The Leading Hotels of the World
“A crisis caught the world off guard and unprepared. But despite what or how it happened, we remain strong. And we will navigate this, together, as one global community”, Client – The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
Every year the LHW Annual Convention takes place in November, bringing together representatives of the luxury hotels that make up this global collection. This year it was not possible to meet and rather than postpone the convention it became an e-Convention, one that we were delighted to produce.
Over the course of 3 days, each featuring 3 hours of streamed content, we took a deep dive into LHW’s work in 2020, we looked ahead to 2021 through short 20 to 30-minute presentations that delivered inspiring ideas and relevant case studies, all presented by keynote speakers and panellists from the luxury hospitality, finance, and media industries. One-on-one meetings could be scheduled with LHW department leaders to learn about tools and capabilities for strengthening each hotel’s performance and the grand finale came in the form of an awards ceremony showcasing the hoteliers’ innovation and agility.
Re-imagining the convention so it could occur online due to the pandemic. It must be hosted by the CEO, the Chairman and important names for LHW, to all the collection’s hoteliers around the globe, whilst creating a bridge between this year online convention and next year’s event that will occur in Lisbon. All this with a pandemic induced budget reduction, yet looking for the same level of experience.
The virtual event had to offer various sessions: meetings, training sessions and breakout rooms with the ability to control the access to these sessions so they are only available for certain attendees. It had to be a globally accessible fully branded experience with an unlimited number of client logins, also with ongoing user assistance and technical support. Networking/engagement via a video chat feature and engagement via content (i.e. a cooking tutorial, live music, etc) was also important for the success of the event. The event had to take a range of time zones into consideration but equally provide the same overall experience for everyone with tailormade content.
We used our digital platform, EMEX as “stage” for the 3-day event which featured more than 45 speakers. As all the participants were physically apart, we wanted to create a unique connection between them.
Plenary speakers offered more comprehensive and general content while breakout sessions offered personalized and niche content, giving participants many options to personalise their own agenda.
The marketplace is an always present feature at all physical LHW events. This is where 1:1 meetings take place between collection members and LHW staff. To replicate this online we created virtual themed tables, each with an LHW staff member host where participants could schedule a meeting and even invite additional participants to join.
To conclude the first and second days of the event we created a “chill-out moment” with mixologists from the participating hotels doing live demonstrations of their own signature cocktail.
To create a deeper link with the annual convention in 2021, to be held in Lisbon, the eConvention closing show was a performance by a renowned and award-winning fado singer in Portugal. This performance figuratively opened the doors to next year’s event with an open invitation for everyone to join in the LHW Convention 2021 in Lisbon.
After the event was over, all participants received a Spotify playlist with everyone’s favourite song – this data had been collected during registration. The result is a collection of 147 songs in a playlist called “LHW Hotelier Picks”.
The E-Convention was a tremendous hit with over 1071 participants worldwide, 53 speakers from all areas and 431 1:1 meetings booked at the marketplace.
Everyone at the event felt part of the LHW community and rejoiced in together looking forward to coming back even stronger next year.
“On behalf of The Leading Hotels of the World, I would like to thank all of you for bringing to life our Annual Convention, virtually. When we spoke in June and you shared EMEX with me, I was truly excited and hopeful that we could capture some of the magic of this event on a digital platform. And I believe we did just that. From the “live stage” to the “backstage,” the feedback we have received from our colleagues and hoteliers around the world has been absolutely wonderful. The team is excited for the live event next year in Lisbon where we can all celebrate together in person…finally!” – Lauren Alba, Senior Director, Marketing Communications – The Leading Hotels of the World