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VR-Based Site Inspections Take Another Step Forward

InterContinental Hotels is piloting improved virtual-reality functionality that allows planners to customize set-ups in the event space they’re viewing.

A new generation of virtual reality aimed at the meetings and events market has been developed by Accenture’s Extended Reality practice in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, making remote site inspections more robust for meeting planners. InterContinental Hotels Group is the first hotel company to partner with the two technology firms to test-drive the tool with meeting clients and prospects interested in viewing the event space at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

Known as the XR Event Planner, the enhanced VR technology solution places event planners and hotel sales staff side-by-side in a virtual reconstruction of an event space, allowing them to remotely envision and configure the layout in real time. The pilot program recreates the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown’s Hollywood Ballroom in three dimensions, including accurate reflections of architectural features, layouts, lighting, carpet design, table settings, and fabric patterns. Users can modify room layouts by toggling between table and chair configurations, stage placements, decorations, and lighting as they all collaborate remotely and add notes for colleagues or for the hotel’s set-up personnel.

VRintercontinental1.pngThe pilot program extends the digital journey from smartphone AR (pictured here) to more immersive head-worn devices including Nreal AR glasses and HTC Vive Focus Plus VR headsets, both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Platform.

Feedback from focus-group testing and market analysis conducted by Accenture shows that the XR Event Planner could shorten the time frame between a planner’s first inquiry to a property and signing a deal to hold a meeting there and decrease costs associated with booking events. In addition, hoteliers estimate the new VR functionality could increase hotel revenue by up to eight percent and boost brand loyalty and affinity as well.

A video demonstrating the space-viewing experience through the NReal AR glasses and the Vive VR headset can be seen here.

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