Michael Gray, general manager of the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill and conference chairman of the forthcoming Master Innholders General Managers' Conference, says sharing ideas will be vital as the industry prepares for recession
As we enter a very difficult trading period this year, I am sure most of my general manager colleagues share my nervousness about what 2009 will bring. The credit crunch and the consumer slowdown hit us so quickly that we haven't really had time to digest the issues. I know we have a burning need to discuss the implications and to decide what we must urgently do to ride the storm so that we come out of it relatively unscathed.
That is why I am so much looking forward to the forthcoming General Managers' Conference, being held on Monday week. It could not be more timely. It will provide the ideal opportunity to discuss the issues and to hear from others.
The conference is unquestionably the most important event of its kind in the hotelier's calendar, but never more so than this year. We all need to seek inspiration in these challenging times and gain competitive edge. For our younger colleagues, this may be the first recession they have faced, so the conference will undoubtedly provide them with plenty of advice from colleagues who have faced similar hard times in the past.
Sir Keith Mills, who developed Air Miles and Nectar points, is the president and chief executive of the London 2012 Olympics and will be discussing how the industry should benefit from the forthcoming games.
Gerald Ratner, who now runs an online jewellery business, will tell us how he stepped back from the brink after his famous gaffe about the quality of his product.
I understand that ticket sales have been brisk, but there is still time to book your place in the next few days. See you there.
Book your place
The General Managers' Conference, organised by the Master Innholders, is being held on 19-20 January at the Landmark hotel, London.
To book your place, call Camilla Woods on 020 7269 9697. For a programme and booking form visit www.masterinnholders.co.uk.