Being event-ready

Hilton Chennai’s approach has been to offer flexible event solutions in an optimum pricing band, thus encouraging clients to feel confident to restart physical and hybrid events, even on a small scale to begin with, says its General Manager Ruban Das.

Hazel Jain

Do you see corporates booking for this year for their M!CE needs?

At Hilton Chennai we are approaching 2021 as the year of road to recovery. Our focus remains to retain trust amongst stakeholders as a reliable, responsible hospitality brand known for our warm hospitality. We have started seeing green shoots in 2021. While we are far away from a fully active M!CE segment till Q4 2021, we are definitely seeing an upswing when it comes to month-on-month actualisation in this segment which contributes to over 30 per cent of our total revenues. We also see our ‘Hilton EventReady with CleanStay’ solutions to be a true differentiator when it comes to delivering mindful & memorable safe events for all.

What segment of M!CE do you think is opening first and why?

Weddings and social events had started to take place early this year, though in a modified service design to suit the new normal, where less has become more. Our team of wedding specialists are seasoned team members who bring a strong understanding of social and religious wedding traditions of different communities in the city. So we have been able to marry our ‘EventReady by CleanStay’ solutions with customer aspirations effectively while accommodating evolving health-related government advisories. Thus, wedding and social events have continued to stay active as a segment followed by hybrid events and small-sized corporate day meetings.

Have your corporate clients begun planning for this year?

We have been in touch with our regular corporate client roster comprising of companies in manufacturing, SMEs, pharma, technology, BFIS and real estate segment to ascertain requirements and plans. Our approach has been to offer flexible event solutions in an optimum pricing band thus encouraging our clients to feel confident to restart physical and hybrid events, even in small scale to begin with, and to help them with business continuity in a safe, mindful manner.

How have you prepared your hotel for the future?

At Hilton, we quickly learnt that the M!CE segment had been permanently impacted by the pandemic, hence, we launched the ‘Hilton EventReady with CleanStay’ programme in July 2020, to address the evolving needs of this segment. The ‘EventReady with CleanStay’ programme delivers event experiences that are clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible. The program provides curated solutions for every step of event planning. The process ensures that guests are able to get the most personalised experiences. This is supported by a detailed playbook and event checklist. Another hallmark is the EventReady’s extension, ‘Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions’. The new suite of offerings continue to evolve and adapt intelligently to new meeting needs of customers, thus, directing event planners to Hilton’s Hybrid ready hotels while also providing them with planning resources- including an expanded Hilton Event Ready Playbook and flexible customer offers.


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