MICE work if you can get it: Hilton exec chats Asian meetings industry and work culture

Guest Contributor

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In yesterday’s interview with Hilton executive Matt Fry, we discussed the expansion of Hilton, and its brands, throughout Asia and China and why the iconic hoteliers have been so successful in the region.

Today, Hilton’s SVP of development in Asia Pacific and I hone in on the MICE industry and the continued success of the company’s award winning work culture.

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TD: The meetings and events industry is gaining more and more traction in this part of the world with Asian destinations, such as Beijing, Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok, proving to be exceptional draws to planners the world over  Would you be able to outline the overall importance of MICE to the Asian expansion?

Matt Fry (MF): In Asia Pacific, the MICE sector has seen healthy growth in recent years, and the demand for MICE offerings is predicted to continue to grow.  The MICE sector remains one of our key focus areas. The MICE scene is getting increasingly saturated, and companies are jostling to stand out in a crowded space.

Meeting planners and attendees are now looking for more than just traditional meeting spaces, yearning for flexible meeting spaces, modern facilities and technology and unique touches to create an enriching and unforgettable experience on the whole. To stand out, companies need to provide attendees with not just engaging content but a novel, memorable experience that is personalised for their needs.

TD: What have you done to respond to this demand?

MF: Recognising these trends, we rolled out Meet with Purpose here in Asia Pacific two years ago. Meet with Purpose is supported by three key focus pillars – Mindful Eating, Mindful Meeting and Mindful Being, striving to keep guests revved and ready with solutions, healthier foods, fitness and relaxation activities, give-back opportunities, and ways to reduce waste and preserve resources.

This year, we have also introduced Signia Hilton, our dynamic, new meetings-and-events-focused brand. Signia Hotel sets out to transform the industry for meeting professionals and sophisticated business travellers by infusing state-of-the-art technology and design into every aspect of the guest experience.

TD: Which destinations do you believe we should keep an eye on as future hotspots?

MF: As various parts of Asia Pacific are now becoming increasingly accessible, meeting planners are turning to venues and destinations beyond the conventional urban cities like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Upcoming destinations which are being considered by meeting planners include Vietnam and Thailand, where there are more options across segments and at reasonable prices – and we are meeting this demand with our robust presence and pipeline in Asia Pacific.

The heart of success

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TD: In a recent press statement it is cited that Hilton have won a hat-trick of “Great Places to Work’ awards — in Italy, Turkey and Saudi Arabia not to mention hitting the top three in Australia, the UK and UAE and whole host of other work environment accolades — what do you think it is about the Hilton work-culture that elevates it above your competitors?

MF: As we strive to be a truly Great Place to Work for all, what sets us apart is in recognising that our Team Members are at the heart of our success, and striving to create an environment that promotes their personal well-being, to help them flourish and succeed.

Our team members’ well-being is of utmost importance, and we consistently strive to provide them with a great work environment that embraces diversity, opportunities that allow them to pursue their passions and flourish in their careers and personal lives, and benefits that entitle them to exclusive travel discounts and perks, enabling them to experience the joy of exploring new places.

“Committed to sustaining excellence”

With Hilton being named the top hospitality company in Asia’s Best Multinational Workplace 2019 list and with our recent achievement of being certified as a Great Place to Work in seven additional countries in Asia Pacific, we are confident that we will continue to be at the forefront of the region’s hospitality industry.

As a 100-year-old business of people serving people, we are committed to sustaining excellence in operations and services across our properties amidst rapid growth as one the fastest growing hospitality companies in Asia Pacific, to ensure we continue to offer exceptional service to guests and sustained value for our partners.

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