Marriott Hotels’ Meetings Imagined Inspires You to Travel Brilliantly

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On the way to Atlanta!

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Atlanta and work with Marriott Hotels as they celebrate the launch of Meetings Imagined, an amazing event planning tool that is an extension of their mission to re-imagine the future of travel by enabling guests to Travel Brilliantly. Marriott Hotels hosts over 40,000 meetings a year across the globe, and their goal with Meetings Imagined is to facilitate more creative, innovative and successful meetings—whether you’re planning an anniversary party, a networking event or small-scale brainstorming session.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Some of the incredible architecture found in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Over the course of my stay at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis I worked with three other bloggers, Justin Livingston of Scout Sixteen, Jaclyn Johnson of Some Notes on Napkins and Tamara Matthews-Stephenson of Nest by Tamara to plan two unique events using the Meetings Imagined platform.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
The Atlanta Marriott Marquis’s beautiful atrium.

What is Meetings Imagined?

Put simply, Meetings Imagined is a Pinterest-esque tool that provides meetings planners with inspiration and information to plan events. The platform includes a huge—and continually growing—library of inspiration images from actual events that have been executed at Marriott Hotels around the world, giving planners real-world examples that they can use to inspire their own events.

If sorting through all of the inspiration is too overwhelming for you, not to worry, they’ve also organized a series of idea starters for each property which will provide you with a jumping off point to help get you going.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life

And in addition to lots of visuals, you will also find a ton of helpful articles where you can learn expert tips and tricks about meeting planning best practices.

The Importance of Purpose

One of my favorite aspects of the Meetings Imagined tool is their emphasis on purpose. Every meeting has a purpose. Meetings Imagined helps you find yours. The innovation team at Marriott Hotels conducted extensive research before building the Meetings Imagined platform. And one of the most important results was the fact that all meetings held at Marriott properties were conducted for only one of seven purposes—Celebrate, Decide, Educate, Ideate, Network, Produce and Promote. As a result, they’ve built the site in a way that allows you to sort inspiration by the purpose of your meeting—an incredibly helpful feature.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life

Our Mission

For the few weeks prior, as well as over the course of our two-day stay in Atlanta, Justin, Jaclyn, Tamara and I had the opportunity to both participate in and co-host and plan two Meetings Imagined-inspired events. We were tasked with developing ideas for seating arrangements, table decor, food and drinks, and even ice breakers.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Our ideate session where we were working on ideas for the networking event happening later that night.

The Events

The primary purpose of our work with Marriott Hotels was to plan two events that would take place on our final night in Atlanta. For both events, we worked with a local organization, Kenectit, which empowers start-ups and those with business ideas to use crowdfunding to achieve their goals.

The two events consisted of an hour-long educational seminar on the topic of crowdfunding for about 50 people, and a two-hour-long networking session for about 100 people.

First, let’s take a look at what we came up with for the educational session. We wanted to create a space that was relaxed, comfortable and gave attendees a clear focal point to keep their attention—anything but your typical seminar set-up.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
The comfy space for our educate session with Kenectit. Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Kenectit’s inspiring founder, Yolanda Williams.
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
The tweet wall showcases tweets tagged with #TravelBrilliantly throughout the night. Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo

The networking event set-up provided us with more planning opportunities and allowed for even more creativity. Our primary goal here was to encourage conversation and networking—we wanted to make sure that everyone who entered the room was comfortable and ready to make connections. So we strategically created a room layout and developed design details that would facilitate these activities.

Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Rustic tables were set up throughout the space, flanking floor to ceiling windows that look out onto Atlanta from the 10th floor. Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
This homemade, muddled lemonade was amazing! Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
One of the coolest stations at the networking event: making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
An incredible, creative salad bar station. Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Another fun feature at the event was this awesome digital photo booth by TapSnap.
Marriott Meetings Imagined / on Design Work Life
Image by Jeff Wolk of Wolk Photo

Overall, my experience working with Marriott Hotels and Meetings Imagined completely surpassed my expectations. It was incredibly inspiring to witness such a massive, global brand being so focused on providing an exceptional experience to their customers. I’ve only had a couple of interactions with Marriott over the years, but this series of events has definitely solidified it in my mind as a place that truly values your comfort and happiness. They’ve made me a customer for life.

If you have a meeting to plan, I encourage you to seriously consider your local Marriott as a hosting space. Take a look at Meetings Imagined to get your wheels turning, and be sure to check out their article area for a wide array of expert tips and tricks.

This post was sponsored by Marriott Hotels. All opinions are my own.


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