Using Guest Wi-Fi to Supercharge Your Meetings Business

By Johan Terve Vice President Marketing, Aptilo Networks | September 16, 2018

Internet use in the meetings sector has evolved substantially in the past five years alone. It used to be enough to offer Wi-Fi for email access and web browsing. Today, more features can be tapped that will keep your meetings business growing while boosting revenue for high speed internet access (HSIA) as well. 

How Meetings Guests Use Internet Today 

For example, the ability to offer customers to perform online demos or online training on-site, can connect far-flung groups. High-definition video conferencing is another big revenue opportunity that is a must-have, top-tier service used by the Fortune 500 and other blue-chip companies around the world. Additionally, making business-critical web applications available to your guests opens the door to customers who might otherwise restrict themselves to their on-campus facilities. Truly, the sky's the limit when customers know you can accommodate their heavy bandwidth use.

Opening Up the Bandwidth Pipe

Many hotels are opening up their bandwidth pipe with brand-new Wi-Fi installations, and of course it's always a great advantage to build from the ground up. Many facilities have already taken the step of upgrading the capacity of their existing bandwidth service.

However, left uncontrolled, a minority of users can quickly consume all the available bandwidth. In order to ensure that every user has a great experience, the bandwidth must be properly managed. But what if you don't have either the opportunity or the resources to lay in new bandwidth? The following solutions can be used by meetings managers to handle existing bandwidth. There are positives and negatives to each one:

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.