Marriott’s innovative new concept aims to put creativity back in the meeting room with purpose-driven planning and tailor-made services designed to help businesses get the most out of meetings.
by ET Staff photography courtesy Cairo Marriott Hotel
Not long ago Marriott execs from all over the world met to discuss how to redefine what is perhaps the most disliked business activity: the dreaded meeting. “What they wanted to do,” says Cairo Marriott Hotel Director of Communications Ghada Abdel-Khalek, “was come up with a concept where meetings were actually designed with a purpose.” At a presentation at the RiseUp summit a few months back, Abdel-Khalek outlined how Marriott identified seven key reasons why people held meetings. “Those seven reasons were to educate, ideate, promote, decide, network, produce and celebrate. Once those were identified, the Marriott set to work on a platform to bring everything together and after months of laborious work launched meetingsreimagined.com.”
At meetingsimagained.com, potential meeting organizers can “get inspiration, share meeting ideas, collaborate with colleagues, see hotel-specific ideas, all in one place” to ensure that their meetings are ones employees and attendees are gatherings that they’d “want to attend.”
The platform brings together over 600 hotels across six brands and is offered in six different languages. Visitors can access more than 300 articles on tips and trends from experts in meetings while registered users can create and share sets, invite others to collaborate on sets and upload images to the personal gallery.
Abdel-Khalek explains that when a client approaches the Marriott, their meetings team is “able to pinpoint their needs and deliver an experience guaranteed to make the best of your meeting. With that understanding in mind, we are able to better allocate our various resources such as leading technologies, powerful brand meeting strategies and spaces, creative culinary options and the most passionate and well-trained hosts in the business.
Abdel-Khalek’s presentation went on to show how with Meetings Imagined clients can completely personalize their meeting experience to exact the best results. “Whether you seek to inspire, elevate morale, celebrate or induce your attendees’ creativity; every purpose has versatile tools that can be used the way you want it to. From the venue, the decorations, the culinary options and even the temperature of the room can all be controlled by you.”
With the Marriott always looking to be one step ahead, Abdel-Khalek says this exciting new tool will revolutionize the way meetings are planned here in Egypt, where clients can choose from Marriott venues including the Zamalek flagship property, the JW Marriott and the Renaissance brands. “Through meetingsimagined.com you can get inspired by brilliant ideas that will add flavor to your meetings. Fresh new tools, interesting designs, innovative concepts and more can be discovered through our website. We can even help you figure out exactly what the purpose of your meeting is and help you build the blocks of an unforgettable and productive event. There are even articles on the latest global trends of colors, culinary creations and original ideas.”
As such, Abdel-Khalek says key factors like the setup and catering are the most critical elements when it comes to delivering results at meetings. “If the purpose of your meeting is to ideate, or brainstorm ideas, then you’d want to go for sugary finger foods that get the creative juices going and a setup where attendees are actively around as opposed to, say, traditional tables and chairs.”
Marriott has traditionally been known for paying attention to every detail when it comes to business meetings, offering state-of-the-art facilities and professional full business center support including advanced audio-visual equipment and simultaneous translation services across its multifunction conference rooms.
Abdel-Khalek goes on to add that, “As part of Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly Initiative, every business meeting enjoys the world-class services of Red Coat Direct, which incorporates high tech into the experience allowing for catering services, temperature control and adjustments of meeting spaces to be easily accessible by just a tap on your phone.”