BETHESDA, Md. — Following the announcement of Marriott International’s Commitment to Clean and Global Cleanliness Council, Marriott has introduced digital content about re-defined processes and re-imagined spaces guided by cleanliness experts and best practices to help hosts, organizers and attendees plan and execute meetings.
Changes included in the new processes include enhanced sanitation guidelines, new operational training for staff and increased use of conference technologies to ensure that customers are able to come together when they are ready.
Meeting planners may now reference a series of new materials including an informational video, customer stories and resources that provide additional context and information for designing successful events in the current environment. Available on marriottbonvoyevents.com, these tools illustrate Marriott’s approach to delivering high-quality meeting experiences across its portfolio.
“Our Commitment to Clean is guiding everything from how we keep our guests and associates safe to how we begin to welcome back event and meetings business,” says Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International and chair of the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council. “Our Global Cleanliness Council is working with us to tackle the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and what that means for an event or meeting at a hotel. Having experts in the area of hygiene, food safety, infectious disease and infection prevention has been enormously beneficial in helping us think through everything we can do to support organizations as they begin to envision, plan and execute future meetings and events of all sizes.”
The hotel events teams will focus on helping planners understand what a meeting in today’s environment will look like and ensure they can do their jobs swiftly and easily with events designed to serve their meeting objectives. From planning through contracting, the hotel teams consult with clients to review new practices, including social distancing of attendees and enhanced offerings, such as virtual/hybrid meetings, contactless registration and catering solutions.
The Marriott Bonvoy Events portal houses best practices, testimonials and visuals of actual meetings to bring the experience to life for the experts pulling the meetings together.
A series of floorplans have been created to enable event planners to visualize room configurations that allow for socially distant gatherings while still supporting the purpose and goals of meetings. Consultations, pre-convention meetings and site tours can all be conducted virtually and adapted to include hygiene and safety briefings.
Even attendees can anticipate reduced seating capacities in accordance with local laws and regulations; utilization of outdoor spaces where possible; frequent and more in-depth cleaning of spaces and high-touch areas; and hand-sanitizer stations throughout meeting spaces. In the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, Marriott International requires all staff and guests wear a face covering.
Meals and Breaks
Re-designed food-and-beverage experiences follow recommended standards of service and food safety. Both meals and breaks are set in dedicated, socially distanced spaces reserved for a specific event and its attendees to prevent co-mingling with other groups.
Catering menus are also being adjusted to include a wide selection tailored to group size, including new options for individually pre-packaged meals, canned and bottled beverages and plated service. Buffets will also be modified to include servers, shields, hand sanitization and queue management.
Hotels are also leveraging technology and digital solutions to create contactless service where appropriate, such as the use of QR codes and digital menus. Non-essential items, such as linens, pre-set plates and glassware, and décor will also be removed.
“Marriott International continues to work in collaboration with industry organizations, such as the Events Industry Council, to find ways to instill trust and confidence in meetings and events,” says Tammy Routh, SVP, Global Sales Organization for Marriott International. “Cleanliness and service has always been our hallmarks and now those deep convictions are more important than ever.”