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City hotel revolutionises client experience

Park Regis Birmingham has become the first hotel in the world to offer a ground-breaking new visitor experience – without guests setting foot inside the venue.

Ryan Doyle, group director of sales for Switch Hospitality Management Group, which oversees the city centre hotel, said he’d received brilliant feedback from event bookers after piloting the Hyybab innovation.

He said the new luxury tech platform had helped the hotel continue to interact with clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by “providing a tangible sensory experience” - remotely. We’ve been able to continue a new business campaign targeting travel and event managers and personal and executive assistants. The resulting product knowledge has remained strong for the return of travel and events.”

Hyybab transcends virtual tours with hands-on experiences, gifts and treats and is now set to be rolled out across the globe. At its heart is a ground-breaking, adaptable web-based technology platform nurtured since lockdown first hit.

It’s a concept described as “fully immersive” that empowers bookers, planners and buyers to sample the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a location, from the comfort of their home or office. Those who are invited by the venue receive a luxurious box filled with treats including cocktails, nibbles, drinks and hotel beauty products.

It’s also been invented to cut costs and organisation time needed to show influential parties of bookers around a venue in a face-to-face familiarisation trip. It’s an exclusive, invite-only concept with every experience hosted by the venue, and is completely customisable. It also has crystal-clear stereo sound.

Ryan said: “Park Regis Birmingham is always investing in new technology to ensure we are at the forefront of our market and leading the way with innovation. Hyybab offers us a platform where we can engage with our partners and showcase our property in a virtual setting with luxury amenities that our clients come to expect from our hotels.

“As part of the Hyybab experience, a “Babbox” has been fully customised for us, even down to our signature scent. It’s a multi-sensory experience, transporting Park Regis directly to a client’s remote location.”

Innovators Leo Platt, a former head of marketing at Visit Manchester, and partner Paul Lloyd, backed by an SME Restart grant and private investment, have pivoted alongside their renowned Midlands-based company Leopold Marketing.

Leo said: “We are very grateful to Ryan and his team. Not only have they given us brilliant feedback, they’ve also made plenty of fantastic, constructive and useful hints and tips to further boost efficiency. Seeing our dream turn into reality has been a challenge but ultimately a very rewarding process for us.

“We are very proud of all the hard work we have put into Hyybab so far and the wonderful reception it’s getting. A year ago, as the first lockdown hit, things didn’t look good and our industry was decimated. We wanted to remain positive and optimistic and use our wealth of experience in organising fam trips and hospitality for high-spending VIP bookers to do something special."

When the first lockdown hit, Leo and Paul decided to launch a new venture that runs alongside their destination marketing company, Leopold Marketing, which specialises in destination marketing and works with clients from major tourism organisations.

They ploughed their time into creating Hyybab and undertook confidential market research with trusted clients from across the hospitality and tourism sector to help boost its potential.

Hyybab stimulates the senses through the use of unique features including treats to eat and be pampered by from venue owners, the sensory experience is also enhanced with stereo headphones and 3D viewers. Its versatility can be adapted to various sectors within tourism, including airlines, airport lounges, luxury boats and cruises, spas and attractions.

There are also plans to expand into large scale event venues, commercial property, retirement living complexes and education.

Paul added: “As our industry recovers from the effects of the pandemic and lockdown, there remains a huge demand for more virtual marketing methods. Our research has shown that many potential clients still prefer a digital set-up, not only as things go back to normal but also as they consider the time and budget needed to organise a successful fam trip."

Pictured: Leo Platt (Hyybab), Jessica Brabant and Ryan Doyle (Park Regis Birmingham), and Paul Lloyd (Hyybab)

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