Case Study

How Marriott worked with ON24 to create a virtual learning environment


Delivering comprehensive training to a geographically dispersed employee base

Marriott created the “Breakthrough Leadership Program” with the goal of providing training to 733 managed hotels in 23 countries in the Americas. The program was initially delivered entirely through live, location-based instruction. Trainers were flown into different markets and managers of hotels were brought together to engage in the training. The program ran into challenges related to executing the training in secondary and tertiary markets, which often meant that associates had to fly or drive for hours in order to participate. It became difficult logistically and very costly. As a result, Marriott’s leaders looked for more efficient ways of implementing the program.


A customized Virtual Learning Center

Marriott chose ON24 to build a customized virtual learning center that could be easily accessed by all Marriott managers. Participants could engage in real-time e-learning, including live webcasts and question-and-answer periods; they could also watch on-demand recordings after the fact. In other words, the virtual learning center allowed for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

The Marriott “Breakthrough Leadership Program” virtual learning center also provided a networking lounge where managers could interact directly with each other and high-level executives through scheduled chats, one-to-one interactions, and e-cards. Each manager was also provided with a virtual briefcase to which they could download e-learning training materials and resources directly from the virtual learning center.


Cost-effective training, increased productivity

According to Marriott’s vice president of talent acquisition, the leadership e-learning program provided training that affected hundreds of hotels in many different countries and yet was accomplished in 18 months. Marriott was able to use e-learning to certify more than 5,000 managers in a short period of time, allowing them to train others in their hotels. It also hosted an overview and “big picture” training for approximately another 10,000 managers via the virtual learning center.

Aside from cost-savings, however, Marriott also benefited from a greater ability to engage managers in an e-learning experience that was “cool and cutting edge.” As a result, the virtual learning center was able to dramatically boost productivity.