Digital Developments in Hospitality (DDIH) Paris - April 23, 24 2010
<ul><li>Last Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to participate to the “ Digital Developpements in Hospitality ” think tank, organised in Paris on 23rd and 24th of April, 2010. This was a great opportunity for all the participants to discover the different tools that are currently used in different industries and that will be developed in the hospitality industry through the next years. </li></ul><ul><li>Basically, the goal wasn’t only to discover the different tools but also to understand how the industry will evolve and how we can apply the different possibilities we have to this sector and to the clients’ needs. To explain the different progress, the conference mainly covered four topics: </li></ul><ul><li>- Luxury reframed - how do online affluent and ultra affluent consumers relate to the Net? How can they be influenced? </li></ul><ul><li>- Reviews and revenue - what is the impact of online reviews on hotel bookings? What does a hotelier need to 'manage'? </li></ul><ul><li>- Augmented Reality + location based services - will concierge services be replaced by smart apps? </li></ul><ul><li>- Mobile Outlook - how are mobile apps changing customer service expectations? </li></ul>
<ul><li>The four topics were very interesting since they covered very actual and trendy subjects that “wowed” everyone! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Reviews and revenues” presented by Mr Friedlander from ReviewPro was very interesting because it made us realise the importance of the reviews in the hospitality and how they can be used and analysed. My biggest surprise was to understand that it’s not something that is only to be scared of. First of all, I was really surprised to see that most of the reviews about hospitality are actually positive and only a minority of them is negative. Then, it was incredible to see the amount of people who actually post comments about places where they’ve been but most all, actually near 70% of people who travel CHECK thoses reviews! Reviews can actually be used in a very intelligent way so they can bring revenues! ReviewPro developed an analytical software that permits to analyse millions of the reviews by topics so Hotels for example can use the results to improve their efficiency. This seems to be a great step forward since it could let small hotel compete with really big ones on all kind of review sites! Online reputation is something crucial nowadays and no business can’t survive anymore if it doesn’t take care of it especially because those business multiply web-platforms and this makes the online reputation bigger. </li></ul><ul><li>The Augmented Reality topic was also amazing. Most of all it made me realize how tourism offices but also and especially Concierge are not up to date anymore. Augmented Reality and different apps that now exist transform an ordinary tourist in a guide. By using a very simple smartphone one can visit a city in a very original way, not only because augmented reality would offer a tourist an instant information about anything he wants and surrounds him (such as nearest museums or restaurants only by “scanning” it through its mobile phone) but also because this tourist actually becomes the concierge him-self. Any Hotel could actually develop an app through which it recommends the places or businesses to visit! What else would a tourist need? One absolutely FANTASTIC and hilarious video from the TED CONFERENCES illustrates the different possibilities with the augmented reality. I really recommend you to check it out! </li></ul>
<ul><li>One other topic was about Mobile Outlook and Sarah from Smartsay showed us an amazing presentation of an Iphone app designed for hotels. It was incredible to understand how easily a hotel can put in touch his clients with the different facilities surrounding the hotel only through an App! This is probably that fastest way for a client to get promos or any info that currently exists. It’s also very sad how only a few hotel use those tools…whereas more and more people use smartphones and try to save time. It actually could also provide more revenue to the hotels! A client can get an instant update or info or offer about the hotel he’s interested in through devices and tools he loves! Isn’t it silly not to take advantage of that? </li></ul><ul><li>One last topic was about “Luxury reframed” and the presentation was some kind of introduction to the entire think tank. My conclusion from this presentation was that luxury can not be perceived anymore in a traditional way. Nowadays people are looking for more than “more services” or “traditional values” and it’s really interesting to see how it can be applied to the hospitality industry. Hotels’ websites are all very similar and basically most of them are only some kind of mirror of the products they sell. Let’s think about what we as clients want to find in a hotel? It’s not only a good bed or a nice towel but it’s more about experiences and atmospheres. From my point of view one of the biggest problems that Hotels have is to understand how they position/differentiate their products and how they manage their brands. With the digital developments competition gets harder and harder and clients become more and more exigent. They want unique experiences and special attention to their needs and habits. They need to “feel” the brand and not only to see it. Basically, I would say that clients become more and more emotional…and we all know how easy it is to play on/with emotions…shouldn’t a hotel take advantage of that? One very bad example of what I say can be checked on this video …if one you can make a difference between the different hotels that are shown on this video, I owe you a drink! Let’s agree on the fact that luxury in hospitality is nowadays probably more about this ! </li></ul><ul><li>To conclude, I would say that it is impossible to choose which subject during this think tank was the most important since all of them relate to each other and actually each of them could bring more revenue to the one hotel that would use them! It is very important to understand that the world evolves much more faster than we think… let’s apply it to our favourite industry! And let’s see how the Digital Developpments in Hospitality think tank will surprise us next time…;-) </li></ul>
Digital Developments in Hospitality (DDIH) Paris - April 23, 24 2010 Thank You For Your Attention!