Hilton, like all of the hospitality companies that have rolled out health-and-safety cleanliness programs, has always acknowledged that hybrid-event technology must be part of the pandemic-era promise to planners. The hotel giant has now formalized some of those offerings with the rollout of Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions.
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The new guidelines, which will evolve over time, identify which properties in Hilton's portfolio are hybrid-ready. Additional resources include flexible meetings offers and an expanded Hilton EventReady Playbook, which addresses minimum hybrid-technology requirements, as well as the already existing health and safety best practices. Participating hotels will be able to access comprehensive training resources to get team members up to speed on hybrid-event production — and to stay informed as best practices evolve.
"Hilton has remained a leader in the meetings and events industry for more than 100 years by listening intently and innovating quickly to changing customer needs," said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and chief brand officer at Hilton. "Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions were born out of our continued commitment to excellence — from accessing the capabilities of our global portfolio to rolling out a suite of extensive event planner resources and introducing team-member training to ensure we can deliver the optimum overall event experience."
Hybrid Solutions will begin rolling out globally this month, and the expanded Hybrid Events chapter in the EventReady Playbook will likewise appear later this month (in English, to start). Among the new material will be case studies, pro tips and a hybrid-events glossary.
To be included in Hilton's portfolio of hybrid-ready properties, hotels must meet baseline requirements and offer additional resources such as:
- IT readiness: Each property is evaluated to ensure the available bandwidth and IT infrastructure meets the requirements of small hybrid events. Hotels must have a minimum amount of incremental and available bandwidth that is above the property's average circuit-utilization level. The goal is to ensure seamless communication and connectivity to optimize the hybrid-meeting experience.
- Multisite offering and express agreements: Planners must be able to book the in-person portions of the event at multiple hybrid-ready Hilton properties, and express agreements should be available to help streamline the contracting process.
As part of the new program, Hilton technology partner Encore (formerly PSAV) will offer several packages at participating hotels that were created specifically for small hybrid events. Some hotels include Encore's Presentation Stages, production-ready studios equipped with broadcast infrastructure and staging equipment. Production Stages, like the growing number of hybrid-specific studios appearing at facilities around the world, are prebuilt locations designed to produce, record and broadcast online events, with high-quality production values. Such stages can accommodate between two and six presenters on-site and 50 in-person attendees.
The Hilton properties that currently offer Presentation Stages include the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hilton Atlanta, Hilton Anatole, Hilton Denver and The Beverly Hilton. Several more are being built and will be available by year-end in Cleveland; Minneapolis; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
An updated list of hybrid-ready hotels can be found at meetings.hilton.com/eventready.