More than 5,000 owners, operators, directors of sales, sponsors, tradeshow exhibitors and IHG colleagues from across our six mainstream brands (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, avid hotels, Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites) packed The Venetian Las Vegas hotel for three days of learning, networking and celebrating.
The conference’s mainstage presentations, breakout sessions, tradeshow, and receptions and entertainment brought forth new ideas and opportunities to adapt to the demands of modern hospitality and prepare for a future as bright as the Vegas skyline. After so much time apart, attendees were both glad to be back and open to sharing ideas and experiences – exemplified by the event’s “Forward as One” theme.
Global CEO Keith Barr and Americas CEO Elie Maalouf discussed the state of our industry, IHG’s business, and how we’re helping our owners and hotel colleagues thrive. Brand leaders highlighted how IHG is evolving its iconic brands with new designs and shared the exciting growth momentum for newer brands such as avid hotels and Atwell Suites. The service trainings covered an array of topics critical for future growth and development. Discussions also included the roll out of IHG’s newly launched, world-class IHG One Rewards loyalty program, which will put more choice in the palm of guests’ hands and drive more revenue for the company’s 6,000 properties.
With technology high on the radar, IHG also showcased enhancements in serving guests and creating efficiencies for hotel colleagues through cloud-based technologies, improved booking flow and the roll out of the new IHG app. Other discussions included how IHG is supporting owners operationally, taking lessons learned over the last few years to forge a stronger path ahead and build strategies to help future-proof business.
The three-day slate also included owner and GM panels and fireside chats, highlighted by two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning sharing lessons about leadership, teamwork and overcoming adversity during a keynote and Q&A. Attendees were also treated to an uplifting soundtrack to the festivities with the legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire who brought day two to a fun close with their biggest hits.
Kicking off the final day of the conference was a surprise performance by R&B singer Montell Jordan who inspired the morning’s focus on celebrating service and our culture with a customized, IHG rendition of his hit song, “This is How we Do It.”
Attendees left Las Vegas full of energy and optimism about the future. The 2022 conference may be over, but the strength of our business and our deep relationships will carry us forward to success – together.