This week, Hilton announced Event Ready™ with CleanStay. The program aims to entice planners to book meetings and events by promising a higher standard of safety and flexibility. While Covid-19 continues to surge in the US and around the world, this program is a great example of a marketing-driven program that just might be the answer to getting small groups to meet in person again.
Let’s break down what the program offers and why other brands will likely be copying the approach.
Cleanliness Protocols: The program expands on the elevated sanitation standards of the Hilton CleanStay program, addressing every touchpoint of the meeting experience. This includes room seals for guest and meeting rooms, sanitizing stations in public areas and meeting spaces and the EventReady Room Checklist.
What do we like? Room seals, sanitizing stations and checklists elicit the idea of strict protocols for cleaning. Hotels are known for being able to operationalize policies and this description should allay planners’ fears by making it clear that Hilton is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to their customers’ safety. The fact that this program ‘expands’ on the elevated sanitation standards further brings home the point that Hilton is already an expert in sanitation and this program goes above and beyond to ensure safety for groups.
Book-to-Billing Flexibility: Understanding the importance of flexibility, Hilton team members will work hand-in-hand with customers to align on shared objectives, providing:
- Flexible pricing, space options and contract terms
- Responsive offers to meet the needs of customers, like simplified agreements for small meetings
- Hilton EventReady Playbook, which delivers expert guidance and curated resources for solutions, such as Hybrid Meetings that combine on-site attendees with those in remote locations, Room Sets and Creative Networking
What do we like? Hilton understands that a lot has changed over the last few months and planners need more assurances and flexibility than before. The brand has adopted more flexible policies around pricing, space and contracts so planners can feel like they’re in control. And, for planners that are struggling to figure out how to make their events a success, Hilton’s experts are ready to help with best practices and new technology to bring together in-person and virtual participants.
Safe and Socially Responsible Solutions: To responsibly host meetings and events, Hilton team members will partner with their clients to achieve the meeting’s objectives while addressing both health and environmental concerns. This includes presenting creative physical distancing meeting sets and meal service, developing F&B options and sharing environmental impact solutions measured by LightStay, Hilton’s corporate responsibility measurement platform.
What do we like? Again, Hilton drives credibility by describing how the brand will partner with planners to meet the event objectives and safety/environmental objectives. The company also mentions another successful program, LightStay, to drive credibility.
Overall, as a marketer, it’s hard not to look at this new program as a marketing tactic, meant to drive corporate bookings. Is it too soon given the news that Covid-19 isn’t diminishing any time soon? Maybe. However, it’s clear that Hilton has done the work to put safety first and has reimagined its event offering to bring compliance into the mix. We applaud the effort and encourage other brands to think about what they can do to entice all segments, including planners, back into your hotel when the time is right.