As the industry begins to recover from a tumultuous year, virtual/in-person hybrid events have emerged as an effective solution for bringing people together and will play a critical role in the near term.
We take a look at how hotel groups have been innovating to overcome the challenges of the global pandemic by offering hybrid events that adapt to the current challenges facing the industry.
Marriott International has expanded its Connect With Confidence program to provide new hybrid events. The hotel group has curated a list of providers that offer technology solutions for hosting hybrid meetings, such as Encore, Cvent, Convene, MeetingPlay and Hopin. The new resources will be available from March 2021 at Marriott hotels across the United States and Canada, and will be available globally in the near future.
Connect with Confidence meetings were showcased in January 2021 at Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, where Marriott held an event using the latest hybrid meeting technology. The event included 100 in-person attendees and 800 virtual attendees.
Marriott has shared its Connect with Confidence Hybrid Meetings and Events Insights Guide on the Marriott Bonvoy Events website here, which incorporates the learnings from the January 2021 event at Gaylord Rockies, as well as the first Connect with Confidence event held in November 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in Virginia.
Hilton has introduced a new suite of offerings available at its range of hybrid-ready hotels, as well as new planning resources and flexible customer offers.
Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions began rolling out globally in January 2021, and is accompanied by an expanded Hybrid Events chapter of the Hilton EventReady Playbook. The section includes detailed case studies, pro-tips, a glossary of hybrid event terms and more.
Each hybrid-ready hotel has undergone an evaluation to ensure its IT bandwidth and infrastructure meet the requirements of small hybrid events, and meeting planners have the option to book the in-person portion of their event at multiple Hilton locations.
Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions also includes several event technology packages available from Encore (formerly PSAV) as well as Presentation Stage, a production-ready event solution that provides a clean and safe pre-built location to produce, record and/or broadcast a high quality online event. Presentation Stages are currently available to book at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hilton Atlanta, Hilton Anatole, Hilton Denver, and The Beverly Hilton, with several more being made available in other locations by end of year.
Hybrid Meetings by Hyatt offers a turnkey solution for multi-destination meetings that can facilitate gatherings for up to 15 attendees per location, as well as broadcast content to meeting rooms across multiple hotels.
The hybrid meeting package includes one dedicated sales professional to cover the event logistics across all of the Hyatt locations chosen for the event, as well as continuity in pricing across all meeting locations. It allows for a return to in-person meetings with reduced group sizes, minimal travel, as well as the option to attend remotely.
The multi-venue, multi-networked communication package costs $2,000 per property. Package upgrades could include a technician in the room for the entire event, additional monitors or a second broadcast camera.
IHG Hotels and Resorts
Building on IHG Hotels and Resorts‘ Meet with Confidence program, the company has partnered with several technology and catering providers to expand its hybrid meetings offering.
Event planners can choose between the company’s Smart Solution or Expert Solution, based on the size and scale of their event. The Expert Solution package is currently only available at 100 hotels in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The Smart Solution includes onsite COVID-19 testing provided by Wellness 4 Humanity, as well as use of an 86″ touch screen to help onsite and remote participants work collaboratively, while the Expert Solution offers more comprehensive audio-visual systems and the ability to link multiple hotels in different destinations for your event.
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Encore to launch the Ready, Set, Go Hybrid with Omni package.
Event planners hosting a hybrid event with Omni can access production facilities such as audio, cameras and lighting, and can choose from three options depending on the scale of the event. Omni Virtual Studio is aimed at individuals or small groups; Omni Hybrid Small Meeting is designed for meetings of up-to 15 in-person attendees and with the flexibility to scale as needed; while Omni Hybrid Your Way is aimed at larger groups of more than 15 in-person attendees, and can include more interactive elements such as gamification, voting or connecting audiences and presenters across multiple venues.
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