Plug-In Hybrid Meetings: a Success for Pentahotel Brussels City Centre

Three months ago, Pentahotel Brussels City Centre launched its Plug-In hybrid meetings and event studios. Olivier Wauters, Executive Director Eventonline, had a chat with Güneş Metin Asselberghs, Regional Director of Sales for Belgium and France and Gaëlle Vanderborght Director of Sales of Pentahotels Brussels City Centre about the success.A hybrid event is a live event with in-person attendees and virtual attendees at the same time – usually with live streaming. With the ongoing situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic we wanted to help people to connect with this hybrid meeting style where the in-person contact is combined with the virtual contact,” says Güneş Metin Asselberghs.

“We wanted to offer an A-to-Z package to our clients, so they could sit back and relax and meet, while the AV-specialists and the hotel hospitality staff takes care of everything else,” explains Gaëlle Vanderborght.

“The package we offer includes all necessary material, the manpower and of course the hospitality. So as a client you can combine the best of both worlds. We launched the project early September and noticed that after a while people understood the notion of hybrid meetings. Nowadays, we observe that companies fully grasp the added value of these type of meetings. We have executed a survey with 60 event planners in Belgium and Germany. 90% say that hybrid meetings would be the solution to their cancelled events.

Having people on site and at the same time adding more persons virtually, you engage your community and clients even more. We actually saw a pick-up of our hybrid meetings during the month of September and since October we have noticed an even bigger pick-up of these type of meetings. Furthermore, 2021 looks promising as well and we will continue these hybrid meetings in 2021 until we restart having in-person meetings back.”

“The meetings have a simple ‘plug-in’ format,” adds Güneş. “We have two hybrid studios in the hotel which are ready for this kind of meetings. Clients just need to plug in. Hence, everything is set. This is an extra advantage, not only that everything is there, but it also represents a cost-saving factor for our clients, which is also essential.”  

The success for Pentahotel lies in offering a complete service to its clients. “We partnered with experts in AV who were already well experienced with hybrid meetings prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” states Gaëlle. “Initially, our first client was a bit reluctant to host this type of meeting, a first for the company. But the testimonials of the first users worked as a snowball effect. In the beginning the pick-up was slow, but now it is continuously growing.”

“It helped us to develop. We also boosted our internet at a level which is five times what is needed for streaming now. This concept allowed us to invest in something where there is a return on investment. We believe hybrid meetings will be even bigger in the near future as indicated in our survey within the event planners too,” ends Güneş.

Pentahotel Brussels City Centre photo gallery & presentation:

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Unique Conference hotel Brussels – Pentahotel Brussels City Centre