Pimento had a tough challenge, communicate a new brand image for the largest hotel chain in the world to its people who run it. Here's how they did it.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the largest hotel group in the world approached Pimento to re-launch their new look Holiday Inn Brand to owners, investors and general managers across the EMEA region.
The brief was to create an emotive, engaging experience that would act as a launch platform for the new Holiday Inn brand, bringing the new look brand to life and engaging with key audiences.
A key objective was to get the right people and enough of them to attend. This was to become the most ambitious event undertaken by the IHG group in this region to date.
Finding a flexible venue (we wanted to get the hoteliers out of their hotels)
Capturing the audiences imagination – not a conference but an experience
Creating a 'wow' in every moment, something IHG would be proud of
Capturing $400,000 worth of exhibitor and sponsorship revenue five weeks from the event
Managing an awards event with over 100 awards to be delivered in 65 minutes
Adapting to an “evolving client brief”
Managing logistics with nearly 3000 delegates at 17 hotels flying into five airports and numerous train stations.
Developing a registration system that could deliver an individual and unique experience for every guest “my conference”
The central message “Change is here” was chosen by Pimento as it communicated the corporate objectives of IHG as a whole and clearly positioned the future intention for Holiday Inn as well as the other IHG brands
It was agreed that the annual regional conference, held in April, would be the most appropriate vehicle for the experience, along with incorporating the annual awards for excellence held by IHG. This was developed into a weeklong event, in order to successfully showcase the new brand experience to all relevant parties
Teaser videos were specially created to whet the appetite of prospective delegates
The initial diary communication to “save the date” was sent to prospects at the end of November. Further communication in the form of html invites were sent out in February, followed up by presentations from the COO’s and their staff
The event was held at a new venue London Farnborough FIVE and split into two distinct phases: a rolling conference for three different target groups and the Holiday Inn Experience to re-launch the brand and new hallmarks to the region.
The first group was for owners and investors, the second general managers and the final conference group was for sales and marketing executives. Each met with the previous group to enable networking and the sharing of experiences, a key focus of the experience.
Pimento created a cinematic film experience that traces the history of the Holiday Inn brand from its inception in 1950s middle America through to present day, with a theatrical reveal of the new “hallmarks” that differentiate the Holiday Inn chain and set the standard for the industry over the next decade. The film was complemented by the creation of an authentic 1950’s Holiday Inn reception and time tunnel experience.
The complex piece included a series of dramatic audio visual pieces projected onto a 15 metre long screen by 2.8 metre high using HD technology and surround sound, with a purpose-built plenary auditorium that held up to 475 delegates.
The construction included over 4,600 square metres of temporary overlay to house a supplier exposition for over 65 companies, the VIP Reception, VIP dining areas for 500, breakout and conference rooms, kitchens, delegate reception areas and soft lounges.
Two fashion shows were created with delegates invited to “vote” for their favourite crew uniforms and clothing in an “X Factor” style competition.
Pimento delivered a genuinely different event that sparked interest and energy around the brand IHG viewed this as their most successful show to date – achieving all the objectives and KPIs set at the beginning of the project.
Over the duration of the week nearly 3000 delegates attended either the conference or the experience or both - more than double the number that had attended the annual event in the past.
Representatives from over 50 markets attended.
Delegates discovered a new passion and excitement for the Holiday Inn brand and importantly signed up to make the physical changes and investment required of them to deliver the new Holiday Inn experience
In terms of sponsorship and exhibition - over 60 companies took space and sponsorship
The EMEA Awards were presented at London Farnborough and were followed by dinner at Ascot. Attendance at both was in excess of 800 and in total 119 awards were given and delivered in 63 minutes.
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