Marriott Introduces Neuroinclusive Practices at Its Customer Events

Marriott International has announced its commitment to incorporate neuroinclusive practices at Marriott-hosted customer events of 250 people or more globally. This commitment is a result of joining forces with The Neu Project, an initiative from Google’s Experience Institute (Xi) that aims to share resources designed to better accommodate and create a more inclusive experience during meetings and events for neurodivergent attendees. These practices were previewed at Marriott’s Corporate Partnership Customer Conference, The Exchange (November 28 through December 1, 2023) at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA.

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the world’s population has neuro differences, including ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy and Tourette Syndrome. In 2022, the Google Experience Institute launched The Neu Project to demystify and educate event professionals on the design of more neuroinclusive experiences through a helpful guide and checklist.

The following neuroinclusive practices will be incorporated at Marriott-hosted customer meetings and events of 250 people or more:

  • Quiet Rooms – A dedicated room will be available during Marriott customer events for recovery from sensory overwhelm, restoration and regulation. Designed to foster the physical, emotional and mental well-being of attendees, the room will serve as a calming retreat where guests can break from the event to manage fatigue, overload and/or sensory needs.
  • Tools and Resources – At registration, event attendees will have the opportunity to request various tools to better accommodate their needs, including sensory and fidget toys, noise-canceling ear plugs, sleep masks, sunglasses, printed agendas and venue maps, and details about loud music, flashing lights or surprise moments taking place during the event.
  • Closed Captioning for Main Stage Presentations – Real-time subtitles and captions will be available on-screen during main stage event and conference presentations.

Over the past two years, Marriott has collaborated closely with The Neu Project to learn directly from the neurodivergent community. The company has already begun implementing various neuroinclusive practices at its recent customer events, including a quiet room and tools and resources at both The Exchange: Association Masters in Phoenix, AZ and The Exchange: Europe in Madrid, Spain. Last month, Marriott and The Neu Project also implemented a quiet room for attendees at IMEX America in Las Vegas, NV. Looking ahead to 2024, Marriott will further its neuroinclusion efforts by conducting active listening sessions with the community through conversations with The Neu Project and people who are neurodivergent, which will help shape future content.

Marriott’s implementation of neuroinclusive practices for meetings at select hotels builds on its fundamental core values of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Through third-party partners such as Disability:IN, a nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide, Marriott offers a variety of resources to improve accessibility at meetings, events and conferences.

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