Hotels use of New Technology Tools Should be a Signal to Associations
ASAE reports on a recent study performed by Hospitality Technology Magazine showing strong investment by the hotel/hospitality industry in "customer engagement technologies." Findings of its 2013 Customer Engagement Technology Study show that mobile websites and apps are increasingly seen as must haves for hotels and restaurants and that they are increasing their investments accordingly in this area.
MOBILE WEBSITES AND APPS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL
Of those restaurants surveyed, 53 percent already have a mobile website and 29 percent have a mobile app. By 2015, 85 percent of restaurants expect to have a mobile website, and 70 percent expect to have a mobile app. Hotels are in a similar place: 76 percent currently have a mobile website and 40 percent have a mobile app. By 2015, 91 percent of them expect to have a mobile website, while 75 percent to have a mobile app.
The message from ASAE to their Association members in response to the Hospitality Technology survey results is that attendees are expecting association meetings to keep up with this technology and to deliver that same level of service and experience.
Survey responders ranked social media or websites to read customer reviews or post their own reviews and feedback, make reservations, order food, or search for coupons, technology has significantly affected the restaurant and hotel industries—and both are realizing how important mobile is, ranking it highest in affecting business performance and customer engagement.
The most common functionalities available currently are the ability to make reservations, collect guest feedback, and search for restaurants and hotels. However, functionalities are expected to advance in the next two years. For example, more than half of hotels expect to offer mobile check-in on smartphones and tablets by 2015. As this becomes the norm, associations will want to offer similar check-in experiences at their events.
Survey questions on digital signage such as event listings, maps, expo floor layouts, and news or Twitter feeds showed that 29 percent of restaurants and 53 percent of hotels currently use static digital signage. Ten percent of restaurants currently use interactive digital signage, while 29 percent of hotels do. By 2015, 56 percent of hotels expect to use interactive signage.
SOCIAL MEDIA USED UNIVERSALLY
Almost 90 percent of restaurants currently engage with their customers via social media, and that number is expected to climb to 97 percent by 2015. Hotels have been just as quick to embrace social media.
Both use social media as way to share promotional events and to engage customers in ongoing conversations and in games and contents. It is also used as a marketing tool. The top-two programs currently getting the most use by restaurants and hotels are Facebook and Twitter, while Pinterest has seen the most growth since 2012 (250 percent for the restaurant industry).
As meeting attendees rely more heavily on their devices and become more familiar with the technology tools those outside your industry are offering, they’ll expect your association to deliver that same level of service and experience. But if your association does, you’ll likely receive greater attendee loyalty and have an advantage over your competitors.
You can find the entire ASAE Associations Now article here.