ConventionSouth

MAY 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 10 Florida New Senior Sales Executive LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has named Jennifer Barrett as senior sales executive. She will manage corporate and association business for the Midwest, West Coast and Mid-At- lantic markets on behalf of the 2,270-room property, which offers 331,000 square feet of recently renovated meeting space. Barrett has eight years of expe- rience in hospitality sales for the Hilton, Ritz-Carlton and Marriott brands, and is a graduate of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. New Partnerships Will Support OCCC Mission ORLANDO — The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) recently announced two new agreements with the Orlando Economic Development Commis- sion (EDC) and the World Trade Center Orlando (WTCO). Accord- ing to OCCC Deputy Director Yulita Osuba, these partnerships support the OCCC's mission of economic development and the region's business brand: "Orlando. You don't know the half of it." "We are delighted to work with these high-quality organizations whose impact in our community is significant to our business climate," Osuba said. "Many of our clients are growing their international markets and these organizations can create and so- lidify international connections, helping to increase attendees and exhibitions." Among the benefits of the new connections, cited by Osuba, are up-to-date trade information, such as market research, contacts and statistics; trade education with networking meetings, interna- tional business seminars, trade shows and one-on-one appoint- ments between local and foreign firms; inbound and outbound trade missions; use of temporary office space; use of meeting and conference facilities; privileges at WTC private clubs, regional and global exposure with WTC online, newsletters, publications, and event sponsorships; and a dis- tinct brand. Georgia VTX Virtual Tour Unveiled ATLANTA — The Atlanta Mar- riott Marquis now offers VTX, a virtual tour experience, which provides its sales and events team with a groundbreaking new way to share the property with the world. The new technology layers ul- tra-high-definition, 4K 360 video over an interactive experience, built on a gaming engine, allow- ing seamless travel throughout the hotel from desktop or hand- held devices. According to Erica Qualls-Battey, general manager of the property, this unique combi- nation of cutting-edge technology is a first not only for the Atlanta Marriott Marquis but a global first for the hotel industry. "At Marriott, we are frequently challenged to be innovative," Qualls-Battey said. "Our team has taken that to heart in designing this thoughtful approach to con- nect with our meeting planners." In late 2017, Meinrad (Rad) Lang III, director of sales and marketing at the Atlanta Marri- ott Marquis, approached Duane Tornquist, co-founder and chief creative officer with Artists of the Industry (AOFTHEI), with the vision of reaching a broader audi- ence and creating a sales tool for his team. What started as a discus- sion about a unique high-defini- tion video application evolved into a bigger and bolder vision to cre- ate an immersive 360 capture of the entire hotel, which has 1,663 guest rooms and 160,000 square feet of meeting space. "We had the belief that if the right user experience were cre- ated, the client, the sales team and the hotel would all benefit," said Lang. "With such incredibly taxing deadlines, schedules and budget restraints, this tool will completely replace site visits, saving time and money for every- one." He added that this platform allows the Marriott Marquis to connect with more meeting and event planners in a realistic man- ner, allowing them to virtually enter and explore rooms and travel up and down elevators. With Phase One of the VTX complete, work is now underway to create Phase Two, adding new features, apps, customer-con- trolled tours, augmented reality, additional information and loca- tions, enabling the VTX scalabil- ity far into the future, according to Lang. across the ORLANDO — On Memorial Day Weekend, the Hilton Orlando will open its newly expanded pool deck, offering 13,000 square feet of new outdoor meeting and event space, which will accommodate up to 500 attendees. The new recreation complex will feature 376 chaise lounge chairs, 14 private cabanas and Orbit love seats, allowing post-event at- tendees some much-needed R&R after a long day either onsite or at the neighboring Orange County Convention Center. Additionally, a 1,250-square-foot splash pad will add a new "sprayground" experi- ence for younger guests. The new space is located adjacent to Trop- ics Pool Bar and Grill, and extends to the perimeter of the property's lazy river. n New Meeting & Event Space Barrett

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