InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) strives to stay abreast of trends in the marketplace as it continually looks to evolve the way it engages and serves its guests. IHG recognizes its responsibility to explore emerging media and stay ahead of the innovation curve and to understand what Second Life and other emerging platforms mean for its guests and its business.

As a hotel company, IHG has a vested interest in determining how people are meeting for business and social purposes and how that's evolving. The Crowne Plaza? Hotels & Resorts brand specifically has dedicated itself to becoming the upscale hotel of choice for small and mid-sized business meetings and continually seeks to understand what it takes to be the premier facilitator on where and how people meet. As companies are becoming increasingly interested in utilizing virtual spaces for their business needs, IHG determined there is a need for private, independent, purpose-built meeting spaces in the virtual world.

The Business Need

IHG decided to engage in Second Life since it's an emerging phenomenon for large and small group meetings, a core business of the hotel industry. As "The Place To Meet," Crowne Plaza's leading position in the real world meetings market makes it a natural fit to lead the emerging meetings market in the virtual world. Crowne Plaza's The Place to Meet Island in Second Life will enable organizations to experiment with hosting meetings in the virtual world without having to commit a significant amount of their own resources. Currently, there are no true business facilities within Second Life outside of individual companies' "private islands," so business users have had to explore less attractive (and more expensive) options to fulfill their meeting needs. As well, these meeting spaces usually lack any scheduling or reservations systems and often are not able to provide the security and privacy that a real-life meeting facility would offer.

The Community Need

Crowne Plaza continually seeks to extend its premier meetings services to new communities - no matter where they are. The brand is pleased to join the Second Life community and to offer residents the same meeting opportunities that it offers at Crowne Plaza hotels around the world. On The Place to Meet Island, residents and businesses wishing to conduct meetings within Second Life will benefit from private and secure meeting rooms and the services of a dedicated in-world Crowne Meetings Director, who will be available on weekdays from 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. PDT (Second Life time) to assist with reservations needs and provide tours of the island.

About Crowne Plaza's The Place to Meet Island

Beginning at 3:00 p.m. EDT Friday, June 29, 2007, The Place to Meet Island will be open for consumers to reserve meeting space, which will reflect the Crowne Plaza brand and its presence in the real world. Three distinct true-to-life "meeting rooms" will feature all of the amenities one would expect to find in a real-life location designed to facilitate face-to-face encounters. Each meeting facility will be equipped with streaming audio, video, presentation and image viewing capacities to help make in-world meetings more successful. The three meeting areas will include:

- Executive Room - This will be a traditional conference room space with a round table and featuring Crowne Plaza's new signature Herman Miller chairs (available at all Crowne Plaza Hotels by Dec.31, 2007). This space will provide seating for up to 12 attendees.

- Lounge Room - The Lounge Room will feature a bar area with several couches and chairs and windows overlooking the lush greenery. This space will be ideal for informal gatherings, with seating for up to 20 attendees.

- Theatre Room - The Theatre Room will be ideal for users who need to address a large audience. With seating capability for more than 30, this room can be arranged in multiple ways: a single speaker with up to 30 audience members, a panel of speakers with up to 12 audience members, and no seating - for strictly networking-style events.

To book a meeting at Crowne Plaza's The Place to Meet Island in Second Life, visit www.crowneplaza.com/secondlife. Use of meeting facilities will be free of charge and can be rented for up to eight hours.

Leading Brands Summit on The Impact of Emerging Media

Second Life is a new frontier for IHG, and the company also hopes to use this space for first-hand exploration and research into how consumers are, and are not, using and experiencing these online realities. On June 29, 2007, IHG will launch Crowne Plaza's The Place to Meet Island in Second Life by hosting the "Leading Brands Summit on the Impact of Emerging Media," which will be moderated by Steve McGookin from Forbes.com.

The Summit will address the expanding media landscape of social communities, consumer generated media and virtual reality, and participants will speak to how sales and marketing departments must evolve to engage consumers in these new media formats. Leading-edge thinkers from top consumer brands such as MSN, Kraft Foods and The Coca-Cola Company will be present.