I have been to conference meetings in Los Angeles, Montgomery AL, Atlanta, and I just got word that the next conference in New Orleans are all in Hiltons. What can I do as a member but not an officer of these organizations to get them to explore Marriotts? I cannot help but think right now Hilton is trying to woo them and doing a good job.
It is all about loyalty (or perceived benefits) of the people booking the meetings. If those making the booking have no history with Marriott, probably not much chance. If the bookers have a history with Marriott, probably not much chance. Unfortunately, Marriott seems not to care about providing competitive benefits to people that can bring them meetings. Where I used to be 100% Marriott, I now participate in periodic flings with Hilton and Starwood. I am a happier person now.
Do you have to stay at the Hilton just because the meeting is at the Hilton? I've stayed at the JW in NO when I've been attending conferences at the Hilton. It's a short walk and I can get privacy at the JW. If it's the downtown Hilton in Atlanta, the Marquis is a short walk. In Montgomery, the Ren conference center is very nice, so I'm not sure why a planner would go elsewhere.
That's how I work it too. More often than not, I end up staying at the Marriott property nearest the conference. There are advantages (and disadvantages) of staying outside of the conference hotel, but as long as I can get reasonably close that's usually good enough for me.
politicalman - you are clearly a very loyal Marriott rewards member, as demonstrated by your desire to suggest that your company explore Marriott (and thanks to bejacob, cjkatl and curiousone for the suggestions). If you're willing, there are some amazing new programs and benefits that Marriott offers to business/event bookers which you can pass along. It could be that the planners are merely in a groove of doing what they've been doing in the past, and might be excited to see some new opportunities from Marriott.
The new Meetings Imagined site is incredibly cool and innovative: http://meetingsimagined.com/
I pasted an excerpt from a recent article about this new program/site at the bottom.
And here is the direct link to Marriott.com for the Meetings & Events info:
There is also a page dedicated to conventions:
I hope this helps! Keep us posted on any conversations you have.
"Marriott Hotels is launching Meetings Imagined, a first-of-its-kind concept that reinvents how meetings are planned, making them more visual, social, and purposeful. Featuring an online platform, MeetingsImagined.com provides expert tips, the latest meeting trends, and hundreds of inspirational images to spark creativity - curated by the objective of the meeting. Using the website, customers can collaborate with hotels to design custom experiences or view signature experiences featured at the participating test hotels, as well as post favorites images on social media sites, such as Pinterest and Facebook.
"While others may focus on just meeting logistics, Marriott is re-imagining the experience with its innovative Meetings Imagined concept that infuses a more sophisticated approach based on objectives and outcomes," said Paul Cahill, senior vice president of brand management, Marriott Hotels.
Meetings Imagined is based on the belief that every meeting should inspire participants by being designed to achieve specific objectives. The concept is the result of research showing key shifts in how the next generation customer works collaboratively and uses technology, both of which are seen as an integral part of how things are accomplished today.
After speaking with many of Marriott's customers and analyzing the more than 40,000 meetings hosted at Marriott's hotels yearly, seven purposes for meetings emerged: celebrate, decide, educate, ideate, network, produce and promote.
Rather than focusing just on dates, rates and room layouts, Meetings Imagined takes a holistic approach, honing in on the specific purpose of the meeting to create and design a more engaging experience, that reflects the changing way people are working today.
Five Marriott Hotels within the United States will be testing the new Meetings Imagined concept. These are the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, Tysons Corner Marriott, Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, Orlando World Center Marriott, and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The concept is also available in Europe at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square, Paris Marriott Rive Gauche, Munich Marriott Hotel, and the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel and will expand to more Marriott Hotels in 2014"