HBAA annual dinner rings in New Year with positivity

The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) took its recent annual dinner as an opportunity to welcome Chris Parnham as its chairman for 2013 and raise over £23,000 for charity.

Taking place at the Brewery in London on 11 January, the dinner – an annual highlight of the HBAA calendar – brought over 350 agents and hoteliers together to welcome Chris Parnham, the association’s chairman for 2013, as he shared his vision for the coming year.

“The HBAA has always delivered great benefit to the industry, whether it’s thought leadership, a consistent and proper code of conduct, or training to improve service and delivery,” said Parnham.

“I just want to do more of it. I want more training, more inclusion, so that venue and agent members feel they are getting equal value from the association, more relevant content at meetings and events, and more speed. Things can never move fast enough for me!”

Parnham also outlined his plans for the ‘Chairman’s Charity’, whereby HBAA fundraising profits are donated directly to a charity of the chairman’s choice.

“MAD, or the Make a Difference Trust, unites the UK’s fantastic entertainment industry and uses its stars, audiences, influence and its appeal to raise money, awareness and hope for those living with AIDS, HIV or other long-term chronic illnesses,” Parnham said of his chairman’s charity choice, the Make a Difference Trust.

“Due to our association with this fantastic and worthy charity, next year’s dinner will have a real ‘West End’ feel to it, and throughout 2013, members of the HBAA will be invited to attend some amazing fundraising events, which will delight as well as raise much needed funds.”

More than £23,000 was raised for charity at the dinner, through raffle items and auction lots such as a Giant Panda viewing at Edinburgh Zoo; a wine and balloon experience; and four nights’ B&B for two in the executive suite at the brand new JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai.

The dinner also marked the final official engagement on behalf of the HBAA for the association’s executive director Peter Ducker, who now assumes his position as chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality.

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