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
In pictures: SOTI Directors Dinner

In pictures: SOTI Directors Dinner

C&IT welcomed directors from the top 50 agencies at the Savoy, in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board.

New London office and senior hires for Seventa Events

New London office and senior hires for Seventa Events

Three new team members join the agency at its new Tobacco Dock headquarters.

Why good lighting at events is so important

Why good lighting at events is so important

Rob Myer, managing director at Light Fantastic, explains why theatrical expertise is helpful for lighting events.

Inspirational Venues & Events hires operational director

Inspirational Venues & Events hires operational director

Inspirational Venues & Events has appointed Amina Bentamoune as operations director.

How to exceed expectations rather than budgets

How to exceed expectations rather than budgets

'The element of surprise costs no more than the predictable,' says Steve Pinnock of Performance and Event Management.

8 activities in Hong Kong and Macao

8 activities in Hong Kong and Macao

Sip cocktails, visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island or ride rollercoasters in the 'Pearl of the Orient'.

Hotels of Abu Dhabi

Hotels of Abu Dhabi

The Middle Eastern destination offers the ultimate in luxury, with sandy resorts by the sea, spacious meeting rooms and sumptuous dining.

Sleek Events hires new commercial director

Sleek Events hires new commercial director

Boutique events agency adds a new top-level member of staff following 'exponential growth' since 2015.

World's most 'in-demand' event destinations for 2019 revealed

World's most 'in-demand' event destinations for 2019 revealed

Spain, Thailand and China top the list for event planners, with growing interest in Peru and European destinations, according to Pacific World.

Why are there 'more women' in the events industry?

Why are there 'more women' in the events industry?

Heléna Vella, head of incentive travel at SevenEvents, discusses why diversity in the events industry remains a challenge.

LATEST JOBS