Accor has announced a collaboration with Microsoft to launch All Connect, a new hybrid meetings concept supported by Microsoft Teams.

Launching in April 2021, the new concept will enable guests around the world to adapt to the new ways of working that are expected to be an enduring legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By combining the brands and service culture of Accor with the powerful meetings and collaboration technology of Teams, this new offering will enable corporate customers and meeting planners to combine physical in-hotel meetings with virtual interactions across multiple locations simultaneously.

Meetings will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform, where attendees can connect and engage virtually. In Accor meeting spaces, Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2S will connect people on-site to those joining remotely with industry-leading audio and video device experiences. People can easily present content and see virtual participants as if they were in the same room. With this solution, Accor guests and their meeting attendees can come together through professional, inclusive meeting experiences, from wherever they are.

The concept will focus primarily on small meetings (8 to 50 physical participants) and customers will benefit from the expertise of dedicated teams, Accor’s meetings & events experience, and a seamless digital booking platform.

Accor aims for all of its hotel meeting rooms to comply with the new hybrid meetings standard by 2022 across all brands, from economy to ultra-luxury worldwide.

Research by Accor shows that half of the physical meetings planned by the company’s Meetings & Events customers in 2021 will switch to virtual formats, and that 70% of respondents see hybrid meetings as an important service in the future.

Sector analysis shows that the trend towards remote events and meetings is likely to endure beyond the pandemic even as corporate budgets return to pre-Covid levels. Accor’s hybrid meeting offer will be a new revenue stream for the Group as corporate customers will focus on more sustainable corporate travel, continuing to prioritise health and safety, while maintaining business connections.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused business travellers and meeting planners to review the way they work,” explains Patrick Mendes, Group Chief Commercial Officer in charge of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Loyalty at Accor. “Accor’s new concept All Connect, created in collaboration with Microsoft Teams, will be an important tool for our guests, offering them the opportunity to organise safe, qualitative and seamless hybrid meetings as they continue to focus on health & safety and sustainability.”

Mendes adds: “All Connect is another example of Accor responding rapidly to the ongoing crisis following on from the launch of Allsafe and the rollout of Hotel Office & co-working concepts. We are delighted to launch this collaboration with Microsoft, knowing that Teams has become a new way to work for 115 million daily users who come together every day to meet, call, chat, and collaborate.”

“The future of work is hybrid, and the services and experiences which organisations offer their customers will reflect this,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft global sales, marketing & operation. “We want every person and every organisation to benefit from this new working environment in a way that ensures business continuity.”