ALL CONNECT : your meetings at ACCOR connect with the world
The world has changed. And if face-to-face meetings return, they will do so while maintaining the benefits inherited from the dizzying development of virtual meetings during the pandemic. The result is hybrid meetings, connecting in-person and remote participants in one unique experience. This is the essence of the ACCOR group’s ALL CONNECT concept, an innovative, turnkey and user-friendly solution. According to Anthony LETRILLARD, Deputy Director of Sales and Novotel Paris Rueil-Malmaison in France, this solution allows “a face-to-face meeting that integrates the intelligence of video conferencing”. How does it work?
Very easy to use
The solution is based on the Microsoft Teams platform, maximising its accessibility. Microsoft equips 90% of corporate technology systems, which means that user interfaces are not multiplied.
It is extremely easy to use. When booking, the client enters their email address, which allows them to access their hybrid meeting directly from the tablet in the meeting room, without the need for any further configuration. The solution does not require the presence of any staff during the meeting, although the hotel teams will assist the client if they have any questions.
What does it include?
ALL CONNECT comes with the following elements:
– A tablet that will be the control base for the meeting.
– A main screen to show the meeting’s presentation.
– Another screen with an integrated camera. On this screen, on-site attendees can see those who are remotely connected or view the content of their screen if they share it. The camera is controlled from the tablet and from a specific remote control, and can be positioned in any direction the client requires.
– Sound is recorded by means of microphones in different points of the room (which can be moved). It is a smart system, identifying the person speaking based on what the camera sees (lip movement) and the source of the sound, allowing the camera to show the person speaking at all times.
– Connection is via a network socket or wifi. The solution is also portable (the screens have wheels), so it can be connected in any room.
The meeting can be recorded (as on Teams), enabling the content to be used at a later date. We must not forget that the recording feature has important added value for virtual or hybrid meetings.
Finally, an optional add-on in some hotels is the interactive and collaborative Surface Hub screen, a solution for small workgroups (6 to 10 people) who can take notes on the screen or keep a screenshot. And for more sophisticated audio-visual needs, the hotels have audio-visual partners that can round off this turnkey solution.
Of course, the rest of the hotel’s services complement this technical solution, be it with the dining experience or the health and safety standards thanks to the ALLSAFE seal.
So many possibilities…
This system provides meetings for between 2 and 50 people to be connected remotely (and appearing between the windows of the participants). However, it can also be used in broadcast mode (i.e. the guests see the presentation and the speaker, but they are not shown) with an almost unlimited number of connections.
A secure solution
According to Anthony LETRILLARD, this is the question he is asked by many clients, especially corporate ones. No problem! On the one hand, ACCOR is responsible for managing connectivity security and, to ensure this, the solution operates on a dedicated wifi network (not visible to other hotel guests), or via a wired, encrypted connection. On the other hand, the security for the video conferences themselves is provided by Microsoft Teams.
Development and adaptation to the context at a rapid pace
ACCOR has been extremely responsive and ALL CONNECT took its first steps at the beginning of the pandemic. The first equipment was purchased in May 2020 and ALL CONNECT was officially launched in September 2020 and then rolled out across all countries in April 2021. Today more than 700 ACCOR hotels in Europe can host hybrid meetings.
Multiple clients and uses
According to Anthony LETRILLARD, there can be all kinds of uses: training sessions, purely top-down information presentations, data exchange and group brainstorming sessions, motivational and team-building meetings, highly exclusive and strategic meetings (ComEx or CoDir).
And the solution is more than just a detail or a marginal improvement: many clients have come back specifically for ALL CONNECT, because it really gives them a new meeting experience.
… with high added value which is recognised by the clients.
Organisers recognise the value of the solution for their meetings, as well as its simplicity. “Thank you for being able to keep the company active, holding meetings during pandemics, lockdowns and restrictions,” commented one organiser. Another praises it as “the little surprise when the client arrives, the quality of the equipment offered, the personalised welcome, the installation and the ease of use”. The impression made on participants is therefore another key value of this solution. And ease of use is another key asset, particularly “convenience of use with the addition of a familiar Teams environment”.
The meeting of the future?
“Hybrid meetings will become the norm. They might even become like wifi, something that is considered standard. People want to travel less (due to costs, the environment, time management) and remote working has driven this phenomenon”, concludes Anthony LETRILLARD. The future will tell…