The Lineup

We've some great speakers for Hospitality Exchange 2023. Let's meet them.


A wily team of three keeping us on topic, in order and on time.


Pamela Ballantine

A seasoned compere, Pamela will join us to host the Rising Star Awards Lunch recognising the stars of the future, as well as adding bringing a golden touch to the twenty-four carat celebrations at this year’s The Gala Ball bringing the twenty- fourth Hospitality Exchange to a close.

Tim Browne

A multi-talent expert, renowned in the hospitality industry, Tim brings his considerable knowledge and interest in people to the fore as he oversees a session focusing recruiting for the future, on coping with being “crazy busy and the opinions of Gen Z.


Mark Simpson

Award winning Journalist, Mark Simpson overseas a factual morning with industry stats and forecasts with conversation on the opportunities, economic benefits and the inside track on Northern Ireland’s first “Hometel”.


An exciting line-up of industry experts and inspirational leaders join us for this year's programme.


Adrian Ellis

Drawing on his 28-year hotel career (currently GM of the Lowry) and his role as a Springboard Ambassador, Adrian outlines the innovative programme he has created to engage with schools, its roll out and benefits explaining explain the balance required to achieve the highest standards, nurture future talent and attract people into the industry.

Tom Booton

A meteoric culinary career from commis chef at 15 to head chef at 26, Tom Booton will speak about his passion for the industry, what it’s like to have you name above the door at the restaurant in one of the world's most iconic hotels and reinventing the grill menu using great produce and a classic twist.


Zena Everett

Do you need to take “The Crazy Busy Cure? In a lively interactive masterclass Zena will help you improve your productivity, achieve better focus, and help you regain vital energy. You and your teams will gain a laser focus on the tasks that matter and execute them without distraction. Free book for all delegates.

Sarah Duignan

It’s all about the data as Sarah Duignan reveals where’s hot and what’s not unravelling the nuances on hotel performance, recovery around the globe and thoughts on the year ahead.

Tom Barrett

It’s been a busy time with flagship properties selling for record prices, Tom will give the inside track on the local hotel market, current trends, valuations and perhaps a sneaky peak at what’s for sale and what’s not.


Adrian Patton

With costs soaring, Adrian will look at how to analyse your bedroom pricing, breaking it out to reflect overheads to ensure businesses achieve profit.

Yannick Cabrol

A sustainable destination is a successful one! Yannick from EY will outline global trends, best practice, along with implications and opportunities for the expanding tourism in Northern Ireland.

Stuart Godwin

Sailing around the world gave Stuart a different perspective on hotel stays and an insight into the damage to global infrastructure which led to the creation of “hometel”, offering a different accommodation option and a commitment to protecting the planet. The fourth “hometel” will open in Belfast in Autumn 2023.


Andrew Webb

What is the true value of Tourism? Andrew, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton, will give us the low down on the latest report commissioned by NITA (with added hotel insights) highlighting the economic powerhouse tourism has become.

Alice Mansergh

Alice Mansergh, Tourism Ireland’s new Chief Executive Designate joins us to give her insight and impressions of the sector on her first industry visit to Northern Ireland.

John McGrillen

Restoring the industry, attracting world class events, and creating a sustainable tourism framework are all on John McGrillen’s to do list. Hear his thoughts on the future of tourism and the challenges of the coming year.



Industry experts and influencers join us to chat about big issues, hot topics and give their opinion on the future.


Jade Baldrick

Jade is a 23-year-old graduate of Business in Marketing & Sales from ATU Galway. She is on an 18-month graduate management development programme with Dalata Hotel Group and is currently based in The Clayton Hotel in Manchester City.

Sarah Termonia

Sarah is an apprentice with the Galgorm Collection and has taken on a “roaming” role where she moved around all the kitchens and thus developed into one of the strongest students with great potential. A budding culinary talent, Sarah was one of a select few students chosen to represent SERC in Nashville for 3 weeks in a student placement programme.


Michael Thompson

Michael was the winner of the Future Chef competition in Northern Ireland in 2022; the then 15-year-old Michael impressed judges with his culinary talent and passion for food. Michael will give us an update on his journey so far and what his thoughts are on his future career.

Dr Joanne Stuart

Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Joanne will give an insight into tourism as a force for good, understanding its economic importance and achieving sustainable growth.

Ruth Andrews

With a career spanning over 35 years in Irish tourism, Ruth is currently Chief Executive of the ITOA Ireland, and a Director of ITIC and Tourism Ireland.


Julia Corkey

Business tourism is a vital sector for Northern Ireland. Julia from ICC Belfast will give her insights into this sector, its ability to transform tourism and the role of a leading venue.