Meeting space no longer means a room with just tables, chairs, flip charts and refreshments. With changing hospitality industry trends, meeting space now means wireless technology, multimedia presentations and even virtual reality capabilities.
Technology is integrated heavily into most, if not all, meetings and conferences today. Hotels that can’t provide the level of hospitality technology expected by meeting planners will quickly find themselves losing business to the property down the street. The challenge is that technology seems to change almost daily.
To attract the level of events needed to be a profit center for the hotel, it’s essential that hotels provide reliable and up-to-date technology. Here are four hospitality industry trends and concerns that hotels should address, according to a recent report:
1. Providing Reliable Wireless
Hotels that can’t provide this basic technology simply won’t be able to compete in the meeting space. There is no way around this fact. Another challenge is that attendees are bringing multiple devices to conferences, which can place an added burden on an aging Wi-Fi infrastructure.
According to the report, Marriott says that attendees each bring an average of two to four devices, which increases the bandwidth required. Hotels that don’t currently have complete coverage and reliable wireless service should focus their efforts and technology dollars into upgrading their network. It’s simply not enough to have state-of-the-art displays, tablets and video monitors if the wireless connection is too slow for presenters to display their content.
2. Ensuring Impenetrable Hotel Network Security
With data breaches making headlines, network security is top of mind for meeting planners since sensitive internal documents are often displayed during meetings. The report found that having top-notch network security at hotels will become increasingly important. If your hotel doesn’t have the expertise on staff, consider hiring a security consultant to conduct a network audit. If you don’t invest in security and your hotel suffers a widely publicized breach, the loss of revenue will greatly outweigh the expense of upgrading your security.
3. Using Mobile Check-In
Meeting planners often spend a considerable amount of time passing out keys during a conference. The report found that hotel planners prefer hotels that offer mobile door unlocking via guests’ smartphones because it reduces the manual labor required while checking in. Hotels that offer check-in using tablets in the lobby are another attractive option because meeting planners are assured that their attendees won’t wait in long lines at the front desk.
If mobile check-in isn’t currently offered at your hotel, you could deploy this service during conferences as a perk. Odds are that you’ll find the time savings significant and begin rolling it out to all guests.
4. Offering Virtual Reality for Property Previews
Site visits are expensive and time-consuming, especially if planners are considering multiple cities for their events. Some hotels are now offering virtual reality tours so that meeting planners can virtually visit the city and get a feel for the location. Hotels that don’t offer this virtual reality preview may find themselves losing out against hotels with this capability if planners begin to limit their in-person trips to those that they’ve pre-screened using virtual reality.
By knowing the current hospitality industry trends related to meetings, you can ensure that your hotel has the technology needed to stay at the top of meeting planners’ lists.
Visit our hospitality solutions page to learn more about the technology that can help your hotel create state-of-the-art meeting space.