Venue selection firm heads to Dubai

Ashraf: best venues

HELMSBRISCOE, a leading third-party conference resource company specializing in venue selection has set up an office in Dubai. Says Pat Durocher, managing director, HelmsBriscoe International, “As leading managers of conferences and offsite meetings, we see tremendous potential in the Middle East region.

With a significant presence globally, we were looking at expanding our operations which is what brought us to Dubai. Being one of the main business and tourism destinations of the world, Dubai will be an important base of operations.”
Durocher also announced the appointment of Deen Ashraf as sales director, HelmsBriscoe International. Ashraf, a seasoned hotelier who has worked with brands such as the Fairmont, Oberoi and Le Meridien, will be responsible for company operations in the area.
The involvement of a third party or outsourcing company has become a viable option for meeting services such as site selection, negotiation, contracting, ground handling, meeting registration, and on-site assistance. Organizations today are giving more consideration to their meeting purchasing policies, procedures and location, cost and service levels which remain the top three issues of most concern.
“Clients are looking more carefully than ever at their ROI and are taking steps to ensure that they are in the best possible position when it comes to negotiating rates with their suppliers. This has resulted in clients looking at more ‘value-driven solution providers’ and adopting the outsourcing concept, whereby a professional ‘third party conference resource provider or a venue site selection provider’ becomes a valued partner,” says Ashraf.
He said his firm takes away the labour-intensive, time consuming process of locating, evaluating and contracting appropriate sites from around the world for clients, freeing them up to concentrate on handling the other aspects of putting together a meeting. Through preferred relationships with qualified partners, the firm will provide integrated solutions and additional value.
“Given that we book 2.7 million room nights per annum our buying power enables us to negotiate tremendous value for our clients. In addition, through our network of 750 associates in 31 countries and our state of the art technology, we have the ability to commence a search based on the client’s criteria and acquire extensive service, product and price related information for hotels anywhere in the world. As there is no charge for our services, our involvement as the third party provides the golden opportunity for a client to get help when they need it without increasing payroll or overhead costs, not to mention having the access to a pool of global expertise,” he added.