Marriott International hosted The Exchange, its annual association and corporate customer conference from July 13 to 16 in New York City’s Times Square at the recently renovated New York Marriott Marquis. The conference marked an optimistic milestone for the return of in-person meetings and events, one of the hardest hit segments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Exchange brought together approximately 1,000 customers, hoteliers and industry leaders to engage and rally around new approaches to doing business; discuss topics of importance to today’s customers (such as sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion, technology innovation and the state of the industry); and reinforce the importance and value of in-person connections and coming together again.
The Exchange presented opportunity for customers to reinforce connections with hotel leaders and sales professionals, showcasing property openings, renovations and updates that have happened over the last two years across Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 hotel brands in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Customers also participated in New York City hotel immersion experiences designed to highlight the unique moments that pay tribute to various brands within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. These included holistic well-being sessions at the Lily Kwong-designed JW Garden at JW Marriott Essex House New York; “Au Soleil Rose cocktail hour” on the hotel rooftop overlooking Central Park at Le Meridien New York, Central Park; and the opportunity to take part in a celebration of St. Regis history with a Champagne sabering and afternoon tea at The St. Regis New York.
The three-day event showcased Marriott’s innovative approaches to food and beverage, event design, and how to quickly implement various levels of well-being protocols into face-to-face environments. This year’s event also introduced short, 18-minute "Exchange Talks" designed to educate, inform and inspire. Marriott speakers included Anthony Capuano, chief executive officer; Liam Brown, group president, U.S. & Canada; Erika Alexander, chief global officer, global operations; Drew Pinto, global officer, global sales, distribution and revenue management; Julius Robinson, chief sales and marketing officer, U.S. & Canada; Tammy Routh, senior vice president, global sales organization; Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity; and Brian Gilligan, senior vice president sales & distribution, U.S. & Canada.