Tuesday night I attended online and offline social media mashup event hosted by Marriott hotels and Newsone. The event theme was #TravelBrilliantly which is Marriott hotels “innovation” hashtag of choice. The event featured a panel with Q&A along with a digital atmosphere and integration that you expect to see at a large social media conference.
The panelist included actor Laz Alonso, fashion designer Natalia Allen, TV Host & Digital Lifestyle Expert, Mario Armstrong, and Imar Hutchins Principal at ShiftCapital.us and Owner of D.C’s Florida Avenue Grill. Leading the conversation was moderator Omar Wasow, Princeton University Professor and cofounder of BlackPlanet.com.
Three things that stood out to me other the energy in the room was the panel conversation, the high tech #TravelBrilliantly setup and the passion from the attendees. During the panel Omar asked each panelist thoughts on their industry as it relates to the future of Tech, Design, Culinary, Travel. Some of the answers were “Predictive learning technology & hardware like google now & fit band” via Mario Armstrong, more intelligence travel mobile apps via Laz Alonso and back to the garden vai Imar Hutchins. Natalia talked about her clothen line which makes "modern clothes with robots. She’s already in the future.
As for the high tech setup, Marriott made sure to encourage everyone to participate in the conversion online and offline via social media outlets with large screen content feeds that showed instagram photos and tweets with the #TravelBrilliantly hashtag. But they didn’t stop there. During the panel Omar live polled the attendees with a SMS powred platform and afterwards attendees could still vote via host walking around with iPads. Speaking of iPads there were iPads posted on a wall to show various ways Marriott hotels are going out their way to be innovation hubs.
Along with iPads there were large touch tables where attendees could design their own hotel rooms. As Marriott continues to listen to their customers with the #TravelBrilliantly campaign they provided pitch booths were the best pitch idea from the night would win a $500 Marriott gift card.
Prior to the event start it was great to catch up with friends Mario and Omar as we talked tech and education. I enjoyed the panel, took tons of photos and interviewed a couple of attendees about their experience. Overall it was great and inspirational night as the community networked and talked abou the future of tech, design, culinary and travel.