Venue bosses worried about alcohol price rises

Those booking corporate Christmas parties in the next few years may have to start setting aside some more cash for alcohol as pub bosses predict £6-a-pint prices in 2014.

That’s according to a number of pub industry chiefs, cited by londonlovesbusiness.com, who see themselves as little more than tax collectors’ for the treasury.

With £1 in every £3 spent on a pint going to the Treasury, prices could potentially rise to £6 in some cities ‘unless the government acts’. At the moment, the average pint of beer in London costs £3.50 – a far cry from the 83 pence charged back in 1987.

Speaking to thesun.co.uk Mike Benner, from the Campaign for Real Ale, said that rising prices have the potential to ‘cripple’ the industry.

“For too long Britain’s beer drinks have been forced to ensure inflation-busting rates of tax on their print,” he said. “The future of Britain’s valued community pubs remains in jeopardy. It is only hoped that Parliament will vote to review the punitive taxation policies on Britain’s national drink.”

In addition, a spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association stated: “With tax hikes planned in every budget, £6 a pint is certainly possible in some venues, if the Government refuses to act on the damage being done by its Beer Tax escalator.”

Best wedding photos outlined

Wedding guests have been advised on the “must have” photographs they should take when friends or family tie the knot.

Information portal getwed.com has detailed the most iconic shots to best document a wedding, including some classic images which no ceremony or reception should be without.

During the ceremony itself, the moment a couple exchanges their vows is offered as one of the best as it will often capture the most tender moment as they look into one another’s eyes. Likewise, just afterward, the first kiss as husband and wife is not only incredibly romantic but often shows a real relief that the most difficult part is over.

A last shot as the newlyweds walk up the aisle is also given as one “not to miss”.

Once the ceremony has come to an end, the photographs turn decidedly more lighthearted, such as the iconic image of the couple stood outside the venue walking through a flurry of confetti. Around this, “action shots” of the couple celebrating with friends and family also show a true and natural side to proceedings.

At the wedding reception venue, guests who can find their way into the hall before everyone else takes their seats can capture a stillness which also shows the hard work gone into the decor by organisers. Likewise, it can also be the location for great shots of the groom, best man and father of the bride as they stand to give their speeches.

Lastly, the dance floor provides great opportunities for fun photographs, yahoo.com explains, as it offers the most natural and improvised images of the entire night. It also allows the bride and groom a chance to see afterward what was going on, as they have no doubt been busy for much of the evening speaking to those in attendance.

Book wedding venue as soon as possible, advises expert

Booking a wedding ceremony venue and a wedding reception venue as soon as possible could help save couples money, according to wedding expert Katie Mercado.

Writing for baltimoresun.com, Mercado claims booking a wedding venue early could save some money in the long run. Also, some locations also have some secret incentives for those who book early.

In addition, realsimple.com suggests scheduling the wedding in off-peak times when there’s less competition for dates.

There are plenty of other ways to save money on the big day, such as deciding on a set menu or making a family style meal at home.

“This allows everyone to have options without going overboard on cost. You can also opt to bring your own dessert at most places. This allows you to add a personal flair – and for less,” she confirmed.

Flowers can also be used for every occasion – from the ceremony to the meal. This could give savings of up to (approximately) £625, added Mercado.

“Make it so your ceremony flowers can then be moved to serve as centrepieces and your bridesmaid bouquets can dress up the cake table,” she said. “For example, use pomanders (balls of flowers) during the ceremony, with ribbon so they can hang at the end of each row; then, move them inside to sit as centrepieces during the reception.”

Dennis Hone to take charge of London Legacy Development Corporation

Dennis Hone has been appointed as permanent chief executive officer of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Hone had been acting as interim chief since the 2012 Olympic Games drew to a close in August, but Mr Johnson, also chairman of LLDC, has now made his role permanent.

This means Mr Hone will be charged with the responsibility of preserving the Olympic legacy and its sites in a bid to drive business into the capital. 

Announcing the news, Mr Johnson declared: “It is my top priority to transmute the success of this summer into solid economic returns to benefit London for decades to come. Dennis brings a wealth of skills and experience vital to helping bring are ambitious plans to fruition.”

A great deal of the now permanent chief’s focus will be placed upon developing the sites in East London, which the government hopes will trigger investment in the capital.

Those belonging to the capital’s growing hospitality industry – including event venues, restaurants and pubs – are also likely to benefit from LLDC’s plans, which aim to prevent a so-called ‘Olympic hangover’ for those who had experienced growth during 2012.  

Insidethegames.biz claims that most of Mr Hone’s expertise lie within urban regeneration. His skills have previously been harnessed in public sector roles involving the New Towns and London Docklands Development Corporation.

Cnplus.co.uk says Mr Hone will fulfil his current role at the Olympic Delivery Authority until March 2013 and that he will switch between the two organisations in the meantime.

Heathrow not happy to settle on just three runways

Business travel into London could increasingly come through Heathrow if new plans for a fourth runway are agreed.

Despite currently being in the process of fighting to be allowed a third runway, Heathrow developers have made clear their plans to eventually take the total number to four and make the airport a global “super hub”, londonlovesbusiness.com reports.

Heathrow has already had to dodge controversy surrounding its plans for a third runway, but has now said it will wait until the next election to broaden its scope even further still. In the meantime, however, Heathrow has put its notion forward to a new commission, chaired by Howard Davies, investigating the UK’s aviation capacity.

Whilst any real-world changes would not be expected to be seen for many years yet, the results could see more business flights heading to Heathrow and could even heighten the allure of corporate venues in London for international businesses.

A group spokesperson from Heathrow Airport Holdings explained to ft.com of the proposals: “We have seen the outline proposals from the Free Enterprise Group and Policy Exchange for a four-runway airport at or near Heathrow.

“We don’t endorse either proposal but we do believe that the Davies commission should consider any option for a single airport capable of handling the UK’s future hub capacity needs.”

VisitEngland details 2013 tourism strategy

National tourism board VisitEngland has outlined how it intends to boost domestic tourism come 2013.

Bighospitality.co.uk writes that the organisation is to launch eight new marketing campaigns that will cover four distinct themes: English countryside, culture, coastline and heritage.

The themed campaigns will be promoted across all channels, such as newspapers, radio, television and online through social media, and will be part-funded by the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Conference-news.co.uk explains that VisitEngland has selected its spread of themes following in-house research which suggests that there is a lack of knowledge about the kinds of holiday available in England.

Sport and tourism minister Hugh Robertson said of the marketing activity: “Tourism is a vibrant, important industry that contributes significantly to economic growth.

“This investment from the Regional Growth Fund will encourage such partnerships at a local level, bringing in additional tourist spend, helping to create jobs and building on the success of London 2012.”

VisitEngland is asking for the support of local event spaces, hoteliers, restaurants, attractions and other members of hospitality community to help promote the country – particularly for the upcoming English Tourism Week (March 16-24).

“English Tourism Week 2013 is the perfect opportunity to harness this ‘feel-good factor’, and promote an industry that is worth £97 billion to the economy and employs over two million people,” the chairman of English Tourism Week, David Curtis-Brignell, explained.

“Whether you run a business such as a bed and breakfast, visitor attraction or restaurant, or work for a trade body or destination management organisation, English Tourism Week is a great way to kick off your 2013 holiday season.”

Face-to-face meetings still key to developing business relationships

With email increasingly becoming the number one method of communication, a number of experts have come out in defence of the humble face-to-face meeting.

According to edmontonjournal.com, a new survey suggests email is the primary method of communication among executives when it comes to professional networking.

However, some experts are questioning the ability to effectively accomplish a task by email alone. A face-to-face meeting, perhaps booked in a conference space, could produce a more meaningful business relationship.

David King, the Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources, said: “While the ease of sending email allows professionals to connect with their contacts quickly and easily, it shouldn’t be a substitute for more traditional approaches.

“Participating in face-to-face dialogue is still fundamental in developing successful connections, particularly for business development and hiring purposes,” he added, cited by calgaryherald.com.

Business and management consultant Daniel Firther also suggested executives can “gain certain things” from meeting in person that just don’t happen in email. A look in the eye can form a real bond that could lead to “personal, professional and future business growth.

“It’s easy to give into the concept that technology is the most efficiency and effective way to keep in touch, but it shouldn’t be the only way. Cultivating relationships isn’t something you can fake your way through via email. It has to be seen as being authentic,” he said.

Secondary ticket selling to be discussed by music industry

The growing base for secondary ticket selling is to be discussed at a forum for industry experts along with a prevalent music think tank, reports eventmagazine.co.uk.

Organised by MusicTank, the forum is being held in the wake of a dramatic programme by Channel 4, ‘Dispatches’, where secondary ticketing sites were allegedly found to have been working together with promoters to sell tickets for concerts at event venues at an inflated price.

The investigation highlighted that Live Nation and SJM Concerts were two firms directly allocating tickets to sites like Viagogo.

Consequently, the summit will discuss ways in which legislation can improve the situation and help regulate the secondary ticketing market.

Christiaan Munro, Director of ethical ticketing site Sandbag, will present a case study regarding rock band Radiohead’s recent world tour, where the band made all fans use a face-value ticket exchange if they wished to sell their ticket.

Keith Harris, chairman of MusicTank, hopes the problem of secondary ticketing can be solved before it spirals out of control.

He said, cited by thecmuwebsite.com: “Four years ago when MusicTank first took on this issue, the alarm bells were ringing, but the government and the industry hit snooze. Now it’s definitely time to wake up and get to work on solving this problem before it’s too late.”

The summit will take place in London on December 5.

BHA seeks answers over new licensing regulations

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has confirmed it is seeking further clarification over two new draft regulations that could change the face of the hospitality industry.

Bighospitality.co.uk reports on the issue which concerns two incoming regulations. One is ‘Early Morning Restriction Orders’ (EMROs), which could see local authorities restrict hotels, restaurants, function rooms or event venues, from serving alcohol in certain areas after midnight.

The other meanwhile is the ‘Late Night Levy’, which would allow local authorities to levy and extra charge on venues that want to serve alcohol after midnight. This is to pay for potential policing costs.

Martin Couchman, BHA’s deputy chief executive, explained that the BHA has sent a “strongly worded” letter to the Home Office over the issue.

He said: “We have had many hours of discussion on the introduction of EMROs and the Late Night Levy with Home Office officials and it is disappointing that issues that were discussed at our meetings have largely been ignored in the final draft regulations.

“We are urging the minister to clarify the regulations so that there is a clear national framework that everybody can understand.”

According to caterersearch.com, the letter is co-signed by the Beer and Pub Association, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, and Business in Sport and Leisure.

Meetings need to have an agenda, claims expert

Meetings without an agenda have been deemed ‘useless’ by a business expert writing for business2community.com.

Avi Kaye, an employee of MeetingKing, believes agenda-less meetings leave the organiser’s time wasted. Attendees’ time is wasted too and everyone can end up feeling they’ve accomplished nothing from the event. 

However, when a less experienced meeting organiser is attempting to run a meeting, other members of the team shouldn’t just “grind [their] teeth through twenty minutes of pointless chit chat.”

Helping the organiser could be the answer, according to Kaye – which could comprise talking to him or her and understanding the goal of the meeting. It’s also important to reaffirm that a meeting without an agenda is like “shopping without a list.

“At the very least,” he said,” they should have some idea of what the meeting will be about, and send it in advance, so that the other meeting participants can come with a bit of background preparation.”

However, if the meeting organiser fails to come up with a goal for business, it would be best if someone else in the meeting comes up with their own agenda.

“Be diplomatic about it, but when the meeting starts, steer the discussions into the direction of your own agenda,” he added, cites blog.indonetasia.com. “As the meeting will be directionless, people will probably welcome some sort of structure in the meeting, and at least you’ll be able to get some work done.”