[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]arriott Hotels has joined forces with nonprofit organisation TED to deliver a series of creatively curated videos, talks, blogs, quotes and salons to guests when they travel.
TED has become famous for hosting short, powerful talks on everything from self-empowerment to astrophysics, which can also be watched online for free.
Its motto is “ideas worth spreading”, and describes itself as “a community of welcoming people from every discipline, the world’s most inspired thinkers and curious souls looking to engage with ideas and each other”. Its first conference was in 1984.
TED Talks speakers have, over the years, included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The new TED Talks partnership with Marriott Hotels taps into the “knowledge economy” trend that sees consumers craving to think sharper, perform better and boost their brainpower. For example, some hotels have invested in libraries, while others are putting on cultural salons or installing “Minibars for the Mind” designed by the School of Life.
The School of Life first worked with Morgans Hotel Group to roll this concept out in 2011: “An overpriced packet of peanuts, a 50ml bottle of Smirnoff and a titchy can of Sprite? Not in our hotel minibar. Our Minibar for the Mind was a midnight feast for the intellect designed to unleash your creative spirit.
“It included a box set of 250 Conversation Starters, a volume of Collected Thoughts written by our faculty and friends, Seduce and Relax reading prescriptions concocted by our Bibliotherapists, a Dreams & Fears notebook and Writer’s Block pencil set for pouring out your deepest and darkest thoughts.
“Hotel guests also received A Daily Aphorism postcard with their turn down service, and Conversation Menus were served up alongside food and drink in hotel restaurants.”
Starting this autumn, “creatively curated” TED Talks, blogs and motivational quotes related to travel, entrepreneurship and innovation will be delivered to guests through in-room TVs and personal devices when logging on to the hotel wifi.
The hotel giant says that original videos created by TED for Marriott Hotels guests will also be released on its social media channels, and an “inspirational menu” of TED assets will be presented to people holding corporate meetings on-site.
Finally, Marriott Hotels will host a series of five global TED Talks Fellows salons in Seattle, London, Dubai, Bangkok and Santiago throughout this year and into 2017. Marriott says: “Guests will have the opportunity to engage with TED’s trailblazers in an intimate conversation setting, addressing innovative and thought-provoking discussion topics to each region.”
Matthew Carroll, vice-president and global brand manager of Marriott Hotels, says: “At Marriott Hotels, everything we do is guided by our belief that travel expands the mind and triggers new and creative ways of thinking.
“We know that travellers today look for more in a hotel and we are bringing to life new innovations that help elevate guests’ stay to memorable experiences.
“TED content does not only entertain, but educates and engages on topics that are relevant to our guests. Together we are delivering a series of original content, events and experiences that will spark travellers’ creativity and inspire new perspectives.”
TED Fellows deputy director, Shoham Arad, says: “Marriott has created a space that is perfect for our global, creative, and action-oriented community of Fellows. TED Fellows represent 90 countries all over the world, and are working at the forefronts of their domain – Fellows are artists, doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors and beyond. Marriott’s hotels are there where we are, and the space they have built is enabling a true exchange of ideas.”