A wind of change is blowing

 It could be that Amadeus’s win of Farnborough International Conference and Exhibition centre mark a moment of change

Amadeus have established themselves as a serious contender in the hospitality industry, both having grown in size and respect. It is fair to say that perhaps their recent gain of Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre raises the bar again and places down a larger marker to all. This was simply not just about the gaining of another contract, it was about winning against serious competition and being seen as leading in a number of major areas including tech innovation, customer engagement, food and retail skills. Being competitive and innovative in these areas is making many sit up and take note of Amadeus.

Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre is a world-renowned venue, as the home of the one of the world’s best air shows as well as being the home of British aviation. The centre has a great heritage, actively celebrates the pioneers of the past as well as having a real focus on the future with a passion for new ideas and sustainability.

As one would expect from the home of aviation, a love of technology would be a key factor when looking towards a partner and this shared love was found with Amadeus.

Marc Frankl, the F&B Director of Amadeus, reflected:

“We are thoroughly enjoying working with our new partner as we do absolutely share the same values. We both have a passion for great food and service – but everyone of course will say this – but we also share the belief and passion for technology and innovation in this area.

Amadeus has been at the cutting edge of technological advance. We look constantly not just at our food offers but how we reach audiences in an ever improved fashion, ensuring that we engage our customers effectively. It has meant that we have a positive mind-set towards technology around us and we have new ideas coming through to us not just via food service but through our colleagues. It has meant that we are arguably more competitive in this area and it does genuinely make a difference. It impacts directly on margins but more – our people find that great tech advancement saves them both stress and gives them more time. They used to struggle with some of the old hassles in managing cash and having to control so many factors during very intense and busy periods. With our systems, our people feel more empowered to focus on the customer and provide great service levels.”

It is an interesting point that maybe the factor that many used to see as Amadeus’s weakness has in fact become its strength. It is logical – being connected to a world class major venue brings them more new ideas and innovation that a stand-alone player.

“You are right, “continued Marc, “they viewed our work at the NEC as important experience in our arsenal in trusting that a great service level will be delivered for managing their brand new venue. They understandably wanted to raise their own bar and the expectation of a new venue are not that far different to those that are delivered at some the NEC’s major events. We are an experienced, proven partner with similar values and new ideas that resonate which builds a great basis for a partnership. We both want to ensure that we provide a world-class operation that is at the forefront of food designs and tech, that is our shared objective and this is where we excelled.

The building is an exceptional, modern, cutting edge venue that deserves excellence. They have approached this as a genuine desire for a meaningful partnership where we really work together to achieve the objectives and this too, creates a positive mentality and approach. Caterers need to feel that they belong, Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre has made us feel welcome, a valued partner and part of the family. There has been some great groundwork laid in advance that has allowed us to feel really involved.

“However, at the end of the day, the food still needs to be excellent and I am so proud of how far we have come and all we have achieved.

There are many in the sector who will talk about how tight margins are, how more and more is being asked of us – but our view is that this is good. We want to be challenged to raise the bar and with our relationship with the NEC, our constant involvement in world class events and venues, we really do back ourselves to deliver excellence. This is an exciting period of time and one that I am relishing.”