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What happened at the Head for Points 10th Birthday Party?

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Thank you to everyone who came to our 10th Birthday Party on Wednesday evening at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel.

Our last summer party – back in 2019 – was also at the Renaissance and we decided to head back thanks to its big outdoor terrace:

HfP party patio

We had around 500 people there, but with the patio it certainly didn’t feel too crowded until we made everyone come back in for the raffle draw.

HfP party bar

…. and here it is, during the raffle:

HfP party raffle

Here is a shot taken earlier when the sun was brighter:

Head for Points party

With 500 of you and three of us, we were never going to be able to chat to everyone, but we did our best. Here is Rob, chatting with a couple of guests:

HfP party Rob readers

Barclaycard took up a corner of the room and was giving away goodie bags as well as answering all your Barclaycard-related questions. I think this is the first time they’ve been in a room with Barclaycard Avios cardholders and they were thrilled to chat to you all about it.

HfP party barclaycard

We want to thank Barclaycard for sponsoring the event and providing the canapes and cupcakes:

HfP Party cupcakes

It is not an exaggeration to say that without Barclaycard’s help – financially and logistically – an event of this scale would be extremely difficult to manage, and we are grateful for their backing.

HfP party canapes

Here is Sinead with Esme from Barclaycard and Richard from Malaysia Airlines – respectively our primary sponsor and headline raffle prize provider.

Head for Points party

We had a couple of brief speeches from Rob and Esme before the raffle:

HfP party Rob speech

We decided to have a shorter raffle for this event, as is traditional for the Summer parties, although we still had an excellent line-up of prizes.

Malaysia Airines business class

Our grand prize, generously donated by Malaysia Airlines and the Sabah Tourism Board was two Business Class flights to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo, via Kuala Lumpur, plus a two day package in a premium chalet at the Sutera Mantanani Resort on Mantanani Besar island.

This was won by Josh O, who I think it is fair to say was thrilled!

HfP Party Malaysia Airlines prize winner

Next up was a two night stay for two people in an Atelier Suite at Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan:

Atelier Suite Excelsior Gallia hotel

We also had a two night stay for two people in a Deluxe room at Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Prague:

Augustine hotel prague

Plus a two night stay for two people in a Studio Suite at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa:

JW Marriott Venice

Here I am, with one of our winners:

HfP party Rhys winner

Other prizes included:

  • 1 ‘Be My Guest’ voucher which you can use at any Hilton Honors hotel worldwide! You don’t need reward availability – you simply book a standard cash room and hand over your certificate at check-in. No blackout dates, no restrictions. If you want to head to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives for one free night, you can!
  • 100,000 IHG One Rewards points – which should get you at least £400 of free hotel rooms
  • 10,000 Accor Live Limitless points – these are worth €200 off any Accor hotel cash booking, you can transfer them into Avios or you can redeem them for tickets to a Limitless Experiences event
  • 10,000 Avios from Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers
  • 1 Japanese alcohol hamper kindly provided by ANA, All Nippon Airways

…. and a big thank you to all the companies that generously donated prizes.

Thank you again to everyone who came and made this event such a success, and especially to Barclaycard, Malaysia Airlines and the Renaissance St Pancras team. See you next time!

Comments (59)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Rob H not Rob says:

    Terrific evening; great to meet so many people and companies who enhance our travelling lifestyle. Take a bow HfP.

    Big ups to the super friendly Virgin rep who acknowledged the need for online voucher redemption.

    Big thumbs down to the IHG rep who appeared to be really inconvenienced when spoken to, and I didn’t even mention dynamic pricing.

    Cakes were mint.

  • Alex Sm says:

    Everything looks great! Wish I and my partner were there like in 2019.

  • Gordon says:

    Looks like everything went swimmingly.
    Well done Rob, Sinead & Rhys. I hope people managed to get answers from the Barclaycard representative regarding the many queries that were posted in comments over several weeks.

    • Rhys says:

      We had over 10 Barclaycard representatives who were all geared up for your queries!

      • Melvin says:

        I applaud the Barclaycard lady who approached me because she made the first move in a room full of people with potential gripes. She was friendly, sympathetic and a good listener, but fundamentally, as much use as a chocolate teapot! I didn’t expect her to have all the answers, however I want someone to take ownership of the problem, even if that means passing me onto someone else. The only suggestion she had was to talk to Rob (like it was his fault).

    • RussellH says:

      I talked to a very pleasant and sympathetic woman; I do not recall her name, but as she was from Barclaycard’s Product Team (and gave me the impression that everyone else there was too), and had nothing to do with Customer Service, she just apologised for the CS faults, said that she would pass my comments on, but could not otherwise help.

      She did say that had a card company treated her the way Barclaycard’s systems + CS she would have been annoyed too…

      • Erico1875 says:

        That must have been like drawing the short straw for BC staff. Getting your head bust for 3 hours from hacked off customers.
        Personally my experience has been pretty smooth

        • John T says:

          Agreed – was it basically a complaints desk?

          • Flightsy says:

            Gonna be honest, who goes to a Head for Points party to rant at the Barclaycard team? Give them feedback sure, but expecting them to resolve your personal issues is a bit much.

      • meta says:

        I would have told her how bad the product actually is beyond the sign up bonus!

        • Melvin says:

          @ Flightsy, who said anything about ranting? I’ve called and written and got nowhere. It was Barclaycard who approached me.

  • Josh O says:

    Huge thanks again Rhys – thrilled is probably n understatement! 💥

  • bafan says:

    Is Rhys single 👀😂?!

  • Gordon says:

    My OH received the Barclaycard plus a week ago & can’t pay any amount of the bill via the app, Just says “Something went wrong please try again later” with my BAPP Amex I can pay any amount as I go with my company bank card for company expenses IE fuel costs( Liquid gold atm). So it tallies up with accounts.
    I guess there’s still going to be problems to iron out for a while….

  • Peter K says:

    Looks like everyone had a great time. The HfP staff all look stunning I have to say!

  • memesweeper says:

    Great party.

    I badgered one of the Barclaycard team about the issues with the cabin upgrade voucher. She could not have have less of a clue about how they worked, or why the issues render it useless to many types of traveller. She did helpfully suggest speaking to the IAG folks who were conviently nearby.

    The IAG team members merely shrugged and blamed their IT people. They clearly had a string of other frustrations with IT. They had no interest in gathering details or owning anything or trying to find a fix, nor any useful tips on escalating the issue. As a loyalty team I suspect they have zero influence over the type or quality of products that are offered.

    Strangely, although I mingled and met lots of readers, many read the email bulletin first and foremost, not the website, and none were forum contributors or readers! I was hoping to catch LL or Cat or SuperSecret or FFox or Aston Or Carpal or S Squirrel or even JDB but sadly didn’t meet anyone. I did meet several random new friends, two of whom I may yet see again, and also introduced a potential new player to the card earning schemes. Ended up in the pub across the road till throwing out time. I was with the smokers… I think this helps at any gathering if you are looking to strike up many new conversations.

    I know lots of people ask, but please don’t offer raffle prizes to non-attendees. The turnout will be reduced if you did, and there would be less of a ‘buzz’ while everyone waited for the draw. There was palpable excitement early evening. The format works well.

    • Rob says:

      Agreed. The format works – and the more trade people we invite (80 this year) the more interesting it is for everyone. Qatar’s UK and Ireland head was there, for eg.

      Whether we can retain the food for next time depends on finding a sponsor happy to write a big cheque but it went down well.

      • Niall says:

        It was a great evening! I imagine it’s very worthwhile that these companies send good representatives, especially the smaller ones. Noticing some positive and negative comments on here. I have to add Meliá was an example where, although the chap was very nice, they didn’t make an appropriate choice for the event. He’d worked in corporate sales for 2 months… my hopes were quickly dashed of dorky chat about MeliáRewards quirks or devaluation, or the rumour Palacio de Isora will be rebranded as Paradisus. But my loyalty to seatspy probably improved by their representation.

        Like memesweeper was hoping to see some of the big forum names. Perhaps HFP could send some personal invites to some of those guys.

        • Rob says:

          Melia’s EMEA marketing head usually comes but he was on holiday.

          We also lost a few to a big trade event thrown by Visit America on the same night although the hard core did both!

        • Rob says:

          They know we can always fit them in even if they miss the main ticket sale.

          • Niall says:

            Great on both points! Fingers crossed for the Christmas party!

    • Cat says:

      Hi memesweeper, I was gutted I couldn’t make it, I had been looking forward to it, especially after so long with no HfP parties!

      Unfortunately, I got a badly timed case of covid, and had to cancel. I think quite a few of the other regulars just couldn’t make it, unfortunately.

      I’m hoping there’s an Xmas party, and will be there with bells (and baubles) on!

      • memesweeper says:

        See you there I hope ! Unless I’m travelling… 😉

      • polly says:

        Big shame to miss it too.. but it looks as good as the last parties. Missed seeing you and LL. Always so well organised, keep up the good work.. and yes here’s hoping for the Christmas one… that venue would work too? The balcony area is useful too.
        No going sliding down those bannisters Cat!
        Really, tho, hope you feel better soon and enjoying the mini rest from teaching x

        • Rob says:

          You can’t easily use that venue in Winter in the evenings due to the lack of lighting.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Wait, people are still getting tested?

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Hope to make it to one of these things one day, Memesweeper!

    • Lady London says:

      I missed you too @menesweeper. I will try to be in the right country next time.

      And @Cat will try not to have Covid next time I am sure.

      @Polly got stuck somewhere else I think, the change of date caught a few of us out. I could have made it back for the July date but sadly that was not the first date announced! A longer ahead notice of the date next time would help more of us who..er…travel, to make it.

      • Polly says:

        Yes LL, wondered which country you were stuck in. Roll on the next party, and hope we can make the date..are you back in the UK now? P

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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