My Best Meeting by Sergio Gomez, head of Social Media Marketing at the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Center

When Turning A Hollywood-Themed Dream into Reality, the Right Partners Make All the Difference

How a dreamer in Madrid carried out a Hollywood-worthy bash with a little help from his talented local friends.

Goal: Partner with top-notch local talent in order to achieve a blowout opening event. 

In honor of our hotel’s first anniversary, we wanted to host an unforgettable grand reopening celebration. The goal was to throw a party that highlighted our unique facilities—including a state-of-the-art auditorium that can hold up to 2,000 people—as well as all of the local talent here in Madrid. The property, originally built in 2003, now bears the distinction of being the largest Marriott Hotel in Europe, so we wanted to celebrate this with an over-the-top event worthy of this title. The key was partnering with the right people—and we immediately knew to call on our longtime collaborators, Tactics Europe, an amazing communications agency based in Madrid. 

Tactics presented two ideas, and our favorite was “Dream Big,” highlighting the size and scope of the hotel, as well as the party itself. The Tactics team had thought through everything, from the theme to the logo to the grand idea—creating an over-the-top Hollywood-style event that recalled the great figures of cinema, such as Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, as well as different film genres, with hundreds of performers and great décor and props. “Dream Big” incorporated everything that we wanted to express, and throughout the following weeks, we started working closely together to take this extremely detailed and fabulous idea and turn it into something real.  

More than 100 talented actors, dancers and singers, who dressed like characters, directors, extras and even make-up artists, welcomed guests with musical displays. Red carpets, film cameras and clapperboards were used in the décor, and flashing lights created the dramatic effect of thousands of camera bulbs going off.

The evening of the event was everything we could have hoped for and so much more. As soon as attendees entered the hotel—over 700 guests from the world of tourism, national and international media, and other industries—they were immediately transported into the world of movie making. Tactics had hired more than 100 talented actors, dancers and singers, who dressed like characters, directors, extras and even make-up artists, welcoming guests with musical displays. Red carpets, film cameras and clapperboards were used in the décor, and flashing lights created the dramatic effect of thousands of camera bulbs going off. 

Once inside, guests could explore the various meeting rooms—separated thanks to the facility’s innovative partitions—which were designed to showcase different films or styles. These themes were threaded through everything from the actors to the décor to the cuisine. For example, there was a room decorated in traditional Japanese style to represent the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, where sake was served alongside sushi and sashimi displayed on a lit-up ice bar. And we had areas dedicated to themes like King Kong, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Moulin Rouge, Bollywood and Saturday Night Fever. Spanish food was also featured prominently, with ham and a variety of spectacular tapas served throughout the event. We went to the local markets to find the freshest, most high-quality products. 

To showcase the auditorium, which had been refurbished for the reopening, we gathered all 700 guests into the room and Tactics Europe put together a grand Broadway-style show that demonstrated all of the sound and light possibilities. We kept the stage clean and free of any props or extra furniture, in order to best highlight the actors and the special effects. During the show, the talented cast performed songs from classic films like Grease, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Cabaret. It was so much fun, and felt like we were at a world-class musical performance!

At the main gala dinner, tables were decorated with movie motifs, such as clapperboards and rolls of film. Flower arrangements were created by our in-house garden team, and low lighting created a glamorous ambiance. The dinner menu worked with the elegant theme—with dishes like white miso lobster and beef sirloin with demi glace. Performance was also incorporated into this part of the evening. We set up a stage strategically located along one of the four walls, where all guests could see perfectly without having to stand or move in their seats. During the dessert, a group of dancers and musicians performed a cabaret-like show. It was the perfect way to relax and finish up the formal dinner, before guests took to the dance floor themselves. It truly was an incredible evening, and showcased how working with the right partners can make all the difference.