At this year’s IT&CM China there was a lot for delegates to learn at the new format Campfire sessions, especially so from the session given by one of the show’s largest brand sponsors, the Marriott hotel group, who introduced their all-new approach to meetings whilst taking the opportunity of the event to also showcase some of their stunning new properties through hosting the gala night and accommodating many of the delegates in true style and luxury.

“Marriott is setting trends within the MICE industry through technology and innovation like our Meetings Imagined approach and the Meetings Service App,” said Adelina Ye, Area Director of Sales and Marketing, East China. “These solutions were founded on our own research that discovered the seven purposes for meetings: celebrate, decide, educate, ideate, network, produce and promote.”

[pullquote]“We have unique services and solutions, such as the complementary meetingsimagined.com website that is curated around the seven meeting purposes and the component building blocks of meetings – setup, food & drink, tech & supplies and experiences,” explained Ye.[/pullquote]

For event planners who have established what the fundamental purpose of their meeting is, the Meetings Imagined approach then offers a veritable smorgasbord of interactive options to tailor a meeting to their detailed and specific requirements, working in close collaboration with the Marriott of choice.

A quick flick on the website shows that in understanding the changing nature of both meetings and the needs of meeting planners, with this innovation Marriott have really stolen a march on the hotel meeting offer –dozens of potential layouts, formats, food options and anything else that a meeting might need can quickly be viewed and, more importantly, visualised with many images, all of which is bolstered by their own collection of ‘inspiration ideas’. As with any high-end hotel chain, Marriott also promise to bend over backwards to accommodate any meeting planner requests.

“The website also houses hundreds of inspirational images and meeting concepts, and allows planners to create and share favourite ideas through social media and email,” added Ye.

At the moment Meetings Imagined is available in 21 countries and more than 100 properties, although these numbers are still growing. Supporting and really enhancing this new approach is the Meetings Service App, which gives meeting planners the excellent – and from time to time, desperately necessary – ability to request, respond and connect in real time, meaning that during the event any spur of the moment culinary, engineering or operations requests can seamlessly be communicated and, of course, equally seamlessly be carried out. For both event planners and venue this initiative not only greatly reduces the chance of any hitches coming up, but also offers the planner a buffer of flexibility for last minute changes without any behind the scenes panic. And all of this, of course, results in satisfied delegates and great events.

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“We at Marriott are able to create unique meeting experiences by helping meeting planners design and execute their meetings in creative ways to inspire results,” said Ye.

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