MARRIOTT LAUNCHES CHAINWIDE TECH SERVICE
In April, Marriott announced a new division that will coordinate sales and service of communications technologies at its properties around the globe. EventCom Technologies by Marriott (www.marriott.com/eventcom) will serve as both a tech consultancy to Marriott clients and as a one-stop shop for multiproperty technical events. Services will include satellite broadcasting, ISDN videoconferencing, Web conferencing, Web streaming, and audioconferencing, as well as event management and production.
EventCom's involvement in a meeting program could be as minimal as helping a client figure out which Marriott in a particular city has the technical capabilities it needs, but the division was designed to do much more, says EventCom director Tom Maguire, CMP. If, for example, you need to broadcast a videoconference to 12 cities, EventCom has the authority to facilitate each step of the process.
EventCom would start in a consulting role, determining the technologies best suited to the job and the Marriotts in each of the 12 cities suitable and available during the meeting dates. Once the planner decides which properties should receive requests for proposals, EventCom would bundle all the meeting elements (catering, rooms, audiovisual, etc.) and submit the package to the various hotels. Planners are able to work with a single contact all the way through the billing process.
The seeds for the program were planted seven years ago when Marriott installed 117 steerable satellite dishes in hotels around the United States as part of an internal training initiative. “The initiative ended, but the 117 hotels were well-equipped for remote meetings,” says Maguire. Marriott marketed that network but began thinking more stratigically about how they might create a companywide technology resource.
EventCom is working with five key vendors. “The partners we've chosen are global in nature, as we're a global hotel company,” says Maguire. These include Globecast North America, a division of France Telecom (satellite broadcasting), Genesys Conferencing (ISDN videoconferencing and audio bridging), McLeod USA (streaming media), WireOne (videoconferencing equipment and training), and STSN (high-speed data and virtual private network connections).