Marriott International introducing neuroinclusive practices to events

i By December 2, 2023 No Comments

Marriott International, Inc. has ann0unced its commitment to incorporating neuroinclusive practices at Marriott-hosted customer events of 250 people or more globally.

The commitment is a result of joining forces with The Neu Project, an initiative from Google’s Experience Institute (Xi) that aims to share resources designed to better accommodate and create a more inclusive experience during meetings and events for neurodivergent attendees.

Research shows that approximately 15 to 20 percent of the world’s population has neuro differences, including ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, and Tourette Syndrome*.

In 2022, the Google Experience Institute launched The Neu Project in order to demystify and educate event professionals on the design of more neuroinclusive experiences through a guide and checklist.

Marriott previewed the practices at its Corporate Partnership Customer Conference, The Exchange, which took place November 28th to December 1st at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA.

Now it is incorporating the following neuroinclusive practices at Marriott-hosted customer meetings and events of 250 people or more:

QUIET ROOM: A dedicated room will be available for recovery from sensory overwhelm, restoration and regulation. Designed to foster the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of attendees, the room will serve as a calming retreat where guests can break from the event to manage fatigue, overload and/or sensory needs.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES: At registration, event attendees will have the opportunity to request various tools to better accommodate their needs, including sensory & fidget toys, noise canceling ear plugs, sleep masks, sunglasses, printed agendas and venue maps, and details about loud music, flashing lights or surprise moments taking place during the event.

CLOSED CAPTIONING FOR MAIN STAGE PRESENTATIONS: Real-time subtitles and captions will be available on-screen during main stage event and conference presentations.

“Grounded in our commitments to innovation and inclusion, Marriott is dedicated to making meetings and events more accessible for everyone,” said Drew Pinto, executive vice-president and chief revenue & technology officer, Marriott International. “The Neu Project is a driving force in this space, and we look forward to working jointly with them, along with the neurodivergent community, to deepen our understanding of neurodivergent needs in order to truly welcome all.”

Looking forward to 2024, Marriott reports that it will further its neuroinclusion efforts by conducting active listening sessions with the community through conversations with The Neu Project and people who are neurodivergent, which will help shape future content.

*National Cancer Institute (U.S.), Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics