Marriott Hosts First-Ever Hybrid Meetings Event: Connect With Confidence

On November 9, Marriott International hosted a hybrid virtual and in-person event, “Connect with Confidence,” as the first part of a global series. The event was attended by 30 in-person customers and 238 virtual attendees, and took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in Virginia. It showcased Marriott’s updated processes and meetings spaces, while reinforcing the brand’s commitment to help meeting planners execute conferences and events during this new normal. 

Moderated by Doreen Burse, vice president, Marriott global sales, U.S. and Canada, sessions further demonstrated the brand’s “Commitment to Clean” meeting and event protocols, and included "industry-leading tools," innovative insights and creative solutions from Marriott International leadership with speakers including:

  • Stephanie Linnartz, group president, consumer operations, technology & emerging businesses
  • David Marriott, president, U.S. full service, managed by Marriott
  • Julius Robinson, chief sales & marketing officer, U.S. & Canada
  • Erika Alexander, chief global officer, global operations
  • Tammy Routh, senior vice president, global sales
  • Dana Pellicano, vice president, food & beverage  

During the event, guests were able to experience Marriott’s new approach to meetings and try new developments such as:

  • Digital registration and pre-selection of “Sanctuary Seats” with a meeting room set up preview
  • Individually packaged amenities for each in-person attendee, including a face shield, mask, hand sanitizer, and color-coated bracelets to showcase each attendee’s level of comfort i.e. red for “please keep your distance;” yellow for “respect my space;” and green for “elbow bumps welcome”
  • Curated virtual-only content to enhance the hybrid experience, including infographics outlining pre-event, event day, and post-event protocols
  • Real-time interactive discussion and polling questions, multiple camera views for virtual attendees, virtual games with rewards, and Q&A sessions for both virtual and in-person attendees
  • Creative lunch solutions, including a food delivery credit for virtual attendees, and option for in-person attendees to dine solo, or with one, two or three others at their table

Based on live polling, nearly 25 percent of attendees plan to host a hybrid event within the next one to three months. Overall sentiment emphasized the importance of flexibility, offering attendees choices based on comfort levels, and delivering cost-effective and technology-driven solutions.  

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