A pioneer hotel chain that adopted this experiential marketing storytelling principle early on is Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Ritz-Carlton’s website section Stories That Stay With You, which comes with the elucidative subtitle Memorable moments from the Ladies & Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, is a storytelling inventory and library of the extraordinary experiences that the brand’s personnel weaved for its guests.
One of the most fascinating stories of them is:
In the winter of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, a wedding reception, lovingly prepared for two years, was about to be destroyed. The once-in-a-lifetime event had been planned in an area 30 minutes away from the town and many of the guests were travelling from Australia to attend it, staying at The Ritz-Carlton. The only chance to resolve the big issue was to plan a wedding within just four hours amidst a severe blizzard. The blinding snowstorm had rendered the road conditions perilous and, what is more, all the transfer companies had closed, trapping the wedding guests in the city.
The bridal couple requested from the concierge at 09:00 a.m. that Saturday morning the utmost challenge: to relocate the ceremony to the Grand Ballroom in just four hours! At 13:00 a.m. the hotel staff had arranged a magnificent ceremony within the hotel great hall. The customized menus, the soup, the dessert, the unique lightning arrangements, the flowers, the wedding cake, an eight- piece band, the photographer were all on time and impeccably ready to welcome the bride and the groom, having arrived at the hotel, undeterred by the severe weather conditions, to assist the hotel staff in this extempore occasion. The story is, however, further infused with an additional difficulty: The wedding cake supplier, being in the city, endeavoured to deliver the cake to the wedding site, but upon his arrival it was broken in tree pieces. The hotel’s pastry chef, then, holistically rebuilt it, just one hour prior to the commencement of the ceremony.
During the wedding event, the Director of Banquets and the Director of Meetings and Special Events took a photograph of the newlyweds and placing it in a silver Ritz-Carlton frame, they delivered it, accompanied with a personalized wedding card signed by all the staff people, to the suite of the neighbouring hotel where the bridal couple would stay for their first connubial night. The two Ritz-Carlton Directors escorted the bridal couple to the adjacent hotel, plodding through the 18 inches of snow. To the couple’s astonishment, the first photograph of their wedding along with the Ritz-Carlton signature card gift was waiting for them in the hotel suite of the nearby hotel that they had booked for that evening. This highly personalized story landed on the headlines of Philadelphian newspapers under the apposite title “Wedded Blizz”.