Marriott International announced an exclusive relationship between its European Convention Network (ECN) and London-based technology start-up, GoInStore. Through this arrangement, meeting planners will have access to virtual live tours of meetings and events facilities of the ECN’s collection of 14 gold standard convention hotels in Europe.
In line with the ECN’s aim to provide an efficient, cost effective and comprehensive service, the innovative new service integrates the latest technology with human touch to provide previews of function spaces to enhance the booking process for meeting planners. Event managers will be on-hand to use GoInStore’s real-time mobile technology to conduct personalised and interactive virtual tours using a live one-way video stream and two-way audio channel. Ensuring a streamlined process, the technology also allows real-time access to multiple sites in the same session.
Pauline Bronkhorst, Head of the ECN, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress we have made with the European Convention Network since its launch earlier this year, and are thrilled to be working exclusively with GoInStore to continue to strengthen our offering and to set ourselves apart from competitors. Many of our customers plan large annual or bi-annual events in different cities, and are unable to carry-out site visits in person – our virtual tours offer the perfect solution and planners can continue to enjoy personalised interaction combined with the benefits of state-of-the-art technology to make well-informed decisions on their venue choices.”
André Hordagoda, GoInStore’s co-founder, commented: “Having previously focused on the retail space, we’re excited to partner with Marriott International in Europe to apply our pioneering technology to a new sector. We learned that Marriott’s European Convention Network was considering creating a ‘virtual site inspection’ and it soon became clear that GoInStore was a great fit. In this new chapter, we’re proud to empower event managers to deliver a revolutionary way to engage with planners and to enable Marriott to differentiate its offering.
Launched in February 2016, Marriott International’s ECN allows regular meeting planners to engage with one dedicated contact person to organise meetings and events at 14 hand-selected European properties across brands including JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, AC Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels. It provides a personal approach to bookings, offering advice and options to speed up and simplify the booking process. Following each event, the ECN conducts a critical review that summarises key learnings, aiming to enhance the process for the next event and acting as a conduit between the meeting planners, event managers and the general managers at the hotel.
Convention hotels in the network are all able to cater for large groups (the largest property has 869), and have sizable function spaces or ballrooms, totalling 57,000m2 of meeting space and 7,800 rooms.
The partnership is exclusive to hotels in the ECN, and will be trialled for a six-month pilot period.
The 14 convention hotels in the Marriott International European Convention Network are:
- Boulevard Hotel Baku, Autograph Collection Hotels (Azerbaijan)
- AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel and Conference Centre (France)
- Berlin Marriott Hotel (Germany)
- Frankfurt Marriott Hotel (Germany)
- Budapest Marriott Hotel (Hungary)
- Rome Marriott Park Hotel (Italy)
- Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel (London, UK)
- Warsaw Marriott Hotel (Poland)
- Lisbon Marriott Hotel (Portugal)
- JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel (Romania)
- Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel (Russia)
- AC Hotel Barcelona Forum (Spain)
- Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel and Conference Centre (Spain)