Managing Director Petra Clayton is the owner and managing director of Custard Communications. She launched Custard in 2007 to deliver creative, strategic and measurable solutions to the hospitality sector through clever communications. With more than 22 years in hospitality marketing, Petra has her finger on the pulse of the industry’s challenges and commercial pressures, including the complex qualifications and training market. As a frequent commentator on strategic marketing, digital marketing and PR, her views and connections are regularly sought by journalists. She has chaired debates and spoken at major events including Hotelympia, World Travel Market, The Independent Hotel Show, Hotel Marketing Conference and the Annual Hotel Conference. Petra believes in a blend of academic and hands-on experience and promotes continuing professional development throughout her business. She dedicates time to developing her own skills too, completing a Master’s Degree in Strategic Marketing Management, a Cordon Bleu Diploma in Catering at Tante Marie and a Wine Spirit Education Trust Certificate amongst other short courses on personal development and leadership. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, an organisation she is passionate about and she wants to help build professionalism and career awareness amongst those considering a role in hospitality. She was therefore delighted to be put forward to join the executive councillors as a trustee for the Institute of Hospitality in 2014 and will continue to stay on the board until 2017. Petra has also relished the opportunity to share her teaching and marketing expertise with the industry and is a trainer for the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma, focusing on sales, marketing and customer service. Determined to provide a transparent and informative approach to marketing, Petra hopes to commence a research project into consumer behaviour in the hotel market as part of her PhD over the next five years.