Hoteliers from across the UK gathered for the 13th AHC held at the Hilton Deansgate Hotel in Manchester last week for a conference complete with a wide variety of presentations, panel discussions and workshops interspersed with multiple networking and socialising opportunities.
Nearly 800 delegates attended The AHC which is firmly established across the sector as the event for the hotel owner/operator in the UK. A wealth of practical knowledge was imparted and shared by a host of industry experts.
There was a notable shift in attitude towards industry disruptors from one of caution historically to one that embraced the challenges and uses them to the advantage of the environment. Thomas Dubaere, COO HotelServices – AccorHotels UK & Ireland in his opening address said “I chose to disrupt” and stated that disrupting is a mindset for all ages that can empower any business. This led to several references to millennials, their consumer habits, preferences and behaviours. In a presentation from BDRC, the delegation was informed that millennials have little interest in brands but are guided by user generated content in their purchasing decisions. Several speakers noted that whilst the current trends in the hospitality industry were first displayed by millennials, these habits and behaviours are now being adopted by other demographics and the industry must continue to adapt and respond. Doris and Dicky co-founder Roxane Gergaud explained that they were focused on creating authentic experiences and human connections as this was clearly an important factor for travellers today. This theme neatly concluded when Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels said that “storytelling would be the new buzz word” in the final panel discussion. An additional point to note, that was echoed by Trevor Williams from the University of Derby during the Economic Overview, Ufi Ibrahim, CEO, British Hospitality Association and Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief Executive UKinbound, was the potential significant impact on UK hospitality if the proposed plans to drastically reduce the number of unskilled migrants comes into force.
The intrepid team from the Great Hotel Bike Ride who cycled from London to Manchester for the start of The AHC have so far raised in excess of £10,000 for charity. An incredible achievement and any further donations can be made here.
A comprehensive review of the event is available here.
The conference highlights video is available to view here and the 2017 dates for your diary are the 11th and 12th October.
The AHC Team
Learn. Network. Be Inspired.