Marriott Has A Hybrid Solution For Meetings

As more meeting and event professionals look to plan hybrid virtual/in-person meetings and events as the meeting industry adapts to new ways of connecting during the global pandemic, Marriott International is offering innovative solutions to help Connect with Confidence and streamline the current planning process.

With meeting and event professionals often require additional information about technology, health protocols, and logistics available to them, Marriott International will be making new resources for hybrid meetings and events — including providers and pricing — available next month at Marriott hotels across the United States and Canada; with global availability planned for the near future.

In announcing the new initiative, Marriott International notes that hybrid meetings have become an essential way for meeting and event professionals to provide an immersive, engaging experience that integrates both virtual participation and in-person experiences through technology.

Now Marriott has curated a list of providers including Encore, Cvent, Convene, MeetingPlay and Hopin that offer technology solutions for hosting hybrid meetings.

These providers offer a range of features and services that allow meeting and event professionals to execute hybrid meetings across the Marriott portfolio of hotels in the United States and Canada.

Marriott has hosted Connect with Confidence meetings for its customers using the latest hybrid meeting technology. The most recent event included 100 in-person attendees and 800 virtual attendees at Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in January 2021.

The attendees were given information about planning and implementing an in-person event incorporating cleanliness protocols, physical and social distancing, redesigned food and beverage, contactless check-in, well-being checks, occupancy monitoring, and more.

Survey results from this event revealed that 51% of meeting and event professionals are planning to host a hybrid event within the next six to 12 months. When attendees were asked if they would attend another event if it were to be designed with the same principles, 95% said they would.

Marriott shared insights and best practices from this meeting and others in its Connect with Confidence Hybrid Meetings and Events Insights Guide, which showcases the journey and offers guidance to design and implement hybrid events.

The Connect with Confidence event at Gaylord Rockies was held just weeks after Marriott announced the introduction of optional health protocols for meeting and event professionals, including COVID-19 testing.

The event implemented many of the protocols, which meeting and event professionals will be able to incorporate into their own group meetings at Marriott hotels in the United States and Canada beginning in March 2021.

Tammy Routh, senior vice president, global sales organization for Marriott International, observed that: “As the industry navigates this evolving meetings environment together, Marriott is proud to offer meeting and event professionals new hybrid meeting and event solutions, as well as our own best practices and learnings from our hybrid events,”

Routh continued: “We know that meeting and event professionals are currently looking for insights and resources that will help them plan creative and innovative experiences for their customers regardless of whether they are in-person at the hotel or logging in from their home.”

And she pointed out: “Meeting and event professionals can work with these leading technology providers to reach a larger audience and incorporate speakers from other locations as they continue to plan future meetings, conferences and events.”

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