Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. have collaborated with InterContinental Hotels Group to pilot a solution that uses augmented and virtual reality to reinvent the event planning experience.
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Developed by the Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, the XR Event Planner solution places event planners, buyers and hotel sales staff side-by-side in a virtual reconstruction of an event space, allowing them to remotely envision and configure the layout in real-time. Piloted at InterContinental® Los Angeles Downtown, the proof-of-concept recreates the hotel’s iconic Hollywood Ballroom in 3D, including accurate reflections of architectural features, layout, lighting, carpet design, table settings and fabric patterns. Users can modify room layouts, toggle between table and chair configurations, stage placement, decorations and lighting—all while collaborating remotely and adding notes for colleagues or the hotel set-up crew.
The solution represents an important step toward addressing challenges within the meetings and events industry, a $330 billion annual market in the U.S. alone. Currently, booking event spaces can be a slow and expensive undertaking, requiring event planners to scout geographically distant locations. The lengthy timeframe to close a sale results not only in lost opportunities, but also increased booking costs for both property owners, event planners and end buyers. Feedback from focus group testing and market analysis that Accenture conducted shows that the XR Event Planner could increase hotel revenue by up to eight percent. In addition, hoteliers estimate it could reduce sales cycle time, decrease booking costs and improve brand loyalty and brand affinity, particularly with millennials.
“Collaborating with Accenture and Qualcomm Technologies on the XR Event Planner pilot has demonstrated the power of augmented and virtual reality technologies in hotels,” said Jeff Edwards, senior vice president, Global Hotel & Owner Solutions, InterContinental Hotels Group. “This tool equips hotels, such as InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, to close event sales even faster and increase productivity, while simultaneously helping clients experience event spaces without having to travel, in a new, dynamic way that brings the event to life during the planning process.”
Designed to be used across multiple devices, including mobile phones and tablets, the pilot solution extends the traditional consumer digital journey from smartphone AR to a more immersive head worn device, including Nreal AR glasses and HTC Vive Focus Plus VR headsets – both powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Platform.
Raffaella Camera, global head, Innovation & Market Strategy, Accenture Extended Reality, said, “The Accenture XR practice is continuously exploring ways to reimagine how people and organizations alike interact with the world around them through the latest immersive technologies. Our XR Event Planner is a prime example of this principle in action, with the potential to fundamentally transform how the event planning industry operates.”
As a strategic initiative of Accenture, the Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice uses human-centered design principles, deep industry knowledge, global scale, and expertise in combinatorial technologies such as AI and IoT, to help global 2000 companies imagine, create and deliver impactful XR experiences to unlock new business value.
Brian Vogelsang, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, added, “Qualcomm Technologies invents the technologies and tools that transform industries and lives. We believe that XR has the potential to revolutionize the enterprise and we’re proud to work with Accenture and InterContinental Hotels Group to bring the benefits of immersive computing to the event planning industry by harnessing the power of our Qualcomm Snapdragon Platform.”
For more information on the XR Event Planner, please click here.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our inventions are the foundation for life-changing products, experiences, and industries. As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT – including smart cities, smart homes and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, voco™, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites®, Atwell Suites™, and Candlewood Suites®.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 5,800 hotels and approximately 865,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with over 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 400,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.
Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihgplc.com/media and follow us on social media at: https://twitter.com/ihgcorporate, www.facebook.com/ihgcorporate and www.linkedin.com/company/intercontinental-hotels-group.
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