Hotel Technology Trends Corporate Event Planners Should Know About

January 15, 2019 Susan Douglin

For a corporate event planner to choose a venue for an upcoming meeting or conference is no longer as straightforward as it once was. Just thinking about components like security breaches, in-house AV, RFP, etc. can easily bring on a migraine.

That’s why making the right choice in the hotel you pick to host your corporate event is crucial.

A modern corporate event planner knows that attendees are looking for an experience and not just an event anymore. So, it is imperative that you know what to look for when deciding which hotel is equipped to help you deliver an impactful and memorable experience.

Hotel Technology Trends for Corporate Event Planners

Everyone’s home is becoming more tech-friendly with the increase in use of smart devices. In turn, attendees will expect a similar level of technology at hotels. People are now used to the fast-paced world we live in, so they expect everything to move fast, especially at an event where time is limited. Providing speedy processes will be instrumental in producing an optimized event experience.

Now, let’s review some of the exciting hospitality technology trends that should interest any corporate event planner that is looking to boost performance for their events.

Innovative Check-in Process

Everyone knows that the impact that the entrance to an event has on attendees will begin to form their perception of what they can look forward to. So, it would make sense that a corporate event planner keeps that in mind when structuring the hotel check-in process for an upcoming meeting or conference. No one wants to stand on a long line to check-in at a hotel which is why using a hotel that offers “smart check-in technology” is the way to go.

One of the first brands in hospitality to offer smart check-in was the Intercontinental who partnered with WeChat to provide facial recognition check-ins in Shanghai. Attendees were able to reserve, retrieve their key, and use their phones as a key plus order room service right from the chat widget.

Not only did the app allow for a seamless check-in process, but it also has the capacity to promote events surrounding the conference and provides tools for engagement at the event.

Pretty good stuff!

Holograms for Hotels

For many years, holograms have been at the very top of the predictions list of the events industry. Up till now they have never really gained speed, mostly because of their costly employment and hardware requirements.

If you understand a bit about technology, you’d agree that price and hardware requirements are momentary factors.

Can you imagine making a video call from a plane 15 years back?

The implementation of holograms at hotels vary from speeding up check-ins with holographic concierges to expanding people’s experience with custom activations.

Again, the clear benefit here is to depend on the hotel technology to avoid spending money to rent the still rather expensive technology.

Enough chit chat – Let’s check out these great examples of hologram use at events:

The experimental welcome of SLS hotel in Las Vegas gave their guests an unbelievable encounter at the Center Bar. While this is theoretically not a hologram, it is a spectacular LED that provided a holographic experience. If you’re a tech geek, you’ll want to know how this works, Make: Magazine has an excellent write up on it that you can review.

Take a look at these 3 videos to see the various uses of holograms at hotels.

  1. Center Bar 3-D Video at SLS Las Vegas
  2. NH High Impact Events
  3. Receptionist of the Future - Hologram Virtual Receptionist

Attract Sponsors with Advanced Technology

It’s no secret to a corporate event planner that sponsorships are not an easy catch. That’s why each year, we look for new ways to attract sponsors and adding layers of technology to deliver more concrete reporting is an excellent route to take to entice participation.

You can offer technology like smart mats, RFID or beacons that will capture movement on the show floor. Or, you can go the VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) route and have their most effective application in sponsorship activations. Try to propose these options to sponsors that want to help attendees experience their product.

Technology Trends for Hotel Security

Security has been an overarching trend for the industry over the past 5 years. When we think security, we think terror attacks and mass shootings. Quite rightly so. This cannot be a trend anymore. It is a mandatory part of the event planning process for all events.

Poor technology selection or lack of proper risk coverage for breaches will inevitably port the damage to the corporate event planner, rather than suppliers. The event industry media and associations have done a very poor job (with a few exceptions) in reporting these stories. At the end of the day, there is no bigger story than this when it comes to the event industry. Therefore, you have been left in the wild with very poor information and tools to face the single issue that can disrupt your projects next year.

Here’s how to fix the security problems:

  1. There is no excuse for not vetting your suppliers in depth. Ask in-depth questions, require references and proof of compliance.
  2. Start vetting your existing suppliers, unless you checked their credentials in-depth at time of selection.
  3. Pay attention to details (Wi-Fi, USBs, social media use by staff). There is no flexibility allowed when it comes to securing physical technology.
  4. Check that the venue hosting you or the hotel with your room block has all the measures in place to protect you from liability in case of a breach.
  5. Avoid DIY event technology at all costs. Also, beware of new startups that handle data. Steer clear if they don’t have all the measures in place to secure your data and insurance to cover potential breaches and prefer new tools over less sensible operations.

There is so much more event tech available at hotels for a corporate event planner to learn about. We only covered a few of the most innovative trends and included what to look out for in terms of what will appeal to a sponsor along with security tech points to cover. Stay connected to our blog as we publish more about event tech trends throughout the year.

If you’re more of a face-to-face student, then you should join the rest of the corporate event planners who attend The Event Planner Expo each year and take part in the educational sessions, the speaker series, and witness the latest trends on the trade show floor.

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