So what EXACTLY IS the Catering Forum?
The Catering Forum has been designed to provide the following opportunities:
* One-to-one business meetings The opportunity to select from a wide range of delegates/suppliers who you want to be included in your personal itinerary as one-to-one half-hour meetings.
* Conference programme Select from a comprehensive programme of keynote sessions, seminars, workshops and think-tanks, attending only those that you consider relevant to your needs and interests.
* Networking The seniority of the audience on board, the interactive format of the conference programme, the prescheduled meetings and focused environment, are all elements that make the event an excellent opportunity for networking with peers.
Who are the main Speakers?
* Luke Johnson, Riskcapital Partners and chairman of Signature Restaurants, gives the opening address on "The importance of risk-taking in business".
* Ian Thomas, business consultant, author and ex-game ranger on "The power of the pride".
* Ruth McNeil - director hospitality and trading services, Manchester City Council on "The Commonwealth Games - how Manchester has risen to the challenge".
*\ Bob Cotton** - chief executive, British Hospitality Association, discusses "Getting tourism on the national agenda - working towards a co-ordinated approach to tourism".
* "The job centre" - Esther O'Halloran, recruitment and retention manager at Pret A Manger, chairs a seminar about Pret's way of dealing with the staff crisis.
* "Keep it moving" - Daniel Eilon, head of media, Campbell Hooper, on establishing and maintaining brand values - and keeping them fresh.
* "Brand new" - Leo Beaumont, client services director at Butcher & Gundersen, on sound marketing and good brand design - turning the mundane into the magnificent and creating a happy customer.
* "It's the economy, stupid: the big forces that drive your business" - Dougie Adams, head of strategic development at Oxford Economic Forecasting.
And Workshops? Among the topics to be covered in the workshops are "thinking out of the box" - the "Creative thinking" session, where delegates will be set a series of challenges to conjure with.
On a more serious note is licensing reform. Two experts from The Publican will talk about the impact of the new laws and what you need to do to prepare.
Improve your chances of success without breaking the bank is the theme for "Delivering the next big thing", and the morality v capitalism issues will be tackled at the "Health of the nation" workshop, chaired by Michael da Costa, managing director of advice service The Food Doctor.
In another topical workshop, Ian McKerracher, director of Live to Eat, will ask whether restaurant critics have a valid set of criteria against which operations are judged, or whether it's all hype and PR-spend.
There will also be talks and discussion groups on topics as varied as Sauvignon Blanc from different countries and coping with stress to dealing with EHOs.
There will be tours of the galley in the P&O ship Aurora, advice on cutting costs, and all you need to know about the Disability Discrimination Act from Susan Thomas, head of leisure development at the Royal National Institute for the Blind. And all in just four days!
For more information on The Catering Forum 2003, visit our website at www.cateringforum.com
The Catering Forum 2003
Dates: 11-14 June 2003
Where: P&O's ship MV Aurora, sailing from Southampton, typically to the Channel Islands.
Who: 450 delegates from the industry, 150 suppliers and 50 speakers, and around 10 members of the press.
Format: Delegates and suppliers select who they wish to meet and which conference sessions to attend. The Richmond Events' computerised appointment system then builds a personal itinerary for every participant.
Benefits: Good networking opportunity, a time-efficient way for suppliers to meet delegates and an innovative conference programme geared to offer practical solutions to real problems.
Cost: Delegate attendance is free, but by invitation only. Supplier attendance is paid for, the cost of which is dependent on the category of package.