Creating a meaningful event for an up-and-coming boutique brand

When the Hotel Indigo team wanted to throw an owner’s meeting that wouldn't feel like any other conference—a meeting that amplified and exemplified their unique boutique character—they turned to Territory to help them tell their story.

The Challenge

Design and then execute messaging for an “un-conference”—a unique and meaningful meeting for the owners of one of IHG’s most promising young brands—that leaves owners excited and inspired about their relationship with IHG and more specifically with Hotel Indigo. Then build presentations, in partnership with a speechwriter and each individual speaker, that seamlessly deliver the right messages in the right way.


Hotel Indigo is an upscale boutique brand developed by IHG, a company known for its expertise and success in mainstream brands. Driven by a unique neighborhood-focused model, Hotel Indigo hotels around the world have become neighborhood destinations for travelers and residents alike.

While planning the first meeting in several years for Hotel Indigo owners, IHG turned to Territory to help plan and implement the event. Territory contributed in three distinct ways:

  • first, by syncing all of the people responsible for implementing the meeting through a two-day design thinking session;
  • second, by providing a style for the event that helped to tell the particular story the Hotel Indigo team wanted to be heard by owners;
  • and third, by executing a series of presentations—delivered by IHG executives—that explicitly told the story of Hotel Indigo in a way that was inspiring and useful to the owners at the meeting.


A two-day design-thinking session gave the IHG team responsible for the conference the time, space, and direction to make important decisions about the messages the conference needed to communicate, and then the run-of-show for the conference based on those messages. There was also time to brainstorm potential alternative experiences and/or features of the conference that would help to support the team’s desired overall message. Key people from each partner helping with the conference—from the script writer to the producers—participated in the session as well. The team and partners left the meeting in sync and ready to begin planning and execution in earnest.


Using the messaging framework and some already-established style parameters, Territory set out to design a style specific to the Hotel Indigo conference. Several directions were explored until we were able to settle on a style that fit the brand perfectly and that supported the messages the team wanted to deliver to owners.


Once the style was in place, Territory built a set of presentations for delivery during the Hotel Indigo owners’ conference. Most of these presentations were tightly built—scripted, storyboarded, then produced into fully-realized, designed backdrops for each presenter. The process of building and then executing these kinds of presentations is similar to choreography: there’s a music and a flow to the story being told, and the graphics need to reflect the important parts of the story. A few of the presentations were more off-the-cuff and required a different approach. For example, one presentation had slides for each major theme the speaker wanted to cover. When you apply this approach you lose some of the impact of having a cinema-like presentation behind you, supporting each main point you make; but you gain back some flexibility as long as the speaker makes sure to hit each major theme in order.

The presentations were given to owners across two days, in two different locations.

The Outcome

  • A clear and concise set of key messages that empowered and inspired every person involved in developing and executing the meeting, allowing the brilliance of a whole team to shine instead of relying on one or two individuals for creative direction.
  • A style that communicated the upper upscale quality of the brand, the solidity of the brand moving into the future, and the esteem IHG holds for its owners.
  • A set of elegant and inspiring presentations, mapped specifically to speeches delivered by executives and brand champions at IHG.
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