Boy, were we green! But we learned from it. We learned that people like to meet, and we learned that we needed a better way to get a head count.
From that basement to today’s grand ballrooms, one thing has remained a constant – meetings are important for business. There’s nothing like a face-to-face to fire up the sales force or brainstorm the next big thing. Meetings are one of Marriott Hotels’ core businesses, and we want to make them even more productive. That’s why we’re focusing on the "Future of Meetings". Peggy Roe heads up our team. I'll let her explain it. Click below.
Peggy tells me that the way people work is changing. It's not just tables and chairs. Meetings are about people. I’m not one to be chained to my desk and when I walk through the lobby I’ve noticed more people out of their rooms with mobile phones and tablets. Technology is playing a big role in making it easier to meet, work and connect.
Apps like Red Coat Direct let corporate event planners communicate and message instantly with our hotel event managers known as “red coats.” Here's one example: if the room is too warm, the corporate event planner uses the Red Coat Direct app to send a message that goes directly to engineering and a temperature adjustment is made in seconds. There’s no need to leave the meeting to hunt someone down. It’s great new technology, and it’s helping our customers and our hotels run meetings smoothly. You can see it in action by clicking below.
We’re also testing new designs for our meeting spaces. WorkSpring at Marriott in Redmond, Washington, is designed specifically for small meetings where collaboration and productivity are important. We partnered with STEELCASE to design an inspiring place where the technology is integrated, the food is prepared daily by the chef, and wifi is included.
We’ve even thought of ways to help the millions of mobile workers looking for great spaces to work. Workspace on Demand is an app that shows you the nearest Marriott hotel and lets you book a meeting space on the fly. Coffee shops are great, but conference calls work better without espresso machines hissing in the background. See what the Gen Y & X folks think in the video below.
I’m excited about our “Future of Meetings.” As one corporate meeting planner said, “This is a game changer!” I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.