Spotlight on InfoComm


Tell Your Hotel Clients: 5 Tech Trends That Enhance the Guest Experience

Integrators can enhance the guest experience by helping hotel customers leverage larger TVs, the ability to stream content, and putting power to charge portables everywhere.

Apryl Lamberti Leave a Comment
Tell Your Hotel Clients: 5 Tech Trends That Enhance the Guest Experience

Consider touchscreens, automated check-in kiosks or a favorite travel app when you talk to your hotel clients about technology and how it impacts the guest experience.

Three words sum up what dictates the evolution of the hospitality market: the guest experience. To help create the very best guest experience, hotel management companies need reseller partners with specialized technical and installation capabilities that are willing to take a consultative approach to working with each project.

This equals a real opportunity! Here are some of the key ways the hospitality market is evolving.

Size Matters

The U.S. hotel market is made up of 4 million hotel rooms and the typical lifespan of guest room televisions ranges is five-to-seven years. Going back just a few years, the most popular size for guest room TVs was about 28-32 diagonal inches.

Today, screen sizes are getting larger — about 40-50 inches on average — and the more upscale the property, the bigger the in-room TV.

Who knew those big and bulky armoires would eventually be sawed in half and re-purposed as dressers to make room for a slim and sleek flat panel with built-in swivel capabilities, now considered essential for that modern, high-tech, designer look?

Technology-Driven

Perception is everything and in a business where moments of interaction or scattered impressions can influence loyalty rates or return bookings, the lasting imprint technology makes on hotel guests is vital. The reality is that travelers simply expect technology in hotel properties to have a similar look and feel they’ve come to anticipate in their daily lives.

hotel guest experience technologyConsider touchscreens, automated check-in kiosks or a favorite travel app and this concept comes to life. And then there’s behind-the scenes technology, which includes interfaces that instantly modernize and customize in-room entertainment and how guests engage with their TVs.

Technology also exists to allow guests to stream content from their mobile devices to the guest room TV — live streaming has been named one of the hottest tech trends anticipated to change the hospitality industry over the next 10 years.

Strategic Partnerships

While hoteliers know they can now get more screen size for their money, what most ownership groups are starting to realize is that TVs are not nearly as simple as they used to be and they need partnerships with resources to help get the job done right the first time.

Typically, when the TVs are delivered and service providers are working against the clock of an opening date is when experience makes all the difference.

Hiring temporary workers or using the general contractor can mean that TVs get installed but they may be left scrambling with days to the finish line to locate a specialized service provider who can save the day (at premium expense) rather than planning ahead with a reseller partner who has capabilities for specialized hospitality installation services and can handle everything 100 percent.

Renovations, old product removal and storage issues are also common installation challenges.

The benefits of specialized hospitality installation services — peace of mind, proven hospitality track record, no finger-pointing between trades, engineering staff that can focus on the operations of the hotel and what they do best, finishing on time and on a fixed budget — are priceless to a hotel property owner.

Connected Togetherness

Millennials are driving the evolution of the hospitality market. And what do they want most? Connectivity.

But we’re not just talking about in-room Internet service — that’s a given. They also want to stay connected in spaces throughout a property alongside other guests.

The benefits of specialized hospitality installation services — peace of mind, proven hospitality track record, no finger-pointing between trades, engineering staff that can focus on the operations of the hotel and what they do best, finishing on time and on a fixed budget — are priceless to a hotel property owner.

Think of airport lounges, which have multiple seating groups with no eye contact, just a cool environment and the buzz of social togetherness.

What does this mean for integrators? They can count on more technology like larger size screens in common spaces. I recently visited a Renaissance property in Austin that had a 60-inch screen in the lobby with a gaming system setup for this.

Amenities Included

Just a few years ago, amenities that guests now take for granted were revenue generators hoteliers counted on to boost profits. Properties now spend nearly 1 percent of revenues on included amenities like free guest room Internet, free public space Wi-Fi, breakfast, happy hour and more.

Consider one of the most sought after necessities by any traveler: power. According to Smith Travel Research (STR) analytics, full-service hotels with large F&B outlets can have as much as 50 percent of total revenue come from those operations.

It seems logical that hoteliers would want to encourage guests to stay in on-property bar and restaurants longer to help drive added revenues and profits.

Some hotels are using a universal, portable charging solution that can be stationed everywhere — front desk, bar or restaurant, or by the pool and cabanas so guests can easily and quickly charge their mobile devices. It’s all about the guest experience.

Author Apryl Lamberti, CSP, DSCE, is Director of Business Development for Hospitality at Almo Professional A/V.