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Downtown in Business’ Leaders Lunch with Sacha Lord a great success

A unique gathering of, Entrepreneurs, business leaders and representatives from across the hospitality industry and beyond convened at the Hyatt Regency in Manchester on Tuesday for DIB's latest Leaders Lunch, featuring a talk by Greater Manchester's Nighttime Economy advisor Sacha Lord. The event was an engaging afternoon of insights, networking, and discussion on the evolution of the industry and the challenges it faces.

The Hyatt Regency in Manchester was abuzz with activity on Tuesday, as Downtown in Business held their Leaders Lunch, the latest in a highly popular series, this time featuring a talk by the Greater Manchester Night time Economy advisor himself, Sacha Lord.

A unique gathering of, Entrepreneurs, business leaders and representatives from across the hospitality industry and beyond convened for an engaging afternoon of insights, networking, and discussion on the evolution of the industry and the challenges it faces.

Established with a vision to educate and illuminate issues by providing insights from a top expert in the related field, the Leaders Lunch series has become a popular Downtown event. Since its inception over a decade ago, the Leaders Lunch series has served as a platform to host some of the most visionary thinkers in various fields to share their experiences and also provided a fantastic space for attendees to network.

This latest event was no exception.

Representatives from organizations such as Growth Hive UK and House of Wisdom attended the event, reflecting the diverse talent pool within Manchester’s hospitality community, who gathered to share insights and form connections.

The Leaders Lunch kicked off with an introduction from Downtown Director Chris Mckenna, who set the tone for the afternoon, emphasizing the importance of maintaining an optimistic outlook on the future of hospitality.

He said: “‘It was great to hear Sacha’s positive outlook for Greater Manchester’s future in terms of hospitality, culture and night time economy. Despite the recent challengers to the sector, the city has gone from strength to strength and there are no signs of that slowing down with the opening of Co-op Live imminent’’

With years of experience and a wealth of knowledge garnered from working alongside Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Sacha offered a unique perspective on navigating the complexities of the hospitality sector in current times.

It’s no secret that the Hospitality industry has had a difficult time bouncing back after covid. Sacha spoke about his frustrations with the 10pm curfew in place at the time and his work to try and minimise the impact the pandemic was having on the night time economy.

From fluctuations in revenue to shifting consumer preferences, businesses have had to adapt swiftly over the last four years to stay afloat. However, Sacha’s message was one of hope and resilience, emphasizing that with the right approach and support, businesses can overcome obstacles and leverage current consumer trends to their advantage.

Also Central to his talk was theme of Transport issues and resolutions in the City of Manchester. Sacha spoke about his desire to improve the nighttime transport links he believes these to be vital to supporting the nighttime economy as well as the effectiveness of the £2 bus fare in Manchester and how other cites could benefit from similar schemes.

Attendees gained valuable insights into navigating the complexities of an ever-changing sector. Sacha’s insights about customers increasing emphasis on sustainability and health-consciousness for example, with fewer people under the age of 25 drinking than ever before, underscored the need for proactive adaptation in an evolving market.

Overall, the event offered a unique networking opportunity for attendees to connect with key figures in the hospitality sector and other related fields. Building on Downtown’s commitment to fostering collaboration, the event facilitated some meaningful conversations and partnerships.

Downtown was honoured to have our friends at Hospitality Hero sponsor the event, further highlighting the collaborative spirit driving business excellence in hospitality businesses in Manchester. As the afternoon concluded, we hope that our members left the Hyatt Regency inspired and with newfound insights, strengthened connections, and a renewed sense of purpose in navigating the dynamic landscape of the hospitality industry.

This latest Leaders Lunch served as a testament to the resilience innovation and desire to adapt to an uncertain future of those working in the hospitality industry and community spirit driving Manchester’s hospitality sector forward.

As the region continues to evolve, events like these remain pivotal in fostering conversation, driving innovation, and celebrating the achievements of Manchester’s business leaders. Downtown continues to play a vital role in shaping the future of the business community and fostering growth and collaboration across sectors and we couldn’t be more pleased that the Sacha Lord Leaders Lunch has succeeded in its mission to spark meaningful dialogue.

Sacha’s new book ‘Tales from the Dancefloor’ launches in April and includes stories from his work at The Warehouse Project, Parklife, Sankeys, The Haçienda, and many more. It promises to be a must read for anyone working in the hospitality industry, providing yet more insights from an industry luminary who has championed Manchester’s thriving nightlife and advocated for the sector’s growth and sustainability.

You can pre-order your copy today HERE.

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