The new IHG hybrid systems allow for greater numbers to attend physical and virtual business gatherings.

A two-pronged attack has been launched by IHG Hotels and Resorts on the ‘new normal’ for the MICE sector, with the hotel operator introducing its own hybrid meetings and events solution into the market.

Building on the company’s existing ‘Meet with Confidence’ program and IHG Connect technology ecosystem, IHG has formed partnerships with several leading technology and catering organisations to boost its resources for event planners. The range of solutions will enable similar experiences to be curated for guests onsite as well as those tuning in remotely.

Event organisers can choose from IHG’s Smart Solution or Expert Solution depending on the size and scale of their event, with the latter currently only available at 100 hotels in the US, Europe, Middle-East and Asia-Pacific, including InterContinental Sydney Double Bay and Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach’s Oceanice Ballroom.

The Smart Solution includes onsite and immediate COVID-19 testing capability provided by Wellness 4 Humanity. In addition, planners can access an 86” touch screen from weframe One which allows both onsite and remote participants to work collaboratively and conduct presentations.

Planners requiring a more interactive set-up can opt to upgrade to the Expert Solution, which provides access to more comprehensive meeting capabilities including advanced audio-visual systems and the ability to link multiple venues across hotels in other places. Further, IHG’s partnership with Williams Sonoma will allow curated food and beverage packages to be designed, including specialty food, drinks and desserts to be delivered to off-site participants to ensure a truly shared experience.

All programs are underpinned by IHG’s Way of Clean hygiene and cleanliness program, now in effect at all IHG Hotels and Resorts properties worldwide. The structure ensures a heightened focus on cleanliness, social distancing and monitored safety measures.

Conference planners can connect more people both on-site and remotely with IHG’s new hybrid programs.

IHG Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Derek DeCross, said there was a strong desire in the marketplace to return to face-to-face events but that a full team effort was needed to ensure this could happen safely.

“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,” he said.

“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.”