We are proud to partner with Hotel360 ––the UK’s leading business event dedicated to hotel growth, taking place at the ExCeL London on the 28th & 29th of September––and that the show has an incredible lineup of female speakers! Among the headliners are Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, Adelle Chilinski, the former Premier Inn, Head of Risk, Governance, and Compliance, and Jo Berrington, SVP Brand & Communications of YOTEL...
We had a quick chat with Jo about her keynote, “Eat, Love, Pray: Learnings from the Global Pandemic”
Can you tell us a bit about your career path in hospitality, Jo?
I spent the first part of my career with British Airways in sales support, event management, and corporate and travel agency account management roles. I’d originally trained in design, photography, and printing at Leeds and then whilst with BA studied marketing with the Chartered Institute and the London Business School before taking up a regional marketing role with them.
In 2000, I joined the London Eye for its opening and launch as Head of Marketing and PR managing brand strategy, communications, design, product development, pricing, and distribution strategy, digital, website, and sponsorship. This was an incredible opportunity to launch what is now one of the most iconic sites in London.
In 2006, I left BA to join a revolutionary new hotel brand; YOTEL. I was part of the founding team and stayed with the company for 12 years! Helping it grow across the globe, YOTEL now operates three brands under its group umbrella and has 16 hotels globally. Then, to switch things up, I took a year out from YOTEL to work for Labtech and Energy Saving Trust before coming back to the brand YOTEL in January 2020 as SVP Brand and Communications to support further expansion of the brand...then the pandemic hit. And in between, I also moved to Italy.
Wait, you moved to Italy? Where?
Yes, I moved to Italy, to a small town called Orvieto in the region of Umbria, known as ‘The Green Heart’ of Italy in January 2020 with a plan to work from London and commute home to Italy on regular basis. Less than three months later I was on my first business trip of the year to visit our US hotels and the pandemic hit. I had to return back to London and then to Italy. It was nuts.
Wow, so you’re living in Orvieto, the pandemic hits and you’re running marketing for a hotel brand that’s dealing with challenges across different brands across different continents?
Indeed, and that’s what my seminar will be about...how as a team at YOTEL we tackled having almost all of our hotels closed globally, how we communicated, but also how and why we continued to invest as a business––with the support of the board––to position ourselves to do well as we emerge out of this pandemic. I plan to share my learnings and throw in a few bits about how and why I made the life-changing decision to move to Italy!
Thanks for chatting with us, Jo, we’re excited for your talk at Hotel360 on the 28th of September at 12:30.
In addition to Jo’s talk, Hotel360 has pulled together the sector’s leading lights from Nobu Hotels, Hilton, IHG, RBH, Radisson, PPHE Hotel Group, and many more to answer the most pertinent questions facing the hospitality industry. Additionally, there will be over 150 educational seminars, panel debates, innovation awards, and unrivaled networking opportunities - together forming the can’t-miss event of the year for the progressive hotelier.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet with thousands of like-minded professionals and to unlock your hotel business’s potential. Let’s reunite, as one industry with one voice.