Group meetings, conferences and conventions are a very important part of our business and account for over 35 percent of our total sales. One group that often holds their annual conference in one of our hotels is the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). They are terrific people who take care of our kids at school and it’s a great piece of business for Marriott generating more than 3,500 room nights.
Last summer, the Director of Meetings for NASN had to unexpectedly resign a month before their event was being held at the Chicago Marriott, leaving the group in desperate need of a new meeting planner. One of the account executives from our national sales team, who has worked with this group for many years, Peter O’Brien, suggested a few reputable meeting planners that might be able to help. But, the group trusted and respected Peter so much, they asked if he could help them plan and organize their meeting.
Although it is rather unusual for an outside group to use an “inside” meeting planner, Peter gladly took on this role while still maintaining his “day job” in our sales outfit. During the week the meeting took place, Peter worked 15-18 hour days to ensure everything ran smoothly and the event ended up being a big success. In fact, the event was so successful and the group was so appreciative of Peter’s and the hotel’s hard work and stellar service, that they recently signed an agreement to host 5 more of these meetings in 5 different Marriott hotels around the country.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.