Accor has launched its new hybrid meeting concept powered by Microsoft Teams, touted to reset the bar on the event experience.
Kickstarting in April 2021, the All Connect experience taps on Microsoft Teams' technology to allow corporate customers and meeting planners to combine physical in-hotel meetings with virtual interactions across multiple locations simultaneously.
For instance, attendees on-site at physical Accor meeting spaces will use Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2S, to connect to those who are logged in virtually on the Microsoft Teams platform. According to Accor, participants will be able to easily present content and see virtual participants as if they were in the same room.
Research by the hospitality group found that 50% of physical meetings planned by Accor's meetings and events customers in 2021 will switch to virtual formats, and that 70% of respondents see hybrid meetings as an important service in the future.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused business travellers and meeting planners to review the way they work," said Patrick Mendes, group chief commercial officer in charge of sales, marketing, distribution and loyalty at Accor. "Teams has become a new way to work for 115 million daily users who come together every day to meet, call, chat, and collaborate."
This concept will focus primarily on small meetings of eight to 50 physical participants, who will be supported by Accor's meetings & events team and its digital booking platform.
To date, 55% of Accor hotels with meeting rooms already provide hybrid meeting solutions. The group aims to implement All Connect into all hotel meeting rooms by 2022, covering all brands, from economy to ultra-luxury.
“The future of work is hybrid, and the services and experiences which organisations offer their customers will reflect this," said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, Microsoft global sales, marketing & operation. "We want every person and every organisation to benefit from this new working environment in a way that ensures business continuity."