Crowne Plaza® Enters Second Life With Three True-To- "First"- Life Meeting Rooms
Place to Meet Island Will Satisfy Virtual Meeting Needs
ATLANTA- Branded as The Place to Meet, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts announces InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)’s foray into Second Life - “the other place to meet” - online with the opening of Crowne Plaza’s The Place to Meet Island. An emerging phenomenon for large and small group meetings, Second Life is likely to become a significant channel for the hotel industry. Crowne Plaza’s reputation as The Place to Meet in the real world makes it a natural fit to lead meetings into the virtual world.
Prior to Crowne Plaza’s entry into Second Life, there were no true meeting facilities other than individual companies’ “private islands,” so businesses were forced to explore less attractive (and more expensive) options to fulfill online meeting needs. Traditional virtual meeting spaces also lacked formalized scheduling systems and were often unable to provide the security and privacy that a real-life meeting facility could offer.
To meet the need for private, independent meeting spaces in the virtual world, Crowne Plaza created The Place to Meet Island in Second Life. Beginning at 3 p.m. EDT on Fri., June 29, 2007, The Place to Meet Island will open for consumers to reserve one of three meeting spaces that reflect the Crowne Plaza brand and feature all of the distinctive amenities one would expect to find in a real-life location. Each meeting facility is equipped with streaming audio, video, presentation and image viewing capabilities to make in-world meetings productive and successful.
The meeting areas include:
* Executive Room - A traditional conference room space with seating for 12, this room features a round table and Crowne Plaza’s new signature Herman Miller chairs (available at all Crowne Plaza Hotels by Dec.31, 2007.)
* Lounge Room - Ideal for informal gatherings, with seating for up to 20, the Lounge Room will feature a bar area with couches, chairs and windows overlooking lush greenery.
* Theatre Room - For those addressing a large audience, the Theatre Room can be arranged in multiple configurations: a single speaker with up to 30 audience members, a panel of speakers with up to 12 audience members, and no seating - for strictly networking-style events.
On The Place to Meet Island, organizations can experiment with hosting meetings in the virtual world without having to commit a significant amount of their own resources. Meetings conducted on Crowne Plaza’s island in Second Life will benefit from secure, private meeting rooms and the services of a dedicated in-world Crowne Meetings Director, whose avatar is modeled after Maggie Browning, Crowne Plaza’s “real-life” 2006 Meetings Director of the Year from the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport hotel. Maggie’s “in-world alter ego” will be available weekdays from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. PDT (Second Life time) to assist with reservation needs and island tours.
“Crowne Plaza continually seeks to extend our premier meetings services to new communities,” said Kevin Kowalski, vice president, brand management, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. “We are pleased to join the Second Life community and offer residents the same upscale meeting experience that we offer at hotels around the world.”
To book a meeting at Crowne Plaza’s The Place to Meet Island in Second Life, visit www.crowneplaza.com/secondlife. Use of meeting facilities will be free of charge and may be rented for up to eight hours.
Natasha Gullett, IHG, email@example.com, 770.604.5597
Renata Hopkins, Weber Shandwick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212.445.8128
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