I just got back from a whirlwind trip to California, primarily to attend The Special Event conference and trade show in Anaheim. I plan on doing a quick recap of that show soon, but first I wanted to share my thoughts on the venue, the Anaheim Marriott.
Prior to this trip I hadn’t been to Anaheim at all but I knew that the Marriott and the Hilton were both next to the convention center. The Special Event was located primarily at the Marriott, with the trade show located at the convention center. I’m a bit of a Hilton loyalist (so hard to be one sometimes, but hey – free breakfast for Gold status members!) so I knew I would stay at the Hilton (more on that later) but I did get to spend a fair amount of time at the Marriott’s meeting space since all of the education sessions were there.
This will be a quick review since I didn’t spend any time in sleeping rooms or experience the food and beverage (there was none included in the base ticket price for TSE) outside of standing in a really long line for Starbucks.
Location-wise, the Marriott is right next to the Convention Center, which sits at the end of a promenade between the Marriott and the Hilton. It was very convenient to stay at the Hilton and attend meetings at the Marriott – it was a less than 5 minute walk from the Hilton lobby, across the promenade in the California sun and 70+ degree weather, and into the Marriott lobby or directly to the ballroom entrance.
See my Instagram pic of the pretty palm trees (I would say that Anaheim has the best-maintained urban palm trees I saw on my trip). The Hilton is on the right, Marriott is on the left:
The Marriott has 100,000 square feet of meeting space in 31 meeting rooms. Most of what I saw were ballrooms that were divided into breakout rooms. Almost all of the meeting space was on the same level, which was nice for the conference since the different sessions were never far apart.
The space itself was fine – definitely functional and relatively modern looking. There were a few small maintenance issues (airwalls with obvious tears, for example), but otherwise fine. The service seemed fine, although the staff didn’t appear to refresh the breakouts between sessions. The only real issue seemed to be with the house A/V company, which provided the tech support for the breakout sessions (TSE hired its own production company for the general session which was very well done). Almost every session I attended that tried to have a video play had issues and the sound quality was very poor.
There’s not much else I can say about the Marriott since I didn’t stay or eat there. But for a hotel that is ideally located by the convention center, I’m sure it’s a popular choice for meetings and conferences.
Have you stayed at or hosted a meeting at the Anaheim Marriott? What did you think?
All photos are mine, except the top one, which I got from here because I forgot to take a photo of the exterior!