In 2020, IHG Hotels & Resorts introduced its Meet with Confidence program to support the changing needs of meeting planners. Now, as the world prepares to safely return to travel, the program has expanded to include resources, technology and tools for hybrid events. These hybrid capabilities can simultaneously connect multiple hotel locations to regional and global business and leisure events through live streaming, creating more shared experiences for virtual and in-person attendees.
To further enhance the program, IHG has formed partnerships in the U.S. with Wellness 4 Humanity, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and weframe. These partners will offer solutions, including rapid onsite Covid-19 testing, customized food and beverage experiences and technology to enable digital collaboration. IHG's enhanced Meet with Confidence program supports successful conferences and events and is designed around five pillars to include all aspects of planning and execution:
- Clean and Safe: Enhanced cleanliness, social distancing and safety measures at all times
- Simplified: Streamlined contracting and planning, plus peace of mind with no cancellation or attrition fees
- Hybrid: Technology support and bandwidth to host seamless hybrid meetings and events
- Delicious: Satisfying food and beverage options delivered safely
- Rewarding: Flexible offers with rebates and IHG Business Rewards points
Bookers and planners can choose from two hybrid events solutions - Smart and Expert – to plan the right experience for in-person and virtual attendees across one or multiple locations:
Smart Solution: The Smart Solution is available at participating IHG Hotels & Resorts globally, except in Greater China.
- IHG Way of Clean: At the core of the program, with enhanced cleanliness, social distancing and safety measures implemented at all hotels.
- Onsite rapid Covid-19 testing: Provided by Wellness 4 Humanity, testing solutions are available as an option for meeting planners.
- Digital collaboration technology: Provided by weframe to increase collaboration amongst meeting attendees, weframe One, an interactive 86' touch screen, is a cloud-based technology allowing onsite and remote participants to work collaboratively.
Expert Solution: Initially available at nearly 100 hotels in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia, planners can choose to upweight the Smart Solution with additional services, including:
- Virtual technology experiences: Planners can utilize a full suite of hybrid meeting capabilities allowing in-person and virtual attendees to connect, in addition to advanced audio-visual production and multi-venue linking.
- Curated food and beverage experiences: Williams Sonoma has an exclusive catalogue of specialty food, drinks and dessert experiences for virtual attendees. Delivered to offsite attendees, this gives all participants a shared meeting experience with opportunities for personalization.
The Smart Solution, available at participating hotels, features a flexible offer for events booked by June 30, 2021 that meet or stay by December 31, 2021 and are 10 – 50 rooms on peak, with no cancellation fees, no attrition fees for rooms that are not booked, up to a 5% rebate towards the master bill, IHG Business Rewards for planners and bookers, and streamlined contracting through use of a short-form contract.
The Expert Solution includes all these benefits but is enhanced to a flat 5% rebate towards the master bill and a streamlined planning template for multi-location events. Event planners and virtual participants also benefit from our unique partnership with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Click here for details.
Derek DeCross, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: "There is a strong desire to return to face-to-face meetings, and welcoming groups back to our hotels is going to take a team effort from those planning events. We're committed to helping provide quality meeting experiences to give the attendees the confidence they need to feel secure attending in-person events, if that's the option they choose. With our enhanced technology and new partnerships, we're confident we have the right options in place for virtual attendees to still experience a best-in-class meeting from our hotels."
The technology is enabled by IHG's industry-leading internet solution, IHG Connect, which allows for unlimited device connectivity and the ability to manage bandwidth spikes for surge periods during large meetings and corporate events. To limit the contact with hotel teams and make the guest experience safer and more efficient, IHG offers digital check-in/check-out at thousands of hotels.