Expert hospitality network marks first birthday with £200,000 milestone and major awards win

A UK network of experts launched a year ago to help hospitality businesses affected by lockdown has reached a milestone £200,000 worth of opportunities.  The Hospitality Partnership was founded by West Midlands-based tourism sales supremo Jan Denning.  Although its work started before the pandemic, it was re-launched in December 2020 as a way of supporting hard-hit hotels, venues and other hospitality and tourism-related businesses.  As the partnership marks its first birthday, there are now more than 30 partners, sharing in more than £200,000 of recorded opportunities in a range of services including procurement, sales training, licensing, marketing, mental health, sustainability and …

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Renowned businesswoman turns ‘Mother Christmas’ to save companies’ festive parties

A businesswoman is on a mission to save corporate Christmas celebrations as a nation of festive parties face the axe. A new venture from events expert Emma Jones is set to keep Christmas alive for cautious UK companies whose teams aren’t ready to live it up in a face to face celebration. With demand slumping for face-to-face office and corporate Christmas get-togethers, Emma, director of Birmingham-based AllinAll Events (https://www.all-in-all.co.uk/) and her flourishing new company, Events in a Box, (https://eventsinabox.co/) aims to bring peace of mind. According to a new survey of UK workers nationwide, just 36% said their workplace is holding a Christmas party this year. …

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Mum publishes late daughter’s beloved bedtime story in her honour

A proud mum has published a fun bedtime story her late daughter crafted — almost a year after she died of Covid.  Norma Cooper, aged 83, has worked hard over the last few months to ensure the story that her late daughter wrote is turned into a book.  Her daughter, Dawn Downes of Atherstone, Warwickshire, died aged 60 in February this year.  Norma said that Dawn had always made-up bedtime stories for Maddie, her granddaughter, now 11, including one about Annie the Ant. The story features guest appearances from both Dawn and Maddie.  Norma said: “Maddie used to love the Annie …

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Therapist offers ‘map’ to help students cope with ‘avalanche of stress’ this Christmas

A therapist who has helped thousands of students overcome mental health crises is offering a ‘map’ to help them emerge from an ‘avalanche of stress’ predicted as Christmas approaches. For many young people, exams, assessments and deadlines are around the corner as the festive season begins. With students also reeling from a disrupted year with Covid-19, experts are predicting worrying times. Statistics from back in 2016 reported that a fifth of university students didn’t want to return in January. Then, record drop-out levels were forecast as lockdown hit. Mark Evans, who runs the Conversations with Impact coaching and counselling service, has launched a new book to help guide …

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Birmingham’s newest Nutcracker production set to dazzle with more than 100,000 balloons in aid of community charity

A breath-taking performance of the Nutcracker is set to wow audiences thanks to some 110,000 balloons amid a magical family adventure – and boost an inspiring Birmingham charity. An ambitious international collaboration which has led to a “fully immersive” biodegradable balloon setting is the result of a project called The Big Balloon Build and sees charity and business join together. Tchaikovsky’s classic tale will come alive thanks to the acclaimed BMOS Musical Theatre Company, hosted by Naomi Spencer of Candy Bubbles to ‘give back’ to free@last which helps vulnerable young people. Unlike other Nutcracker performances, the emphasis on the Nechells …

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Artist Jon Stiff

Up and coming artist transforms home into stunning studio and gallery

A renowned artist has converted his terraced home into a stunning space for his innovative work and is all set to reopen it to the public as the pandemic eases. Jon Stiff of Stiffy Art won nationwide acclaim after starring in the Channel 4 series Drawers Off back in the spring of this year. But alongside TV fame, he has been bagging regular valuable commissions from private and business buyers alike. Jon, of Stratford-upon-Avon, who turns 60 next month, also works as a litigator, fighting contentious claims, while also building his artist’s portfolio. He works in various styles – including …

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Liverpool leads the way with sense-stirring new virtual experiences for event planners from across the globe

Liverpool has become the first city to launch a new multi-sensory platform, enabling event planners to experience its sights, sounds, textures, tastes and smells – wherever they are in the world. ‘Fully immersive’ virtual tours of the city region and key event venues are on the horizon, as Liverpool Convention Bureau embraces the ground-breaking technology. Corporate and association event planners are also set to explore The ACC Liverpool Group’s events campus – ACC Liverpool, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, and the M&S Bank Arena – through the Hyybab system. Tourism industry bosses have forged a partnership with the team behind the software, designed …

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Lee and Danny Dunne, of Payaro

Caring payments start-up set for £1.4 million turnover prepares for second round of investment

A payments technology company which helps children escaping domestic violence with every transaction is set for a £1.4 million turnover in its first year.​ Payaro Ltd  gained initial investment late last year. Due to exponential UK growth, with a month-on-month revenue increase of 40 per cent, expansion plans have been brought forward. That means a second round of investment opportunity came earlier than anticipated.   The Staffordshire-based company backs the Buddy Bag Foundation with a percentage of each sale completed through its innovative sales systems and has pledged an additional donation of £1,000 every year. It is gearing up for a second round of investment following significant growth, and having welcomed new private equity is opening the doors to more backers to …

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Leo Platt, from Hyybab, Jessica Brabant and Ryan Doyle from Park Regis Birmingham and Paul Lloyd, from Hyybab

Birmingham hotel revolutionises client experience with innovative show-round break-through

Park Regis Birmingham has become the first hotel in the world  to offer a ground-breaking new visitor experience – without guests setting foot inside the venue. Ryan Doyle, Group Director of Sales for Switch Hospitality Management Group, which oversees the city centre hotel, said he’d got brilliant feedback from event bookers after piloting the Hyybab innovation. He said the new luxury tech platform had helped the hotel continue to interact with clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in “providing a tangible sensory experience” – remotely. “We’ve been able to continue a new business campaign targeting travel and event managers and personal …

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Leo and Paul from hyybab

Birmingham entrepreneurs say ‘Hi Bab’ to innovative hospitality venture

A couple are celebrating the launch of their luxury hospitality business named in honour of a cheery Brummie welcome. Leo Platt and husband Paul Lloyd are the brains behind hyybab, which offers potential upmarket hotel and attraction bookers, planners and accommodation buyers all the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a visit – virtually. Those who are invited receive a luxurious box filled with treats including cocktails, nibbles and hotel beauty products, enabling them to become “fully immersed” in the venue. There are also headphones and a 3D viewer so the visitor can experience a big step up from a …

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