Kate Nicholls to headline Arena Savoy Lecture: ‘A View from the Top’

By Berenice, Thursday 17 January 2019

Kate Nicholls, the CEO of UKHospitality, will headline the Arena Savoy Lecture on the evening of Wednesday 20 March 2019 at what will be a crucial time for the hospitality industry, and indeed the country. Just nine days before Britain is (currently) due to leave the EU, Kate will look at the latest developments and lead an important debate on what Brexit means for the UK’s £130bn hospitality sector.

As we enter uncharted territory, she will also explain the role and goals of UKHospitality in the months ahead.

Kate will discuss:

  • Be prepared: The potential impact of Brexit on the industry
  • An important voice: What UKHospitality is doing to represent and support businesses across all sectors
  • Strength in unity: How the industry can work together during challenging times

A view from the top

The debate will open further, as we invite other industry leaders to take to the stage and give their views. Influential names from across the sectors will give their differing opinions and approaches to the unprecedented political and economic situation.

They will discuss:

  • The challenges and opportunities Brexit brings
  • Running a successful business in times of change and uncertainty
  • How the industry can work together to make the best of Brexit

As well as benefitting from the important address and debate, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with fellow foodservice and hospitality professionals and enjoy the five-star hospitality of one of London’s most iconic hotels, The Savoy, including a drinks and canape reception and three-course dinner with wine.

Starting at 5.30pm, this is an event not to be missed for anyone working within foodservice and hospitality.  Tickets are available now. Click here for more information and to buy tickets online or contact Lorraine Wood by email or on 07803 853 618.

Make Arena events work for you

By Berenice, Wednesday 9 January 2019

Is getting the most out of Arena events, and other industry events for that matter, on your New Year’s resolutions list? We’ve put together a few helpful tips that will help you prepare for an event, enjoy the experience and make the all-important connections that could prove lucrative for your business in the year ahead. Happy and fruitful networking!


Plan ahead:  We publish the guest list prior to each event, so check who’s attending before you arrive, highlight a handful of guests you’d like to meet and let us know so we can help make introductions. And, think about how you’re going to introduce yourself. First impressions count!

Do your homework: Find out as much as possible about the person(s) you’d like to meet and their business and use this early in the conversation. This can be anything from an award they’ve won to where they like to go on holiday. It shows you’re genuinely interested.

Maintain eye contact: Focus on the person you’re talking to and look interested. There’s nothing worse than someone looking over your shoulder to see where the next person they would like to speak to is. But, above all, be natural.

Ensure it’s not about you: Make sure you listen to what the person has to say; don’t talk about yourself or your business unless they ask.

Work the room: Use the time between courses to introduce yourself to the people you want to meet. This is not the time to have a long and meaningful conversation but a simple ‘I wanted to come along and say hello’ type of conversation will get you on their radar.


Hard sell: This is the number one no-no. Senior operators do not attend events to be sold to. It’s about building long-term relationships for future reward, not securing an immediate sale. Think tortoise and hare!

Thrust your business card on someone: Wait until you move on, then leave your business card, otherwise they’ll think you are about to go into a sales pitch.

Talk about yourself or your business: No matter how tempting it is to tell the CEO of a major contract caterer or pub group how great your new vegan 200ml ready meals are, believe me, they’re really not interested! Instead, find common ground they are interested in.

Interrupt a ‘closed circle’: Many people who attend Arena know each other and enjoy catching up with colleagues they haven’t seen for a while, or they may use the occasion to entertain clients. If three or four people look as though they’re deep in conversation and their ‘circle’ is closed, do not try to break into it. Wait until the person is on their own or ask an Arena committee member to introduce you.

Stick to your colleagues like glue: If you are attending with your colleagues, try not to stay with them throughout the whole event. Remember, you’re there to meet new people.