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The Making of The AHC Reimagined

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The AHC Reimagined was the first of its kind: a hybrid, with live interaction and a studio setting. As the world changed, we adapted. We brought the industry together in a hybrid conference setting, elevating the virtual event through a polished studio experience.  The virtual program, featuring some of the industry’s top speakers including Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, Desmond Taljaard, Managing Director – Hotels, London & Regional Properties, Hubert Viriot, CEO, Yotel, and Peter Hancock, Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels. The event was streamed to an audience of 650 hoteliers, investors, owners, operators, managers, designers, architects, consultants and more, alongside a series of topical breakout roundtables, 1:1 pre-scheduled meetings, impromptu networking, and a closing drinks reception with live music courtesy of a house band. Over 3,400 meeting and chat exchanges were made and 600 meetings took place. Find out how we brought the industry together to learn, network and be inspired in a reimagined way. 

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    Peter Hancock explained what it was like to be back at our AHC event, The AHC Reimagined.  By nature the hospitality industry loves to network with each other and learn from each other. There is pent up demand to engage with people there has huge impact on a lot of people, there is still a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on the staycation market.  Have you seen Peter's session with Deirdre Wells and Hubert Viriot? If not, catch it on demand here. "Re-Thinking Hospitality to Shape a New Normal"
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    We were lucky to catch a moment with Ben Harper after his session at The AHC Reimagined. Although he missed the live audience he said it was really good fun, good to be back at an event that he had missed hugely. "Now is the time to come together and help and support each other through it - this is a good forum as any to network and connect, we must keep talking." The future of lifestyle brands in the UK is very positive and the demand to travel remains.  Don't miss Ben's full session "In Conversation with a British Hotelier" with Emily Newman, available on demand now. 
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    "A moment with Thomas Emanuel" as he takes us through how he remains optimistic and confident in the sector and why it was good to be back at an event. He comments that "people want to travel, they want to meet and that won't go away". He also adds that the crisis has provided an opportunity of recognition for it's overall contribution to the economy. We caught up with Thomas, Director at STR, after his session at The AHC Reimagined last month when he presented "Checking the Data: Hotel Performance and Forecasts". Don't forget you can still watch his session on demand over here.
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    We asked Deirdre what it was like to reconnect with her peers in hospitality at The AHC Reimagined last month. "Its the networking that you miss, as an industry we have been doing really well to stay connected but hats off to AHC for trying something different" and that as an industry we are very good at sharing ideas and best practice, and we can always learn from each other. "Keep calm and keep investing because next year it will be better!" Deirdre Wells, CEO of Visit Kent joined Peter Hancock, Chief Executive at Pride of Britain Hotels and Hubert Viriot, CEO at YOTEL for their session "Re-Thinking Hospitality to Shape a New Normal" at The AHC Reimagined last month. Not to be missed, you can view on demand here.
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    What does reconnecting mean for the hospitality sector? That feeling of being in a room together, bouncing off each other's energy. The ability to share ideas and collaborate has accelerated during the crisis. Wyss foresees long term opportunities through maintaining that close collaboration and exploring all ideas across the wider team.  Julia Wyss, Associate Director of Hotel Investment Properties at CBRE Hotels moderated the panel "Returning to Profitability: Operational Efficiencies and New Revenue Opportunities" at The AHC Reimagined just a few weeks ago where she explored exactly what it has taken for operators to keep doors open during the crisis and that there is no such thing as a bad idea. If you haven't seen it yet, prepare to be inspired.  Julia was joined by her panel: Susan Bland, Managing Director at RBH Hospitality Management; Al Karim Nathoo, Managing Director of 4C Hotel Group and Stuart Symes, VP Franchise Operations at Accor Northern Europe. Watch the full session on demand here. 
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    Lionel Benjamin, CEO at Gullwing Hospitality remarks how fun it was to reconnect, in person, at The AHC Reimagined last month as well as the importance of getting back into hotels and leading by example that it is safe to do so. "Now is the time to really push staycations and explore the UK again". Lionel Joined Diane Scott and Stephen Welch for the session "Ending the Standoff: Managing the Lender-Owner-Tenant Relationship", which you can watch on demand here. Lionel discussed the hybrid lease model, supporting the owners and tenants with a more innovative and sustainable model as seen proposed to the Travelodge group
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    Michael Grove joined us after his presentation at The AHC Reimagined to tell us about what it was like being back at an event, reconnecting and networking with peers in the industry.  He highlights the importance of knowing your product and customer and using both your experience and the right data to get through the other side of this crisis  As Managing Director at HotStats, Michael presented the session "Mining the Data: Measuring Profitability". He took us though a realistic analysis of hotel performance in the UK and a look to the future. If you missed this you can watch it on demand now. 
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    Katten's Senior Hotel Consultant and AHC regular speaker Diane Scott, took us through how it felt to be back at The AHC. The importance of showing solidarity with the sector and how resilient it has been throughout the crisis, encouraging her peers to experience hotels and to "get the show back on the road".  If you haven't quite caught up with all of the content from The AHC Reimagined, Diane moderated the session "Ending the Standoff: Managing the Lender-Owner-Tenant Relationship" at The AHC Reimagined where asked all the right questions to Bank Leumi's Senior Relationship Manager of Hotel Finance, Stephen Welch and Gullwing Hospitality's CEO Lionel Benjamin including the risks and benefits of hybrid lease models from both perspectives. 
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    Emily Newman caught up with John Ashcroft just after his session at The AHC Reimagined to chat about reconnecting with the sector. John discusses the importance of connection and exchanging information within the industry and how the world has adapted to a more digital approach. "You cannot get away from that person to person contact" which he sees as one of the key drivers of recovery for 2021. You can catch John's full session from The AHC Reimagined, the Economic Outlook, here.  John Ashcroft founder, CEO and author of The Saturday Economist presented a thorough overview of the economic outlook in the UK and also globally - all without the aid of a script or slides. We couldn't believe it either. Join us now to learn and be inspired. 
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    We caught up with Keith Barr backstage at The AHC Reimagined to capture the sentiment of the event. Keith highlights the importance of the sector coming together as an industry, working together through this challenging time, inspiring growth and innovation throughout the supply chain and advocating to governments one voice and getting back to those record breaking occupancies seen before this crisis.  Don't miss Keith in the hot seat with BBC's chief correspondent Gavin Hewitt.