What's next for the hospitality industry? Key lessons learned at HITEC
HITEC earlier this month in Toronto marked the halfway point for the hospitality tradeshow season, and now that we are back and reflecting on all that occurred, there were some clear takeaways.
Access to streaming services is paramount to hotel owners. Streaming content has repeatedly outpaced cable and broadcast TV as the way consumers choose to enjoy their shows, according to the latest The Gauge report by Nielsen. We saw several providers adding solutions that would assist guests in streaming or add-ons that would give guests access to some popular platforms. Owners understand that it is impossible to guess which streaming service or show will be trending at any given time, so selecting which apps to subscribe to and pay for monthly can be a headache. For example, when asked what the number one streaming service is, many responded with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. While those are both at the top (Netflix is #2), according to The Gauge report, YouTube is actually the most popular.
That is one of the standalone benefits of Philips MediaSuite; it removes the guesswork. Philips MediaSuite has Chromecast built-in, so guests can cast from their device to the TV, watching whatever is trending for them. They just open their app, whether it’s YouTube, Paramount +, Max, or whatever, and start watching their shows.
Simplicity and Integration are key! At HITEC 23 we saw many solutions from entertainment to accounting and from in-room service to guest experiences that had app integration for guests. Some of these solutions had their own app and others integrated with a hotel’s existing app.
A recent study from Hospitality Technology showed 90% of respondents prefer that the hotel they visit has a mobile app offering the ability to manage their stay completely. Nearly every guest has a smartphone, so being able to use that device to unlock your room, communicate with the desk, order food, watch TV, and book local activities was a trend at the show.
We saw several booths with sustainable solutions, from the products used to create their products to the actual sustainable impact the product or service they were promoting would provide.
Travel Pulse posted an article earlier this year that reported, “An increasing share of travelers want hotels and travel companies to focus on sustainable operations, and what's more, those same travelers are willing to pay more in exchange for eco-friendly options.”
Several companies at the show focused on this. For our part, we induced the Philips Tableaux to the hospitality community for the first time. Philips Tableaux is a groundbreaking full-size and full-color ePaper digital signage display series that delivers vivid, 24/7 content while running on zero power. Imagine having a portable full-color signage solution that you can easily move around your hotel that uses zero power. Philips Tableaux is an ideal replacement for paper-based communications, bringing new digital display opportunities for hospitality environments.
We knew there would be excitement and interest in Philips Tableaux and its capabilities, but I was surprised at the momentum it created as the show went on. Normally when you launch a product, there is interest, and then that grows to follow-up, and so on. Not with Tableaux. We had several owners wanting to place orders immediately. They loved the ease of use, the flexibility of the product, and, most importantly the impact it has on the environment. It doesn’t require power, and it eliminates the need for wasteful and costly paper signage that can only be used once.
These were just a few of my takeaways from the show. I would love to hear what you thought of the show.
We are looking forward to 2024 when HITEC descends on Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of our North American headquarters, and you can be certain we have something special in store for you!