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InterContinental Hotels- EMEA

Launching the new Holiday Inn brand and hallmarks to the owners, investors, Sales and General Managers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at 7 overlapping conferences and exhibitions was a mammoth task. InterContinental Hotel Group's agency, Pimento, and their UK and US marketing teams took over the Farnborough FIVE complex for a week long launch and chose Free Rein to build and manage the online activity – multiple websites, email invitations booking and ecommerce activity.

Their needs

Pimento planned an exceptional series of conferences and a major exhibition to launch the new Holiday Inn brand and invited over 6000 guests ranging across the owners and operators, trade and supply companies to the largest rebrand in the hotel chains history. They needed a company to provide the websites, email broadcasts, event management support, online booking and payment service – a web company that could also take on management of the contact databases and manage the online payments including cancellations and refunds.

The timetable was extremely tight, their requirement for accuracy was paramount and the ability to react quickly and flexibly to changing and developing requirements. In short they needed a technology agency as a partner who would be a safe pair of hands on a very high profile client.

The audience was diverse in nationality, time zones, interest perspective and welfare/travel requirements.

The solution

Pimento and IHG were developing the message and conference agenda during and after the time set aside to build the website. Free Rein chose, obviously therefore, to create a content managed system that supported;

  • multiple websites
  • choice of design templates
  • site dependent booking options
  • grouped event management statistics
  • streaming video links
  • integrated mailing with matching designs

The booking module was linked to a SECPay account (part of PayPoint) which allowed the Free Rein system to manage the entire payment process through to successful (or otherwise) completion.

The final solution was extended during the programme to handle an exhibition website and booking system for exhibitors. The mailer was used for delivering reporting instructions and post event correspondence including driving the feedback responses.


The result – Pimento relied heavily on Free Rein to build and manage the systems, liaising directly with the IHG marketing contacts, managing the finance accounts and daily reporting on booking and invitation responses.

Holiday Inn is the largest hotel chain in the world and is one of six brands that IHG own. The event was a resounding success with the web activity delivering all that was required without any headaches or concerns for IHG or Pimento.

Solution Components

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Event management
  • Booking module
  • Online purchasing
  • Finance house integration
  • Email broadcast