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Hospitality – COVID-19: Digital Conference to Unite the Hospitality Sector

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The leading organizer of conferences and forums for the hotel, aviation, and restaurant sector is organizing a complete live conference experience on the internet to bring together industry leaders to discuss the unprecedented economic circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and what the industry can do collectively to rebuild confidence.

The virtual conference will take place on April 7th from 10.00–16.00 BST and registration is free of charge for all participants; although an optional donation is requested to selected charities helping out those in the hospitality industry, suffering from the worst effects of the coronavirus.

Puneet Chhatwal, CEO, Indian Hotels, said: “With COVID-19 sweeping across the globe, many companies in the hospitality industry are facing an unprecedented threat. As we will combat the pandemic much better united than divided, we all need to come together to share ideas. This meeting on the internet will set a great example of what we can do by thinking in a bold and imaginative way.”

Bench Events has lined up a stellar list of speakers, including Paul Stoltz, the world’s leading expert and consultant on resilience and creator of the Adversity Quotient; Roger Bootle, the award-winning Founder and Chairman of Capital Economics; Hon. Minister Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Kenya; Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association and dozens of top executives from across the hospitality industry worldwide.

Topics on the agenda will cover: the economics of coronavirus, how to survive the greatest adversity of our time, the nine essential leadership behaviors needed in a crisis, the outlook to recovery, how to capitalize on the upturn when it comes and the new post-COVID reality. These discussions will be moderated by the presenter of HARDtalk and conference chair, Stephen Sackur and Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to Secretary-General, UNWTO.

State of the art video conferencing technology will be used to bring virtual main-stage panel sessions to an audience of up to 100,000 online participants. The plenary debates will be complemented by more focussed roundtables, drilling into the detail of specific subjects. People joining remotely will be able to ask questions and post comments in real-time, using a live chat facility.

Other activities popular at Bench Events’ regular conferences will also be replicated online, including speed networking, which will give participants a series of three-minute one-on-one video calls with other delegates. There will also be an online exhibition, where it will be possible to browse through virtual exhibition booths and engage in a live video conversation with a representative of the exhibitor.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman & Founder, Bench Events concluded: “Devastating is the word most governments are using to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society and the economy. The sector that stands to suffer the most is travel and hospitality. Today, nothing is certain, except that our world will never be the same again. We need business leaders to come together to discuss the best strategies to cope with the immediate crisis and to plan how to capitalize on the recovery when it comes. That is what Hospitality Tomorrow will do.”


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