Disney Meetings & Events used the occasion of IMEX America, the largest gathering of meeting professionals in the Western Hemisphere, to unveil a new branding image for the division.
“We wanted to bring forward more strongly a sense of who we are and what we offer in terms of imagineering and storytelling,” said Amy Pfeiffer, director, resort sales for Walt Disney World, which famously operates out of Orlando.
"People say they’re planning meetings, but we say they’re designed," she added. "The company is really investing in the meetings and convention market to tell our story in a better way.”
Robert Donahue, director, park event sales and services for Disney, echoed Pfeiffer’s remarks and tied it into new happenings at Disney’s meetings-focused properties.
“This reinforces all of the new products we offer at Disneyland and the theme parks,” he said. “It helps us reinforce this message in the meetings markets that we’re really creative in events.”
Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Update
In summer 2019, Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Coronado Springs property is scheduled to complete a 15-story, 545-room tower overlooking Lago Dorado lake with 50 suites and two presidential suites, along with a two-story lobby entrance, reimagined guest rooms and a 12,000-square-foot events lawn.
The project has meetings and events firmly in mind, by adding new dining options, accommodations, meeting spaces and outdoor networking spaces.
“We hear from meeting planners that some of the best areas for meetings are outside of the meeting,” Pfeiffer said of event and reception areas such as its redesigned restaurants and events lawns.
“People want to connect now, and that’s where it happens,” she added.
Disney’s Coronado Springs offers more than 220,000 square feet of meeting space.
Disney Displays Its Creative Meetings-Design Offerings
To show off its new logo and emphasis on storytelling and event creativity, Disney Meetings & Events held a reception at the Plaza Club, located on the 36th floor of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
The event featured a variety of interesting twists, such as Disney chefs—culinary artists, really—switching up standard reception fare with several surprises at its dessert table.
The table featured dessert-like treats that were actually non-dessert items and innovative integrations of sweet and savory, like macaroons that were filled with a tomato and buffalo mozzarella mixture.
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The reception also offered up an area where guests stood in line to be “animated” by a Disney Imagineer who drew caricatures of them with a Disney theme, such as Snow White, and a story board that showed impressive, creative examples of how the Disney team transformed recent events.
Donahue and Pfeiffer also noted that Disney offers for free one of the most important aspects of a modern meeting: bandwidth.
“We offer low to no-cost Wi-Fi company-wide,” Donahue said.
“There is solid bandwidth available in all the meeting spaces,” he added. “For a smaller meeting you can save up to $20,000, and for a larger meeting you can save up to $120,000.”