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A hospitality labor shortage wasn’t what anyone was expecting during a pandemic. But as travel demand bounces back, and the exodus of talent from the industry continues, it’s clear that accommodation businesses will be facing a fresh challenge, around people, in the years to come.

HITEC was a little different this year to be sure, but it was every bit as useful as in the past. It felt like the reduced attendance count was just about offset by the smaller number of exhibitors. While the trade show floor was not quite as large and had a good number of empty booths, it felt about equally crowded as pre-COVID. Feedback from exhibitors I spoke with was that the number of people calling on their booths was down, but the quality was very good. In a very tough year, one can only rate this as success.

Hotels are turning to technology to improve efficiency at a time when they are short staffed, but technology alone can’t improve operations or help boost revenue without a clear plan and measured research into the technology solution that actually meets their needs.

Earlier this year in keeping with COVID-19 health suggestions such as possible contamination through payment touchpoints I stopped using cash or credit cards to facilitate payment and moved to use the Apple Wallet app. This now acts as the digital version of the traditional leather wallet, and I have amongst many other apps the following on my Apple Phone which I found to be very beneficial.

After 27 months of absence, the in-person HITEC event finally returns next week. I plan to be in Dallas for all four days, and I look forward to seeing what innovations the exhibitors will have on display. As usual, I will spend most of my time scouring the booths of first-time exhibitors, since that’s where most of the truly innovative ideas are usually found. But if you’re an established industry technology company with something that is truly new and different, please reach out to me so I can find time to see it as well!



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Articles tagged as: Hotels
What Is the Technology Bus and Should You Get on Board?
Posted: 09/13/2021 by Brendon Granger

More than ever before, technology is playing an even larger part in the hospitality industry as a direct result of the pandemic. It’s being explored in new ways to support social distancing and a contactless guest experience. Paper based in room compendiums and room service menus are replaced with QR codes which allow guests full access to a range of facilities via their own mobile phones. Many hotels are implementing web check-in and in many cases, extending that further to keyless entry by again using guests mobile phones. The ability to deliver these services ideally requires integrated or interfaced systems within the hotel.

Knowing where to devote time and energy as a business is difficult in even the smoothest of waters, with contrasting visions, timelines and notions of what’s “crucial” commonplace for teams of every size.

HITEC 2021 Tip #1: You NEED to Attend
Posted: 07/07/2021 by Ron Strecker

When HITEC takes place on September 27–30 in Dallas, it will have been 27 months since the last in-person HITEC.  For many, this annual event offers the opportunity to visit with most of your current vendors in one location.  It also creates an opportunity to meet vendors offering creative solutions you have been searching for.

Hospitality is built on the development and nurturing of personal relationships, extending beyond interactions with guests to include other hoteliers and even vendor partners. Hotel and resort owners and operators know that it’s not always enough to deliver positive results to customers, sometimes it’s more important to develop a connection with guests when providing service. This mentality can be a challenge for technology partners who have been conditioned by other industries to deliver results without emotion. However, company culture defines the way partners work together, and technology companies can learn a great deal from hospitality’s service-driven ethos.

The hotel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID19 pandemic. At its peak, more than ten percent of US hotels were closed and over 75 percent of all hotel workers were laid off. Owners and operators focused on “keeping the lights on,” and for the most part hoteliers were able to survive the worst year in the modern history of the industry. 

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