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Case Study: CPG’s Hotel Changemakers Conference 2024

Is there a bigger compliment than your previous company asking you to consult on a project? Following my leap into the freelance world. City Pub Group asked if they could be my first client and the answer was easy – absolutely! The project they had in mind was based around Guest Services. As an event planner the guest/couple/client has always been the number one priority, so Guest Services is a natural evolvement.

From the beginning we knew the best way to communicate all of the proposed changes that have come out of this project was to get everyone in the same room, what we didn’t expect was just how well the whole day would be received by all the different teams and how much we would learn along the way.


Laura (CPG’s amazing Sales Director), myself and the project team spent a lot of time in the lead up to Wednesday’s conference thinking about what we wanted to say and how we wanted the day to run. This was the first conference of its kind and we wanted to make a big impact.

We even decided a goodie bag was in order, who doesn’t love a goodie bag. This of course meant the night before was spent stuffing said goodie bags on the floor of a hotel room – I cannot tell you the joy this activity brought me, it’s been years since I’ve run a conference

and I’d forgotten the joy of that late night, last minute prep.

Structuring the day

Breakout sessions where a key part of the day for a couple of reasons, firstly we really didn’t want people to feel they were being talked at for 8 hours, so by doing a variety of activities in breakout session people got to move around and got to walk away with information on lots of different elements of the guest journey.

Secondly it meant we could split the group into smaller groups, in the hope that the conversations became super relevant to them, we totally understood that everyone was going to get as much out of each other as they were out of us and that all the sites are so different – there was no point putting a 45 bedroom hotel on the coast in the same group as a pub with eight rooms in the city.

I also learned that I probably should be been a primarily school teacher based on how I presented my activity aka lots of cutting and sticking.

A great element to come out of this project is our partnership with Room to Reward. A charity that connects unsold rooms with unsung heroes from the voluntary sector. We were very lucky that Joe from R2R was available to come and chat with the teams and were extremely encouraged to see sites excited to sign up and give back to their local communities.

Conversation Starters

I for one am sometimes guilty of thinking everyone knows everyone in the room and the reality is that although a lot of these people have been at CPG for a long time they may of never met each other before.

We decided we wanted a visual representation of all the sites and all the people who worked in them and so THE MAP was born, it turns out this map was a great conversation starter – there I was with the Polaroid as people were arriving to snap their photo. I love how this turned out.

The feelings

At the end of what was quite the day, Laura and I high fived; the conversations we had, the ideas that the day generated and the general feeling in the room couldn’t have been more positive. We just knew everyone left that room with a list of things they wanted to do in their sites to improve their guest journey and most importantly, to give people a compelling reason to return.

I have no doubt that although this was the first conference of its kind, it will not be the last!


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