Tech Talk

Recent posts

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. 



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

The HITEC of Yesterday and Tomorrow

06/17/2016

I was recently asked if HITEC is different today than it “used to be.”  This, of course, is code talking; the question less politely phrased was actually “how was it in the olden days when you first starting coming here?” Admittedly, it has been some years – OK, decades – since I first attended HITEC and the experience is admittedly different.  However, that has less to do with the evolution of the HITEC experience and more to do with how I’ve changed over the same span of time.

Nearly half of my HITEC journeys have been as an attendee, meaning that I went to HITEC representing a hotel, a resort or collections thereof, rather than as a vendor. I was there to buy rather than to sell, and the flip side of that coin is entirely different. First and foremost, attendees seeking financial approval to attend this or any other industry event usually find themselves in the position of detailing the tangible benefits of attendance and justifying the expense. That’s easy enough to do when you have a budget initiative or a mandate to purchase, install or upgrade a system or feature. It’s a little murkier when you just feel like you want to put your finger on the pulse of change, important as that might be. Rarely did my CFO send me off saying, “just go and see what you can see, come back a better person for the experience, and send me the bill.” Mostly I needed to know what I was shopping for, what I needed to better understand and how I could firm up budget expectations for projects that might be one or more fiscal years away. With that mandate, HITEC was a fact-finding mission with a particular topic in mind or a particular objective to be reached. Educational sessions were key, and the rest of the hoopla, show giveaways, vendor parties and serendipitous discoveries were icing on the cake. 

The vast remainder of my HITEC visits was as an exhibitor. In those circumstances, the show floor and booth staffing were the driving force, and everything else was collateral. For the vendors, the HITEC emphasis is on starting new relationships that can lead to new business in an environment that where the customer seeks you out rather than you having to find him or her through campaigns or cold calls. We were there to facilitate burgeoning relationships with students, lookey-loos neophytes and old hands at the industry. We were there to close add-on deals with existing customers, make time for any of our problem children and smooth over old wounds by covering them in cocktails, canapés and promises of atonement. 

The educational part of HITEC really didn’t fit into the exhibitor schedule; in fact, vendors weren’t highly sought after as presenters (or attendees) in the olden days. Then – and now, to a great degree – unidentified flying exhibitors weren’t exactly a welcome sight at your booth. At best, visiting exhibitors can be a distraction that pulls focus from the business of selling – and this is, after all, a marketing/customer event. If you’re that vendor who just dropped by to cop a quick meeting, why, you’re sure to be as welcome as a dead battery in a rental car. And at worst, booth staffers often look upon the other vendors who take time to shop the floor as if they are spies from the shadowy world of corporate espionage, there to steal the company’s secret ideas as well as all the pens.

For the last two years I’ve attended HITEC as a consultant. This is a vague in-between world, wherein you represent a client to the vendor and a vendor to the client. It can feel like a bi-directional conflict of interest, but your goal is to aid your client in successfully solving his/her business challenge by matching him or her to the vendor best suited to succeed. This process is as dicey as a newest version of anyone’s software, which is always due out early next year, no matter what the product, vendor or specific issue may be.  

All told, HITEC is and will continue to be where people who buy, make or live and breathe hospitality technology come to discover the state of the art.  New products and relationships are constantly being forged, such that an event that has basically stayed the same is forever different. Enjoy the rest of HITEC 2016 and see you again at HITEC 2017!

About The Author
Michael Schubach




Michael Schubach is a regular contributor to Hospitality Upgrade.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code