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Marriott unveils 'meeting space of the future' in London

23 Oct 2014

Following the lead of its Munich and Amsterdam properties, Marriott has brought its next-generation meeting concept to London, inspired by the needs of the Millennial generation (those born after 1980).

Split over two floors (the Gallery and the Studio), there are nine function spaces hosting up to 235 delegates in total, or 100 in the largest.

Wireless technology is central, with wifi internet throughout, Samsung TVs that can wirelessly synch with iPads and "mirror" their content, the BARCO Click Share system that allows up to four computers to link to monitors without the need of cables, and wireless LED screens and projectors.

There is also the Red Coat Direct app for organisers and, outside each meeting room, an Evoko tablet displaying information about who is hosting the event and how long it will be going on for.

In the future, wire-free charging units will also be available for people to power up their devices, not only in meeting rooms but public areas as well. In the meantime, there are plenty of power points – even USB sockets at table level in communal booths.

 

The interiors have homely touches, with quirky murals on the walls and curios on display – you may even spot the odd Scrabble board. Some of the walls have huge digital photographs of the London skyline on, and the hall has an abstract River Thames flowing along it, giving delegates a sense of place. There is also space-age coloured mood lighting.

Break-out areas have food stations set-up with QR code labels next to various items whereby you can scan them to download a recipe for blueberry muffins, for example, or learn more about the beer you are drinking.

Tapping into the trend for hot-desking, the hotel is also experimenting with enabling people to book a table online to work at for a couple of hours. This will be branded as Workspace on Demand and Marriott has been testing it in partnership with Regus, with a pilot project taking place over six months across 17 properties including Marriott Brussels, Warsaw and London St Pancras (but not yet at the Kensington property).

Marriott's next-gen meetings concept will be gradually rolled out across its portfolio of 400 hotels worldwide, with Copenhagen next on the list (today). Not all hotels will have the same facilities – some might also have video-conferencing suites and touchscreen TVs, while others might just pay for a light refresh and more minimal improvements, depending on their budget and requirements.

In terms of the hotel experience, all Marriott Rewards members can now check-in and out of Marriott hotels through its dedicated app, and trials are being carried out to add functions such as ordering extra pillows to your room or contacting valet services through your smartphone.

Visit marriott.co.uk

Jenny Southan

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