analysis (data from VenueVerdict on what parts of the experience drive recommendations and repeat business) - Natalie Wiseman, BDRC
  2. The event buyer's perspective - Richard Eades, BP
  3. The digital purchase - Ram Mohan, GroupRevMax

The future of meetings

  1. Food and beverage provision - James Nichols, Russell Partnership
  2. The implications: the 'Future of Meetings' panel - chaired by Martin Lewis, M&IT

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Hotel Insights Forum in 2016. I learnt a great deal about current and future customer trends - without having to purchase an expensive research report and with the ability to ask questions about the findings. Highly recommended."

Tracey Stephenson, Staying Cool



Samme Allen Sequoia Partnership Ltd.

Samme has over 25 years of sales experience working with unique, multi-priority venues including the Barbican, Twickenham Stadium and most recently the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. She launched Sequoia Partnership in 2016, which specialises in helping unique and unusual venues grow their revenue strategically within the MICE industry.

David Bailey CBRE

David Bailey is a Senior Director at CBRE Hotels EMEA and heads the Consultancy Services area of the business. David has 25+ years' hotel consultancy experience, specialising in project marketing, financial and investment appraisal and strategy development.

James Bland BDRC Continental

As head of Hotels research, James oversees our customer experience, feedback and mystery shopping benchmarks. His industry background (first in operations and then brand marketing) brings real perspective to performance data, enabling hotels and meeting venues to reveal the key insights that will help them delight their guests.

Leonie Bulman BDRC Continental

Leonie is an Associate Director at BDRC - specialist in helping hotel, travel and leisure brands gain a competitive advantage by optimising customer experience, communications and routes to market.

Mark Cooper IACC

Mark is the CEO of IACC. He has an extensive industry background, previously holding senior posts with respected conference venue operators and global third party agencies, including Dolce Hotels & Resorts, Sundial Group, ConferenceDirect and Warwick Conferences.

Matt Costin BDRC Continental

As Director of BDRC's 'On the Move' division, Matt is an expert in the fields of branding and customer experience, and is a recognised authority on the hotel sector. Alongside management responsibilities, he works on consultancy assignments and BDRC’s global Hotel Guest Survey and VenueVerdict programmes.

Nick Crawford Twist Consultancy

Nick is a senior marketing consultant with over 15 years agency & client side delivery experience.  He draws on a breadth of marketing experience across multiple activity and verticals to create deliverable customer contact plans and engagement strategies.

Kelly Cronin Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe

Kelly is Group Director of Revenue for Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe.  With 18 years in revenue management, working across different brands and independent properties, Kelly has a wealth of experience in understanding and adapting to the constantly changing technological landscape in hospitality.

Richard Eades BP

As BP's Global Category Manager of Hotels Meetings and Events managing a spend of $300m+, Richard brings the global buyer's viewpoint to the Meetings discussion. Richard also held senior positions in Hilton, Trust House Forte, MWB, Expotel, BSI Group and other Event / TMC’s and sits on many global hotel and industry advisory boards.

Melvin Gold Melvin Gold Consulting

Melvin Gold is among the European hotel industry’s best known and respected advisers. His career has encompassed hotel operations, consultancy/advisory, and the commercial world. He formed his specialist hotel advisory and consultancy company in 2004, assisting clients with a variety of hotel sector assignments.

Deborah Heather M Assessment Services

As Head of M Assessment Services, Deborah heads up a team of assessors operating various accreditation schemes, including star ratings for the Channel Islands, the Tourism Council of South Africa and Customer Service Excellence for the Cabinet Office.  As an ex-hotelier, Deborah has completed the General Managers Program at Cornell.

Martin Lewis Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine

Martin Lewis is Managing Editor of Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine and Martin gained his experience as a journalist in a broad spectrum of reporting and editing roles after starting his career as a sports reporter.

Steve Lowy Umi Digital

Steve studied Hospitality and Tourism management at the University of Salford & has gone onto run restaurants, hostels and hotels. Steve launched Umi Hotels in 2007 and Umi Digital in 2010 and now sits on a number of UK industry boards including Chairman of the Hotel Marketing Association and the British Educational Travel Association.

Ram Mohan GroupRevMax

Ram heads the product wing at GroupRevMax. Ram has consulted for large enterprises, aligning enterprise technology to the business roadmap. Ram developed GroupRevMax with the goal of increasing revenue and profitability of group sales at hotels and eliminating costs.

James Nichols Russell Partnership Strategic Food Consultancy

James is a Senior consultant at the Russell Partnership Strategic Food Consultancy. He has over twenty years in the hospitality and retail sector, as General Manager for Hotel du Vin Group, then Owner and Director of a five-site high-end food business, Caracoli, James has a wealth of operational, management and strategic experience.

Frank Reeves Avvio

Frank has acquired a reputation for being the hoteliers' champion. Since co-founding Avvio in 2002, Frank has led his team at Avvio to grow year on year, by developing cutting edge technologies that enable hotels to drive outstanding growth in direct bookings, while reducing their dependence on online travel agency channels.

David Russell The Russell Partnership Collection

Chairman of The Russell Partnership; the UK’s leading Strategic Food and Technology Consultancy. David led the Food Strategy for the London 2012 Olympics, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in 2015. David read Hospitality Management at Leeds, is a Freeman of the City of London and a Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure.

Jo Robinson Clarity

Jo is Client Services Director of Clarity’s specialist hospitality division, working on brand development and activation campaigns with clients including Premier Inn, Mitchells & Butlers, TGI Fridays and Amaris Hospitality.  She has over 20 years’ experience working for leading agencies building international blue chip brands.

Tim Sander BDRC

Tim is a Director at BDRC Continental expert in transport, hospitality, travel and leisure sectors, with specialisms in brand and product research. Over recent years Tim has helped brands to launch in new markets or to improve their market positioning.

Richard Smith BDRC

Richard is a Director within the Financial and Business team and is also the agency qualitative specialist….which coincidentally makes him a frequent hotel stayer! His accomplishments in research include winning the 2015 MRS Award for International Research based on deep level exploration of HSBCs emerging affluent segment.

Cris Tarrant BDRC Group

MRS Fellow and founder of the BDRC Group, Cris is a highly experienced and award winning customer insight professional with an outstanding reputation for pinpointing the business implications of research findings. Cris has extensive global experience including customer service and brand perception work.

Natalie Wiseman BDRC Continental

Natalie brings a decade of experience in mystery shopping and service environments to her role of Client Services Manager at BDRC. She works closely on the Hotel team’s suite of VenueVerdict modules, and her forensic approach helps to meet client objectives.

Jon Young BDRC Continental

Jon is a Research Director at BDRC, specialising in Tourism and Leisure. He is the author of Holiday Trends, forecasting the nation’s holiday intentions, motivations and attitudes. Jon regularly manages projects with a focus on international tourism and is a respected authority within the industry.

Previous Attendees

Abbey Hotel


Apex Hotels

Avington Financial

Bespoke Hotels

Boutique Hotel Media

Bridget Baker Consulting

Carlson Rezidor

Casna Group

Cathedral Hotels


Center Parcs

Charing Cross Hotel

Church House Conference Centre


Conference Centres of Excellence

Custard Communications

De Vere Hotel Group

De Vere Venues

Dolce Hotels & Resorts

Event Marketing Association

EPS Associates

etc venues

Firmdale Hotels

Frank Croston

Gallowglass Health and Safety LLP

glh Hotels


Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Hilton Worldwide

Hotel Analyst

Hotel Marketing Association



IM London

imago @ Loughborough


International Association of Conference Centres

Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Jersey Business Events

Jupiter Hotels

Kew Green Hotels

King Communications

KSL Capital Partners

Lime Venue Portfolio

M&IT Magazine

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Malmaison & Hotel du Vin

Marketing Planning Associates

Marriott Hotels

Menzies Hotels


MG Sales Performance

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Nationwide Building Society

O'Callaghan Hotels

Park Plaza

Four Pillars Hotels

PKF hotelexperts GmbH

Puma Hotels Collection


Qbic Hotels


Quadriga Worldwide

Redefine | BDL Hotels

Richmond Hill Hotel

Robinson College

Rocco Forte Hotels

Roost Hospitality

SACO The Serviced Apartment Company

Shire Hotels


Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Sundial Group

The Apartment Service

The Beardmore Hotel & Conference Centre

The Gleneagles Hotel

The Landmark London

The Lensbury

The Link Hotel

The Profitable Hotel Company


Twickenham Stadium

Vision Hospitality Asset Management

Visit East Anglia


Warren House

Warwick Conferences

Woodland Grange

Zeal Hotels

Past Events


Path to purchase

Hotel guest priorities

Have I lost business to the sharing economy?

Successful loyalty programmes

Financial value of a brand


Hotel security

The inbound traveller

New hotel brands

OTA and hotel relationships

Performance of asset classes


Update on the UK hotel and travel market

Future of the meetings industry

Why venue bookers use agents

Meetings/conference bookers panel


Evolution of leisure marketing and the leisure consumer

What gets people talking about your brand

Mobile booking

Live focus group - frequent hotel stayers

Defining and implementing a leisure marketing strategy

News and views

Generational Marketing - are we missing the point?

13th December 2017

In this video, voted ‘Best Paper’ at the Asia Research Seminar, we present findings from the travel, tourism and visitor attractions market on how generations can be different, but how we also need to be cautious about stereotyping and missing opportunities.

Missing the big business opportunity of small meetings

10th November 2017

In theory, the small meetings bookers should be easier to satisfy as there are fewer delegates to worry about, and the event itself is likely to involve fewer complexities. Yet those holding small events are less likely to recommend a venue relative to larger events.

Round up of Hotel Insights Forum 2017

30th October 2017

At the 2017 Hotel Insights Forum 120 senior hotels and meetings professionals gathered together to discuss and hear the latest research insights on the hotels market. Event sponsor, Clarity, filmed the event and produced a short video summarising the day.

How well are Hotel Brands performing #CX on #twitter?…

Join in the conversation #2017HIF

14th September 2017

The Hotel Insights Forum has been providing the hotels and hospitality industry with market insight at an annual event for nine years now. The event is hosted by BDRC Continental, a market research consultancy with over two decades of hotels and hospitality research expertise.

Amba Hotel Marble Arch


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