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Published on June 1, 2017

IN our continued efforts to assist members to increase revenue and generate business, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) hosted it’s first-ever Speed Networking Seminar on Wednesday, May 24 and it was a total success.

The event, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, attracted 30 BHTA Direct Tourism Services (DTS) and Supporting Services members and gave them the opportunity to network, present and sell their products and services to BHTA Accommodation members.

Robyn Gollop-Knight, Chairman of the BHTA Membership Committee, explained that the session was a one of a kind opportunity for members: “The feedback has been great. The Speed Networking session was structured to give our DTS and Supporting Services members the opportunity to engage our member hoteliers and villa owners/managers with the view to increasing business and from all reports that is exactly what was achieved.

“It was very fast paced and exciting as each DTS/Supporting Services Member had three minutes to present to an Accommodation member, moving around the room until they presented to all, with 30 seconds breaks in between each presentation.”

One participant, Raquel Cozier, Managing Director of Baby Gear Hire, said: “The seminar was great. It allowed us to meet people we don’t normally have direct contact with. The feed-back we got from the interaction with the hotels is that there is a need for our services. Some did not even know that we existed, so we were able to introduce them to our offerings.

“We became members of the Association only earlier this year and it has been very beneficial for the business as it has allowed us to have more one-on-one contact with the holiday accommodation sector. It has allowed us to get our name out there and we hope that the Association continues with more sessions like today, especially as the membership grows.”

Gayle Headley-Lowe, Executive Director of Intimate Hotels Barbados, said the seminar was a wonderful experience: “This is my first time participating in one of these sessions in Barbados and I must say that it was well executed. I got introduced to a few companies I was not aware of including tour operators and even a glass-blowing company. It was a great experience, one I would want to see planned again and which I would recommend to other members.”

Chairman of the BHTA, Roseanne Myers, called it a fantastic initiative which the Association plans to take to the wider business community: “This was the internal networking session for members. Next we want to open it up to other businesses including the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, to allow them to pitch to the membership in a similar way. We are also hoping that during CARIFESTA we can host a similar session for businesses coming in for the festival from across the Caribbean.”

CEO of the Association, Rudy Grant, echoed the Chairman’s remarks stating that from the planning stages it was clear the session would provide significant value for members. He said, “While on a day-to-day basis we engage in actions to ensure that we represent the interest of our members, we also have to recognize that within our membership there is great value in partnerships. Therefore the ability to bring DTS and Accommodation members together makes good sense, especially in a setting such as this.

“Today’s activity provided the opportunity, in a very structured way, for our members to meet and showcase their businesses. It also provided them with the opportunity to maximize their return on investment. The reality is that all of our members are involved in different business activities to make money and the development of relationships is very important in that process. Our hope was to provide that opportunity for them with the Speed Networking Session.”

BHTA`s DTS and Supporting Services Members came out in full force to participate in the Association`s first-ever Speed Networking Session aimed at increasing revenue and generating business for members.


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