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Flexibility at the Hilton Brighton Metropole


Nov 22, 2010 | Editors

The public sector has been at the top of the news agenda in recent months. As well as announcing the loss of 490,000 public sector jobs as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the government has said that 192 quangos are to be scrapped.

So it is not surprising that many hotels and conference facilities are feeling the effects of the uneasiness in the public sector.

Martijn Dresen, director of business development at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, said public sector and government-funded organisations are nervous about confirming bookings and numbers.

"They have become more reluctant to sign contracts well in advance and they require a greater level of flexibility, which we are often more than happy to offer.

"We know it's hard, with cuts coming up and already happening, for them to commit to large numbers and big conferences if they don't know where they will be as an organisation in two or three months' time. So, a great level of flexibility is needed."

Despite the uneasiness in the public sector, the hotel has still had a busy few months, hosting a number of large-scale conferences, including aviation and pharmaceutical events.

Mr Dresen noted that the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) recently held an event in Brighton, with the hotel dealing with the overflow accommodation.

The ISPE, a US-based medical association, also held a conference at the hotel confirming over 1,200 room nights.

"We had many American participants, but also many people from Europe, south-east Asia [and] from all over the world."

The hotel's wide range of facilities is helping to attract events, added Charlotte Martelli, sales manager at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.

She noted that the hotel offers a "one-stop shop" for organisations which are planning an event.

"We have 28 meeting and function rooms and 340 bedrooms. In addition to this we have over 8,000 sq m of exhibition space."

And, after a hard day at a conference or exhibition, hotel guests can relax in the hotel's swimming pool, which is just over 14 metres long.

"We've got a fully equipped gym, six treatment rooms, a nail bar and hairdressers on site," she added.

These facilities are also helping to attract people on holidays, said Mr Dresen.

"What we've seen with the business is that we've benefitted from staycations and people staying at the hotel rather than heading abroad.

"We've seen a little shift from conference coming into leisure," he stated.

The hotel also offers a dedicated event manager for each event to help ensure the smooth planning of all conferences, meetings and exhibitions, Ms Martelli advised.

On the day of an event, a contact from the operations team will be on hand, who will be available right until the event has finished, she said.

Brighton's location, with such easy access to London and the sea on its doorstep, is also key to attracting event organisers to the hotel, she added.

And, with the UK economy picking up, the hotel is feeling optimistic. The run-up to Christmas will see the hotel busy hosting festive parties, while the first quarter of the new year also look promising, Mr Dresen stated. April is looking particularly good for the southern venue, he added.

"There is still a way to go, but business is definitely picking up for 2011," he concluded. ADNFCR-1752-ID-800249639-ADNFCR

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