Innovative Virtual Engagement:

How to activate your hybrid meeting

This case study will examine how a traditionally in-person customer event, held annually as part of a major industry event, successfully became an engaging activation for virtual attendees within a hybrid event model.

The Situation

The ninth annual Hilton dine-around customer event, typically held during a major industry tradeshow as an opportunity to showcase a Hilton property and create meaningful touchpoints with customers, was cancelled due to the health and safety concerns created as a result of the pandemic. 

Though they could no longer meet in-person, the event team still wanted to highlight Hilton properties and connect with their customers, while also offering a unique experience similar to years past. 

Ultimately, the team decided on a virtual dine-around activation, where Hilton Executive Chefs from across the world would host virtual “rooms” and cook a recipe for a virtual audience. Attendees were encouraged to purchase ingredients and cook along with the chef, or simply watch and learn.

What Worked

The event objective included creating multiple meaningful customer touchpoints and showcasing EventReady within Hilton properties. The activation engagement objective was to ensure that every attendee joining in each virtual room left the activation with the same experience. To assist with this, the event team asked each Executive Chef to walk through creating a dish from the same recipe: the Hilton Los Cabos and Chef Mauricio’s favorite taco recipe.

The activation took place in 10 separate virtual rooms, all taking place at different times throughout the day to accommodate as many time zones as possible.


The activation was successful, with approximately 400 customers visiting virtual rooms hosted by Executive Chefs from premier Hilton properties around the world. Attendees enjoyed the innovative approach to hybrid engagement.


In-Person Attendees Per Virtual Room

The Executive Chef and Director of Sales and Marketing or General Manager


Virtual Attendees

When surveyed on their experience during the virtual dine-around, 89% of attendees stated that they would attend a Hilton virtual booth next year at the Industry tradeshow, should health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 remain.

Overall, both the business and engagement objectives were achieved, with an impressive customer turn out and excellent feedback from virtual attendees. While attendees still comment that nothing beats an in-person event experience, participants in the Hilton hybrid dine-around activation applauded the innovative activity and expressed they truly felt engaged.