Expotel division to fulfil planner remit

Hotel reservations company Expotel has launched a conference and event management division, Conference Solutions by Expotel. The company will find its clients conference venues and event management planners within four hours of initial request for meetings of fewer than 50 delegates. Meetings with more than 50 delegates will require a 24-hour turn-around time. “We have always offered a conference service, and as our involvement in the sector grew, we felt the time was right to offer a dedicated division,” said Expotel director Veena Lidbetter. “It also followed on from our clients demanding a comprehensive event management service.” Despite a growing number of conference and event management agencies in the UK, Lidbetter is confident the meetings industry is buoyant enough for a service such as Conference Solutions. “The market remains strong, although we have seen a trend towards clients downsizing the length of the conferences,” she said. Lidbetter added that one of the arm’s main selling points would be its ability to draw on the large-scale buying power already established through Expotel. Based in Stockport, the conference division will comprise 35 staff, led by Lidbetter and general manager Kathryn Czaja, who joins from the Manchester Consortium of Chambers of Commerce. Conference Solutions’ staff will focus solely on the meetings market, rather than be cross-trained to work on both the hotel and the conference division. Existing clients include Boots, Telewest, the Treasury and the BBC.

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