Tight Timelines & Preferred Partners:

How Relationships Can Support Your Hybrid Event Planning Experience

This case study will examine how the event planning team’s use of preferred partnerships assisted with the creation, execution and overall success of a key business meeting.

The Situation

This Pharmaceutical Company has historically executed their national sales leadership meeting and national sales meeting in one location, but with COVID-19 travel restrictions, this was not an option for the 2020 event. The event planning team was then challenged to execute the meetings safely, in multiple locations, with only seven weeks of pre-planning. Given the short timeline, the team had to expedite the planning process while making program decisions before a final meeting model was solidified. 

After reviewing potential solutions, the team ultimately decided on a hybrid meeting model where the leadership meeting took place in 4 locations, followed by the sales meeting in 45 locations, each representing an area of the US. Attendees had the option to attend virtually or live.

What Worked

Given the seven week deadline to finalize event preparation, it became clear to the planning team that preferred hotel and vendor partnerships would be critical to the meeting’s success. By working with their dedicated Hilton Worldwide Sales partner and their sourcing team, they sourced and contracted 27 out of 45 locations for this event at Hilton properties. Based on already negotiated COVID-19 terms, a Hilton Express Agreement was established for ease of contracting.

After contracts were finalized, this organization collaborated with their preferred planning and production company to work through event details, including food and beverage, room set-up, internet, and Audiovisual equipment.


The hybrid event proved successful for leadership, attendees, and the event planners. The tight timeline was daunting, but by working with their dedicated Hilton sales partner and their sourcing team, the preferred partnerships helped expedite the planning process, allowing the company’s event team time to effectively execute on meeting priorities. 


Total Participants

Each of the 45 viewing locations had between 7-10 in-person attendees and 7-10 virtual attendees

Each of the 45 viewing locations had between 7-10 in-person attendees and 7-10 virtual attendees – totaling approximately 800 participants between the virtual and in-person viewing parties. 

Overall, the event was well received, both by virtual and in-person attendees. Though the compressed timeframe offered challenges, key business relationships and preferred partnerships were key as the event team executed this multi-faceted hybrid meeting.