The 2017 Hotel Insights Forum will be announced soon, take a look back at what happened in 2016 below.

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Hotel Insights Forum is a full day event, driven by our exclusive customer insight data. Luminaries of the industry will tackle the threats, opportunities & challenges we face.

09:00 - 09:40 Coffee on arrival and conference welcome

09:40 - 10:20 State of the Nation

Dr Cris Tarrant (CEO, BDRC Group) and David Bailey (CBRE Hotels) deliver their landmark presentations for another year, providing their annual update on trends affecting the UK hotel sector.

10:20 - 11:20 Path to purchase - do I still need a sales team?

James Bland considers the booking journey of business and leisure travellers, then an expert panel give their thoughts on the most effective strategy for a hotel to pursue.
Confirmed panellists:
Ciara Crossan- WeddingDates
Julie Fawcett - Qbic Hotels
Stuart Harrison - The Profitable Hotel Company
Sarah Lim – Google
Frank Reeves - Avvio


11:35 - 12:05 Fact, fiction or fad - what do hotel guests really look for?

Leonie Bulman examines the priorities of business and leisure travellers of all ages, whether travelling domestically in Britain or coming here from overseas.

12:05 - 13:05 Have I actually lost business to the sharing economy?

Tim Sander and Leonie Bulman of BDRC Continental present the findings of BDRC’s traveller research into the sharing economy, followed by reaction from industry experts.

Confirmed panellists:

Harry Douglass – HVS
Robert Nadler - Nadler Hotels
Andrew Sangster - Hotel Analyst
Tracey Stephenson - Staying Cool
Max Thorne - JLL Aparthotel specialist


13:05 - 14:00 Complimentary lunch & networking

14:00 - 15:10 Loyalty - learn from the best

Matt Costin and Mike Ashton cast a critical eye over the hotel loyalty landscape, and then a cross-sector panel considers the future of customer loyalty. Followed by coffee.

Confirmed panellists:

Mike Ashton - ABCG
Iain Webster - ICLP Loyalty
Hilary Murphy - Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
Elina Zois - Marriott International


15:10 - 16:00 Why should I brand my hotel?

Dr Cris Tarrant closes the conference with analysis of the price premium that a hotel brand commands, and diagnosis of what can help to drive it.

"I have been in the events industry some 20 years and now working with glh I found that attending Hotel Insights Forum gave an alternative view of hotels and their perceived value to the customer. The data shared has proved to be invaluable and the contacts made have added to the overall great experience of attending."

Danny Yates, glh Hotels



Mike Ashton ABCG

Mike Ashton is managing director of customer experience specialists ABCG. ABCG help clients in the UK and Europe transform customer experience by building management and front line capability.   Mike works with a diverse client roster including Avon, Oracle, RBS, BaxterStorey, Rocco Forte Hotels and Tetra Pak.


David Bailey CBRE

David Bailey is a Senior Director at CBRE Hotels EMEA and heads the Consultancy Services area of the business. David has 25+ years' hotel consultancy experience, specialising in project marketing, financial and investment appraisal and strategy development.

James Bland BDRC Continental

As head of Hotels research, James oversees our customer experience, feedback and mystery shopping benchmarks. His industry background (first in operations and then brand marketing) brings real perspective to performance data, enabling hotels and meeting venues to reveal the key insights that will help them delight their guests.

Leonie Bulman BDRC Continental

Leonie is an Associate Director at BDRC - specialist in helping hotel, travel and leisure brands gain a competitive advantage by optimising customer experience, communications and routes to market.

Matt Costin BDRC Continental

As Director of BDRC's 'On the Move' division, Matt is an expert in the fields of branding and customer experience, and is a recognised authority on the Hotel sector. Alongside his management responsibilities, he retains a hands-on role with custom research and consultancy assignments, as well as BDRC’s global Hotel Guest Survey and VenueVerdict programme.

Ciara Crossan WeddingDates

Ciara is a tech entrepreneur who founded WeddingDates, a web service that matches couples searching for the perfect wedding venue with hotels / venues looking to generate leads and qualified enquiries for their available dates.  Ciara was shortlisted as “Outstanding Entrepreneur” in the UK Women 1st SHINE Awards in 2013.

Harry Douglass HVS

Harry Douglass is a member of the HVS London office’s valuation and consultancy division. In addition to providing development consultancy services across EMEA for new hotel developments, Harry is also involved in the commercialization of the hybrid hotel and hostel sectors which have experienced somewhat of a renaissance as key components of the wider sharing economy.

Julie Fawcett Qbic Hotels

As a digital entrepreneur, Julie applies her knowledge in the interaction of humans, systems and data to creating value across a wide range of PE backed consumer facing businesses, each with the same goal in mind: make the machine make it better for the human. Julie works for a fast growing hotel business very intent on doing things differently and using IT systems to achieve just that.

Stuart Harrison The Profitable Hotel Company

Stuart Harrison is one of the leading brand and marketing strategists within the UK hospitality and leisure industry. He has an unparalleled track record in building brand awareness, brand equity and commercial growth within the sector, including brand work with Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Marriott Hotels.

Sarah Lim Google

Sarah Lim is an industry manager with the hospitality team at Google UK. She is currently working with UK based hotels, accommodations, and tourist boards, where she helps them navigate the digital landscape, growing their online presence to ensure digital advertising is a key revenue driver for their business.

Hilary Murphy Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Hilary Murphy, Ph.D. is a Professor of Digital Marketing, Customer Information Management and Strategic IT at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. A leading expert with a focus on digital marketing, online consumer behaviour and technology applications in the hospitality industry.  Hilary has been keynote speaker and participated on panels at many hospitality events. Her research has been published in many outlets and she has won many industry research awards.

Robert Nadler Nadler Hotels

Robert opened his first hotel in Kensington in 2006, inspired by what he wanted as a guest, creating an individual and original concept in designer boutique hotels based around an ethos of sustainability. Nadler Hotels edit out the typical hotel restaurant, gym and bar. Instead, the expert concierge team focus on encouraging guests to benefit from their in-depth, local knowledge.

Frank Reeves Avvio

Over the past decade, Frank has acquired a reputation for being the hoteliers’ ‘ champion’. Since co-founding Avvio in 2003, Frank has led his team to consistently break new ground - delivering cutting edge technology that enables hotels to drive transformational growth in direct bookings, while reducing their dependence on high-commission OTA revenue channels.

Tim Sander

Tim is a Director at BDRC Continental expert in transport, hospitality, travel and leisure sectors, with specialisms in brand and product research. Over recent years Tim has helped brands to launch in new markets or to improve their market positioning.

Andrew Sangster Hotel Analyst

Andrew Sangster is editor of Hotel Analyst, the monthly newsletter for the hotel investment community. Andrew has become a respected authority in his field, making regular appearances both in broadcast and print. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast News, CNBC and Reuters TV.

Tracey Stephenson Staying Cool (stylish serviced apartments)

Tracey has over 20 years’ experience in marketing.  Tracey co-founded Staying Cool with Paul Taylor, almost a decade ago. Staying Cool is a multi-award winning, design-led serviced apartment company based in Birmingham that fills the gap between boutique hotels and holiday rentals.

Cris Tarrant BDRC Group

MRS Fellow and founder of the BDRC Group, Cris is a highly experienced and award winning customer insight professional with an outstanding reputation for pinpointing the business implications of research findings. Cris has extensive global experience including customer service and brand perception work.

Max Thorne JLL

Max has had over 20 years’ experience in property and hospitality. Having previously held the roles of CEO and Vice President at apartment hotels brands, he now advises several businesses alongside being MD of hospitality for JLL, the words leading property adviser.

Elina Zois

Elina Zois is Director of Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management, Europe at Marriott International. Elina has been in the role for two years and is responsible for growing and activating the Marriott Rewards member base in Europe.

Iain Webster ICLP Worldwide

Iain is a seasoned loyalty change specialist, having previously spent over 20 years client-side, in senior management roles at British Airways and Qatar Airways. He has also worked as VP International for, the world’s first and largest online points exchange, and also IBS, the India based airline software services company.

Previous Attendees

Abbey Hotel


Apex Hotels

Avington Financial

Bespoke Hotels

Boutique Hotel Media

Bridget Baker Consulting

Carlson Rezidor

Casna Group

Cathedral Hotels


Center Parcs

Charing Cross Hotel

Church House Conference Centre


Conference Centres of Excellence

Custard Communications

De Vere Hotel Group

De Vere Venues

Dolce Hotels & Resorts

Event Marketing Association

EPS Associates

etc venues

Firmdale Hotels

Frank Croston

Gallowglass Health and Safety LLP

glh Hotels


Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Hilton Worldwide

Hotel Analyst

Hotel Marketing Association



IM London

imago @ Loughborough


International Association of Conference Centres

Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Jersey Business Events

Jupiter Hotels

Kew Green Hotels

King Communications

KSL Capital Partners

Lime Venue Portfolio

M&IT Magazine

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Malmaison & Hotel du Vin

Marketing Planning Associates

Marriott Hotels

Menzies Hotels


MG Sales Performance

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Nationwide Building Society

O'Callaghan Hotels

Park Plaza

Four Pillars Hotels

PKF hotelexperts GmbH

Puma Hotels Collection


Qbic Hotels


Quadriga Worldwide

Redefine | BDL Hotels

Richmond Hill Hotel

Robinson College

Rocco Forte Hotels

Roost Hospitality

SACO The Serviced Apartment Company

Shire Hotels


Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Sundial Group

The Apartment Service

The Beardmore Hotel & Conference Centre

The Gleneagles Hotel

The Landmark London

The Lensbury

The Link Hotel

The Profitable Hotel Company


Twickenham Stadium

Vision Hospitality Asset Management

Visit East Anglia


Warren House

Warwick Conferences

Woodland Grange

Zeal Hotels

News and views

Serviced apartments – freedom and the path-to-purchase

22nd November 2016

Serviced apartment brands are gaining recognition among consumers. However, our street interviews revealed that there is a lack of clarity about what serviced apartment brands stand for. Most importantly, the sector is missing an opportunity to tap into the core reasons for using a serviced apartment...

Data security – not just for the IT geeks

16th November 2016

We are delighted to be one of a handful of market research agencies to hold both ISO 20252 (quality standards) and ISO 27001 (data security). Following our successful ISO 27001 certification in October, what are the lessons we learned along the way?

Shots fired.  Can anyone win the ‘Booking Channel’ war?

27th October 2016

Make no mistake, we are in a state of war. Hotels and online travel agencies (OTAs) are slugging it out via mainstream advertising channels to claim the disputed country of ‘Booking Journey’. At stake: ownership of the customer and a not insignificant amount of money.

How well are Hotel Brands performing #CX on #twitter?…

Join in the conversation #HIF2016

15th September 2016

The Hotel Insights Forum has been providing the hotels and hospitality industry with market insight at an annual event for eight years now. The event is hosted by BDRC Continental, a market research consultancy with over two decades of hotels and hospitality research expertise.

Amba Hotel Charing Cross


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