[PERSPECTIVES] When is a hotel not a hotel?

CHOOSING a hotel strategically in line with client objectives is a great way to get more value out of the accommodation part of event planning than simply viewing it as a place for guests to lay their heads. It can also help reduce costs, says The Appointment Group’s Sam Robson.

Beyond luxury
A spa hotel, for example, can add more to an event than a touch of luxury. If your sales team or partner network has worked hard all year, an incentive trip can act as a motivational reward, as well as an opportunity for teambuilding and training. Add a spa element, and it can also play a key role in rejuvenating their minds and bodies, so they start the next year in great condition. This move also offers a clear signal that you value their wellbeing.

Meanwhile, in the associations market – particularly in pharmaceuticals and medicine – the focus is very much on using conventions and congresses to drive key benefits for members, the industry sector and, in many cases, society as a whole. Any form of ostentation is off-limits, which makes the choice of accommodation critical, with hotel chains that offer high-quality three- and four-star properties ideal in terms of budget and projecting the right image into the market.

Point of difference
Delivering a unique experience is becoming increasingly important for incentive programmes, and choosing the right hotel can make a valuable contribution. A particularly original or quirky property – perhaps in terms of stunning location or groundbreaking design – can deliver the necessary wow factor the event needs, or can help support the overall theme, such as a hotel that reflects the culture of its surroundings rather than that of the hotel brand.

Combining uniqueness with good conference and events facilities, which more and more hotels are doing, means delegates can remain on site throughout the programme. This can be a great way to create a truly immersive experience that can improve the absorption of key messages and the communication of an organisation’s visions and values.

Choosing such a conference hotel is also more cost effective than booking a separate venue. For larger event groups, there is the option of buying out an entire property, and when this is done at a resort, it can create a highly immersive and exclusive atmosphere for delegates.


Sam Robson is the group event director at The Appointment Group, an award-winning global travel and event management company. Its specialist business divisions, TAG Global Corporate Travel, TAG Global Touring, TAG Global Events, TAG Global Private Clients, TAG Global Sports and TAG Global Film & Media provide high calibre travel and events management for high-end corporations, VIP individuals and luxury leisure travellers across an office network in London, Manchester, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore. www.appointmentgroup.com

By Sam Robson

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