60 seconds with... Radisson Blu & Hotel Missoni's Philip Mahoney

C&IT quizzes Philip Mahoney, area vice president, Radisson Blu & Hotel Missoni, UK and Ireland, on the hotel brand's Experience Meetings initiative, which includes food-and-beverage solution Brain Food to help delegates to concentrate; the Brain Box breakout room to stimulate creativity; and Connectivity, offering free, fast wi-fi.

60 seconds with... Philip Mahoney, Area Vice President, Radisson Blu & Hotel Missoni, UK and Ireland
60 seconds with... Philip Mahoney, Area Vice President, Radisson Blu & Hotel Missoni, UK and Ireland

What is Experience Meetings and why have you launched it?

Experience Meetings is a new approach to attract more MICE business to our hotels, and to exceed expectations of our clients, and make them return. 

The meeting segment is our key business – we believe Experience Meetings provides our guests with a consistent high standard of products and services. It’s currently being rolled across 255 participating Radisson Blu hotels in 55 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

What will this mean for corporate event planners?

We began by establishing what people are looking for when searching for a meeting venue.  We found that it’s not about adding bells & whistles but ensuring consistency in service delivery and ease of booking etc.

Meeting planners need to see what they are booking, so we provide 3D floor plans. We pioneered free internet access in hotels, ensuring that the required bandwidth is available to all meeting delegates.   Wi-fi speed is a major concern for business users because superfast internet is available at home, therefore it has to be available in hotels too.

Additionally, our pro-forma invoices are set out in a way that makes each cost transparent. 

What impact is it expected to have on Radisson Blu’s corporate event sales?

MICE represents around 25% of our business, although this is something we would like to grow.  Meetings and events have always been an important part of the business mix and we recognize that if we enhance the product, we will ultimately gain market share.

What other new developments should event buyers look out for?

We are focusing on making it easier to book group accommodation. The current online process can be challenging to say the least, so we are hoping to achieve real-time online booking for large groups in the not too distant future.

We continue to develop our portfolio, with about 100 hotels in the pipeline across the Radisson Blu, Hotel Missoni and Park Inn by Radisson brands.  One of Rezidor’s biggest strengths is its growth in the emerging markets of Africa and Russia/CIS.  We have an increasingly strong portfolio of quality products in key capital cities and business destinations across these regions. In the UK, the Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport has had a fantastic first year.

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