September 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News

Jeff Senior of InterContinental London-based InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is getting more aggressive in the incentive arena. Among new initiatives launching this month is an expanded incentive sales department for the North American market.

According to Jeff Senior, InterContinental’s vice president of brand management for the Americas, the chain has been an attractive choice for incentives in the past, “but we have not been effective in taking advantage of the global scope of the brand,” he said. InterContinental has 150 properties on six continents.

To better understand the market, the company has held a series of incentive-planner focus groups over the past few years, Senior said. As a result, the chain will expand the size of its incentive sales department in North America and in other global regions. In addition, InterContinental has created a new website for incentive planners: The site eventually will include an electronic request for proposal function that promises planners quick turnaround.

Also as a result of focus- group feedback, the chain has created a 100-page incentive brochure highlighting international and domestic properties that target incentives.

As for problems with consistency of service and quality at different InterContinental properties, a criticism levied by planners in the past, Senior said, “I have a high level of confidence they have been overcome.”

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