BizBash - Design 2018 - 22

Venues

remote-control rover by tech company Artists of the
Industry. Marquis sales managers are able to virtually
walk planners through the entire hotel, just by sharing their computer screens.
"We just had a customer do the site visit two
days ago via this virtual tour. Her comment to our
sales manager was, 'I feel like I'm in a video game,'"
says Meinrad Lang III, director of sales and marketing at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, who says that
the tour helps event planners visualize the flow from
floor to floor and meeting room to meeting room.
Lang and his colleague Shar Zeigler, the hotel's
director of sales, also view the technology as a way
to make it easier for planners to do business. Zeigler
summed it up: "The cost, the time to fly out and take
a look at the space-why not just share your screen
and look at the space in your home office?"

Virtual Visits

Atlanta Marriott Marquis

With better technology, venues now offer informative and
interactive tours for event planners. By Adele ChApin

T

his tour of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis
starts out like a typical site visit. There's
the walk past the check-in desk, with a
glance skyward to check out the hotel's futur-

istic atrium. Then there's an elevator ride up to see
the Marquis's largest ballroom. But in another flexible meeting space, air walls open and close with the
toggle of a button. A map pops up on demand, and

info boxes appear with helpful notes for event planners like room square footage and other specs.
That's what it's like to explore the Atlanta
Marriott Marquis on a laptop through the hotel's new
virtual tour experience. The high-resolution tour covers everything from the front door to 164,000 square
feet of the meeting space and everything in between,
all captured via a 360-degree camera rig atop a

Thanks to virtual-reality technology and 360-degree photography, hotels and convention centers are
finding ways to immerse event planners in a space-
without them ever setting foot in the building. "They
feel like they've actually been there, they know the
experience they're about to get," director of sales and
marketing at Hilton Waikiki Beach Sandy Narvaez
explains. Her hotel offers a virtual tour app from
technology company YouVisit that is available in four
languages and can be used on a laptop or a phone.
The app also solves a problem: unlike a photo gallery, it conveys that even though the hotel is a block
from the beach, rooms still boast gorgeous ocean
views. "It really helps to decrease the number of times
that we've lost a piece of business because they

ConTinued

photo: courtesy of atlanta marriott marquis

Making a Virtual Impression



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BizBash - Design 2018

Contents
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