ROOMDEX recently hosted an expert panel discussion on “The Real Economics of Hotel Guest Engagement,” featuring 4 leading hotel software vendors. Hotels are more than just a place to stay, they also offer guests amenities, services, and entertainment that enhance the guest experience and make their stay more special – ultimately delivering the guest more value. As the panel host, Paul Peddrick noted, “All guest engagement ultimately has a commercial goal.” But how? With this question in mind, panelists Robert Stevenson, CEO at INTELITY, Marvin Speh, Co-Founder & COO at Roompricegenie, Angie Andresen, Senior Director Global Product Management at Shiji, Evan Chen, CEO at Akia, and Jos Schaap CEO and Co-Founder at ROOMDEX began their illuminating discussion on strategy for understanding and maximizing the economics of hotel guest engagement through technology. And read another recent webinar recap here.
Robert Stevenson, CEO, INTELITY
Marvin Speh – Co-Founder & COO, RoomPriceGenie
Angie Andresen – Senior Director Global Product Management, Shiji
Evan Chen, CEO, Akia
The Evolution of Digital Hotel Guest Engagement
The panel began by looking at how guest engagement, especially via technology, has evolved in recent years and how that’s impacted the industry. Robert Stevenson, CEO at INTELITY shared, “Hotels have been known to be late adopters to technology, but technologies have crept in, from simple booking capabilities or rewards capabilities either on a mobile device or a tablet in the lobby to the ability to grab the guest on ingress all the way to their checking out and maintaining contact with the guest.”
He went on to say that guests simply expect this level of digital interaction now and continued with an anecdote from the earlier days at INTELITY, “I look back at my entrance in the space. We would pin a message in the app and the number one thing people would click was the WiFi information message, which ended up saving the hotel a cumulatively large amount of time.”
Crossover from F&B to Hotels
The panel then moved to the subject of crossover from F&B tech to hotels with our very own Angie Andreson, Senior Director Global Product Management at Shiji. “There’s often crossover between these different verticals, particularly between hotels and food service. The digital experience for hotels and food service began with being able to book a room at a hotel and book a table at a restaurant. For restaurants, it was OpenTable and for hotels, it was OTAs. Restaurants have been trying to get the digital experience in front of the guest for decades. They were originally doing these things because they give you a 20-30% uplift in sales.”
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