A new pilot program turns planners into masterminds.
This year marked the opening of Marriott International’s 7,000th property, The St. Regis Hong Kong, “an incredible milestone for a company that began as a nine-stool root beer stand in 1927 and didn’t even open its first hotel until decades later,” if you ask Arne Sorenson, president and CEO for the hotel company. As impressive as the 27-story luxe property is, it captures only a fraction of Marriott’s recent growth. Here’s a look at one of its latest programs.
Marriott’s Convention and Resort Network (CRN) is launching a peer-to-peer creative community this fall that connects meeting planners with a CRN mentor and a subject expert for collaborative and elevated industry conversations. Mastermind, as the pilot program is called, places the ever-evolving role of the meeting planner front and center as groups of eight to 10 are paired with a Marriott mentor and subject expert for monthly discussions around industry trends, as well as planning challenges. Marriott mentors remain with the group throughout the five-month program, while experts rotate based on subject matter. Mastermind planners also have direct individual access to experts and mentors. There’s also a digital component, the Mastermind Lab, where members can chat and share content.
Mike Wainwright, VP of sales for Marriott’s CRN, says the platform comes at a time when immersive, non-status quo meetings are in vogue. “Meeting planners have the desire to push the envelope and inject creativity into meetings based on the changing demands of groups.”
Mastermind’s first sessions approach the topics of emotional intelligence, orchestrated serendipity, multimodel design, meeting messaging and a sense of place.