Attaining Extreme Efficiency in the Group Business

By Greg Pesik President and CEO, Passkey International | February 22, 2009

In light of today's economic uncertainty, hotels now more than ever need to make sure that they are operating as efficiently as possible, taking advantage of the latest technologies to get there. The question really boils down to, how can you do more with less, how can you generate more revenue and save costs, even in a downturn?

Driving Reservations Online

The reality is that some attendees are still accustomed to making their hotel reservations the old way - by calling the hotel directly. But recently, we have seen a significant push towards online reservations. That is becoming a mega trend, particularly as more and more Millennials or Generation Y (as they are called) are starting to move into the workforce and apply their habits.. what is ingrained in them.

With this new generation hitting the workforce and with people in general becoming increasingly more comfortable with conducting business online, offering online reservations across the board, from leisure to groups, is emerging as a standard business process and objective. Since everything is shifting in that direction, it only seems natural that group business and reservations should also follow this model.

In order to provide an unforgettable service, a hotel needs to understand and achieve all of the required elements. With the move to online reservations, a hotel can allow its meeting planners to offer a convenient and consistent booking experience for their attendees, which makes the hotel look first-class.

By shifting its group reservations online, a hotel stands to benefit in many ways, both in terms of providing superior service to its meeting planners and attendees, as well as generating incremental revenue and saving costs. Each meeting or event can have its own customized reservation website, including its own logos, text, pictures, etc., so attendees can enjoy the convenience of making their hotel reservations for the event anytime, online. In addition, the hotel can allow its planners to track their events online in real-time and receive automatic email updates. Planners gain many advantages from feeling in control of their event. The most significant being the ability to mitigate attrition costs without constantly calling the hotel for updates and reports.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.