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Marriott International Commissions Study for Future of Meetings, Events

By: Amy Blackman | May 14, 2019

marriott1Meetings are not just about tables and chairs. They are about people. People have changed. How they work has changed. Marriott International, a global provider of business events, and PCMA, the world’s largest network of business events strategists, have commissioned a global research project authored by Innovation Consultancy Fahrenheit 212 study entitled, The Future Of Meetings and Events. The study identifies macro-trends that could change the face of the business events industry. Whether driven by generational differences in the workforce, technological advances, attitudes around food and wellness, or new forms of media and communication, these trends have the potential to disrupt the industry as we know it.

Marriott International and PCMA worked with innovation expert Kate Fairweather of New York–based Fahrenheit 212 and strategy consultant Amy Blackman of L.A.-based Fruition Co., who researched the latest global macrotrends and applied them to the business events industry.

The consultants turned to entrepreneurs, visual artists, and others to research trends.

“The point of the study was to bring in those from outside the industry to ask questions we never would have thought about,” said Tammy Routh, senior vice president for global sales at Marriott International.

The study found these five big-picture influencers:

  1. Emotional intelligence
    As companies get smarter with predictive analytics, consumer expectations for personalized, seamless experiences will continue to rise. Business events will need to move past reactive adjustments to adopt a proactive approach to personalize experiences, understanding the needs of participants before they arrive at the event.

  2. Orchestrated serendipity
    Participant attention is at an all-time premium, as technology amplifies distraction and enables remote attendance. Experiences must embrace freedom and surprise, freeing consumers from the constant constraint of schedules or agendas. By embracing the unexpected, events can engage participants and leave a lasting impression.

  3. Multimodal design
    Every event has a unique objective and audience, and a space must reflect that event’s specific personality and needs. From technological infrastructure to architecture, to furniture and fixtures, space is critical to any event, and should be designed to adapt to the ways that participants will engage.

  4. Bigger than oneself
    Providing content is not enough anymore. Every event must have a message. Participants want to understand what’s important to a business and experience events that deliver that message down to the smallest detail — allowing them to meaningfully connect with the experience and bringing purpose to their engagement.

  5. Clear sense of place
    The most memorable events celebrate local surroundings, exposing attendees to the local culture, and connecting them with the community to increase engagement.

Research participants included Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO; Amy Blackman, Founder and Principal of Fruition Co.; Sharebite’s CEO Dilip Rao; Eight Inc. partner and chief experience officer Wilhelm Oehl; Local Projects’ creative director and head of visual experience design Elle Barriga; and WeWork’s vice president of product development Cory Clarke.

About Marriott International:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of 7,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company now offers one travel program, Marriott Bonvoy™, replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®(SPG). For more information, visit, and for the latest company news, visit In addition, connect with them on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.



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Amy Blackman
Fruition Co.

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