In the summer of 2013, Chris Gaines joined QHotels as Director
His initial focus was of course to drive commercial growth but
initially his primary focus was to tackle the tough conference and
events market. Chris was Head of Sales at Hibu (formerly Yell) and
prior to joining QHotels was the UK Sales & Marketing Director
We talk to Chris on all things Conferencing & Events and we
dig a little deeper to find out what makes him tick!
How would you sum up your first few months at
"The diversity of the hotel and
hospitality business is fascinating, and the team at QHotels are
some of the most passionate and loyal I've ever met. Learning a new
industry is very exciting and I can see the opportunities to take
business from strength to strength."
What was the best conference/event experience you've
"A few months after starting, I
held my first QHotels Sales Conference at Forest Pines Hotel &
Golf Resort. I wanted to experience what our customers do, and I
wasn't disappointed! What an amazing hotel with a fabulous team,
who ensured that everything was perfect, from the events centre to
the banqueting facilities. Their attention to detail was spot on,
including the meals from their new Executive Chef."
What type of hotel is your favourite?
"When away on business, a hotel
that gives you the feeling of a home away from home whilst also
delivering an excellent service, and I'm proud to say that I
believe QHotels fits this criteria exactly. On holiday, somewhere I
can totally unwind from the day-to-day stresses and relax with my
What is your favourite holiday destination?
"Thailand, mainly because my two young daughters love Thai food
so I never have to worry about what they are going to eat!"
What has been your greatest achievement in your career
"Apart from my appointment into
the exciting and challenging role as Director of Sales at QHotels?!
(Laughs.) I'm a great believer in creating a winning, working
environment in which people can develop their professional and
personal skills. Seeing people that I have helped to develop and
build successful careers I find very rewarding."
What career path did you take to get to where you are
"I had a temporary job in
telesales for Yellow Pages the summer before I was due to start
university to study medicine, to help fund my …studies! Twenty
years later and it turned out to be the longest summer job on
record! I found my niche in life and I've never looked back! I was
privileged to progress my career through telesales and field sales
management, and ultimately run one of the largest sales
organisations in Europe. And today I find myself at QHotels."
What advice would you give to someone starting a career
"You need determination,
personal drive and resilience, coupled with enjoying meeting new
people and building relationships. I also believe it's important to
only showcase or "sell" a product or service you believe in. Get
the mix right, and the opportunities can be significant and
rewarding - above all, take ownership for your future success.
What are the three things you can't live
"The 3 most important women in my life, my wife and 2 young
daughters; a good bottle of South African red and….dare I say
What is your favourite film?
"The Shawshank Redemption. I was
moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope, friendship and
redemption - like many people, I have lost count of how many times
I've watched this film!"