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Business Travel Management News Stories

Meet the team

Pamela Ronald, Conferences & Events and Executive Leisure manager at Portman.

Describe Your Role

I’m responsible for the Conferences and Events team, overseeing the day-to-day operation, planning and successful delivery of all events.

Equally important is the development of my team ��" this can involve training on new products and suppliers to visiting new venues in the UK and overseas enabling my team to always be fully informed and knowledgeable.

I also promote the department to both internal and external customers and colleagues.

What’s Your Typical Working Day?

There is no such thing! My assistant manager Michelle and I have a meeting before the staff briefing…from there every day is different. I’ll be liaising with various departments within Portman, from marketing to supplier relations. I’ll speak to account management about current clients, sales about new clients and speak with clients themselves.  I have a passion for analysis and the nickname of Casio as I am always working on figures - for example working out savings we’re making for our clients - my team are strong negotiators!

What’s The Largest Conference You’ve Ever Handled?

3000 delegates from the UK to France. We had 600 passengers travelling each day over five days. It was challenging but we had our team at each departure airport ensuring all check-ins went smoothly and our onsite team met the arriving flights. Everyone travelled out and back with no hitches - no mean feat! 

What’s Been The Most Innovative/Memorable One?

One of the best so far was a recent UK conference for 300 lawyers. The venue the client wanted for their Gala Dinner was a beautiful historic building from the outside but a basic shell on the inside. In conjunction with our suppliers we transformed the place, with lighting, staging, draping, amazing floral arrangements and a dazzling colour scheme. The transformation was incredible, our client could not believe what we achieved.

What’s The Trickiest Thing About Your Job?

Having a good work/home balance. I’m very passionate about my work and can often get carried away not realising the time of day…or should I say night when I should be at home!

…And The Best Thing?

The people. I’m very fortunate to have a fantastic team of people that I work with every day.

What Are Your Top Tips For Running A Successful Conference?

Trust in us! Clients are sometimes scared to let go of the reins for their event but that’s a big part of making it a success. We will always keep our customers up-to-date and involved.

What’s Your Favourite Destination…?

 …For Business?

I recently attended a conference in Turkey. The hotel was the Kempinksi Barbaros Bay in Bodrum which was in one of the most beautiful locations I’ve visited. The hotel conference facilities were excellent too. 

…For Pleasure?

Florida. I’ve been there over 20 times! There’s so much to the area not just Disney…I love it. My favourite time to visit is during our winter when the weather is warm during the day and cool in the evening with no humidity. 

Do You Have Any Hobbies?

Working full-time and being mum to two teenage daughters does not leave a lot of ‘me time’. Both daughters figure skate competitively and I do enjoy watching them. They train a lot which involves early mornings to the ice rink before school and work several mornings a week, so my luxury is a long lie in.  I’ve just discovered Greys Anatomy, years after everyone else so that’s my guilty pleasure. I’ve almost caught up on all 12 series. 

What (Apart From The Obvious) Do You Always Pack In Your Suitcase?

Tea Bags. I’m a real tea Jenny and cannot go without my favourite brew at home or abroad.

 

Which Famous Person Would You Be Stuck On A Desert Island With?

I would hate to be stuck on a desert island as I’m quite a sociable person and like company but I think if I’m allowed just one it would have to be George Clooney - obviously because of his fun personality and because I am interested in his charitable work…