Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has revealed ambitions to establish it's managed estate Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands as market leaders in the meetings industry after 14 sites secured accreditation from the Meetings Industry Association (MIA).
The MIA has awarded AIM accreditation to 11 of IHG's Holiday Inn sites including the London Kensington Forum while the Crowne Plaza at Heathrow Airport is among three that can also claim an award for their meeting offering.
AIM accreditation is the only quality mark scheme for the meetings and events sector and is awarded after quality checks are made in a number of areas including guest supplies, cleaning routines, lighting and sound systems and even redecoration schedules with a venue needing a pass of 65 per cent to make the grade.
Successful venues also need to adhere to an MIA code of practise and a legal compliance code. The international operator IHG, which also controls the Staybridge Suites brand, received an average pass rate of 93 per cent for the relevant hotels.
David Taylor, who specialises in IHG's meeting and events for the UK managed estate, said receiving the accreditation was just the start of an ambition for the operator to take a more significant role in the meetings sector.
"Our aspiration is to achieve this quality mark for the whole estate, which I am fully confident we will deliver. We have focussed heavily on listening to the market and understanding our customer’s needs, and through our recent customer engagement survey have developed a core framework which enables us to create a more compelling offer that will see our hotels recognised as major players within the market," he said.
The accreditation for IHG comes after a recent investment of £1m in training and staff development and £4m in the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum's meetings space. The hotel now offers a dedicated business lounge and host.
In order to increase the quality of the meetings and events service, the operator has also launched a pledge to allow guests to specify details before their event and a money back guarantee.