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If Elon Musk Was A Hotelier
Posted: 09/25/2020

What if a person of Elon Musk’s character and bravado were to enter the hotel industry? How would they shake things up and presage the next ‘game-changers’ to propel hospitality beyond our current challenges?

Things right now are hard to predict. That is a fact. Trends lack patterns. Strategy is a 6-month viewfinder. Leaders are in a tactical storm. We feel overwhelmed by the unknown and the feeling of “what is next.” 

Over the past six months, this column has focused mostly on hospitality technologies and issues that were triggered by COVID-19. Innovation has flourished during that time, from both established industry technology providers and from startups. At last count I had identified nearly 300 startups in the space since the beginning of the year, some of them with very interesting technologies.

As outlined in our previous article, cleanliness is dominating the headlines within the hotel industry, with a number of press releases on new initiatives from all the major chains. The landscape has transformed quickly, to help keep up with the standards this article will summarise the basic principles of cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms and how that can be achieved quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Decreasing Stress
Posted: 09/14/2020

Stress does not come without your invitation. It is self-induced by our perspectives of what is occurring in our lives. We all have stress, and the less of it, the more happiness you experience. Life is about living day to day.

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#HITECnola Part 1: Special HITEC 2016 Report brought to you by DANNI Enterprises

by Natalie Doyle Oldfield
Hospitality Upgrade reached out to the team at DANNI Enterprises to provide a summary of experiences from HITEC 2016.  Each team member scouted HITEC through the lens of his or her specific area of expertise.

Natalie Doyle Oldfield, Areas of expertise: customer experience, branding and marketing strategy

#HITECnola Part 1:
From the keynote sessions, to the exhibition hall and the educational sessions, the buzz was data, the millennial generation and customer experience.

Data, Data, Data

From data visualization to operationalizing and humanizing it, data was discussed all week long.  It started with data artist and keynote speaker Jer Thorpe. 

Jer Thorpe’s goal is to bring new meaning to data while striving to attain the “ooh” and “aah” effect. With a number of examples, he demonstrated that there are more ways to show data than with bar or pie charts. From mobility maps to listening to data to interacting with data using your body, he opened us up new ways of seeing and experiencing data.

Thorpe’s message was grounded and powerful.  He left us with three key messages:

  1. The definition of data is about three words “measurement of something.
  2. The way you show data can bring a new meaning to data. 
  3. We must “treat human data with humanity.”

In the exhibit hall several companies displayed data and ‘new dashboards’ filled with bar charts, pie charts and scatter grams while some discussed monetizing data.  We could all learn a lesson or two from Thorpe and incorporate a rose diagram or a spider graph into our dashboards.  Data, big data, business intelligence, dashboards, getting a return on investment from business intelligence and “infusing data into your marketing program and business decisions” were mentioned throughout the New Orleans Convention Center.  In a business intelligence session, a member of the audience asked, “How much data is enough data?” The response was, “The more data the better.”  No one mentioned the statistical nature of data. 

Millennial Guests

The demographics of millennial travelers was a major topic this year and the focus of a few panel sessions.  Some interesting statistics and comments stand out:
  • 75 percent of 18 to 34 year olds in the U.S. took at least one trip in 2014 and the average amount spent was $3,000 per trip.  (John Fountain of Cox Hospitality Networks)
  • “85 percent of millennials are willing to be tracked.” (Katie Briscoe of MMGY Global)
  • “42 percent of millennials sleep with a phone in the bed.” (Scot Campbell of Caesars Entertainment)
  • 5 out of 5 millennial panelists said they did not watch live TV anywhere. (Opposites Attract: Bridging Generational Divides panel) 
  • “The biggest innovation in in-room technology is casting. The ability to watch Netflix on your hotel TV screen cast from your iPad is being driven by millennials. Guests want bigger screens.” (According to Tailoring your Guest Experience to Newer Generation panelists when John Fountain, Cox Hospitality Networks asked ‘what is the biggest in-room innovation in the last few years?’)
  • “Millennials are tech dependent, not tech savvy.” (Peter Klebanoff of The Consultancy at Pointer’s Ridge)

Customer Experience

The opportunity and challenge for hoteliers is that the number of customer touchpoints is limitless and accessible 24 by 7.  Therefore, every customer experience is unique. These statistics and comments from the conference stand out:

  • “91 percent of travelers share their experiences online, 73 percent post each day and 75 percent of travelers share after their trip.” (Katie Briscoe of MMGY Global)
  • “Guests check-in from the parking lot, therefore everything has to be ready – they don’t step up to the front desk anymore or ask what my room number is?” (Ash Patel, Tower Investment Group)
  • 5 out of 5 millennials (100 percent) stated that email and YouTube are the best way for a hotel to communicate with them. (Opposites Attract: Bridging Generational Divides panel)
  • “It is about how I experience the hotel.  If the environment is warm and everyone is friendly I will post [on social media].” (University of Florida student when asked what does a hotel have to do to get guests to post.)
  • “93 percent of individuals say personal contact is irreplaceable; 80 percent want authentic interactions.” (MMGY Global and Amex Travel Journey Makers, June 2013)
  • “We are no longer offering a hotel room for a night.  We are offering an experience.” (Jiggar Patel of Alliance Hospitality LLC)
  • “A guest is a guest is a guest.” (Scot Campbell of Caesars Entertainment when asked how do you differentiate people when offering Wi-Fi in the rooms versus people just walking through the lobby of your hotel.)
In a nutshell, the take-home message from the conference is that all of the technology and the data must be used to enhance the positive experience for the guests.
This special report is part of a 6-part HITEC 2016 summary focusing on specific technology areas from this year’s event. #hitecnola Part 2, by Terry Price, can be found on the TechTalk Blog by clicking here. The remaining 4 parts will be released in the July 8, 2016 Siegel Sez on Hotel Online and will include summaries about network security, infrastructure, payment security, cloud and telecom.

To receive Hotel-Online and the upcoming Siegel Sez, please sign up for free at

About The Author
Natalie Doyle Oldfield
Success Through Trust Inc.

Natalie Doyle Oldfield is the president of Success Through Trust Inc. She is also a team member of DANNI Enterprises. Her areas of expertise include customer experience, building customer trust and loyalty.

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