When we talk about technology in the hotel sector, initial thoughts tend to be about in-room experiences such as entertainment and communication systems. However, more and more hotels are now recognising the benefits of using tech innovations in their public spaces, such as bars, lobbies and restaurants.
What are the top tech trends for these hospitality public spaces?
1. Bring your own device (BYOB)
Unquestionably, guests now want to use their own devices such as mobiles and tablets when in a hotel environment. The challenge for business is to find ways to incorporate this device usage with in-house technology. This includes basics like Wi-Fi coverage and charging stations as well as interactive platforms.
2. Beacon technology
Hoteliers can connect with guests through beacon technology, perhaps in combination with other technologies such as digital signage. Guests’ devices are picked up by hotel beacons and they are given information about how to access facilities and particular promotions on offer. Beacons can also be used to establish loyalty programmes with customers.
3. Charging stations
There’s nothing sophisticated about crouching in the corner of a hotel lobby with a phone charger, trying to boost your battery. Hotels are increasingly using wireless charging stations as a much more stylish and convenient option; phones and tablets can be charged by simply placing them on the charging surface on a table or other surface.
Many hotels are experimenting with robots as a way of improving service, often with an entertaining aspect. Robots can be used to greet guests and serve drinks. They can also be a virtual stand-in at events; if loved ones cannot attend special events in person, they can still rove around drinks receptions via a robot with a screen showing their face in real time.
Organising events at hotels often involves chasing down the manager or staff member when a last-minute problem arises. Interactive tech would enable customers to simply type in what they need without interrupting events and meetings. This interactive technology can also be used to tell customers about key activities such as charitable donations, products and facilities.
6. Ordering food and drink
In hotels there is usually a spectrum of eating choices, ranging from the informal room service to the highly formal restaurant. Technology offers the opportunity to increase the choice between these two extremes; why not order a drink and snack in the hotel lobby using a tablet, or request drinks to be served in the garden? This technology makes the venue a much more versatile and enjoyable place.
If you are planning a renovation of your hotel soon, it is important to make sure technology is included in your designs. The more integrated audio visual technology is in your venue, the more impressive the overall effect.
If renovation is not on the cards, there are still many ways in which technology can be embedded to enhance guests’ experience. For example, high-resolution digital signage screens in your lobby, beacon technology and interactive platforms.
Why not talk to Viewpoint about your options?
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- Six ways hotels are using technology in their public spaces - March 24, 2016