During the pandemic, Penta Hotels embraces technological innovation by offering hybrid events
Brussels - 13 October 2020
A solution to cancelled events and the opportunity for exchange at a global level
Due to the travel restrictions and security measures imposed as a result of COVID-19, many of this year's events were cancelled or severely restricted, and meetings and conferences are increasingly taking place online. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular often lack the technical and human resources required to carry out virtual events. With a number of companies finding success hosting digital and virtual alternatives to face-to-face events, the concept of ‘hybrid events’ is gaining more traction. But what exactly are hybrid events? Hybrid events take place live at one physical location while being simultaneously accessible online via a livestream, so that participants can take part both live and digitally. Pentahotel Brussels City Centre is one of the first hotels in the Penta group that has already successfully piloted hybrid events, and the German Pentahotels Wiesbaden, Braunschweig and Leipzig also offer this service. In Brussels, up to 50 participants can take part on site, while taking into account all distancing regulations.
"The safety and health of our guests is an absolute priority," says Gunes Metin, Director of Sales for Belgium and France. "Hybrid events offer an excellent solution. Despite us knowing that the full experience of a live event cannot be replicated by a virtual event, I am convinced by our positive results so far that hybrid events offer a range of exciting possibilities. For example, they are more affordable and easier to implement than one might think." Penta has tackled the challenges of social distancing by offering hybrid plug-and-play solutions that build on the customer’s existing platforms, such as Cisco Webex, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Holistic and complete solutions are also available, from smaller solutions through to live streaming on video platforms such as YouTube, which can reach an unlimited number of viewers.
While the industry is seeing a decline in face-to-face events, the market for hybrid events is growing exponentially. Between the first and second half of 2020, requests for hybrid events at Pentahotel Brussels City Centre have increased seven-fold. Gunes explains: "Our brand’s biggest strength is our sense of community, and we pride ourselves on consistently developing individual and creative solutions to the difficulties posed by Covid-19, that enable our guests and customers to come together as a community. This has been an even bigger focus for us in times like these, and redesigning our conference area into a hybrid event location is just one of many innovations we have implemented in a very short time. We are responding to the current situation with full optimism and enthusiasm.”