60-second interview: Sir Rocco Forte

Yasmin Arrigo meets the chairman and chief executive of the Rocco Forte Collection.

Sir Rocco Forte
Sir Rocco Forte

Is this your first time at Imex?

Yes, I flew out to speak at the Politicians Forum at Imex yesterday and then hosted dinner for 60 agencies at the Villa Kennedy.

How important is C&I business for the collection?

It is immensely important, representing about half of our business now. Meetings remain the dominant part of corporate business, and this was the most significant rise last year.

Which properties do particularly well for events?

Our collection in Germany is particularly well-suited to the market and our Abu Dhabi property also has some exciting spaces including a ballroom for 500. Verdura has also had some high-profile events including a car launch for BMW recently.

Does perception continue to affect bookings?

2009 was an incredibly difficult year for all of us I think, and in the immediate wake of the Lehmans collapse, so there were cancellations from banks and financial companies. But the bottom line is that if an event is incentive-based, you need a good backdrop. And often, if the service, surrounds and food is better in a five-star, then it results in increased productivity from the meeting too.

Which properties are set to open next?

We have a beautiful property under development in Jeddah, and we envisage a launch in 2013. We are also working on a development in Beirut and I constantly look at all the major cities such as New York, Milan and Paris.

Where do you hold your annual conference?

We’ve held it at our Verdura property for the past three years. It is a two day meeting, including a review of the year and workshops to focus on strategic planning for the year ahead.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Sledge aquires SWM Partners

Sledge aquires SWM Partners

Pharmaceutical specialist with a turnover of £10m has been bought out by the live events agency.

Is demand for thrill-seeking incentives on the rise?

Is demand for thrill-seeking incentives on the rise?

We asked event planners whether demand for adventurous incentives has increased, in the State of the Industry report.

AIME increases numbers despite coronavirus

AIME increases numbers despite coronavirus

The conference saw a rise in registrations amid reduced levels of international travel.

Top incentive trends for 2020

Top incentive trends for 2020

We asked event planners what trends they have noticed in incentive travel for this year as part of the State of the Industry report.

Air New Zealand unveils lie-flat beds for economy passengers

Air New Zealand unveils lie-flat beds for economy passengers

The airline says the new design is a “game-changer” for economy-class customers on long-haul flights.

Hong Kong offers free venue hire amid coronavirus fears

Hong Kong offers free venue hire amid coronavirus fears

A government subsidy aims to reinvigorate the conferences and events industry after event cancellations.

Can video save events amid Coronavirus cancellations?

Can video save events amid Coronavirus cancellations?

Event industry must stop thinking 'if you’re not physically in the room, you’re a no-show’ says video platform CCO.

Top doctor reveals 12 ways to make events more accessible

Top doctor reveals 12 ways to make events more accessible

Doctor Helen Grote describes how to make events more inclusive for disabled delegates.

Emerging incentive destinations for 2020

Emerging incentive destinations for 2020

State of the Industry: Incentives report offers insight into the destinations event planners are booking compared to last year.

Bomb victim's mother fights to make venues safer

Bomb victim's mother fights to make venues safer

Home Office is consulting on 'Martyn's Law' to protect fans at concerts and large-scale events.

LATEST JOBS