Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 26 2015

Will This New Hotel Brand Be Enough To Engage Millennials?

By David McMillin

Meeting planners aren’t the only ones worried about attracting an emerging generation of busy professionals. Hoteliers are also recognizing that winning over today’s average twenty-something traveler will not be accomplished with yesterday’s guest experience.

“The old conventional hotel model was a customer checked in, went straight to their room and never came out,” Tony Capuano, Marriott’s chief development officer said in a recent interview with Drew Harwell at The Washington Post.

Capuano and Marriott believe that traditional model may turn away young business professionals who are looking to do anything besides stay in their rooms. To address the issue, Marriott unveiled its new Moxy brand, which embraces a European approach to space efficiency, a contemporary design palette and a brand voice that makes any prospective guest know these aren’t their grandpa’s hotels.

“We tossed out stodgy suits and forever check-in lines and created a stylish atmosphere where self-service mean you can do what you want, when you want without holding you up,” the hotel’s website reads.

While there is currently only one Moxy hotel in Milan, Marriott has plans to open eight locations in the US including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans and Chicago.

SEE ALSO: Busting 3 Big Millennial Attendee Myths

Breaking Ties With Antiquated Amenities

So what’s different about Moxy? According to Marriott, the brand’s design team did research to determine what really matters to hotel guests to understand where to invest and where to reduce spending. Rather than big closets and instant in-room coffee, guests can expect a 42” TV and fresh coffee in the action-packed lobby where “things are always happening.”

“We have a very attractively designed guest room, with a European sensibility, with really exciting public spaces, that will encourage guests to come down,” Capuano said in The Washington Post interview.

Outside of the Moxy brand, Marriott is continuing its wave of experimentation with a surprising cast of new partners: Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. The brand is currently allowing guests at eight unnamed properties access these entertainment services through in-room television sets. If the pilot program is successful, guests could soon be binge-watching “House of Cards” while on the road.

What do you think of Marriott’s new efforts to engage with a younger guests? Is your organization making any notable strides with a Millennial engagement strategy? Go to Catalyst to share your thoughts on how the conference industry can better connect with the next generation of attendees.

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