Accor is collaborating with Microsoft to launch All Connect, a new hybrid meetings concept supported by Microsoft Teams. This new concept will enable guests around the world to adapt to the new ways of working that are expected to be an enduring legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, 55% of Accor hotels with meeting rooms are already providing hybrid meetings solutions to their clients. Launching in April, the new All Connect concept will ensure Accor hotels can provide an enriched full experience, which resets the bar on the hybrid meeting experience, according to the company. Accor’s target is to achieve 100% of its hotels with meeting rooms comply with the new hybrid meetings standard by 2022 across all brands, from economy to ultra-luxury worldwide.
By combining the brands and service culture of Accor with the meetings and collaboration technology of Teams, this new offering will enable corporate customers and meeting planners to combine physical in-hotel meetings with virtual interactions across multiple locations simultaneously. Meetings will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform, where attendees can connect and engage virtually. In Accor meeting spaces, Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2S will connect people on-site to those joining remotely with audio and video device experiences. People can easily present content and see virtual participants as if they were in the same room. With this solution, Accor guests and their meeting attendees can come together through professional, inclusive meeting experiences, from wherever they are.
The concept will focus primarily on small meetings (eight-50 physical participants). Distinctive and bespoke meeting programs and experiences will be available to attendees who can also expect the highest sanitary and safety measures as part of the Allsafe expert vetted protocol co-developed with Bureau Veritas, the company reports.
Research by Accor shows that 50% of physical meetings planned by the company’s meetings & events customers this year will switch to virtual formats and that 70% of respondents see hybrid meetings as an important service in the future.
Furthermore, sector analysis shows that the trend towards remote events and meetings is likely to endure beyond the pandemic even as corporate budgets return to pre-COVID levels. Accor’s hybrid meeting offer will be a new revenue stream for the group as corporate customers will focus on more sustainable corporate travel, continuing to prioritize health and safety, while maintaining business connections.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused business travelers 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. “Virtual and hybrid formats have become an essential part of daily business life. Accor’s new concept, All Connect, created in collaboration with Microsoft Teams, will be an important tool for our guests, offering them the opportunity to organize safe, qualitative and seamless hybrid meetings as they continue to focus on health & safety and sustainability. All Connect is another example of Accor responding rapidly to the ongoing crisis following on from the launch of AllSafe and the rollout of Hotel Office & co-working concepts. We are delighted to launch this collaboration with Microsoft, knowing that Teams has become a new way to work for 115 million daily users who come together every day to meet, call, chat and collaborate.”
Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP/president, Microsoft global sales, marketing and operation, added, “The future of work is hybrid, and the services and experiences which organizations offer their customers will reflect this. We want every person and every organization to benefit from this new working environment in a way that ensures business continuity. That’s why we are proud to collaborate with Accor on All Connect, helping their customers stay connected wherever they are.”