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June 10, 2008

MacDonalds’ Meetings@ re-launch shows key role of events in UK hotel sector

Revealing the growing importance of meetings and events to the hotel sector, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is re-launching its Meetings@ product, aimed at assuring meetings planners and event organisers that they will receive a consistent and complete service at venues across the group.

The initiative, which was first introduced in 2005, has already contributed to a 10% rise year on year in the group's meeting and event revenue, but in 2008 is being evolved to stay in tune with the changing needs of the meeting planner.

The refreshed Meetings@ will continue to follow the same principals of, attention to detail, fresh and innovative food, and a consistent complete meetings product, throughout the group's four and five star properties. The re-launch includes additional facilities in meeting rooms, enhanced customer service, and crucially, closer liaison with meeting planners, ensuring Meetings@ remains in sync with their needs.

Key examples of the initiative have been the promotion of public transport, such as trains to reach destinations, and effective use of sustainable purchasing agreements for food and consumables, aspects growing in importance among corporates selecting conference and meeting venues.

"Meetings@ was a tremendous success when it was launched and while it was proving to be very popular, we were conscious that we couldn't let it become tired in what is a very competitive marketplace,” said Andrew Watson, senior marketing manager at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. “This investment has shaken the cobwebs away and enabled us to not only enhance our core product, but reinvigorate the passion in our teams. Meetings@ is a seal of quality that meeting planners can trust, wherever they book in the UK."

Already there are a number of similar products on the market, a trend Macdonald's director of sales, Esther Conn, sees as a positive move for meeting planners. "They want quality and consistency, so there can be little wonder initiatives like this are being introduced across the industry," she said. "Our aim is that Meetings@ continues to stay in touch with the needs of our clients and evolves appropriately, ensuring its place as a market leader in this sector."

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