The Big Conversation opening opportunities and changing lives

Hospitality is an industry that opens doors and this was demonstrated by the warm welcome the Big Conversation guests received at the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, White Hart Lane. Former player and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Ambassador Ledley King and Grant Cornwell CEO of the Foundation took time to greet the attendees. As media partners with the British Hospitality Association, ITN Productions was there to provide coverage for the day. We interviewed both Ledley and Grant and discussed the club’s efforts to start a meaningful dialogue between local businesses and young job seekers in the area.

The Big Hospitality Conversation is a great platform to give young people a chance to put forward their story and engage with businesses. As programme makers we are always looking for the best stories, one in particular stood out for us from the day. We filmed the moment that Nicholas Elliot, a young jobseeker who had been doing volunteer work for 2 years, was offered a full time position by Premier Inn on the day. It’s exactly the kind of captivating story that people can relate to. We need to focus on a narrative approach to inform and engage the audience, and within hospitality there are so many examples of people striving and succeeding, having initially thought there wasn’t much of a future for them ahead.

Stories like Nicholas’ challenge perceptions - their journeys within an industry that is constantly growing and evolving, which opens up opportunities and changes lives. Gina Moffatt, one of the key speakers at the event, told us how ‘Hospitality saved my life’ when she became a budding local entrepreneur after serving time in prison. As Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association says ‘People make hospitality special’.

ITN Productions is known as a world-class programme maker, always seeking to tell the full story. Hospitality is the 4th largest industry in the UK. On the day we questioned Iain Duncan Smith about the government’s recognition of the importance of the industry to the British economy.

As well as taking a national view we saw local Haringey beverages company, Jeffries, talk on camera at the Big Conversation about their pledge to offer a number of jobs and apprenticeships.

Following the success of last year’s programme, The British Hospitality Association and ITN Productions are producing the second annual news-style programme capturing the latest trends, issues, best practices and insights in the hospitality sector. The film will premiere for the first time at the Hospitality & Tourism Summit at the Novotel London West on June 30th 2015.

For more information about the programme contact ITN Productions’s Head of Industry News, Simon Shelley - simon.shelley@itn.co.uk

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