IHG Hotels & Resorts, the parent company of meetings- and incentives-friendly hotel brands InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn, announced in late October a partnership that will impact meetings held at their properties, plus another partnership that will affect meetings held at properties beyond their brands too.
First, an agreement with CVS Health has produced the Return Ready program, which will provide trained personnel at IHG properties around the United States to offer rapid on-site Covid testing of guests. Return Ready falls under IHG’s Meet With Confidence program, which also delivers enhanced cleaning and sterilization protocols throughout properties to minimize the chances of Covid transmission. “While vaccine rates continue to trend in a positive direction, preventive measures and effective testing will continue to be critical to hosting in-person and hybrid gatherings,” according to an IHG press release.
The second partnership IHG cemented is with the Professional Convention Management Association, aimed at educating convention sales and service staffers at hotels on the logistical and technological aspects of running hybrid meetings. The hotel company will serve as the sponsor for a new training course created by PCMA along with audiovisual and event-production firm Encore. Dubbed the Digital Event Strategist Introductory Certificate Course for Hotels and Venues, it is an offshoot of PCMA’s DES certificate program designed to educate planners on hybrid-event management.
Trey Newstedt, a spokesperson for IHG, said that “our financial contribution includes tailoring existing Digital Event Strategist certification content for the hotelier and supplier audience, plus the development of new content where PCMA and Encore produce modules to give hotel and venue staff a foundation to better partner with event producers” on hybrid events.