Audio Management and Delivery Strategies for Hospitality Environments

By Reto Brader Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Business Development, Barix AG | October 29, 2017

For most of us, the process of checking into a hotel is not particularly memorable. Nor do many of us often recollect how hotels engaged our sense beyond standard guest relations. Technology has come a long way in filling this void, and hotels have made significant strides in how they engage visitors. From a purely audio-visual perspective, video – i.e., digital signage – tends to get the most attention as a branding, engagement and monetization tool.

However, used appropriately, audio can deliver the same benefits in hospitality environments in hotels and resorts, and at a far lower investment point that deploying and operating a digital signage network – particularly when working across multiple sites. And for the service providers that deliver audio to hotel chains, having the proper toolset to provide a complete service that takes program and system management out of employee hands is a win for all involved.

As the hotel is ultimately responsible for how audio affects the hospitality environment, it makes sense to not only evaluate the right audio content strategy, but also directly engage in evaluating and defining the underlying technology and platform. This will ensure the hotel achieves the maximum return on its investment.

Two Business Strategies

Hotels who look at audio as an important part its strategy of tend to approach its use in one of two ways: A branding and informational platform; or as a broader communications vehicle that can standalone, or operate as part of a broader 360-degree marketing strategy.

The former approach is the standard option for smaller and/or independent hotels and resorts. These typically range from the single-location hotels to smaller chains. In most cases, these businesses use audio to establish a mood that aligns with the company’s environment. Therefore, it is primarily a background music tool.

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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.