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U.k Chapter Ipba


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#1 Petals

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 06:31 PM

I hope this is under the correct heading!

Would like to hear how the Convention went in the U.K. Am surprised to see that nothing has been written on the site. Unfortunately it coincided with my being away from London so I could not go.

Would love to read some comments as to what took place etc. etc.
Nancy, where are you?????????

#2 Petals

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:39 AM

Received my information this morning from the U.K. Chapter and Nancy there is a picture of you with the group.

There is also a picture of Alison Chapman from E.L Harrods assisting Christine Cartwright, a Beauty Expert from EL. I cannot make out whether the Solids on the small stands are prototypes for what they will be bringing out in the future or just solids from the past!

Yesterday I met another well established member of IPBA and the UK Chapter and she told me there is talk of holding the next Convention in Central London. Maybe that would be an incentive for our members from all over the world to come join us here! It certainly would make it more interesting than holding the event at Gatwick!

What do you think?



#3 Nancy

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 06:40 AM


Hi Jacky, yes I got mine yesterday too. I somehow managed to get into two photos worse luck! ohmy.gif I have sent a report to Jack too asking him to post it for me if he feels it isn't too inflamatory! It's a pity you missed it as it would have been interesting to see how you, with your background, would have dealt with the hotel! biggrin.gif When we got back and I told my daughter about our problems and that we had the duty manager in our room until midnight trying to sort things out she said she felt sorry for him because she knows what we are like! tongue.gif tongue.gif

If he takes a job like that in a hotel like that he has to expect to take the heat I say!!! dry.gif



#4 Jack

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 06:08 PM

Never worry about stating an opinion here. We don't censor! Here's the review Nancy sent me - completely unedited!



My friend and I travelled from Glasgow to London for the IPBA
Neither of us had been to the UK convention before although I had been to two in the US, the one in Reston this year and last years in Orlando. Neither of us knew what to expect but we were determined to have a really good time.

We got to the hotel about eleven o'clock and deposited our bags. We know that the check-in time was 2pm but usually, if your room is ready, the hotel is happy to check you in. Here, we were told, "check in is at 2 take a seat!" We just looked at each other incredulous at being asked to sit and wait for 3 hours. I aslked about leaving our bags as we intended going into London for some shopping and we were told the duty manager would come out and see us. We took a seat in the lounge and my friend went to the bar to order some food. She asked what the soup of the day was and was told that soup of the day was not served until 4 pm. She ordered something else and two pots of tea. There was some doubs about the tea but the guy said he would 'try'. When he brought the tea the lids of the teapots were about two sizes too big for the pots and were none too clean. We got rid of our bags and did a quck about turn and took the Gatwick Express into town.

It was after 10 pm when we got back to the hotel to check in and see our room for the first time. We had called earlier in the week to 'upgrade' our room and we had booked a mini suite with two double beds. Ha, turns out their idea of a mini suite and double bed are different to ours. There was one double bed and a fold down couch! We did an about turn and went straight back to reception. We were told that there were no other 'suites' available so we asked to revert back to a twin room. We looked at one and it was on the ground floor and the window didn't lock and it faced onto the car park. We rejected it. The second room we checked out smelled of damp and the bathroom was none too clean. This time when we got back to reception the duty manager was having an argument with another guest. We were tired and didn't want to wait so asked if he would come and see us when he was free. He came up to our 'suite' where I told him that we had booked a room with two double beds and I did not consider a fold down couch a double bed. He went off in search for a better room for us and came back to report that none of the ones he had looked at was better than the one we had. I told him I thought that spoke volumes of the standards of the hotel. By this time it was mid-night and we decided to try again in the morning. Guess who got the couch??? To be fair my friend did not have a good nights sleep as her bed dipped in the middle (and, apparently, I snore!)
In the morning I discovered that the mixer tap in the bathroom whilst giving out both hot and cold water did not mix so you had a flow of both hot and cold so I got scalded. At reception we asked for the couch to be taken out and a single bed installed. We were told they didn't have a single bed available to give us. Strange hotel to have a shortage of beds. The lift was never cleaned whilst we were there, in fact it looked like it hadn't been cleaned for some time! The place was shabby and dirty.

Over breakfast the next morning my friend and I played 'spot the perfume people'. We asked for a jug of hot milk to go with the coffee and after ten minutes this finally arrived. Only thing was, it came in a coffee pot!


We hoped the convention was going to be worth all the hassle.
After registration we went upstairs to listen to the speakers.

Betty Houghton of the Cotswold Perfume company gave an insight into how a 'small' company without the resources that multinationals have manage in this cut-throat business. It was also an interesting concept for me someone being paid to talk! Why didn't I think of that?

Christine Cartwright of Estee Lauder has certainly led a very interesting life She obviously loves her work and it shows. How many of us can say that? I could have listened to her for hours.

David Pybus gave another totally different viewpoint of the perfume world and again, we could have listened to him for hours.

The round table talks were fascinating. Earline Kopriva showed us some wonderful perfume jewellery. She has an amazning collection and, she can wear it too. Annette Green who wrote a wonderful book on perfume jewellery was a speaker at Reston this year and the IPBA had been trying to get her as a speaker for years. Well worth the wait I say.
Also at our table was Phyllis Dohanian who showed us photographs of her collection. When you see collections like these you realise you are just a beginner. It makes you wonder if there is anything left our there for us!


We met lots of really nice people and, had a good day. We couldn't wait until the sale the following day.

Sunday breakfast was so different from the previous day. Everyone was saying hello and chatting about the day before. Jean Paris ( I hope the name is right) and her niece had come over from the US for the convention and they had been in the hotel for about a week. I heard another guest apologise on behalf of the whole of the UK for the conditions in the hotel. Jean was one of the founder members of the IPBA and she was a very interesting lady to talk to. Thinking back to the hotels in America I cringed with embarassment.
We got talking to another lady who told us that she had reached out in the night to turn on the lamp and there was no bulb in it and so she got a shock. When she reported this t reception all they said was 'sorry'. This should have gone in the accident book in any case but then I guess that wouldn't look too good would it. She was lucky she wasn't killed. When my friend asked for a jug of hot milk for coffee she was asked if a glass of milk would do. She said not that wasn't enough and the waiter told her "But we gave you a jug yesterday and you didn't drink it all". She suggested this time they gave her a smaller jug and when told they didn't have any she asked them to put some in one of their small teapots!

The anticipation of the sale was almost too much to bear. Then. The doors opened and we were in. How do you deal with sales like this? Do you do a circuit just to see what there is and then go back for your favourite or do you just buy the first thing that you like and hope your money holds out? So many wonderful bottles, so many wonderful sellers. Everyone was so friendly. Willing to give advice and swap tales. Have you noticed how everyone (well most people) goes clockwise around the room? Like animals stalking prey until they pounce and take away their prize to savour later.

Taking a break from the sale we decided to have a drink. The bar was closed and a sign stated it would open at 4 pm. We asked at reception and said we were looking for a coffee and a soda. We were told to try upstairs and if there was someone in the dining area they would help us. When we got there we were told no, that the bar opened at 3 pm. As we had checked out of our rooms I wondered if room service would bring us a drink in the lounge if we paid. We were told we'd have to ask at reception. The staff in this hotel were rude and unhelpfull and I told them that some training in customer care would not go amiss. Part of me would like to get a job there and put things to rights but to be honest I think that would be too much to hope for. It seemed to be from the top down. As it was near the airport I suspect that they get people staying for one night and therefore don't have to bother too much as guests don't usually complain as they aren't there long enough.

Soon it was time to leave for our flight home. We were both shattered but agreed we had a good time and cannot wait for next year. Maybe a (decent) hotel nearer the centre of London could be organised, it would add to the cost but would be good to get to the shops as we like to make the most of our time when we're away.

If anyone gets a chance to go to the American convention I highly recommend it. Next year is in Texas, in the outskirts of Dallas. Again, I would prefer to be in the city as I won't drive over there and public transport is not readily available to get around. Obviously, having more members theirs is a bigger affair and I loved the 'educational' aspect of theirs. I'm not sure if I'll make it to Dallas but I shall make the next UK IPBA. I can't wait. In fact I'm saving now.

#5 Lisa

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 08:23 PM

Nancy,

I absolutely love your reporting, I enjoyed reading it very much even though you had a crummy hotel. I am thinking of attending the Dallas convention as I have never been there before and always wanted to go. Nancy if you go I'll really have to try, you'll have to provide us with another wonderful report!! biggrin.gif


#6 Ron

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 10:44 PM

Nancy
Are you sure the convention was not one of those television shows that mess everything up for people. The place sounded like a nightmare.

Anyone going to the Dallas convention I can tell you the hotel is fabulous and the staff there go out of their way to help you.

#7 Nancy

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 06:00 AM


Ron, it was you who got me my membership forms and because of that I went to the Florida convention last year. People complained about the hotel because of the layout. I thought it was all fantastic. This year in Reston, everything was fantastic. The hotel there was beautiful. The UK convention...well..we had a television show here years ago called Fawlty Towers. I don't know if they sold it to the US but if any of you saw it you know what I am talking about. But..Fawlty Towers was clean!
Next year I think they will use another hotel. It was only two nights and thank goodness it was, I hardly slept, the bed (fold down couch!) was so awful. If it hadn't been for the convention we would have walked out. I haven't finished with the hotel yet but here in Scotland most hotels are graded by and inspected by the Tourist Board. I don't think it is the same in England. In fact, on checking their website it says that they are self accredited for their three star status. Because of it's location (it is so close to the airport) I would imagine most of their business is one night stays.
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#8 Nancy

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 06:08 AM

Jack, I obviously did not use my spellcheck as there are loads of typos. I guess I was so angry I typed faster and my fingers couldn't keep up with my brain!!!! Even after this amount of time I still feel upset and annoyed at them.

#9 Petals

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 09:15 AM

Hello Nancy, I have just read your report and straight away my mind turned to Fawlty Towers.

I am going to check out the hotel to see which group they belong to (if).

In all my years working and in contact with the hotel business, I have never ever read anything like this! Had I been with you, I would have gone 'up the wall' and insisted on meeting the General Manager. Then, hell would have broken out!
It is a pity you all did not act together on this one there and then, but I appreciate that the whole purpose of your visit was to attend the Convention and time was/is precious. I am wondering if they had a General Manager or whether the Duty Manager was holding the fort.

I really think this should be followed up with the Group or the Hotel Manager. It should not be left for other unsuspecting visitors, whether they be staying for one night or one month.

Thanks Nancy.






#10 Ann and Ken

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 09:24 AM



Hi Ron,

I was told that the Dallas convention was being moved back to Reston because no one wanted to go to Dallas.

Can you find out if this is true. I know The IBPA has contracts with Dallas but if no one signs up for the rooms they have to pay a big penalty and it might be cheaper to break the contract with Dallas and go to Reston.

IBPA needs to put a stop to the rumor if it is only a rumor!!!! No one seems to know if it is true but someome has to know I would think.

Some folks buy their airline tickets ahead of time with no refund so it is important to have the right location. rolleyes.gif

Thanks,
Ann


#11 Michele

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:01 PM

Nancy - Your description of the hotel was anything but inflammatory...I applaud your ability to rein in your anger (at the time) and handle a horrid situation with such proper decorum. Had it been me in the same situation, the hotel Manager would still be searching for his internal organs...and this would be written from prison. laugh.gif You are to be commended!

Re: the "Rumor"...surely someone in charge of the IPBA belongs to this site...I'm not involved with it, but this could turn out to be one of the most expensive rumors that ever surfaced! sad.gif I think an answer is warranted...and soon!


#12 Ann and Ken

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:08 PM



I agree-- someone from IPBA needs to step up to the plate and be RIGHT about it.

I gave up trying to find the true of the matter. Have heard it both ways from reliable sources.

Ann



#13 Nancy

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:14 PM

Jacky, the Europa belongs to the Britannia Group and if I had known this before I left we could have booked another hotel and just taken a taxi to the Europa for the convention. I had a bit of an experience with one of their hotels in Manchester last year when we flew to Florida from there. They gave me a key to a room that was occupied and when I opened the door (this was after midnight) I was confronted by a half naked german holding a bottle of beer. I'm not sure who got the biggest fright! laugh.gif I can laugh now but I complained to my travel agent who passed on my comments about that plus other complaints I had given him and we got a voucher for 10% off my next break with them. I swore I would never use it. Can you imagine how I felt to find out I'd landed in one of their hotels again!!! mad.gif
All around they had photographs of beautiful rooms in their other hotels. I'd like to know if they really exist. Believe me, no one complained more vociferously than us but if they didn't care that they nearly electroluted a guest they aren't going to care that we weren't happy about our room!
Ann, I hadn't heard about any possible change of location for the US IPBA next year. Interesting. You are right about people booking early. They have to let us know before we make plans. I would like to go to The IPBA but would also like to go to the Compact Convention and if I can only afford one I think this year it will be the Vegas one. Keep us posted though as I usually make my plans just after New Year.

#14 mostlyminis

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:19 PM

Nancy, what a great report! I'm sorry the hotel was so awful, but the rest of the convention sounds just wonderful. I've only been to Dallas once, but I loved it. There's so much to do there. Of course, I have relatives there to chauffeur us around and that makes a big difference when trying to navigate such a big city.

#15 Michele

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:21 PM

Wait...Wait...Wait...go back to the German. Was he cute?




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