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New Technologies, New Players, and New Ideas at CES

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April 17, 2019
Bob Gilbert

HSMAI’s Executive THINK (Travel, Hospitality, Innovation, Networking, and Knowledge) program is based on a simple belief: that hospitality sales, marketing and revenue-optimization executives benefit from ideas originating from outside our industry. That includes emerging technology solutions, which is why CES – the world-famous Consumer Electronics Show – is a THINK staple.

For Executive THINK at CES 2019, held in Las Vegas on January 8–11, we hosted a small group of hospitality leaders for a curated tour of the 2.9-million-square-foot show that featured visits to the exhibition spaces of 12 companies, including 3M, GoPro, LG and Amazon Alexa Automotive. We were dazzled by the sights we saw, from flying cars to e-walls you can scribble on to – yes – intelligent toilets.
One of our attendees, hospitality veteran Dr. Lalia Rach, outlined three takeaways for our group:
1. Game-changing technology takes more time than originally anticipated to actually create a difference. We are currently a 4G world, and while 5G was touted as a done deal by the likes of AT&T and Verizon during CES 2019, it is likely that we are at 4.5G, with true 5G capabilities not being realized until 2020 at the earliest.
2. Technology with more immediate usability can become dominant almost overnight. Last year, CES was awash in the promise of self-driving technology. This year, it was all about putting voice and touchscreen technology into vehicles to provide increased usability to the driver and enhance the experience of passengers.
3. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Ranked 42 on the Fortune 500, 182-year-old Proctor & Gamble chose to exhibit at CES for the first time this year, which demonstrates that every company must be service- and experience-oriented, not simply product-driven.
Speaking of new tricks – I’m pleased to present a bunch of them with the articles in this issue’s HSMAI section: Mark G. Haley, CHTP+, and Mark B. Hoare on adopting new sales technologies, Cindy Estis Green on why the concept of “fair share” doesn’t apply to the digital market, Peter Klebanoff on what selling is all about (hint: it’s more than relationships), Kristi White on the evolution of revenue management from reservations to data science, and Aleksei Udachny on using artificial intelligence to improve the guest experience.
Great ideas are great ideas, whether you find them in the exhibit hall at CES or within the pages of Hospitality Upgrade. What matters most is what you do with them – and I hope these articles help you do amazing things.

©2019 Hospitality Upgrade 
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