Hotel group Crowne Plaza has set up free meetings facilities in Second Life to promote its brand to businesses in the virtual world.

On the company’s ‘The Place to Meet Island’, launched at the end of last month, firms can reserve “secure, private meeting rooms” equipped with streaming audio, video, presentation and image viewing abilities.

Crowne Plaza said the service was designed to allow businesses to experiment with virtual meetings without having to create their own spaces.

“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.

“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 facilities – which are free of charge and can be reserved for up to eight hours – include an executive room featuring “Crowne Plaza’s new signature Herman Miller chairs”.

There is also a 20-seat lounge room with bar area for informal gatherings, and a theatre room for large conferences. The service includes a dedicated in-world meetings director on weekdays.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), owner of Crowne Plaza, added: 

As companies are becoming increasingly interested in utilising virtual spaces for their business needs, IHG determined there is a need for private, independent, purpose-built meeting spaces in the virtual world.”

The rooms were created for the company by Atlanta-based agency Spunlogic.