SAN hosts ENGAGE travel buyer event in London

UK: Serviced Apartment News brought together more than 20 the most influential corporate travel buyers in the UK to take part in the inaugural ENGAGE event this week.

Held in conjunction with the 2019 Serviced Apartment Summit Europe in London, the buyers participated with a select number of serviced apartment accommodation providers and other complementary accommodation innovators in a unique collaborative and thought provoking format.

The format encouraged the group to share problems, challenges and ideas to stimulate innovation and best practice.

Among the companies in attendance were EA, GE, Beazley, Fidelity International, Pinsent Masons LLP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Investec Asset Management, Ernst and Young, and Aviva.

The program included an introduction and welcome by IHM's Caroline Evans and Jo Layton, director of CAP Worldwide Serviced Apartments. There followed a guided visualisations session with Craig Goldblatt and round table debates hosted by the travel buyers.

Round table topics included:

• The future of reporting tools for the alternative accommodation space – Are the buyers getting the management information they need, and are alternative accommodation suppliers providing it?
• Loyalty versus reward dilemma. Is a loyalty scheme vital for survival?
• Adapting corporate travel programmes to focus on business traveller’s mental health and wellbeing – what is everyone doing to embrace this? • Live availability for cross selling each other’s products does it exist in reality? 
• The blurring lines of the TMC and apartment agent – should they be one or are they already one?
• What is wrong with the RFP/RIP to the RFP? Debate. What’s wrong and right with the RFP is it time for disruption?

Thomas Emanuel of STR gave a snap review of the last 12 months in the bespoke accommodation space and a glimpse in to the future before a debate entitled Battle of the Accommodation providers, hosted by Catherine Chetwynd of Buying Business Travel.

This was the first time many of the buyers had been presented to by leaders win the respective sectors represented - hotels, serviced apartments, hostels, short-tern rentals, and colliding/coworking - all in the same session.

The feedback from the buyers towards ENGAGE has been extremely positive, and the event was a valuable complementary educational opportunity to the Summit.

If you would be interested in participating or sponsoring future ENGAGE events, please call 0208 340 7989 or email info@internationalhositality.media

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This is the third time I have participated in the Summit and I see it as unique in terms of the quality of the audience and the quality of the topics discussed.

Fahd Elfwaz, board member, Taiba Holdings

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