AV for Hospitality

6 December 2021

The global Smart Hospitality Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.14%, reaching a total market size of $12.7 billion by 2025 (source: "Smart Hospitality Market - Forecasts from 2020 to 2025"). There is great potential for the HORECA market to take advantage of this growth by investing in the latest technologies that can be found at ISE 2022.

Historically, much of a hotel guest’s time was spent exploring the public areas such as relaxing around the pool, lounge areas, restaurants and, of course, participating in conferences and business events which certainly pre-pandemic, form a key revenue stream. Now, guests are also spending more time in-room, whether working or relaxing, and the demand for hotels to provide even smarter, more engaging in-room facilities is stronger than ever.

The concept of the ‘smart hotel room’ has become popular thanks to its positive enhancement of the customer experience. A smart room is one in which everything from lighting scene settings to Do Not Disturb notifications can be easily managed through touch panels, keypads, personal smartphone or voice commands. Often these systems not only improve the guest experience, but provide cost benefits, energy monitoring, management and reporting functions too.

As Christophe Malsot, Director Residential Sales BeNeLux, South-West Europe and North-West Africa, Crestron explains, “Hotel staff should be able to use and maintain such systems without effort. When they enter a guestroom, the learning curve for a client should be close to zero. They should understand immediately how the room is working. So, this means the hotelier has to be helped to build its tender and has to provide AV with a unified control system to provide a perfect and easy to use solution.”

It’s not just the hotel room but the whole HORECA / resort experience which benefits from harmonised AV customisation. For restaurants, cafes, hotels and resorts, interactive information points, digital shop windows, self-service kiosks, menu boards, videowalls, or even smartphones can be utilised to increase customer satisfaction. In fact, the possibilities of digital signage and AV for hospitality facilities are unlimited. All devices are capable of serving as a communication or interactive portal between the property and the client.

Forward-thinking hoteliers and restaurateurs can take advantage of these solutions and there is now a wide choice in connected technologies which make it possible to place many more services under personalised and automated control.

If there is one thing that customers want, it’s an easier, quicker and more intuitive process when they arrive at their destination, whether they’re checking in or out at a hotel, shopping, or eating in a café or restaurant. Today’s technology solutions allow customer focused businesses to streamline back-office functions (some venues even automate room cleaning), as well as allowing customers to take control of their experiences through the use of technology.

For example, IPTV systems can offer a personalised hotel service by allowing guests to control their room from their TV, be that turning off lighting or opening curtains from their remote control, checking their bill or ordering food. This provides the guest with a single point of contact for everything they will need during their stay; streamlining and delivering service. There are other cost benefits too as by providing such information to the guest via an in-room TV channel or IPTV system, the cost of printing and recycling of paper (menus / guest information) can be reduced.

Exterity, a VITEC company, provides hospitality and leisure IPTV-based solutions that are used worldwide to provide guests with a better-than-home in-room infotainment experience, while also enabling hoteliers to drive revenue, reinforce branding and increase customer loyalty. Colin Farquhar, SVP IPTV Global Solutions, explains: “Today’s IPTV solutions offer HORECA organisations the ability to create a premium experience as well as enabling guests to purchase additional services, book excursions, spa treatments and taxis, all from the comfort of their own room. The demand for personalised experiences is likely to continue to grow and by embracing the latest IPTV interactive services hoteliers can future proof their estate. The beauty of an end-to end IP video solution is that it enables our customers to capture TV/video content directly from any source and manage its delivery, as channels or within digital signage screens, to any connected device via an existing network.”

Venues will need to install reliable, fast WiFi throughout the premises and integrate this into the hotel’s property management system. With that in place all manner of services that previously required manual activation or a phone call to reception, can then be automated. Aside from handing control of the experience to the guest, the goal is to simplify and reduce cost deployment of services for the hotel. “While an in-room phone is often mandatory for security reasons, it’s likely that this item, which is very expensive for hotels to install, will be less of a fixture in time,” says Malsot. “Gone are the days of customers paying €15 to watch a film on demand but smart hoteliers can use the new digital relationship to tailor fresh offers and deliver greater efficiency.”

As consumers are now accustomed to self-service in and beyond the travel industry through kiosks and apps, there is an accelerated natural evolution with advancements in artificial intelligence and robotic capabilities to directly deliver guest service in the industry.

For hotels and business convention centres collaboration technology is also a big focus, creating systems which seamlessly incorporate the wide range of devices and operating systems that the BYOD (bring your own device) work culture has created. Beacon technology, mobile integration, augmented reality and how hospitality businesses can incorporate these hot technologies into current signage systems will all feature at ISE 2022.

ISE 2022 is the place to learn about future proofing current systems, and planning for the next wave of developments in connectivity. The event presents the perfect opportunity for HORECA industry to discover more about the ways that AV can help their businesses. Mike Blackman, Integrated Systems Events Managing Director explains: “As a physical, in-person event, we are in a unique place to bring all elements of the industry together under one roof and we cannot wait to see you all. In the build up to Barcelona we have worked hard to ensure that ISE 2022 offers a safe, enjoyable and very worthwhile experience for the industry to showcase innovation, be inspired by some of the brightest in the business. We look forward to seeing you there.”

 Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2022 will take place at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Vía, on 1-4 February 2022.

For more information, please visit www.iseurope.org  

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