Interactive Digital Signage Strategies

By Eric Henry President, Tightrope Media Systems | November 05, 2017

Hotel guests can have a lot of questions, and the front desk staffers who get quizzed all day, every day, don't always have the time or right information to be helpful.

Imagine how useful an interactive screen, along with a range of other on-premise screens, would be in boosting guest experiences. Also ponder how such screen can remove pressure and demands off those already busy customer-facing staff members.

Larger hotels may have dedicated concierge staff, but thousands of smaller properties don't have the foot traffic or staffing budget to put that level of guest services in place. That means hotel guests looking for advice on where to eat, where to shop, local transport, directions, running routes, and on and on all tend to ask the front desk.

A virtual concierge would handle all that - an always-on, always-ready, hyper-informed know-it-all that can field and expertly answer a long list of questions on demand. Typical interactive concierge screens are loaded with information tied to all the questions that tend to come up - including local dining, shopping and services options, as well maps and local tourism guides.

Mounted on a wall or free-standing on a lobby pedestal, these kiosks are showing up in more and more chain properties, and they're just one of the ways digital display technology is improving the guest experience and bottom lines for hotel operators.

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.