by Michael J. Shapiro | November 20, 2013
Hilton Worldwide launched "Meetings Simplified" on Monday, a bundled meetings program designed for groups of 25 people or fewer. The new program is in effect at more than 1,800 U.S. properties, representing several Hilton brands. Participating hotels offer a per-attendee package price that includes the meeting room, basic meeting-room Wi-Fi, flip charts, all-day nonalcoholic beverage service and additional amenities that vary based on the property. Planners can visit to select a participating hotel and then call that property for a quote. While packages can be designed to include guest rooms as well, the program primarily caters to people looking for an off-site, workday meeting venue. According to a new Hilton survey of 600 meeting planners, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) said meetings outside the office are more productive, and more planners (67 percent) said they would book meetings outside of their normal work space to enhance their company's image. Nearly a third also said they spend an average of two or more hours booking hotel meeting space. The new Hilton program aims to streamline that process.