Meetings and events is a highly competitive industry and it is essential for hoteliers and venue managers to keep up with the latest technology trends. According to the Australia edition of 2019 Cvent Planner Sourcing Report, planners want to partner with venues that can create customised experiences and leverage technology for a great onsite experience. This finding further underlines the fact that hotel technology is the way to attract and retain event business.
Let’s look at the top 10 hotel technology trends that your property should consider adopting in 2020 to deliver an extraordinary experience to your visitors.
Event diagramming software is probably one of the most beneficial tools that hotel managers can use to assist event planners for planning and executing their dream event. We all understand that every event requires its own carefully crafted approach to arrange setup, layout, technology and décor. An event diagramming software such as Social Tables can help hospitality professionals to pull off all those unique requirements by the event planners by offering visual seating solutions. This interactive platform not only streamlines operations but enables sales reps to collaborate with event planners in real-time, present customised event proposals and encourage upsells.
If you are a brand looking forward to delivering magical experiences, facial recognition technology is a trend you should embrace. Facial recognition is an easy way to avoid long queues at the front desk. It makes the entire check-in process a lot simpler for everyone involved. Nowadays, this technology is being utilised by hotels to create personalised room key cards. Needless to mention that facial recognition technology represents one of the most modern facets of hotel technology. It comes with many benefits such as enhanced levels of security and privacy; automatically open doors; authorising only specific people to access certain areas as well as making verified payment for various amenities or services.
Mobile Door Keys
In the most recent years, we’ve seen smartphones replacing the plastic cards to access the hotel rooms. Mobile door keys offer hoteliers an opportunity to elevate the guest experience by providing them with a more convenient tool they are already accustomed to using – mobile phones. All that the event attendees and guests have to do is download the mobile application and keep their smart devices handy. This trend also allows you to do away with trivial issues such as a key card being misplaced or damaged. Besides, you can leverage the ‘environment-friendly’ aspect of this trend to promote your property.
Apps for Guest Engagement
Mobile phone applications are undoubtedly an innovation on which consumers are heavily dependent upon – be it for chatting with friends/ colleagues, answering emails or purchasing products online. Hotels have started to realise the importance of having their own branded apps. These apps allow event attendees and guests to enjoy a greater level of connectivity thereby enhancing visitor engagement. For venues, these apps help deliver a more customised guest experience. Hotels can add dynamic interactive displays, 360-degree videos of their entire property, information about the local attractions or even some interesting games to their mobile app. Moreover, you can use the mobile app for proactively engaging with your guests through SMS to create a deeply individualised style of service. Plus, these interactions will help in getting to know your visitors better and further build a lasting relationship with them.
Augmented reality (AR) has emerged as a vital marketing tactic, allowing businesses to transform the way customers perceive the environment they are in. Since hotels and venues are essentially selling the physical environment, this technology holds a great value for the hospitality industry. With AR, hoteliers can boost their offering by adding interactive elements within the hotel rooms. Augmented reality has limitless potential with its ability to showcase information overlays when a visitor points the smartphone at the AR-compatible wall maps. This allows users to access instant information about the in-house restaurants, fitness centres as well as nearby places to explore. You can also introduce AR games to make the overall stay more enjoyable for the guests.
Projection mapping is a visual technology that provides an augmented reality experience. Typically, projectors are used to cast images on flat screens. With projection mapping, projectors can light up any surface and turn ordinary structures into 3D interactive displays. Using this video projection technology, you can turn any surface such as building, stage or water into a canvas to project stunning graphics and create an experience which is an absolute delight to the eyes. Studies have shown that modern planners and millennials, in particular, would rather invest in an experience than a product. So, if you want to win the hearts of the modern planners, projection mapping is certainly a trend you should capitalise on.
Virtual agents or robots work on artificial intelligence technology and are programmed to assist visitors and address their questions with a high degree of customer satisfaction. As a result, they save several man-hours on these low ROI interactions, allowing your team to focus on other revenue related tasks. The biggest advantage of using these virtual assistants is that they provide 24×7 support to customers, delivering an extremely swift response accurately. Besides information provision, these assistants are capable of carrying out other tasks such a room service and can supplicate humans as robot butlers and luggage porters. Plus, their ability to understand and respond in multiple languages, provides a personalised experience to the guests.
5G Network Connectivity
To stay ahead of the competition, hoteliers need to prepare themselves and their space for newer and faster technology trends such as 5G. The decision to switch to this high-speed internet allows event planners and guests to download and transfer data at an exponentially faster rate. Additionally, 5G technology will enable all the other smart features in your hotel to function seamlessly. You can also look at redeploying this network investment into smart investment by repurposing it for technologies such as IoT at a later stage. Not to mention that high-speed internet connectivity can also attract 5-star reviews for your property.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cost-efficient move for your property to become a ‘smart’ hotel. Enablement of IoT in your hotel not only reduces energy consumption but also delivers an exceptional guest experience and increases operational efficiency. With IoT, you can offer your guests exactly what they expect from your hotel – a comfortable, pleasing and personalised stay. Imagine your guests asking the virtual assistant to give a wake-up call early morning, or for special room service from the front desk, or even to start shower at a particular time with a set temperature with just a simple voice command. Doesn’t that sound magical? Well, the internet of things room can make it all possible.
Real-Time Language Translation
Every hotel receives visitors from across the globe and guest communication is very important. But you don’t necessarily always have a language translator who can speak the right language at the right time. That’s when the need for real-time language translation comes into play. You can easily make your hotel staff use real-time voice translation tools such as Google Assistant to successfully communicate with your guests speaking foreign languages. Doing so will help in developing customer-relationship by allowing you to engage with your international guests in a better way.
Embracing the above technology solutions will allow hotels and event venues to stay ahead of the curve in 2020. Moreover, when these smart trends are integrated with the property management system (PMS), guests and visitors can enjoy a seamless stay at your property and would want to return for another memorable experience.
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