The Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago is among the newest members of the Marriott Convention & Resort Network (CRN), a collection of more than 100 of the biggest resort and convention hotels in the Americas.
Keith Kehl, director of marketing and sales at The Westin Michigan Avenue, said the network "provides a customer some ability to have a multitude of different hotels throughout the country that meet specific needs, whether that's a guest room need or a meeting space need."
At The Westin Michigan Avenue, Kehl said planners can expect exceptional meeting support and personalized attendee experiences.
Listen to the full interview with Keith Kehl.
Expect Exceptional Meeting Support
According to Kehl, "the hand-off" is one of the main benefits for planners who choose The Westin Michigan Avenue. For planners who move their events coast-to-coast every year, it can feel like starting from scratch, even if you stay within the same hotel brand.
But the hand-off, part of the CRN program, reduces that frustration.
Through network communications, "We know what their food and beverage requirements are, we know if there are any dietary restrictions, we know exactly what they've done with a Wi-Fi capability, as well as any other extensive audiovisual they might have," Kehl explained.
"And then we actually know who all the VIPs are with the organization and what their likes and dislikes will be," he added.
Kehl said this gives The Westin an opportunity to be very personable with large groups.
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Meeting space flexibility is another benefit for planners, Kehl said.
Ballroom Meeting Space at The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, Credit: Christoph Trappe
The 752-room Westin Michigan Avenue offers 37,000 square feet of meeting space on the second and third floor, which includes 20 event rooms and 24 meeting breakout spaces.
Kehl added that, due to the east/west breakout of meetings spaces at the venue, planners can choose from a range of setups for up to 400 attendees, including:
- The entire second or third floor
- Reserving all of both floors
- Half of each floor on the east or west sides
- Partial reservations on either floor
Groups appreciate the availability of privacy for large events or smaller stakeholder/VIP sessions. According to Kehl, the hotel's intimate yet spacious vibe and flexibility is due in part to its vertical architecture. "We're more stackable," he added.
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And planners can't overlook the design of The Westin Michigan Avenue’s meeting spaces.
From the luxurious Michigan Ballroom to the Grant Park Meeting U-Shape, each event room and breakout space is set up perfectly for productive meetings and networking.
According to Kehl, 85% of meeting rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light and breathtaking views of bustling Chicago and Lake Michigan.
He added that many rooms also offer blackout curtains that can be drawn during sessions that require additional privacy or focus and opened during break times.
Venture Out for Personalized Attendee Experiences
The Westin is located on the north side of Michigan Avenue, offering access to an outdoor attraction that might surprise many attendees: beautiful Midwest beaches along expansive Lake Michigan.
"For those that have never been here, they see Lake Michigan and the beach and say, 'Wow, I feel like I'm at the ocean,’" Kehl said. "It's pretty spectacular."
Lake Michigan Near The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, Credit: Christoph Trappe
Kehl added that attendees can easily find a variety of shops, restaurants and nightlife on the Magnificent Mile or downtown, including hot spots such as Navy Pier.
Sports fans can catch a game or concert at Soldier Field, Wrigley Field or Millennium Park.
Another cool perk for attendees is Westin's commitment to health and fitness.
If an attendee forgets or can't fit running gear in their luggage, The Westin Michigan Avenue has you covered with their Gear Lending partnership with New Balance.
The hotel also offers a 24/7 fitness studio featuring Peloton stationary bikes and TRX functional equipment. Additionally, the concierge desk in the lobby is a great place for attendees to ask about walking/running paths, bike rentals, community activities and more.
Attendees who prefer to use downtime to catch up on work won't be disappointed. The hotel's business center offers a copy service, parcel service and overnight package delivery/pickup.
A Chicago Oasis for Meetings and Events
Just 18 miles from ORD, The Westin Michigan Avenue makes it easy for event planners to choose this venue. It's a veritable meetings oasis, with an on-staff security team, electrician and AV technician, as well as event professional-focused support and amenities.
The hotel joins the CRN in its mission to set up meeting planners for successful events—and happy attendees. Other resort and convention brands within the CRN include:
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Gaylord Hotels
- JW Marriott
- Marriott Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Sheraton Hotels
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