There was a real buzz around Spitalfields the last few days.

People with exhibition stands, roll-along cases, briefcases, laptops. Pop-up meetings were happening in quiet rooms, noisy rooms, and at coffee stations.

Old friends were hugging, new ones swapping details, acquaintances shaking hands. The immaculate waiting staff were supplying yogurt drinks, fresh-baked pastries, crunchy granola. The ASAP 2019 Serviced Apartment Convention was in full flow.

And what an event it was!

We’re still spinning from the last few days, and we’ve had amazing feedback from every quarter. A couple of our much-appreciated exhibitors collected more leads and new contacts than ever, the delegates asked more questions and voted on more of the answers, and more than one of the speakers hung around beyond their original timetable so they could keep the conversation flowing.

Genuinely heard in private conversations in every corner; ‘wouldn’t have missed it, and it’s actually better than I expected’; ‘my first time, won’t be my last’; ‘can’t believe how much I’ve learned already’; ‘the best one yet’. And ‘did you hear…’, ‘did you go to…’, ‘what did you think?’.

All I can say is this; thank you!

Thank you to every Member, every Business Partner, every attendee, every supplier, every exhibitor, every person working with our fabulous event partner etc venues, for making this a Convention to remember. We weren’t 100% confident in advance about the new two-day format and whether we were stretching ourselves too far; but it was deemed an absolute success by just about everyone we spoke to. So we’re going to take stock, weigh up the pros and cons, have a huge wash-up session – and then we’re straight into planning for the summer Annual Awards and Gala Dinner. No rest for the wicked!

But, seriously. Thanks to you all for your support.

Now all we have to do is put all the answers we came up with between us, for strengthening our sector and for making sure our Accreditation is recognised and sought by every travel buyer and every consumer, as quickly as possible. We’ve all put so much time and effort – and money! – into this. Let’s not lose that momentum.

As a result of requests from the floor and our own conversations, we’re shortly going to be rolling out the practical ways you and your teams can immediately start promoting this, from how to use the ISAAP branding in your materials to sending out summary documents about what having the Accreditation actually means in practical terms, and how it reinforces your competitive advantage.

And how you can support our social media and professional blogging activity, re-posting it and spreading it wider among your own friends, followers, contacts and colleagues.

We’re not going to let this momentum falter and we hope you’ll join us in keeping the optimism flowing.

So, as witnessed by the 2019 ASAP Convention, we’ve got a clear direction; and together, we really can do this!