/ / Contact Reporter
Following other major hotel companies, Hilton Worldwide today unveiled a global cleanliness and customer service program for its meetings and events. Dubbed Hilton EventReady with CleanStay, the program uses the company's overall cleanliness initiative, Hilton CleanStay, as its framework, but adds elements specific to group gatherings, such as sealed meeting rooms, additional sanitization stations in meeting spaces and a meeting-room cleanliness checklist.
Thirty minutes before an event is scheduled to begin, the planner can break the meeting room's seal and use the checklist to inspect and approve the cleanliness of the facilities. Hilton also created the EventReady Playbook, a proprietary resource and reference. Sections of the document address room set-ups, food and beverage, hybrid meetings, wellness, creative networking, transportation and additional logistics, and community service.
In addition to cleanliness protocols, Hilton has simplified and expanded the availability of its Express Agreements for small meetings. Hilton had offered flexible terms for group business up to $20,000, but the company has increased that amount to $50,000 "to accommodate a broader range of events and customers with these flexible terms," said Hilton EVP and president of the Americas Danny Hughes in an email. "Given the public health concerns and the subsequent local and federal regulations, small meetings will be even more critical as groups start to meet again. Organizations and businesses still need to meet, even at a distance, and currently are doing so in smaller groups."
The Express Agreements, designed for meetings booked and consumed within six months, allow for cancellation up to 14 days prior to arrival, Hughes said.
Hilton created the EventReady program based on feedback from its top meeting and event planners and its owner community through customer and owner advisory forums, he said. One priority was for transparency on policies and procedures, another was for flexibility and "understanding of the constantly changing landscape."
"At the end of the day, we are here to partner with our meeting and event planners," Hughes said, "which includes creative solutions to their needs and having the flexibility to change as we all navigate through this new state of conducting business."
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