Intercontinental Hotel Group plans to distribute 10,000 free nights  over social media and at events around the world until the end of the year.

The hotel group will award the nights to travellers through a series of “surprise-and-delight moments” on social media and through events in major cities around the world. Surprise and delight is a marketing strategy used by many companies to increase customer loyalty and social media engagement by offering unexpected awards. This often involves rewards for customers such as coupons, product upgrades, or in this case, a free stay at a hotel.

Winners of the free nights can stay at any IHG property around the world, although IHG told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that it is encouraging winners to book a stay at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express.

“We will be surprising and delighting people in a variety of ways, such as through social listening across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and at events taking place in cities around the world,” said the IHG spokesperson.

When Business Traveller Asia-Pacific asked for details of the upcoming events, the spokesperson said IHG will announce details “in the next few weeks”.

The free nights are part of the hotel group’s “We’re there” global marketing campaign launched in June for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The campaign focuses on the importance of being there in person for moments and connections that cannot be replaced by social media likes or conference calls, says IHG in a press release, adding that it wants people to come together in-real-life (“IRL”).

The hotel group is encouraging people to share their #BeThereIRL stories. For example, a woman shared her desire to be with her grandmother for her 71st birthday on Twitter. The hotel group sent her to stay at a Holiday Inn property to be there to celebrate the occasion as one of their “surprise and delight moments”.

“By encouraging guests to #BeThereIRL, the brands will celebrate the in-person connections that have taken place in nearly 4,000 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide,” said IHG.

IHG Rewards Club points can be redeemed at any of IHG’s more than 5,700 properties around the globe.