the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel and Conference Center is the largest self-contained hotel and meeting facility in Europe, with nearly 900 rooms and an auditorium that seats 2,000 people.
Sales and marketing director David Ghossein knows that the physical layout of the property – the fact that the hotel and event facilities are in one building and that it has a large auditorium plus a ballroom and private check-in area – is its biggest selling point. About 75% of the hotel’s business comes from the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) events that it hosts.
But Ghossein also knows that in-person site visits can be time-consuming and costly – from the perspectives of both budget and sustainability.
So Ghossein is partnering with RendezVersea new brand from London-based Worldwide Events, to develop “digital twins” – virtual, three-dimensional replicas – of his hotel and conference center that will eventually live in the metaverse.
the Madrid Marriott’s virtual spaces debuted at the M&I Spring Forum in Seville, Spain, earlier this month, where attendees donned Oculus headsets to “walk through” the rooms built on RendezVerse’s RV360 platform.
“It’s offering a new tool that can [help people] avoid taking flights. … It’s money, it’s sustainability, time. … I can also prepare everything as how the client would like to have it – special themes, the setup, the colors, the lighting. … This is a first step and after that if they say it looks nice, now I’ll take a flight and come to see you,” Ghossein says.
“It’s super immersive. What you can do already is see it in 3D, but the main difference here is that you … go inside the room. It’s not the same as watching it on your screen.”
Worldwide Events founder and CEO Peter Gould launched RendezVerse in January – starting with the RV360 solution for hotels to offer virtual site inspections. Along with the Madrid Marriott Auditorium & Conference Center, RendezVerse is working with the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Atlantis The Palm Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Bali, InterContinental Paris Le Grand and others.
“Hotel spaces of any size, either in the meeting industry or the luxury industry, will eventually digitize totally and offer virtual environments, and we are at the start of that mountain of building those virtual environments,” Gould says.