The Heritage of The AHC
Date: 9th & 10th October 2019 at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester
Number of delegates expected: 950+
Event USP: The Annual Hotel Conference (The AHC) is the UK's leading event in the individual, boutique and consortium hotel owners, operators and managers segment of the industry.
Target audience: Individual, boutique, consortium hotel owners, operators and managers, developers, investors, bankers, advisors, government agencies and other stakeholders.
The schedule: The AHC opens on the 9th October 2019 with registration, a newly extended full day of conferencing including lunch, and our opening drinks reception. The 10th October is a full–day event with guest speakers, knowledgeable panellists, and a choice of workshops, debates, panel sessions, presentations, industry exhibitors, targeted and relevant delegates all sewn together with hours of networking, followed by a late closing lunch.
Previous keynote speakers: Shed Simove, Leo Johnson, Hashi Mohammad, Tracey Follows, Greg Dyke, Alex Polizzi, Simon Calder, Danny Pecorelli, Thomas Dubaere, Chris Moon MBE, Darren Campbell MBE, Gary Neville, Rt Hon Hugh Robertson, Kiaran MacDonald, Sir Howard Bernstein, Ufi Ibrahin, Sir Rocco Forte, Sir David Michels, Andy Cosslett, Robert Cook and Surinder Arora.
From its beginnings in a small, invitation-only gathering targeted at the regional individual and small-chain hotel owner and operator, The Annual Hotel Conference (The AHC) has grown over its 16-year lifetime into one of the UK's largest hotel industry events outside London.
Conceived by Chris Eddlestone, now head of hospitality and leisure at Squire Patton Boggs in conjunction with Jonathan Langston former CEO of CBRE Hotels, the inaugural event brought together just 50 invited guests in a Manchester venue.
The combination of high profile key note speakers, thought-provoking and informative presentations on the economy, the market and values and networking drinks meant that an invitation quickly became a sought-after commodity. In those early years the willingness of high profile key note speakers, including Sir Rocco Forte, Andy Coslett, Sir David Michels and Robert Cook, endorsed the event's value as a forum to engage with the industry outside the capital.
Delegate numbers grew quickly and organisations such as the international hotel chains, banks, professional advisors, developers and investors keen to engage with the regional markets joined the ranks of delegates alongside the all hoteliers such as; individual, boutique, branded and consortium hotel owners.
As The AHC's popularity grew King Communications were appointed to project manage the event, developing its concept and broadening its appeal in a whole-day conference. Faithful to its roots, the event facilitates a meeting in which the regional hotelier can interact with big brand operators, financiers, government agencies, industry bodies and advisers to exchange knowledge, ideas and opportunities. The conference deals with the every day practical, such as channel management and social media, as well as strategic topics such as the investment and banking climate and value enhancement and a panoply of other issues.
Having been recently acquired by Questex Hospitality + Travel Group, today delegate numbers are over fourteen times the original attendance, a wide variety of sponsors have engaged with the event and high profile guest speakers continue to deliver quality output in plenary and break-out sessions. Add in generous networking opportunities and an easy-to-reach regional destination, and it's no wonder that The AHC enjoys such a broad appeal.
We look forward to welcoming you to our 2019 event.
Learn. Network. Be Inspired.
'For me, the value of a conference often turns on whether I have made just one really useful contact, or learnt a single incisive piece of information or advice that could transform my business, and the AHC has never failed me.'
Robert Nadler, Entrepreneur
'The AHC started as a mild flirtation and has become a full-blown love affair. I confess I’m hooked and unable to get through any October without attending to get my annual fix. You should try it, it’s addictive'
Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
‘Well, you all certainly embraced changed and seized opportunities to make this year’s AHC the biggest and best yet. It was just great to see the growth in attendance, both in delegates and exhibitors, and feel a very strong vibe emanating from the sessions and networking.’
Michael Hirst MBE, Consultant to CBRE Hotels
‘I thought the tone of the conference was absolutely spot on this year. It was forward thinking in terms of tone and content, and left participants with a positive view of the future’.
Alister McCutchion, JLL
‘As a first time attendee I enjoyed the event. It was friendly and well run. It was a positive experience.’
Richard Fogarty, Bruce Shaw LLP
‘I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you and the team for arranging the wonderful dinner on Wednesday evening – great feedback from guests on both venue and food.’
Gordon McKean, Relationship Director, Barclays Corporate Banking
‘Thank you another excellent conference which we all found useful and informative.’
Andrew Rouse, Commercial Development Director, Vine Hotels
‘The AHC is one of the best networking events for hospitality professionals in the UK. Dedicated time in the programme for networking really makes it stand out from so many of the other conferences out there. I made some great new connections as well as caught up with existing industry colleagues and friends. I will definitely be back!’
Ciara Crossan, Founder & CEO, WeddingDates
‘I think this was a fantastic event, so thank you for inviting us to participate. It was a honor for us to be part of the event and I hope we did our small share…I think one of the great things about this event is having different branches of the industry in one place and so the big challenge, in my view, is to put the right people in contact.’
Joao Trindade, GuestCentric
'The AHC is the event I look most forward to each year. It’s perfect for all hoteliers, large or small. It has some of the best networking opportunities and I always come away feeling I have learnt something.'
Kevin Charity, CEO, Coaching Inn Group Ltd
'Starboard have been attending AHC for the past 14 years and find the ability to mix with peers invaluable. The attendance gives us an opportunity to keep up with trends, the UK market and how the economy is affecting our business. As an additional benefit, Starboard have conducted business as a direct result of attending AHC.'
Paul Callingham, Managing Director, Starboard Hotels