. Dusit gears up for hybrid meetings with new interactive tech | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Dusit gears up for hybrid meetings with new interactive tech

Thai hospitality group incorporates curved screens and customised virtual backgrounds help kick up engagement levels.

Dusit International CEO Suphajee Suthumpun kicked off new hybrid tech with a live demonstration as staff worldwide tuned in.
Dusit International CEO Suphajee Suthumpun kicked off new hybrid tech with a live demonstration as staff worldwide tuned in.

In the presence of an audience nearing 100 pax, Dusit International demonstrated the new ways of enhancing hybrid meetings' experiences in its properties throughout Thailand, including Dusit Thani Hua Hin where the showcase was held.

The Thai hospitality brand has partnered with Future One for this digital enhancement for its meetings sector. Chatuphol Sithichai and Pornpimon Maneewatthana, the co-CEOs of Future One's parent company Pixel One, whose background is in events planning, were also present to trial the new technologies.

“You need a physical connection,” says Sithichai. “We tried to find an idea to keep connections going.”

The on-site meeting room was set up facing blocks set on curved risers like an arena. Blank surfaces can either form a single screen or each cube customised to display an attendee who is participating remotely. The absence of individual monitors breaks down the boxed-up feel of what is a part physical, part 3D Zoom meeting. The digital software brand, which has become synonymous with remote working in recent months, was chosen by Future One for its ease of use and ability to host up to 1000 participants at any one time.

“For even bigger events, you can bring different Zoom accounts together,” Maneewatthana added.

The Thai hospitality brand has partnered with Future One to "keep connections going" and enhance its hybrid meetings offer.
The Thai hospitality brand has partnered with Future One to "keep connections going" and enhance its hybrid meetings offer.

Backgrounds can be customised to suit the users' needs or simply select from a pre-existing library of images and videos. The speaker in the meeting room stands in front of a green screen while the virtual setting changes. Depending on the event, backgrounds can take on the look of a video game or a more professional appearance.

For the demonstration, Dusit International group CEO Suphajee Suthumpun chatted live with her executives and representatives based in Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, the Maldives, Dubai, London and New York. Most of them have been unable to meet in person since travel restrictions were imposed earlier this year. On their screens, Suthumpun appeared in front of their Hua Hin property, the image shot by Future One prior to the meeting.

The set-up is more than just window dressing. “The virtual elements ensure that the meeting is not boring,” said Maneewatthana. “The engagement of the participants is quite high.”

Explaining that “our company provides creative content technology,” Maneewatthana added that using digital technology to enhance the meeting experience at a time when people cannot always meet in person was a natural extension of their business.

Planners can pick from Future One's various production services such as shooting and editing of videos, which provides all the cameras, green screens, props and staff needed to conduct the meeting on the day. Fees for the service start from 150,000 baht (US$4,804), and includes the rental of the meeting room.