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HSMAI Section: Opening Remarks by HSMAI President and CEO Bob Gilbert

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March 01, 2017
Robert Gilbert

©2017 Hospitality Upgrade
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Looking for a mind-altering experience? In addition to reading every issue of Hospitality Upgrade from cover to cover, the next closest thing is attending the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Just like last year, HSMAI hosted a curated tour of events at the show to search for implications for the hospitality industry. This year at CES the hot products and the “just around the corner” OMGs included artificial intelligence (AI), self-driving vehicles, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), wearables, enabling technologies (5G), robotics with multipurpose designs, and tech that addresses the three pillars of health (nutrition, exercise and sleep). The exhibiting companies now represent automobile manufacturers (BMW, Ford), health and biotech (Fitbit, L‘Oreal), smart home (FirstAlert, Carrier) and more.

What did we learn that you should know, and d
The concept of augmented operations or how technology will be used to fill on-property gaps and deficiencies (e.g., employ drones to deliver towels at a limited-staff economy property) and how to embed technology into rote tasks, regardless of class of hotel, to create efficiencies.

Find a group of owners and/or properties willing to take on the risks of early adoption and share lessons learned.  This will give you the opportunity to find the right balance of human contact versus technology based on guest perspective and understand how technology can be best embedded in the guest experience. 
Create a sense of urgency that we must become a learning organization. The threat of not embracing change is so great that a concerted effort must filter throughout the organization if we are to transform our business. The implications of technology on business models is creating a cadre of progressive owners who are demanding growth while seeking the assurance of continued commercial viability.

The articles in the HSMAI section of this issue of Hospitality Upgrade will certainly stimulate your thinking. 

Max Rayner articulates and challenges our thinking about the premise that content is king. He builds a strong case why all things “visual” are vital in his article on emerging media. Kelly McGuire and Natalie Osborn begin a two-part series on Big Data. They have summarized the reasons why hospitality data is in the state it is in, and share a logical road map that will guide you to get your arms around your Big Data issue. Samuel Ayisi continues that trail with an excellent illustration on how to organize your analytics team. Cindy Estis Green and Matt Carrier continue to keep us focused on “Demystifying the Digital Marketplace” with highlights from the second part of a three-part series. The full report is being published by the HSMAI Foundation. This summary outlines the five major themes that have emerged from the Big Data aggregated from the booking travel funnel of more than 25,000 hotels. And speaking of trends, John Burns provides an update to his prediction from last year that day usage of hotels will emerge with their own booking trends.

Robert A. Gilbert | President and CEO
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

We hope that the clustering of these related articles is helpful to you and that it represents a whole section you can easily share with your sales, marketing and revenue management colleagues. And if there are ideas for additional topics you’d like to address, please let Geneva (geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com) or myself know (bgilbert@hsmai.org).

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