Every Guest Brings a Screen

The New Battle for Guest Attention

By Peter Torbet Director, Product Inovation, Acentic | February 21, 2016

Now the smart TV screen is the guest communication and entertainment portal, the hotelier has the chance to reach out and provide a more personalised service. If hoteliers support these services by offering a tiered system of bandwidth and investing in network infrastructure, they will keep their guests more than just connected - they will keep them coming back.

Long gone are the days when the hotel bedroom was dominated by the TV screen and it was the sole focus of attention for the guest, after the mini bar of course.

Screens still dominate our lives, but which screen and when, really depends on who you are and why you are staying in the hotel on that occasion.

Think back to when you last entered a hotel bedroom – what did you do? Reach for the television remote control and watch the local news, unpack your laptop and get connected to the Wi-Fi or check your mobile phone? Guest behaviour is totally driven by need and, of course, habit.

Different demographics follow different patterns of behaviour and if you are travelling for business you want your laptop firing away as quickly as possible to complete your tasks for the day. You may want to connect your laptop to the TV screen to practise a presentation on a larger screen, or stream your music through the TV speakers.

If you have your young family with you, you might want a favorite TV channel straight away to keep everybody happy while you sort out the unpacking. Moody teenagers will want to connect to the Wi-Fi and catch up with Instagram or Snapchat or stream the latest episode of a show over Netflix to while away the time until dinner.
Everybody, but everybody is looking at a screen.

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.