Accor's new hybrid meetings and conference solution utilises Microsoft Teams.

Accor has joined forces with Microsoft to launch a new hybrid meetings and conference solution aimed at helping businesses conduct meetings and conferences with in-person and remote workforces.

Developed on the back of data which shows 50% of physical meetings planned across its network in 2021 will migrate to virtual format, the new ‘All Connect’ concept will utilise the Microsoft Teams platform and Surface Hub 2S technology, with Accor’s meeting spaces to be fitted with the latest in audio and video device equipment to present content to colleagues near and far.

Launching officially in April 2021, Accor plans to have 100% of its hotels worldwide with meeting room facilities to be offering the new hybrid concept by next year.

All Accor hotels worldwide with meeting facilities will offer the new service by 2022.

‘All Connect’ has been designed primarily for groups of between 8-50 physical participants in the same room and will be supported by Accor’s on-site meeting and event planners and a digital booking platform. Sanitation and hygiene measures at all meeting facilities will be in compliance with Accor’s ‘AllSafe’ program in collaboration with Bureau Veritas.

Accor Group Chief Commercial Officer Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Loyalty, Patrick Mendes, said the pandemic had forced business travellers and meeting planners around the world to review the way they work and their use of available technology.

“Accor’s new concept ‘All Connect’, created in collaboration with Microsoft Teams, will be an important tool for our guests, offering them the opportunity to organise safe, qualitative and seamless hybrid meetings as they continue to focus on health & safety and sustainability.

One of the meeting rooms at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

“’All Connect’ is another example of Accor responding rapidly to the ongoing crisis following on from the launch of ‘AllSafe’ and the rollout of Hotel Office and co-working concepts. We are delighted to launch this collaboration with Microsoft, knowing that Teams has become a new way to work for 115 million daily users who come together every day to meet, call, chat, and collaborate.”

Up to 70% of respondents in a poll conducted by the company say they consider hybrid meeting options as important services to be widely available in the future, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and when corporate budgets begin to return to normal.