Held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek & Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida, the three-day Hilton Garden Inn Brand Conference posed multiple challenges for a client who understands a thing or two about creating great customer experiences.

BRAND CONFERENCE

It’s called a first impression because you only get one.

Held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek & Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida, the three-day Hilton Garden Inn Brand Conference posed multiple challenges for a client who understands a thing or two about creating great customer experiences.

When nearly half of the audience of 1,500 general managers and directors of sales have never before attended an HGI event, it’s really important to the overall success of the conference to be unifying, cohesive and very impressive. But first, how about some background? For years, Hilton Garden Inn used multiple vendors—LEO not among them—to produce this every-other-year event. The results did not meet the expectations. In 2015, Hilton Garden Inn went looking for a single agency that would manage every aspect of the conference and production, and infuse a unifying tone that enhanced the audience experience. They were singing our song.

HGI was wooed by many, but impressed by one; LEO was awarded the contract.

All for one brand and one brand for all.

The Brand Conference’s strategic objectives—to grow revenue, encourage loyalty and increase profitability—was instilled through a tactical objective: to create in the audience a common and collective HGI identity. The theme, “You can count on us”, would set the tone as well as the stage for a successful event. The approach was holistic; every aspect of the conference, every instant, was part of the overall environment and experience. In other words, total brand immersion.

Key branding graphics were integrated into the buildings’ architecture. All areas of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando were branded. Translucent gels covered windows and escalator barriers, creating a stained glass effect, bathing the lobby and corridors in branded colored light. Upon arrival, attendees received the ultimate HGI blue-carpet treatment.

Next to the all-encompassing brand registration experience were even more unifying opportunities including a Commitment Wall where attendees inscribed their own commitment pledges; a life-sized, virtual personal greeting from Adrian Kurre, Global Head of HGI; and the HGI Values Sculpture. Needless to say, selfie moments abounded.

The stage was perfectly set for the General Sessions to reinforce the message of unity, literally. The set, with a top-center HGI logo, evoked basic architectural elements of HGI properties. A stage-wide projection screen provided space to create virtual environments and allowed for graphics in multiple languages, a must for this international audience. This was no small affair. The General Sessions featured 17 presenters, 19 performers, 15 minutes of video, more than two hours of entertainment, an hour and a half of guest speakers, two and a half hours of HGI speakers, not counting the 63 breakout sessions in 17 rooms. Whew! They say go big or go home. Well nobody went home because this was the highest sales and participation in sponsorships ever.

And what exactly did that get Hilton Garden Inn? Just the highest-rated Brand Conference ever, bringing to life the vision for the event they had long-hoped to realize. In fact, the conference and production received a 33 percent increase in ‘very satisfied’ attendees. ­That’s what we call impressive.

Services Provided: Strategy and Theme Development, Creative, Meeting Management, Production, Destination Management, Registration and Housing, Environmental Design, Sponsorship Sales and Fulfillment, Content and Script Writing, Pre-program and Full Communications plan, User application, Headline Entertainment and Speakers.

And at LEO, we know how to make an entrance. So much so that Event Marketer awarded us Gold for Best Entrance for You Can Count On Us, Hilton Garden Inn Brand Conference 2015. Shut the front door!