Things I Learned From Shadowing the Marriott Marquis Event Team

This week I had the pleasure of spending the day shadowing the entire events team at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. Seems a little random but as I’ve said to many friends, it really did take a lot of soul-searching this year to listen to my inner passions and focus my career back to events. I’m no stranger to events. I’ve planned events with the Guggenheim Museum to digital/tech events, conferences, trade shows, panels to parties and now run my own foodie events over brunch. Yet when I first moved up to NYC I wanted to explore social media and community management. I still love the thought of blending both online and offline worlds with social and events. But what I started to notice was that every company wanted a “Community Manager” and I started to get less and less excited about monitoring tweets and more excited about curating event experiences. What brought me to Marriott was my initial curiosity of exploring of different event industries that I had never considered before, and I can’t tell you how fortunate I was to the Marriott for even having a shadowing day in place.

Having a degree in film and not hospitality made the day totally foreign to me, BUT also led me to raise my hand and ask a lot of questions. For example, did you know I shadowed people whose job it is to just manage group room blocks and just group tours and just conventions. It also happened to be known to ever other person but me that the Marquis is HUGE with 1957 rooms and 55 meetings rooms. No big deal, so naturally their events team was much larger than most.

As I bounced from cubicle to cubicle, I had to really listen to what drives me. I found I really gravitated to an event planner who showed me a sample banquet event order. I love the details and planning behind events. I also really enjoyed the group tour departments. There’s something about welcoming and interacting with groups that are in town to either sight see or just here for a short business trip. I love meeting new people.

More importantly I loved the learning opportunity. We even got a full hotel tour and got to see some stunning point of views of the city as well as learned some rather interesting facts about the hotel, such as:

Fun Facts I Learned about the Marriott Marquis:

  • It costs $6,000 for a 3 night stay during New Years Eve and $12,000 for 3 nights in a suite. And that’s not including access to their New Years Eve party or booking table service.
  • The theatre that’s inside the Marquis is separately owned and managed from the hotel. Marriott act as tenants of the building and the theatre was already there before they started building. In order to build the hotel they agreed to leave the theatre and build around it.
  • The Marriott is currently under construction. Construction plans include opening up a mall at the bottom (again separately owned and operated). Marriott is also planning to open the first outdoor patio space in Time Square and has plans to have the largest digital sign in Times Square.
  • The lobby is on the 8th floor. This is because when they first opened it was still a seedy area for Times Square and Mr. Marriott wanted guests to come up to escape everything that was going on outside.

Photos from the hotel:

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“The View” – Rotating restaurant

 

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Venue space — The ceilings are sick!

 

 

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View from hotel room

 

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Food and bar area

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