3 Reasons Why Hotels and Venues Should Embrace Smart Technology
The adoption of smart technology across leisure and tourism is a juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing up. The question is; how do you enhance a visitor’s experience to a hotel using smart tech when you’re not sure where to start or what your smart tech MVP should be?
You take inspiration from what others are doing, and you find ways to do it better!
No. 1 Starwood Hotels were early adopters and got the basics down
Starwood Hotels were quick to experiment with wearables; they even managed to produce an app compatible with Google Glass back in 2014. Their app’s core functionality identifies and greets guests upon arrival and then uses Bluetooth to allow them to keyless-ly check into their rooms and push updates, upgrades and notifications to both phones and wearables.
Basic applications they may be, but they address the fundamentals of what smart tech will be expected to do for hotel customers in the next 2-3 years.
No. 2 Disney really showed us the magic with MagicBand
As referenced in our post titled The Future of Wearable Technology For Venues, MagicBand allowed Disney to unlock huge potential with cashless payments, enhanced upgrade capabilities and likely increase revenue per customer through reducing transactional friction (who needs filthy cash, anyway?).
As resorts and hotels adopt cashless payment methods and make it easier for guests to make small but frequent purchases (the “do you want fries with that?” phenomenon), investment in smart tech will be a case of keeping up with large chains and maintaining an increasingly sophisticated level of customer expectation.
No. 3 Our needs are real-time, and hotels can leverage this
Can you imagine a hotel that evolves and personalises its offering in real time? Imagine no more: the Marriot M-Beta hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina has made this a reality.
They say, “(We’ve) placed buttons throughout the property to register reactions and impressions. When pressed, the buttons send feedback straight to digital boards throughout the hotel. This constant pulse on what you look for in hotel technology and the interests you look for when travelling, allows us to be nimble, refining existing programs and introducing new ones.”
What does this mean?
You can, for instance, configure your hotel room according to your reason for visiting (work, relaxation) and alter the menu you receive based on your diet or how you’re feeling today.
Merging an online and offline world where personalisation is seamless in both areas is the ultimate destination.
What does that mean for the short term?
Guests expect a more informed level of service from hotels and that will only increase as smart tech becomes ubiquitous across large chains.
In the long-term, those who do not offer personalisation and customisation of their guests’ experiences will find themselves struggling to delight their customers in ways that others can.