BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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Hilton has introduced an innovative worldwide first for anyone who plans, manages and attends business meetings and conferences. POGs (Personalised Online Groups service) allow conference delegates to book and manage their attendance to an event via a unique webpage established purely for that occasion.
Once a contract has been agreed between the event organiser and the hotel, with a minimum requirement of ten rooms per night, a POG can then be set up to manage and coordinate the event online. The meeting planner can tailor their POG to include their company logo, links to relevant websites and the conference agenda.
Delegates can then visit the webpage to book their accommodation, download the itinerary and eBrochures and keep informed of any changes to the conference agenda.
One important benefit of the POG, explained product manager for business products & promotions, Shannon Reid to ABTN, is the access to negotiated hotel rates: ”Through the POG delegates simply click to book a room within a negotiated block for that event, making it easier to take advantage of a locked rate.
”This tool will revolutionise the meetings industry,” she continued, adding: ”Hilton is the only company to introduce such a tool worldwide and although there are a few third parties dabbling in something similar in the US, we are the only ones to provide a global service that”s free of charge.”
Another initiative for business travellers ” who Reid described as Hilton”s ”core business” ” focuses specifically on larger events. The company has compiled targeted information and rewards for those planning a large conference across its portfolio of 61 properties with at least 250 rooms and the ability to hold 500 or more delegates theatre-style.
Managers of such events are guaranteed a dedicated event office, event manager, POG, a complimentary night”s accommodation for every 50 rooms booked and HHonors bonus rewards.
The company has also compiled a chart for travel between all cities that include a ”big event” hotel, showing in minutes the length of time it takes to fly between any of those destinations, including any necessary connections. Hilton has also introduced a dedicated area on its website for such ”big events”, www.hilton.com/bigevents.
Commenting on why Hilton has introduced such dedicated business travel products, Reid said: ”Looking after our business travellers is very important for Hilton and meetings and conferences are the main reasons people travel on business ” be it within the hotel they are staying in or elsewhere.