Activate 2024

National Harbor, Maryland
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
August 26-28, 2024

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Activate At-A-Glance

Activate is designed to provide education, advance the events industry and create connections between our supplier partner audience and key Maritz decision-makers.

National Harbor, MD
2024 Event Details

National Harbor, MD
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
August 26-28, 2024

Maritz Audience
Target Audience

300-350 Maritz Team Members
350-400 Supplier Partners


Destination & Hotel

National Harbor, Maryland

National Harbor, MD

Your Place on the Potomac

Situated on 350 acres of prime space along the historic Potomac River, National Harbor is an all-in-one destination ideal for Activate 2024. Located just outside D.C. proper, National Harbor is home to a waterfront district packed with 160 stores, 40 restaurants, two top-rated resorts and entertainment options galore. Water taxis, a scenic harbor walk and the iconic Capital Wheel add a touch of whimsy to this premier waterfront destination.

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Made for Meetings

Our second-annual Activate will take place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center - a destination unto itself. Anchored by a soaring 19-story garden atrium overlooking the Potomac River, the Gaylord National is home to 600,000 square feet of event space, 2,000 guest rooms, signature restaurants and a full-service spa. Recently renovated guest rooms feature ample space, contemporary decor and waterfront or atrium views.


What's Next

Our inaugural Activate was one for the books, and Activate 2024 is shaping up to be even better! Take note of the following so you don't miss a thing.

On-site Sponsorship Guide

Our supplier partners' on-site activations are always a big hit! Check out what's available for Activate 2024 via the link below. Registration for on-site sponsorships will open in late October 2023.
Download the Activate 2024 On-site Sponsorship Guide.

RSVP Site Launch

In late October 2023 supplier partners will be asked to reserve their number of spots for Activate 2024. Keep an eye on your email for details!

Event Registration

While supplier partner spots are secured in the fall of 2023, event registration itself will not open until late May 2024.

Event Dates

Activate 2024 will take place August 26-28, 2024 at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center in National Harbor, MD.

What's Next

Design Sponsors

Maritz prides itself on building relationships with the best in the business. More than just providers, our design sponsors are creative, forward-thinking organizations that share our goal of advancing the events industry. We are grateful for the insight, partnership and financial support they provide to make Activate possible.

Hosts Global
Marriot Bonvoy



This is a preliminary agenda; specific events and times are subject to change. Registration and activations will open at 12:00 PM on Monday, August 26; we encourage you to arrive by 3:00 PM so you have time to check in, register and explore the activations. Departures from the hotel may begin after 12:00 PM on Wednesday, August 28.

  • MON8/26/2024
  • TUE8/27/2024
  • WED8/28/2024

Day 1: Monday, August 26

All Day
  • Arrivals
    Arrivals recommended by 3:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Registration
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Sponsor Activations & Design Sponsor Spotlight
    Our Design Sponsors and Activation Sponsors have created a variety of experiences and engagement opportunities to ensure all guests get the most from Activate. Take some time to explore, visit with our sponsors and enjoy!
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • Lunch (optional)
    Enjoy a casual grab-and-go style lunch before exploring the activations.
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
  • Connection Obsession: Maximizing Your First Timer's Experience
    Whether you're with Maritz or a supplier partner, if this is your first-time Activate* experience this is a must-attend session. You'll be connected to dozens of people from Maritz and your peers in an energetic and fast-paced experience that promises to deliver a bunch of fun and high-quality connections, something we're all obsessed with!
    *Including Collaborative and/or EnVision.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Opening Session: Driving Engagement and Delivering Value
    This opening session is designed for all Activate 2024 guests, providing important information, engagement and a bit of fun. Maritz leaders will help you learn about the event structure and how to make the most of your Activate experience.
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • All's Good in the Neighborhood
    Enjoy a casual evening with friends and neighbors old and new. Think cul-de-sacs, games, gardens, activities and of course, great "home-cooked" food. Brought to you by our friends at Gaylord National Harbor, this is truly a unique and unforgettable experience.

Day 2: Tuesday, August 27

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM
  • Wellbeing Your Way
    Use this self-care time for exercise, meditation or simply enjoying some downtime.
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Breakfast
  • ESN Coffee Connect
    A casual environment is the backdrop for this opportunity to chat with your favorite Event Strategists from the Maritz ESN team.
    (Optional; supplier partners only.)
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • 1:1 Appointments
    This bedrock of Activate is your opportunity to speak directly with the people who can impact your business the most.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Break
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
  • Lunch & Education: The Future of Events is Community
    Enjoy a family-style lunch followed by a high-level discussion of how and why community is now the most important element of business events. While this became abundantly clear post-pandemic, Maritz has a point-of-view that the definition of community has grown to include several important "meta-trends."

    Maritz COO Steve O'Malley is joined by industry leaders for a lively discussion around community and the trends that are bolstering it at events all over. This session sets up an afternoon of deeper, more focused learning about the trends and how they are playing out at events.
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Break
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
  • Design Sponsor Meta-Trend Sessions
    As a follow-up to the community discussion, these highly-focused sessions are conducted by our industry peers and leaders who will dive deep into key emerging meta-trends that comprise an updated description of community. These 45-minute sessions were co-created with our Design Sponsors and are open to Maritz team members and supplier partners.
    Sessions will run 2:00-2:45 PM, 3:00-3:45 PM and 4:00-4:45 PM.
    • Intentional Attraction
      We know that "one size fits all" doesn't work. To broaden our appeal and our effectiveness, we need to reach more diverse audiences by fundamentally changing the nature of our events to better align with stakeholders who break traditional molds. Research and experience demonstrate that business outcomes improve for those who fully embrace diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. During this session, you'll learn how peers are transforming their events into better experiences for all people, and how you can benefit as a result.
    • Greener Events for All
      In-person business events have rightfully earned a moniker for being one of the least environmentally friendly industries on the planet. But the tide is turning, based on several innovators who have found ways to reduce our waste and our carbon footprint. Learn how some event professionals have committed to practices that provide a model for making significant progress on our shared journey toward environmentally sound event experiences.
    • Building Communities that Thrive
      The economic impact of events on local economies can be enormous, and that's a good thing. Even better, we're seeing a meteoric rise of give-back programs at events, designed to help local charitable organizations and the people they serve survive and thrive. Learn from experts how give-back programs are being integrated seamlessly into event experiences that deliver value to people on multiple levels.
    • Wellbeing Done Well
      Wellbeing programs at events have transformed from a luxury to a necessity, providing millions of people the opportunity to stay healthier while on the road - something almost unheard of just 20 years ago. And the programs are evolving in ways that include physical exercise but are not limited to only exercise. Mindfulness, white space built-in to agendas, self-directed programs and much more are making for a more well-rounded definition of wellbeing. Learn how leading programs are being envisioned, constructed and activated at events like yours.
  • Maritz “Behind the Curtain” Session
    Back by popular demand, Maritz is taking our supplier partners "behind the curtain" for valuable business update sessions - with plenty of time for Q&A. Topics such as sales, sourcing and more will convey the business details that supplier partners desire, delivered by the Maritz subject matter experts they know and love. These 75-minute sessions will run concurrently with the Design Sponsor meta-trends sessions and are open to supplier partners only. This Maritz-centric session will run from 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM and repeat at 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM. Supplier partners have the opportunity to attend one instance of the Maritz “Behind the Curtain” session and one Design Sponsor Meta-Trend Session of their choice.
4:45 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Wellbeing Your Way
6:30 PM
  • Depart Hotel and Walk to National Harbor for Closing Evening Event
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Summerfest
    Join us at National Harbor for an outdoor evening of fair-themed food, tons of activations, live music and plenty of camaraderie on the final evening of Activate 2024. Dress casual … and cool!

Day 3: Wednesday, August 28

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM
  • Wellbeing Activity (optional)
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Breakfast
    Fuel up for a final day of 1:1 appointments.
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • 1:1 Appointments & Closing Remarks
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Grab-and-Go Lunch
    Whether you "dine in" or take it to go, we have lunch covered.
12:00 PM
  • Hotel Departures Begin


Frequently Asked Questions

Our inaugural Activate was one for the books, and Activate 2024 is shaping up to be even better! Take note of the following so you don't miss a thing.

When does Activate begin/end?
Registration and activations will open at 12:00 PM on Monday, August 26; we encourage you to arrive no later than 3:00 PM so you have time to check in, register and explore the activations. Programming begins at 4:00 PM for first-time guests and 5:00 PM for all guests.
Departures from the hotel may begin after 12:00 PM on Wednesday, August 28.

Can I book my own air?
Supplier partners are responsible for booking their own airfare.
Maritz team members will have their air booked by guest services during the registration process.

Can I pre- or post-extend?
Supplier partners and Maritz team members are welcome to pre-/post-extend at their own expense. Rooms at the Gaylord National Harbor will be available before and after the Activate event dates of August 26-28, 2024, at the group rate of $287/night + taxes, based on availability. The Maritz guest services team will be able to provide hotel extension options once you have registered.
Additional extension opportunities for Maritz team members will be shared available during event registration.

What are the travel times from the airport to the hotel?
There are three major airports in the Washington, D.C. area.

  • Dulles International Airport (IAD): 34 miles or approximately a 40-minute drive
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): 9 miles or approximately a 20-minute drive
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): 39 miles or approximately a one hour and 20-minute drive

Details regarding transfers will be shared closer to the event.

How will I get to and from the airport and hotel?
Based on guest arrival patterns and the number of airports servicing the Washington, D.C. area, we will not provide group transfers to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center for our team members and supplier partners on Monday, August 26. We recommend utilizing Uber, Lyft or a local car service.

  • Maritz team members may expense their arrivals transfer per Maritz T&E policies.
  • Supplier partners will be responsible for covering their own arrival transfer expenses.

Group departure transfers will be provided on Wednesday, August 28, to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), with the first departures beginning at 12:00 PM. Specific details will be shared closer to the event.

For planning purposes, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is located at 201 Waterfront St, National Harbor, MD 20745.

When will the 1:1 appointment bookings open?
Information regarding the 1:1 appointment booking tool will be shared in early July. Keep an eye on your inbox, and check back here as well for complete details closer to the event.

What should I wear each day?
Below is the suggested attire for each day, as well as helpful definitions for each

Monday, August 26 Tuesday, August 27 Wednesday, August 28
Daytime Travel Attire Casual Business Attire Casual Business Attire / Travel Attire
Evening Smart Casual Attire Casual Attire

Travel Attire (Monday & Wednesday Daytime)
Your favorite travel outfit is more than fine for the daytime on our arrival day. Depending on your travel plans for Wednesday, travel attire is welcome at our Wednesday morning 1:1 appointments as well.

Smart Casual Attire (Monday Evening)
Smart casual attire is the way to go for Monday afternoon/evening, as we'll go straight from our 5:00 PM opening session into our 6:00 PM welcome evening event, which will be on-site at the Gaylord National. Think casual skirts or dresses, dressed up denim, slacks and collared shirts with comfortable shoes.

Casual Business Attire (Tuesday Daytime)
Casual (but comfortable) business attire is recommended for our Tuesday morning 1:1 appointments and afternoon education. We suggest dresses or tops with pants or a skirt for women, and dress pants with a collared shirt for the men (golf/polo shirts are appropriate and sport coats are optional). Meeting rooms can be cool, so bring a sweater or jacket if needed. No shorts or denim during the day on Tuesday, please.

Casual Attire (Tuesday Evening)
Our final evening event is extremely casual. Sundresses, shorts, denim, T-shirts, and the like are all more than appropriate. The event is a short walk from the Gaylord National, and will be exclusively outdoors, so cool, lightweight clothing and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Additional Attire Notes

  • Late August temperatures in the Maryland/DC area range from highs in the mid-80s to lows in the 70s.
  • Don't forget a sweater or jacket, as meeting rooms can be chilly.
  • Pack workout attire if you plan to hit the fitness center or participate in any wellbeing activities.

Can I still register to attend?
Activate is currently sold out. If you'd like to add your organization to the waitlist, please click here: Activate 2024 Waitlist

My RSVP was confirmed. When do I book my hotel?
The link to register for your hotel details and sessions will be sent the week of June 4. If your organization has reserved multiple spots to attend Activate, Maritz will send the registration email to the designated Maritz contact at your organization. The email will include a voucher code to gain access to the registration site. Each organization's contact will share the code with those individuals designated to attend.

What is the registration deadline?
Registration closes on June 25, 2024.

How much is the Supplier Partner group room rate?
The Supplier Partner group rate is $287.00 per night, plus applicable taxes.

What is included in my registration fee?
Registration fees include all scheduled programming, program meals, mobile app access and 1:1 appointments. Each supplier partner is responsible for their airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and incidental expenses.

Where can I locate my invoice for my registration fees?
Please email and our team will resend your invoice.

I am no longer able to attend Activate. What do I do and what is the cancellation policy?
We are sorry you won't be joining us! To cancel, please email and advise us of your plans.

  • Cancellations received before event registration opens on June 4, 2024, will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations received on or before July 1, 2024, will be allowed to transfer 50% of the registration fee to a future Maritz brand event.
  • Refunds will not be provided for no-shows.

I can no longer attend Activate but want to send a replacement. What do I do? ?
Contact and let us know you want to send another representative in your place. Please provide their name and email address, and we will send them a link to register. Please note: No transfer of registration fees will be allowed for any cancellations received after July 1, 2024.

Can I bring a guest?
Guests are welcome but are not included in scheduled Activate events. Airfare and any additional expenses associated with bringing a guest will be a personal expense.

Will this event qualify for CMP or other accreditation?
All sessions will be submitted to the Events Industry Council (EIC) for accreditation approval. Following the event we will share details on how many CE credits may be claimed for each session.

Will there be a mobile app this year?
Yes! The mobile app will be your go-to place for Activate content and will launch in August before the event begins. You will receive an email prior to the event when it is ready to download, so stay tuned for more!

Will there be a pre-event briefing meeting like last year?
Yes - the event briefing meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 14 at 11:00 - 11:45 AM for Supplier Partners and 12:00 - 12:45 PM for Maritz team members. More details will be sent out closer to this date in August.

What kind of food & beverages will be served?
Our goal is to provide all Activate guests with an inclusive, collaborative experience. The Activate agenda has all meal and break periods covered from lunch on Wednesday through breakfast on Friday, with multiple entertainment opportunities (and drinks!) throughout the event.

What is the gifting policy at Activate?
We firmly believe that our supplier partners' presence is the only present we need! However, if you wish to bring collateral or small gifts to your 1:1 appointments and/or sponsored activations, please keep the following in mind:

  • At Activate 2024, Maritz team members will be seated and supplier partners will rotate throughout the meeting space.
  • Per corporate policy, Maritz team members cannot accept gift cards of any denomination.

Is there a hashtag for the event?
There will be A LOT of cool things in National Harbor (Trust us.) If there's something you want to share on the socials, use the hashtag #MaritzActivate - and don't forget to tag @Maritz too!

Why are the lanyards different colors?
The Activate audience is comprised of partners and Maritz team members, including members of our ESN. To help easily identify who's who, each group will wear lanyards specific to their guest type.

  • Maritz and ESN: White
  • Supplier Partners: Navy

What if my question wasn't answered here?
Please email with any other questions you may have, and we'll get back to you right away.


1:1 Appointments

For most, scheduled 1:1 appointments are the most productive event element for activating commerce, providing focused conversations between supplier partners and Maritz buyers and influencers.

We've partnered with MeetMax to manage our 1:1 appointments. Below are some key dates and pointers to assist you in getting time with the people you need to meet.

Key Dates

Keep the following dates in mind to maximize your appointment booking potential. Email communications will be sent on each of the following dates when profiles launch and bookings open for each group.

  • August 1 - 1:1 Appointment Booking Profiles Launch
    • A list of Maritz and Supplier Partner attendees will be shared at this time
    • Calendar blocking will be available at this time
  • August 7 - 1:1 Appointment Booking Open to Maritz
    1:1 appointments will open on a tiered basis based on sponsorship level
    • August 7 - Design Sponsors
    • August 9 - Activate Sponsors
    • August 14 - Balance of Supplier Partners

Since we all work better with a deadline, we suggest having your appointment calendar full by Friday, August 18.


If you have trouble watching our video tutorial, you can watch it here.

1:1 Appointments