Friday, January 10, 2014

Marriott Invests in Technology; Launches New Program for Meeting Planners

Yesterday, Marriott Hotels launched Meetings Imagined, a new program that aims to help meeting planners and hotel staff collaborate on event creation. Using an online platform, shares tips, trends, and images described as “inspirational” to spark creativity. Through the website, customers can collaborate with hotels to design custom events or view programs featured at the participating test hotels, as well as share images on social media sites, such as Pinterest and Facebook.

The site has images of experiences Marriott has hosted around the world as well as event tips such as icebreakers, food and music to set the mood. (“Tip:  Create plenty of breaks throughout the day. Research shows that the brain focuses better with several short breaks rather than a few long ones.”) Planners can tailor food and beverage, setup, technology and experiences based on the ultimate goals of each meeting, to design more inspiring and engaging experience for attendees.

“Attendees and planners are looking to be inspired,” Andrew Moffett, senior director of event management for Marriott, told International Meetings Review. “They’re looking for resources to go to and finding different ways to set up and execute meetings based on their needs. We’ve categorized what these look like for planners. They can go online and look through a library of photos to gain inspiration.”

The concept is the result of research that found key shifts in how planners work collaboratively and use technology. After speaking with next generation customers and analyzing more than 40,000 meetings hosted at Marriott’s hotels each year, the research team determined seven purposes for meetings: celebrate, decide, educate, ideate, network, produce and promote.

“We know every meeting has a purpose,” Moffett said. If a planner is looking to hold a training class, for example, the planner and a hotel’s event manager can collaborate through the Meetings Imagined program to create the right kind of environment that would promote higher learning engagement and retention. “We’re looking to co-create this with our customers who bring us meetings and the hotels that have been selected.”

Five Marriott hotels within the U.S. will test the new concept, including the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, Tysons Corner Marriott, Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, Orlando World Center Marriott, and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The concept is also available in Europe at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square, Paris Marriott Rive Gauche, Munich Marriott Hotel and the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel and will expand to more Marriott Hotels in 2014.

See the full article on
International Meetings Review

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