HBAA appoints new venue sector advisors

The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has strengthened its leadership through the appointment of two venue sector advisors to its board.

Louisa Watson, director of marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, and Gareth Warnock, group sales director of De Vere, both join the trade association for the meetings, events and accommodation industry.

The positions have been created to “represent the depth and breadth” of the HBAA’s venue community, and Watson and Warnock will now bring their influence to HBAA’s board strategy and activities.

They join David Taylor, formerly managing director of Grass Roots Meetings and Events and a non-executive chairman of BCD Meetings and Events, who was appointed as an advisor at the end of last year.

In their new roles, Watson and Warnock will drive engagement within the HBAA’s venue community to “deliver relevant content and support aligned to their sectors’ needs”, which will also be complementary to the needs of agencies.

The HBAA said this will help its members navigate the path to recovery in partnership and will “validate the ways in which the association hosts, plans and delivers overall content in the future”.

Callum McLean, director of Business Partnerships at Capita Travel and Events and HBAA Membership director, said: “At the HBAA, we have ambitious plans in 2021 and our expansion is just the start of the Association’s future as we adjust to a world that has changed forever.

“Louisa and Gareth are highly experienced and well respected and will be fantastic leaders to support our #HBAAfuturefit vision and to meet the new challenges we are all faced with. These roles will specifically strengthen our commitment to recognising and representing the depth and breadth of our venue membership and will also support our agency community.”

Watson said: “Having been personally involved with the HBAA for six years and previously held roles as Marketing Committee chair, Venue chair for two years and more recently Sustainability chair, I am delighted to have been appointed to this role at such a challenging and pivotal time for the venue community. I am focused on adding value and bringing support to HBAA members in the ways they need it most as they return to business.”

Warnock added: “Having worked with and as part of the HBAA previously on various committees, projects and in the role of Venue Chair, I am delighted to be once again working with the HBAA in the capacity of Venue Sector Advisor.

“Drawing on my past and current experience as Group Sales Director at De Vere and previous experience of working for a global chain, I feel I can bring relevant insight and add value at a time where all parties need to work together collaboratively to rebuild our businesses and our industry.”

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