Take Me Somewhere Real...

By Tiffany Axner Interior Design, 5G Studio Collaborative | June 15, 2014

New Space Created with a Real Grounding in History

As a design firm, 5G is sought by our clients to evoke ideas that surprise and inspire the public with innovation, energy and quality - opening eyes to things not seen before. Our roots are well positioned in history to achieve these goals every day for clients.

Our studio sits in a 110-year-old exposed brick building with original wood floors, century old windows with views to the city on the East, and skies on the West. There is something truly refreshing about the space. As we design and create new spaces, the nostalgia and history of our corporate headquarters are, in a sense, always anew. Working with colleagues in our historic office space, I find myself thinking about trends and how peoples' expectations are changing. Travelers, restaurant clientele, the business leader - they all have different expectations now. But there is always a connection to time and history, because people today want something memorable: a sense of place, similar to the views of the city life and originality you may find in my office. We aren't just designing spaces, but we are designing experiences. Being grounded in history is important to maintaining that connection to our goals.

A couple of recent trends I've encountered speak directly to the idea of authenticity and settings with which the public can identify. The biggest movement came with the integration of more casual community areas and shared spaces; there is a high demand for flexible, multifunctional layouts geared to prompt social activity.

In a more recent hotel lobby, one might find a group of suited men in morning meetings alongside a woman having her coffee and reading the paper. The reality is that the majority of people want to be around other people and in an atmosphere conducive to memorable, natural experiences and unique opportunities.

On the more aesthetic side of design, interiors are becoming more convincing than ever. Originality and credible prior existence are the new standard-if it's not a venue versed in "grandma's" decor, something from the '70s or it can't pass as a vacant warehouse, it may need rethinking!

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.