The AHC 2020 Advisory Board - An Insider's Look

Brightcove Video

The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) 2020 Advisory Board took place earlier this month, at the newly opened nhow Hotel, London. The 190-room hotel opened in summer 2019 under NH Hotel Group’s design and lifestyle brand and is the second property in the UK for the company. Under the theme ‘London Reloaded’, the design combines traditional British icons with unconventional contemporary elements.   

A fitting venue for a thought provoking and collaborative meeting with some of the great minds from across the hospitality industry and champions of The AHC. 

The advisory board meeting serves to garner insight into the most pressing issues currently facing the industry which we, in turn, use as the foundations for the conference programme ensuring it includes the most relevant topics and discussions for those attending The AHC. 

Within the introduction to the meeting, Alexi Khajavi, Managing Director of Questex Hospitality Group shared the news that the 2020 AHC will relocate to the Manchester Central Convention Complex with event dates of 21-22nd September 2020. Moving to a new venue is a direct response to feedback from our loyal audience and brings fresh opportunity for new formats and topics, additional markets such as Adjacent Spaces and innovative and experiential networking. The AHC objective remains to be the leading platform for the UK hospitality industry, to grow participation from hotel owners, to build and deliver an engaging conference programme and to facilitate year-round learning and networking.    

A question based brainstorming method was applied to the remained of the meeting with some of the salient points from this highly engaged group noted as: 

  • The impression that the industry was relaxed about disruption and now sees it as an excepted part of the business  

  • The notion of ‘what is a hotel’ is very fluid with adjacent spaces being embraced as part of the hospitality spectrum 

  • Sustainability permeates every aspect of the hotel eco-system and continues to dominate the top of most agendas 

  • Will the pursuit of travel, as we currently see it, still exist in the future? 

  • With a continued supply boom and strong pipeline across the UK, when is too much?Interestingly, the majority of UK supply pipeline is independent 

  • A request to hear from other industries currently experiencing the same issues as hospitality, aviation and retail suggested as examples. 

  • No other industry has so many layers of engagement, from owner, operator, brand and asset management, and that creates a unique environment that requires solutions 

A short highlights video of The AHC 2020 Advisory Board can be found here. For those who prefer to view these things rather then read them, we created a wrap up video summarising the talking points, mood in the room and industry sentiment which can be viewed here.  

Our sincere thanks to the following for their time, energy, support and contributions during the meeting: 

  • Ben Harper, Managing Director, Watergate Bay and Another Place Ltd.  

  • Carl Ridgley, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield  

  • Dan Williams, Head of Hotel & Real Estate Finance, Clydesdale Bank  

  • David Curtis-Brignell, Deputy Chief Executive, Visit Kent  

  • David Goodman, Director of Sales, Duetto  

  • Laura Sharpe, General Manager, Ham Yard Hotel  

  • Lissa Engle, Managing Director, Berkeley Capital Group  

  • Mark Haywood, Senior Vice President – Europe, RateGain  

  • Nick Barton, Chief Commercial Officer, edyn  

  • Paul Gorry, Principal Sales & Marketing Manager, Willmott Dixon  

  • Peter Anscomb, Senior Corporate Director, Edwardian Hotels London  

  • Philip Lassman, VP Development North Europe, Accor  

  • Robert Holland, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Hotelpartner  

  • Robert Alley, Chief Operating Officer, Roomzzz Aparthotels  

  • Sarah Green, Development Director - UK & Ireland, Hilton Hotels  

  • Shona Whitehead, Managing Partner, Cogent Blue Ltd  

  • Thomas Emanuel, Director, STR  

  • Tim Walton, Vice President - International Hotel Development, Marriott  


Registration for The AHC 2020 will open very soon – stay tuned for the green light! We look forward to welcoming you to Manchester Central on the 21-22nd September to Learn, Network and BeInspired. 

In the meantime, as part of the Questex family, we invite you to join us at both The InternationalHospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) 2-4th March 2020 and Adjacent Spaces on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 taking place at The InterContinental Berlin and across the road at The Pullman HotelSchweizerhof Berlin, respectively. 

The AHC Team