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Interviews > Pearls of Wisdom

Joanne Barratt: Pearls of Wisdom

By Melodie Michel , 31-Jul-2014
Last updated on 01-Sep-2014 at 15:10 GMT2014-09-01T15:10:00Z

Joanne Barratt is QHotels' group operations manager
Joanne Barratt is QHotels' group operations manager

QHotels’ group operations manager talks about how important a strong team culture is in maintaining excellent standards and achieving great results within the conference and events sector.

Be passionate. I’ve always loved hospitality, specifically the conference and events sector. From taking the initial enquiry through to the buzz of setting up on the day and seeing satisfied faces walking out of the door, I still enjoy the whole process. It’s what drives me each day and it’s an enthusiasm that lives through the company too.

Your people are the key to your success. A team approach is so important in this job - ensuring people are happy and committed is what has enabled us to get where we are today. I’ve been involved in the recruitment process from the outset and how individuals fit with our culture is an integral part of that, whatever the level. We invest heavily in training and development, and in turn, we reward those who continually go that extra mile for us too.

Keep your mind, eyes and ears open. The only way to drive innovation within the sector is to look around, monitor trends, competitors and also look outside the industry to see what technology is next. For this I do rely on our people on the ground for, recognising the emerging customer needs but also what tools and offerings will help make us stand out.

I remember the day we installed our first conference projector, it was revolutionary at the time! Now we’re introducing a free dedicated event broadband package, allowing hosts exclusive internet use to live stream conferences – it’s brilliant.

Exceeding expectations should be at the heart of the business. We work with each hotel on a standards review every six months to see how we can develop our product to meet the needs of each event booker - every hotel’s piece of feedback is key to this.

Listen to your customers. Feedback frames every change we make within our business.

You must have tenacity and energy for the job - it’s catching and deeply influences the teams you work with and the results you produce. It’s the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done a good job which is embedded in our culture and still motivates me every day!

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