Hilton Unveils New 'Meetings For Free' Promotion As Research Finds That Meetings Still Matter

77% of those surveyed believe that offsite meetings are a necessity not a luxury

This information originated in UK English.

April 15, 2009

SINGAPORE -  Hilton Hotels Corporation in Asia Pacific has today launched a new industry first. Anyone making a bedroom booking before 30th June for any date in 2009 will be eligible to receive a complimentary day meetings package including meeting room facilities, refreshments and lunch.i The offer extends across all Hilton Family hotel brands in Asia Pacific: Hilton, Conrad and Doubletree by Hilton.

Meetings for Free applies to any conference, training or sales event held at any one of 47 Hilton Family hotels across 14 Asia Pacific countries for meetings from as few as 2 to as many as 100 residential delegates. The promotion is open for bookings made during a limited period between 15th April and 30th June 2009, for events taking place throughout the year until 31st December 2009.

Hilton's Meetings for Free represents an inspired solution to one of the problems currently facing modern businesses - how to ensure effective business communications whilst meeting and travel budgets are being cut. The savings represented by Meetings for Free will go some way to helping organizations to continue to meet offsite, enabling them to be stronger and more effective through the current challenging times.

Supporting Hilton's belief that meetings matter is some independent research commissioned by Hilton across Asia Pacific. This found that 77% of those surveyed believe that offsite meetings are a necessity not a luxury, 94% that meetings can build stronger business relationships and 91% that meetings build stronger bonds between teams.

Speaking about the Hilton's Meetings for Free promotion and associated survey findings, Andrew Flack, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific said, "The research illustrates that despite the current economic challenges, meetings still matter. Combined with our own experience of hosting meetings in our Hilton Family hotels across Asia Pacific, we see a change that rather than cutting out meetings to save costs, businesses are in fact changing the shape of the meetings they host.

"Increasingly we see a move towards smaller, more regular meetings in short haul destinations instead of the larger meetings and congresses in long haul locations. This promotion is designed to specifically address this trend", said Flack.

Meetings were also perceived to provide solutions to business problems with 84% of people believing that meetings result in people feeling more inspired than through other forms of communication, 85% stating that meetings are more likely to result in breakthrough thinking, and 82% that meetings can bring the best out of people when compared to other communication forms.

Technology has provided new means of communication which can be used in place of a face to face meeting, and 82% of those questioned agreed that cost considerations and these improved technologies were now resulting in offsite meetings occurring less often. However 61% stated that they would rather work for an organisation that invested in regular offsite meetings. 

Other insights that should inspire businesses to take this preference for meeting in person even more seriously are the details of exactly what people do whilst on a conference call; 81% admitted to carrying on working, 81% check their emails, 75% have side conversations with colleagues, 35% visit the bathroom with their hand phone whilst on the call and 20% help themselves to an alcoholic drink.

Flack continues, "Given the trends we are now seeing regarding meetings, and as a longstanding
partner for meeting organisers, we at Hilton felt it was time to play our own part to help organisations bring their people together and by doing so be better equipped to respond to these challenging times. By providing Meetings for Free we are not only offering a great deal, but in our own way making a contribution to the health of business across the region."

Bookings for Hilton's Meetings For Free packages can be made from 15th April 2009 to 30th June 2009, for any meeting that is held from 15th April 2009 until the end of 2009. The promotion is applicable across 47 Hilton Family Hotels across 14 countries in Asia Pacificv. For more details see www.hilton.com/meetingsforfree for more information along with direct telephone and e-mail contacts for all hotels where the promotion is available. An immediate verbal quote will be provided.

i Meetings package includes a free buffet lunch, regular refreshments and standard meetings facilities.
ii The survey was conducted by Prophisee, an independent research house based in Sydney.
iii The survey was conducted in Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai with a sample of 233 people.
Criteria for respondents was that they were mid or senior business people, regularly or occasionally
participating in conference calls, video / web enabled conferences, have attended an offsite meeting at a
major hotel in the last 12 months and regularly or occasionally travel for business.
iv When compared with video / internet conferences, conference calls and emails were the other
alternatives listed.
v This includes Hilton Family hotels under the Hilton, Doubletree by Hilton and Conrad brands.

Faith Thoms, Hilton Hotels Corporation - Asia Pacific
+65 6833 9762


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