Marriott International was seeking a new way to engage and align its Asia-Pacific sales and marketing teams. Jack Morton proposed a conference to create an experience that would educate associates via internal and external speakers, simultaneously allowing them to network, team build, and learn from each other.
At the same time Marriott also wanted to celebrate the company’s success of the past year, recognize team efforts and continue to drive results. Storytelling, as a concept, provided the basis for the development of an immersive and compelling experience. This aligned with Jack Morton’s corporate philosophy that extraordinary experiences define brands and transform businesses.
To engage the sales and marketing associates in an inspiring way, the agency created the conference’s key event ID ‘Get your story on’ and tagline ‘Shape It. Sell It. Share It.’, which became the driving force of the overall story arc and agenda of the conference.
Jack Morton worked with Marriott to co-create the content and design of the conference around the event ID and tagline. The goal was to encourage and motivate teams, representing the breadth of all the Marriott brands, to build their own stories, giving them the tools and confidence to embrace the practice of storytelling in their day-to-day work.
‘Get your story on’ provided associates with the building blocks for storytelling and insights into reflecting on business results, sharing business priorities, content development, and defining the brand.
The conference took place at the JW Marriott, Hanoi, from 2 to 5 February, and included a Vietnamese-themed welcome reception, an MTV-inspired gala awards night, a fashion show and team-building activities, which enabled contributions to various charities.
The agency oversaw and managed external facilitators and speakers who helped drive the discussion around storytelling. The theme was reinforced from the first pre-event communication throughout the conference.
Onsite, associates learned how to share their stories with others and bring them to life in the most compelling and memorable way. A highlight of the conference was a unique fashion show choreographed by Jack Morton. It aligned the core values and brand attributes of each Marriott hotel group and tied them back to well-known fashion labels. This demonstrated to associates that storytelling can be a multi-sensory experience.
In designing the audience experience, Jack Morton implemented concepts from Meetingsimagined.com, Marriott’s own new website, where it shares ideas and inspirations with the world to fuel more thoughtful and purposeful meeting designs.
About 350 sales and marketing associates, including the global and Asia-Pacific management team, brand marketing team, associates from sales and marketing from the corporate office and local markets and hotels (general managers, sales and marketing directors, marketing managers) across the Asia-Pacific region attended. The event provided them with the tools and confidence to tell their Marriott story and help them customize it to different customer groups.
In addition, a collection of post-event videos summarizing key messages from workshops will circulate to associates who were unable to attend, ensuring they also have the opportunity to implement storytelling into their day-to-day business operations. The case demonstrates how a well executed internal communications effort can help improve external comms and help drive bottom line performance.