The Hard Rock brand is capturing the wave running through the Meetings and Events industry through the universal appeal of music and experience.. As travelers, whether they are leisure-goers or delegates of an event, there is a demand for experience that goes beyond the traditional expectations of luxury and good food. Kevin Edmunds, Vice President of sales for Hard Rock All Inclusive was interviewed by MICExchange and captured some of his insights into the MICE industry.
Hard Rock has hotels across the globe that promise more than a place to stay. From when rock legend Eric Clapton donated his guitar so many years ago that began the journey, Hard Rock Hotels has promised an experience for its guests.
Kevin Edmunds, Vice President of sales for Hard Rock All Inclusive for Mexico and the Caribbean spoke at length about how the brand had stayed true to the “authentic experience” concept that has made it a global player. Kevin pointed out, “We do a lot of events in our hotels and cafes – but we do it with a little more flair, a little more edge to it, more fun.” “Music has that emotional attachment that anyone can relate to wherever you are in the world – we can all relate to music.”
MICExchange asked how the brand had taken on the regional differences around the world and how they made use of cultural variation, “We have Hard Rocks all over the world – some of our biggest markets that are growing right now are throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, we are building a hotel right now in Los Cabos which has been a dynamite destination for a long time in the MICE market. We have new venues opening in Brazil and Mexico.”
“Our venues are pertinent to the destination – if you are in a property in Asia, Bali, Caribbean or United States, its very “in” with the destination – so you feel that destination – Asia has been a great destination, it’s growing and moving forward, but again, you are going to have that Asia flair .”
We asked Kevin with his focus on the Caribbean, if there were plans for moves into Cuba, Kevin responded, “Cuba is a place that is ready! We really want to be there. It’s a destination on both the hotel and cafe side, especially knowing that the United States will be able to easily enter that part of the world. As far as the MICE market is concerned it is going to be at the top of every-bodies list. It’s an exciting time for the travel and MICE market because it is a destination that is unknown.”
When asked how the Hard Rock brand had experienced the global and regional moves that have affected the MICE industry in recent years, he responded, “The Hard Rock brand in general has grown dramatically we have expanded so quickly but our infrastructure is very strong. While the MICE market has shifted – for a brand like Hard Rock, consistency is the name of the game. No matter where you are in the world, the brand requires it to be consistent in giving you an authentic experience. Hard Rock wants to give it to you every-time you go [to Hard Rock] and give something different every-time you experience their venues.”
With features like ‘The Sound of Your Stay program’ where delegates can choose their own audio experience from picks, tracks or mix, delivered directly to the room. Or be given a whole new level of “rock star” experience with a Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster so they can act out right in their room.With a tag-line of – ‘Your life needs a sound track, and Hard Rock has it’, Hard Rock delivers a unique experience that lifts a MICE event out of the ordinary.