Connecting People Oceans Apart with GoThere Virtual Meetings by Marriott

April 6, 2010
GoThere Meetings Having my own blog for more than three years has been a great learning experience.  Blogging has helped me understand the importance of technology and communications for our business. 

Recently, I was interviewed using telepresence. It’s a fairly new communications technology we are testing in some of our hotels around the world with AT&T and Cisco. We’ve named the service GoThere Virtual Meetings. It really is amazing technology. You feel like you’re having a face-to-face meeting with people who are sitting in studios thousands of miles away.  I remember facing a man who was in London. He had an award he wanted to give me.  He reached forward and it looked like he was reaching right across the table to give me the award.  It was an awesome experience.

Four of our hotels already offer GoThere Virtual Meetings in New York City, suburban Washington, D.C., San Francisco and downtown D.C. We’ll have about 15 telepresence studios by the end of the year, including locations outside the U.S., in Sao Paolo, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Frankfurt.

A lot of people have wondered why we’re doing this. Won’t it discourage travel? What we heard from some of our customers is if we offered telepresence, they would actually hold more small meetings of typically fewer than 6 people at our hotels. These would be meetings conducted on less productive conference calls or meetings that might never have happened at all.

At our Grosvenor House – A JW Marriott hotel in London – a customer actually built out a telepresence studio for just a single meeting at the hotel. Next time he visits, the customer can use the telepresence studio that we will open there this spring.

It is a competitive landscape, and offering state-of-the-art communications technology and more meeting options will help us generate more revenue for our hotels.

I’m Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Connecting People Oceans Apart with Go There Virtual Meetings by Marriott

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Dear Mr. Marriot,

I too agree with one of the prior post on you inspiration on many with your interest in new technology. You might have to change this from 'Marriott On The Move' to 'Keeping Up with Marriott'


I am looking forward to trying out this technology in the US.

As a 60 yr old travel guy re entering the hotel marketing field, I have to say you inspire a lot of us with how you embrace new technology. Although I won't be working for Marriott I plan on keeping an eye on you in my rear view mirror.
All the best

Dear Bill,
This service will certainly make the Marriott Hotel and brand more known and famous here in Japan if installed in the properties. Excellent device and service!