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Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.

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?



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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.

 
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