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Siegel Sez

June 19, 2020

Siegel Sez

For the last three months I thought I was the king of isolation and just like that it was out the window. Yes, I took a trip that I didn’t have to take but wanted to take. Of course, to those who know me it should be no surprise it was horse related. Putting my creative hat on, I thought it would be fun to share my journey, so I have attached a short video to this week’s Siegel Sez. We all want the hotel industry to rebound so my thought was instead of waiting for others to travel, why not be the one who starts traveling. As you will see from the video, I thought I did a good job staying “safe” and what you might find interesting was the responses I got when asking questions at check in. Christopher from the Marriott Courtyard did the best job, but a big thank you to all three hotels for putting up with my antics. It was interesting that the number one issue at all the hotels was cleanliness, not contactless. Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Alamo and Southwest Airlines need to be thanked for putting up with my tomfoolery, but it makes for an interesting and thankfully short video. Hope you enjoy it and please let me know your thoughts at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. Click here to watch the video and I will apologize upfront!

Maybe this is somewhat inspired by my journey last week but it seems every conversation I have within the industry always leads to HITEC in San Antonio October 26-29 (www.hftp.org/hitec). Surprisingly, many more than I would have guessed have shared they are planning on attending HITEC. This is a big positive. Of course, it will be a smaller show than in the past, but you know the saying, sometimes it is all about quality over quantity. We shall see. At HITEC this year Mike Blake the CEO at HTNG and Henri Roelings the CEO at HospitalityNet will be inducted into the HFTP International Technology Hall of Fame and hopefully there will be a good crowd there for their induction. I remember when I was inducted almost two decades ago, it was all about the moment though I enjoyed it just as much if not more introducing consultant Jon Inge when he was inducted a few years later in 2006. Congratulations to Mike and Henri!

Doug Rice has once again done a great job in the Definitely Doug column that follows and if you believe the meeting business will come back differently than please read it along with the latest technology news. Also, if you have not seen our latest HU High Five with Jeff Bzdawka the Senior VP Global Hotel Technology at Hyatt then click here. It was one of our more popular High Fives. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Let the journey begin!
Be well!

Definitely Doug

Meetings Technology in the COVID Era
Much is unknown as to when, how fast, and how the hotel industry will recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Never has there been more uncertainty around what capabilities and processes hotels will need, when they will need them, or how technology should support them.
One significant area where there are perhaps fewer uncertainties, however, is the meetings business. While the timing of the recovery will vary by the type and size of meeting as well as the geographic location, we can be confident of a few things. One is that people are social animals and want to meet in person. While we can argue that Zoom is an acceptable substitute during a pandemic, and for cost reasons at other times, human nature helps ensure that it won’t completely replace face-to-face meetings.
Smaller meetings will return before larger ones, and larger ones (like the HITEC we should have all been attending this week!) will be much smaller for a while. I’m not suggesting they won’t eventually come back completely – I suspect they mostly will. But regardless, companies that have restricted or eliminated business travel in recent months, whether for health reasons, financial ones, or both, will restore it at varying points in time. For conferences and trade shows, some of the usual attendees will be able to travel, while others will not. Even where companies do allow it, many individuals who have COVID-19 risk factors themselves or in their families may be unwilling to travel until they see the risks decline. Others are eager and willing already. It is clearly a mixed bag.
This creates the near-certainty that a new reality – the hybrid meeting – will soon become very significant; it may even dominate the groups and meetings landscape. This change will persist for some time to come, perhaps permanently. Even pre-COVID, companies often held hybrid meetings using tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams: multiple groups would gather around a table in each of several office locations, while remote workers joined from their home offices.
Based on the factors noted above, we can expect that most meetings, conferences, and trade shows with more than 10 people traveling any significant distance will be either virtual or hybrid for at least a year. To be sure, the proportion of live to virtual attendees will increase over time. Whether it will ever get to 100% live, or whether hybrid meetings will become a permanent fixture, only time will tell.



Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/


- HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame 2020 Inductees Announced: Michael Blake, CAE and Henri Roelings
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce two champions of hospitality technology: Michael Blake, CAE and Henri Roelings as the 2020 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductees.

- Tim Sullivan Named President & CEO Of Cendyn; New CTO & CFO Join Rapidly Growing Organization
Cendyn, a leading innovator in CRM, sales and revenue strategy for the hospitality industry, announced the appointment of Tim Sullivan as president and chief executive officer. Sullivan is now Cendyn’s highest-ranking officer, responsible for the company’s direction, vision and strategy. 


- Maestro PMS Announces Webinars to Guide Users Toward a Touchless Guest Journey
Maestro PMS will host live free 1-hour webinars Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 1pm ET and June 17 at 11amET. Maestro users will learn what mobile, online and touchless tools are available in the Maestro PMS system that support an overall property strategy for a more touchless guest experience. The Maestro Touchless Guest Journey and Mobile Tools support a safer guest engagement process.


- ‘Ask Duetto’ Launches Providing Access to Revenue Strategy Experts
Duetto, hospitality’s innovative software as a service provider of revenue strategy solutions, has launched ‘Ask Duetto,’ a complimentary revenue insights service powered by Duetto’s team of experienced hoteliers. Built to help executive teams validate strategic revenue decisions as they navigate the ‘new normal,’ the Ask Duetto team will provide insightful guidance and recommendations to the top trending issues impacting the global hospitality industry.

- IDeaS and SIHOT Expand Partnership to Provide Seamless Two-Way Data Integration for Hoteliers
IDeaS, the leader in revenue management solutions, announced today a new technology integration with SIHOT. The two-way data integration between IDeaS’ revenue management solutions and SIHOT’s leading property management software, SIHOT.PMS, will help the global hotel industry accurately forecast business demand, maximize occupancy and ADR and increase overall operational effectiveness through automated pricing decisions.


- Routier Joins Volara’s Voice Hub to Expedite Two-Way Contactless Guest Communications
Routier, an omni-channel hotel guest engagement solution that uses messaging channels such as SMS/text messaging, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Line, etc. to seamlessly connect guests to staff, has joined Volara’s secure voice integration hub.

- Florida Hotel and Conference Center Enhances Guest Services and Safety Protocols with SONIFI’s Technology Platform
What started as an in-room entertainment upgrade and continued as a safety platform through COVID-19 has forged a strong partnership between Florida Hotel and Conference Center and technology provider SONIFI Solutions.

- Bartech Addresses the Post-COVID Hotel Environment with Launch of Minibar+ for Remote Operation and Control
New application seamlessly upgrades Bartech manual minibars with semi-automatic functionality, adding centralized operation, cost control and enhanced safety.


- Milestone Inc. Develops New Digital Recovery Framework to Accelerate Business Stability and Growth
Milestone Inc, a leader in omnichannel digital marketing software and services, announces a proven program to help businesses recover and rebound as the economy reopens.

Founders Close Softscribe Inc. after 20 Years
Softscribe Inc., a 20-year-old tech PR and marketing company with a vertical market focus, announced it is ending its run. Both founders confirmed the current pandemic was not the main reason for the decision, the timing is coincidental.
- GCommerce Releases Summit, a 24/7 Digital Marketing Reporting Suite
GCommerce, a leading, hospitality digital marketing agency, announced its release of Summit, a 24/7 cloud-based digital marketing reporting suite, which will give hoteliers the ability to access their marketing data at any time.


- STS Cloud Sales and Catering System Primed for Remote Sales with ProposalPath Video
SalesAndCatering.com's STS Cloud integrates with ProposalPath's video function for personalized remote selling.

- RFPAssist Continues to Deliver Wedding and Room Block Leads to Hotels
Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement, and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, said hotel customers are experiencing a pent-up demand in wedding related RFP submissions through its RFPAssist Messenger service.

- Anant Operations Selects SalesAndCatering.com STS Cloud System for 9 Properties
SalesAndCatering.com announced that Anant Operations replaced its legacy system with the STS Cloud Sales and Catering System at its ten properties. Nebraska-based Anant operates mid-scale Marriott and IHG lifestyle brands. STS Cloud is a full-function, cost effective sales and catering software system used by hundreds of properties and multi-property hotel groups.


- ProfitSword Releases Wischermann Partners Case Study on Leveraging Data Management Technology to Maximize Operational Efficiency and Revenues
Headquartered in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Wischermann Partners, Inc. was founded on the principle of serving as a unique and innovative, results-driven hospitality management company capable of creating truly memorable guest experiences. To achieve this goal, company representatives share a commitment to pairing exceptional property design and functionality with a culture that promotes service excellence.


- Residences at Daniel Webster Adapts to High-Performance Guest Wi-Fi Needs by Partnering with Hotel Internet Services
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of an advanced high-speed Wi-Fi network upgrade at the Residences at Daniel Webster in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

- Hotel Internet Services Supports Enhanced Guest Safety Initiatives by Providing Hoteliers with Insight on Latest in Contactless Technology Best Practices
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced its strengthening of efforts to ensure that hoteliers are able to cater to guest health concerns by working with properties to increase the availability of contactless and social distancing compatible in-room services.


- RingMD and PROVision Partners Bringing Integrated Telemedicine Platform to Hotel and Cruise Industries
As hoteliers and cruise operators prepare for reopening, virtually all brands are deploying heightened sanitation practices, social distancing processes, and other health safety programs to protect travelers as part of today’s “new normal.”  But to go a crucial step further and provide last-mile assurances that travel is safe, RingMD USA Inc. has partnered with PROVisionPartners International to bring trusted telemedicine services to travelers across the globe by partnering with hotel establishments, cruise lines and other travel stakeholders.

- TraknProtect Launches TraknKleen™ Technology Solution to Promote Hotel Cleanliness, Guest Safety and Wellbeing
TraknProtect, a pioneer of location-based technology purpose-built for the hotel environment, today announces the launch of TraknKleenTM, a new IoT technology solution designed to help hotels further enhance housekeeping operations, while providing guests with security and peace of mind during post-COVID travel.

- ALICE Launches an eBook to Address Post COVID-19 Hotel Operations
ALICE, the hospitality industry’s leading operations technology company, has launched an eBook titled “Post COVID-19 Hotel Operations: How Technology Helps Deliver Contactless Hospitality with a Lean Staff.” More than 2,500 hotels around the world have chosen ALICE to streamline operations and communication with a single platform.


- 5 Easy Steps to Bring Employees Safely Back to Work Using the InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System
InvoTech Systems provides the perfect solution to help wardrobe operations transition employees safely back to work in the current situation — respecting social distancing and hygiene norms to enable full productivity of staff.


- React Mobile Taking Panic Button Alert Monitoring, Administrative Controls to the Cloud
React Mobile, a trusted provider of panic button solutions to hotels, has recently updated its Dispatch Center to give response teams real-time access to emergency alerts via any browser. The new customer portal provides remote access and complete administrative control of the cloud-based safety platform from anywhere.

- Unlock New Possibilities with Contactless Access Control
As the world emerges from self-isolation and people begin to travel once again, is your property ready with a plan for how you are keeping your hotel staff and guests safe? Now is the time to offer the option for your guests to purchase contactless access control products, such as “single use” pre-packaged RFID wristbands and key cards.


- Guest Service Is No Longer a Contact Sport
Hapi, one of the first, disruptive open data-streaming, integration and enrichment platforms in the hospitality industry, held a focus group with the board of governors at Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) - comprising the top CIOs and other executives in the industry - to understand the technology needs and priorities as hotels get ready to operate in the new normal, post COVID-19.


- HSMAI Offers New Essentials Online Courses in Hotel Revenue Optimization, Digital Sales and Data Analytics
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is introducing three new collaborative educational experiences: Hotel Revenue Optimization Essentials, Hotel Digital Sales Essentials, and Hotel Data Analytics Essentials, in addition to the well-attended Hotel Digital Marketing Essentials series, to help professionals across the hospitality industry further develop their skills and abilities.


- New Directory Supports Industry's Safe Stay Program
Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG), in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) launches a tool to collect potential technologies that can be applied in implementing enhanced cleaning protocols as businesses focus on recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. These collected resources will be vetted and published to HTNG's Hospitality COVID-19 resources webpage.

- HFTP’s HITEC San Antonio Announces New Era Strategy Experts as 2020 Keynote Speakers
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is ready to usher in a return of the face-to-face, hospitality meeting with its upcoming North American Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC).


- SiteMinder Report: Travel Desires Outweigh Safety Concerns for the Post-COVID-19 Hotel Guest
- Cloudbeds’ Global Sentiment Survey of Independent Hoteliers Reveals that Caution Remains but 64% Expect Doors to Be Open by August
- Maestro PMS Direct Booking Metrics Show Growing Recovery for Independent Properties
- U.S. Travel Searches Indicate Initial Signs of Hotel Recovery
- SiteMinder World Hotel Index Shows New Guests Plan Less as Bookings Surpass a Third of 2019 Levels
- Comscore Sees Signs of Recovery in Travel Industry


For more information on Market Reports for 6/19/2020


- Hotels Count the Cost of Updating Hygiene Protocols
- Resonate Data Reveals Hesitancy to Travel and COVID-19 Concerns
- What Will Conferences Look Like Post COVID-19?
- Standards, Practices and Research to Elevate the Events Industry
- 30 Epic Hotel Fails that are Hilariously Awkward


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 6/19/2020


And now for you-know-what.… 

Nearing the end of two months of self-isolation, a middle-aged Roseville couple have been struggling to cope with each other undiluted, 24/7, and are giving each other the silent treatment. It is unstated, but they both know the first one to speak will be the loser, immediately granting the moral high ground to the other. This has been going on for a week, until the man realizes that as the following morning he must make his first business trip since early April, to catch the 7am flight to Melbourne, he needs her to wake him up, as ever on such occasions. (She is an early riser by nature, while he is capable of sleeping through a Jimmy Barnes concert.) Not wanting to be the first to break the silence – and lose – he writes down on a piece of paper "Beryl, I need you to wake me at 5am" and puts it on her pillow for when she comes to bed.

The next morning, the man wakes up, only to discover it is already 7.30am and he has missed his flight. Furious, he is about to go and see why his wife hasn't woken him when he notices a piece of paper by the bed. The paper has a message from her on it. It says, "It is 5am. Wake up."

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