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Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.

Spam is one of the major problems that most hotel website owners face on regular basis. It is a bad practice used by spammers to persuade the page rank of a site.

GBTA recently partnered with AccorHotels to conduct a study investigating the role of loyalty in managed travel programs in Europe with the goal of understanding how loyalty programs currently fit within company travel policy and what opportunities may exist in the future.

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 



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Forty Nine Vendors Walk Into a Bar...

04/13/2016

Last week was my inaugural visit to Hospitality Upgrade’s Executive Vendor Summit. I was a little late to this party – this was the 12th year of this annual get-together – but my first time attending. To be fair, I didn’t previously qualify for an invitation; I wasn’t a founder or C-level executive of a hospitality technology or service company (strike one) that advertises in Hospitality Upgrade (strike two) or a consultant (strike three). All that changed this past year when I began practice as an independent industry consultant and – bingo! – I made the list.  

Not that I’m a stranger to industry trade shows and educational events. I’ve seen my fair share of those over the years, including HU’s other leading event, The CIO Summit, which I attended when I was working for hotel and resort organizations rather than software engineering companies. Nonetheless, I found this experience to be unique from the vendor’s perspective: the session content generally resonated with the group, but attending the event was really about the networking. 

Think about it: vendors can keep themselves well occupied and well over budget attending everything from HITEC and HSMAI on down through the regional and specialty shows that go on all year long. But the clear focus at those events is the customer: the contact, contract or opportunity that makes all that travel both necessary and worthwhile. As a vendor, you’re not doing your job if your tradeshow/event focus isn’t completely on your customer base. Yes, vendors talk to and meet with other vendors at every gathering, but the usual purpose there is to solve a specific problem, satisfy a common customer or to clear a path toward future opportunities. There isn’t the time or the bandwidth to talk about how industry changes might be affecting them, share common concerns, update strategies or bounce a wild-hair idea off a colleague.

The Executive Vendor Summit really exists for that purpose. You’re part of a room full of very smart business people who share hospitality as their common driver. Like you, their fortunes rise and fall with the tides of availability and occupancy. There’s so much they know about what you do without being a part of your operation that it’s amazing. And the opportunity to benefit by sharing – often at surprising levels and with surprising candor – is just way too good to resist.  Everyone wins when it happens.

I used to try to level-set expectations with peers and coworkers as they sought permission to attend seminars or educational conferences. My homemade measure of the attendance value proposition was that the typical event was 80 percent recapitulation; unless you’re a complete newbie, you’ll hear summaries of what you probably already know. Another 15 percent of the event is validation – having an independent third-party confirm that what you’re doing, or what you’d like to try, conforms to industry norms or seems to be workably within reason. The real value proposition for an event lies in the last 5 percent, which is inspiration. This is when the content and the chemistry of the environment send you on to a new place, a new idea or a better approach to an unsolved problem. In short, the value of an event lies in the “aha! moment,” the opportunity for attendees to catch lightning in a bottle. For a vendor, the Executive Vendor Summit greatly increases those odds.

I would suggest that Hospitality Upgrade’s Executive Vendor Summit is one of the best opportunities available for sharing challenges, experiences, and perceptions in an environment of professional, collegial “cooperatition.”  Everyone there has great insights and has walked at least a mile in your shoes, if not run a marathon in them. Attendees come with great insights to share, important experiences that can shape your business efforts and an attitude of openness that reinforces the idea that when you win, we all win. 

About The Author
Michael Schubach




Michael Schubach is a regular contributor to Hospitality Upgrade.

 
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