|At this year’s Meetings Industry Association (mia) AGM it was announced that Jonathan Morris had been elected as Vice Chair of the industry body. Jonathan has been a member of the council for two years and the Commercial Director at No.11 Cavendish Square for seven. Here, he tells us what he feels he can bring to the role, his thoughts on AIM accreditation and the challenges he sees ahead for the industry.|
For those that don’t know, can you tell us about the MIA and the role it plays in the industry?
The mia is the leading association for the meetings and events industry, helping members prosper in this fast pace industry. The mia is one of the fastest growing associations in the conference, meetings and events sector. Founded by a pro-active group of hotel and conference centre operators and booking agents. It has the sole objective of making a difference within a sector which, while totally unique, is responsible for thousands of jobs, both direct and industry servicing roles. The determination of the association’s leadership during its 24-year history has given the conferences, meetings and events industry an accreditation scheme, industry awards, invaluable research and a voice to government.
You have a very busy day job, what made you go for the Vice Chair of the mia role?
I had been a Council member since 2013 and I was proposed by my colleagues to step up as Vice Chair last year. The mia represents the interests of over 400 venues and is backed by AIM, the meetings industry’s only accreditation scheme, and in my role I’ll be working with Mark Chambers (President) and Jane Longhurst (CEO) to deliver the next three-year strategy for the mia.
What do you feel you can bring to your new role at the mia?
My experience and expertise and above all my passion for the hospitality sector. The work the association does to support and direct members through the fast-paced industry is something I’ve admired. I’m looking forward to helping steer the association as well as continuing the stellar work it does and further build its reputation within the meetings and events industry.
How do you see the industry evolving over the next 5-10 years?
Growing and consolidating.
Consequently, how do you see the mia evolving?
I see continued growth in membership and more venues looking to reach Gold accreditation
How important do you feel AIM accreditation is to venues, in particular Gold accreditation?
Extremely important. AIM is the UK’s nationally recognised standard for accredited venues and service providers in the meetings, conferences and events industry. No.11 Cavendish Square achieved the AIM accreditation at Gold level in 2014. This is the mia’s highest accolade. AIM venues are organisations that uphold quality, professionalism and value for money. We have won business solely on the back of our Gold accreditation.
What do you feel the ‘next big thing’ is in the industry?
In years to come I think we’ll see a greater number of online events. This will allow more people to ‘attend’ events on a regular basis, without the added cost of travel and accommodation. This said, venues will still be required.
What do you enjoy most about the industry? And what’s your biggest frustration?
The best thing about my job is the variety it brings, no two days are the same. Although I like planning my time, I enjoy thinking on my feet - it certainly keeps you alert! As well as this, the daily thank-you letters I receive from clients. The industry can be a stressful one so it is always nice to hear that you’re doing a good job, and the time and effort you put in is well worth it.
My biggest frustration is cancelation fees. Clients think that cancelations fees should not apply to them – especially regular customers of your venue. People accept cancelation fees on airlines, trains and hotels. If you do not show or cance
l your room after the cancelation period there are charges, so why do clients think venues are different?
To find out more about the mia, what it does and who else is involved, visit their website http://www.mia-uk.org/