Hospitality is more than just Hotels – Institute of Hospitality London’s 8th Annual Student Forum

I was delighted to organise and host the Institute of Hospitality London’s 8th Annual Student Forum yesterday at The Dickens Inn, St Katherine’s Dock with the theme of the day “Hospitality is more than just Hotels”. We had over 130 students attend from Westminster Kingsway College, The Edge Hotel School, City College Norwich, London College UCK, University of Surrey, University of Portsmouth, University of Brighton, University of West London and Newham College.

Students over 130

The day was opened my Mark Angela CEO for SSP UK and Ireland as he welcomed our students and talked about SSP and his career.

Mark Angela CEO

We then had a panel discussion on “The Graduate Employment Market” and our Chair Ioannis Pantelidis put our panelists through their paces. The panel was made up of Melanie Stacey, Global Graduate Programme Manager from Merlin Entertainments, Anthony Pender, Director of Yummy Pubs, Ian Campbell, Club Secretary for The Caledonian Club, Jose Ruiz, HR Director for the Shangri La at The Shard and Jackie Clark from Head of Resourcing for SSP UK and Ireland. The discussion left our students with some great tips of what to do to impress employers and stand out from the crowd.


The students then heard from Ben McEwan, Sales Executive at Baxter Storey as he spoke about his career from “Student to Business Leaeder” and he left  students with some great leadership tips!

Ben McEwan Baxtor Storey

After lunch the students were then introduced to Brett Lord, Owner of Waldegraves and Cosways Family Holiday Parks with some motivational music to set the session off as he talked about their “Award Winning Formula” of how he built up his business from a farmland plot to a family holiday resort. As you will see from my previous blog Waldegraves won the Best Holiday Park and overall Best Hospitality Venue 2013 at the Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards.

Brett Lord - Waldegraves

Anthony Pender from Yummy Pubs  then gave a very inspirational talk on “Lessons in Entrepreneurship” as he explained about how he set up his company which kept the students enthralled.

Antholny Pender Yummy Pubs

It was then the turn for Joel Flagg, General Manger for The Palace Hotel which is part of The Puma Hotels Collection and he spoke on the topic of “The Art of Social Networking to boost your career”. One of his top tips was to set a google alert for yourself to see what is being mentioned about you in social media.

The day ended with students being told about Mentoring from The Savoy Society and the Institute of Hospitality London‘s Coaching Programme. Students were invited to send in a one minute video pitch on “How having a Hospitality Professional coach them would be a benefit to them personally and professionally”. This was then also opened up for student to do a live pitch.  From all the brave souls that stood up in front of their peers, lecturers and industry guest, 5 will be selected to have one of the Institute of Hospitality’s Aspiring Manger Award winners or London Committee member coach them for free for six months from January to June – watch this space to find out more!

The students then had time to mingle with our guests and employers and a surprise visit from Cyrus Todiwala OBE, from Cafe Spice Namaste ended the day on an inspirational high for our students. Overall it was a very successful event.

Cyrus Todiwala

2 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] that were selected  from the Edge Hotel School were speaking about how, from attending the Institute of Hospitality Student Forum  in November they are now making plans to meet with their coaches ready for coaching to start in January […]

  2. […] on from the Institute of Hospitality London Student Forum  the hospitality students that attended that had to do a video pitch or a live pitch in order to […]

Comments are closed.