ITM announces operational crisis support group
Friday 14, May 2010
At the association's annual conference, the Chairman of The Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) UK & Ireland, Jamie Hindhaugh, has today announced the creation of a key stakeholder group to assist the business travel and meetings sector at future times of crisis. The announcement, made during his welcome speech to over four hundred industry delegates in London, included details of the goals of group.
The Phoenix Group, born out of a desire to understand lessons learnt from buyers, intermediaries and suppliers affected by the Ash Cloud created by the eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland a few weeks ago, has been created to act as an operational support group to facilitate communication between government, media, suppliers and buyers at times of crisis which affect the business travel and meetings industry. The group will initially establish a squad of industry stakeholders from which appropriate teams can be pulled together at times of need, under the leadership of Mr Hindhaugh, Head of Production L2012 and Head of Sourcing - Logistics for the media organisation. The group will also initially draw on the experiences of buyers and suppliers from the sector during the ash cloud crisis to create a paper with recommendations and lessons learnt as well as examples of innovation by the industry.
Mr Hindhaugh has called for interested parties to express their commitment to participate in the group and has already received support from British Airways and Advantage Business Travel Group in the UK before today's launch. Richard Tams, Head of UK & Ireland Sales & Marketing for British Airways, said, "It is great to hear of the creation of such a group and it will undoubtedly provide a huge benefit to the industry alongside our own operational plans implemented at times of crisis."
Commenting on the airline's support in particular, Jamie Hindhaugh said, "British Airways' support is key for us as they were extremely proactive at communicating with the buyer community throughout the crisis and I am sure they can provide us with some valuable insights into the challenges they have faced. We expect the Phoenix Group to encompass a broad range of stakeholders and these will also include representatives from NBTA and NBTA Europe, the association's US and European partners, as most crisis situations naturally extend beyond any single national boundary."
During his conference speech, Mr Hindhaugh advised delegates that the group's creation sprang from an ITM board discussion about how the association could have assisted during the recent crisis and that it is the perfect vehicle to build on his stated intent as Chairman to facilitate better collaboration between buyers and suppliers in the sector.
The Phoenix Group's first kick-off meeting is planned for the beginning of June, with detailed objectives subsequently issued to the industry and direct links established with government and media organisations.
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