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CONSTANT CONNECTIVITY We’re experiencing a part of hospitality history. Today’s mobile traveler is carrying an average of 3 devices and is consuming an average of 2GB/month in mobile data! Hotel guests expect a fluid connection anywhere and everywhere across the hotel. Constant connectivity is transforming how we connect with guests and how we keep them connected, providing access to more touch points than ever before. The opportunities are boundless, and though they come with some challenges, one thing’s for sure: the Connected Guest Generation is here and hotels need to continuously invest in infrastructure to keep up with their voracious demand for bandwidth. Free Wi-Fi remains the #1 demanded amenity from travelers today. Whether they’re attending a virtual meeting in your lobby, printing theater tickets in the business center, or posting an Instagram photo of their lunch in your restaurant, guests expect a seamless experience from device to device, for both leisure and business. Hotels need to continually invest in their infrastructure to keep up with rising demand for bandwidth. At the same time, there is increased pressure in the industry to offer high performance Wi-Fi for free. Wi-Fi is no longer [just] a way for guests to stay connected; it’s an opportunity for hotels to connect with guests. - via HotelExecutive.com 1 346 minutes US adults spend with digital media each day 2 40% of hotel guests travel with three or more devices while 45% travel with two 3 2GB average mobile data used by US users each month 4 We’re consuming 2 times more mobile bandwidth now versus 12 months ago! That’s nearly 25% of our day spent consuming online media! Page 2
4 1 KEY TRENDS We’ve identified 4 key trends that have spurred the connectivity evolution. Guests are bringing more devices and consuming more content, and they expect more personalized interactions with your hotel. Meetings and conferences are becoming more virtual and attendees expect high performance throughout your space. RISE OF THE “DIGITAL ELITE” IN TRAVEL Mobile devices have become an integral part of the way we connect for work and for play, and smartphones, tablets, and laptops each have their place. In fact, 66% of the “Digital Elite” do not see them as interchangeable. The Digital Elite, as defined by MMGY Global, is a group of primarily 18-49 year-olds who own and frequently use at least two different mobile devices while travelling. 5 These uber-connected guests travel more, spend more, and are growing in numbers. Guests are also becoming increasingly reliant on their own devices for services that previously were provided by the hotel, like check-in and entertainment. Connecting with this group through multiple channels and devices will be imperative to gaining their loyalty. 2 59% of guests would use selfservice checkin if it saved them time 6 81% of hotel guests want access to mobile video content 7 Tech-savvy individuals are far more likely to travel, and hoteliers who do a better job connecting with them will see greater returns. - via Travel Brands in a Multi-Screen World, a Report from Skift & Adobe 6 4.8 average number of vacations taken in 2014 by the Digital Elite, while less connected travelers took only 3.8 trips on average 5 BRING YOUR OWN CONTENT 2.0 Travellers have been bringing their own content via mobile devices for some time now, but the demand to support their streaming habits has reached an all-time high. Guests want a seamless, content-rich experience wherever they go - just like they get at home. More than half of guests report being very likely to book a hotel based on availability of mobile content and services. 7 “Keeping up with technology can be difficult as a hotelier, but by including a system that utilizes existing TVs and allows access to the Internet, [hotels] can stay ahead of the curve and adapt as technology shifts.” - via HotelExecutive.com 8 Page 3
3 EXPECTATION OF PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE 78% Hospitality is not one size fits all. Not only do Connected Guests expect more personalized services and custom experiences throughout their stay, they are also notoriously hard to reach; 84 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. 9 Wi-Fi will not only serve as a gateway to information, it will allow hotels to better connect with each guest individually. The entire hotel experience can be changed as guests feel like the hotel is anticipating their needs. As each guest is unique, Wi-Fi will allow the hotel to draw off of past behaviors to provide the best experience possible. - via HotelExecutive.com 1 Timothy Traveler 123 Main St. | Houston, TX 45678 VISA **** **** **** 9876 Chances are, most hotels have the data they need to offer some level of personalization. The trick is getting into an accessible and usable format. Tracking guest preferences, behaviors, and other unique data points is imperative to success in hospitality today. 4 of consumers expressed a desire for some kind of personalization 10 Age: 34 Stays: 7 Kids: No Email: Yes Reward Level: Gold EVOLUTION OF THE CONNECTED CONFERENCE “Fluid Connectivity” is the #1 trend for the future of conferences and conventions and mobile event apps are evolving into a knowledge hub. “Event apps will evolve from a re-creation of the event’s print guide to a fully developed knowledge sharing hub, delivering a branded social media-style experience,” via Skift Future of Conventions Report. 11 63% of planners currently offer a mobile app for meetings/events 12 Page 4 Democratizing technology helps empower planners to deliver the connectivity demanded by attendees. They want to be able to manage the basics without having to involve IT staff for each small detail. “With constant activity happening within the event application, the organizer can keep a finger on the pulse of their event, allowing them to be proactive in identifying and addressing problems as they arise. By taking a proactive approach to ensure attendee satisfaction, planners can have more confidence that attendees will return each year,” via MPI’s State of Event Apps. 12
4 KEY CHALLENGES Providing the tools guests need to stay connected will increase guest satisfaction and loyalty. However, there are some key challenges posed by the demands of the Connected Guest Generation. Explosive, Unwavering Bandwidth Consumption Technology is Coming Between You & Your Guests As evidenced by our first two trends, guests are using more bandwidth than ever before and expect the same high-performance service they experience at home. “Mom, Dad and all the kids have their own devices. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the demand for fast, quality connections at peak times,” - Nick Patel, CFO of Naman Hotels 13 As guests become more device and entertainment autonomous and conventional guest touchpoints evolve (i.e. mobile check-in in lieu of the front desk), hotels are losing control over the traditional guest experience. 60% The consumer leads the technology adoption curve and the enterprise follows, trying to play catch up. 80% of travelers said they have experienced poor hotel downloading transmissions because the system was too slow 14 of guests will not return to hotels in which they have a poor technology experience 14 - via Mindtree’s “Insights into consumer engagement in hospitality” 15 The Hidden Costs of Poor Guest Wi-Fi Hospitality’s Collective Shift to Free Wi-Fi Just as you can’t run a hotel without electricity, you can’t stay relevant without investing in a highquality guest network. The cost of not delivering reliable Wi-Fi, is far higher than the initial investment. Negative online reviews citing poor Wi-Fi lead to lost bookings; roughly 50% of global travelers do not book a room until they’ve read peer reviews online. 16 Nearly 9 out of 10 hotel guests want free Wi-Fi. 3 With free Wi-Fi topping the list of desired amenities year after year, it’s no surprise to see nearly all of the major brands are now offering some level of free Wi-Fi to at least reward loyalty members. $25K average cost of a state-of-the-art hotel wi-fi network 17 Hotel Brand 2 Devices Free 2 Devices Free Hilton Not Free Free for Gold & Diamond Hyatt Free Free IHG Not Free Free Marriott Not Free Free Starwood estimated lost revenue due to poor guest wi-fi 17 Loyalty Members Four Seasons $120K Non-Members Not Free Free if Booked Direct These challenges pose a lot of questions: How much bandwidth do you need? How do you prioritize it? Are there ways to recoup the costs of new infrastructure? And how do you make it all seamless and consistent for guests, while maintaining your place in the driver’s seat? Page 5
EVOLVE & INVEST TO GAIN GUEST LOYALTY The time to invest in the Connected Guest Generation is now; don’t get left behind. The opportunities are far greater than any of the challenges - more authentic experiences, better guest engagement, and ultimately, increased brand loyalty. Accommodating the Internet demands of guests and group business is one of the trickiest things for hoteliers to do right now. Yet, properly allocating bandwidth across a property has become absolutely essential to good hotel operations. - via Lodging Magazine 18 Page 6
PREPARING FOR THE CONNECTED GUEST GENERATION As hotels make sizable investments in their network infrastructure, the need to help offset those costs, and more importantly, enhance the guest experience is more critical than ever. We’ve identified these best practices to help you win over the Connected Guest Generation. DELIVER A HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ENGAGING EXPERIENCE BRANDED MOBILE-READY PERSONALIZED INTELLIGENT As more and more guests opt for online check-in and mobile room keys, your guest Internet portal is replacing the front desk as your first guest touch point. Add your logo, brand colors, custom property photos, as well as relevant, local information. Give guests easy access to travel favorites like restaurant recommendations, links to local attractions, and weather updates. You can’t afford to overlook this dynamic guest touch point. Today’s guests carry an average of 2.9 connected devices, 19 so ensuring your guest Wi-Fi is optimized for mobile is also key to enhancing the guest Internet experience. Your portal should be responsive so that connecting via smart phones and tablets is seamless and easy. The ability to recognize user devices and automatically connect them throughout their stay will ensure you are meeting guest demand to be always-on. A great way to deliver a relevant and customized guest experience is by identifying them via social media. With services like Voyat, a guest retention platform for hotels, you can offer guests the option to authenticate via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Not only is this a convenient option for guests, it also gives you access to important information for use in tailored promotions to increase the chance of re-booking ten-fold. 20 Page 7 Is your lobby area buzzing with business suits and smartphones in the late afternoon? Allocate more bandwidth to that area during those hours. Does your front desk get barraged with printing requests? Offer a mobile printing solution in your lobby or business center. Bandwidth usage reports will help you identify imbalances and give you the insight you need to adjust and improve the guest Internet experience across the hotel based on analytics.
OPTIMIZE YOUR BANDWIDTH 1 3 3 5 Mbps Mbps recommended for checking email, surfing the web, and streaming standard-definition video recommended for streaming high-definition video, online meetings, VOIP, etc. the average amount of bandwidth used for large events at hotels 21 to to Mbps 85 Guests are travelling with more devices, streaming more content, and expect to be connected from check-in to check-out. Managing the guest experience across all those touch points is becoming increasingly more challenging. Utilizing an Internet management platform to package Internet service, manage multiple devices, and view usage reports is essential to delivering a connected guest experience. - David Doiron, VP of Blueport Wireless PROVISION SERVICE FOR INDIVIDUALS & GROUPS It’s important that you, your staff, and meeting planners have control over the Internet service you offer to your various audiences - hotel guests, conference attendees, loyalty members, etc. With a cloud-based guest Internet management platform, managers can easily change concurrent device limits, edit plan details, and monitor real-time usage. If you have conference space, it’s also important to give the event planner special access to these features for their event only. They’ll appreciate the ability to easily build portals and landing pages, see bandwidth utilization by device and user, and review conference details in a post-event summary. UNDER-PROMISE & OVER-DELIVER Once you have your service plans in place, one of the most important things you can do is to manage guest expectations. It used to be that hotels defined their Internet plans using speeds and feeds. Today, guests benefit most when they understand the incremental value of what they can do at each tier. In other words, a basic plan may be appropriate for email and web surfing, whereas, a premium plan may be better for video-conferencing and streaming movies. Value can also be added by limiting the number of devices supported in the lower tiers and adding more devices in the higher tiers. Defining the service upfront will greatly minimize guest complaints and refund requests. STRATEGICALLY PRIORITIZE BANDWIDTH There are several ways you can define who gets first dibs on your precious bandwidth - location in the hotel, loyalty membership, VIP status, etc. For example, you may want to give high-revenue groups and conferences priority over individual guest room access to ensure the satisfaction of your most profitable customers. Page 8
SHIFT FROM COST CENTER TO REVENUE CENTER PROVIDE TIERED INTERNET PLANS Even as the industry shifts towards free Wi-Fi service, guests have demonstrated a willingness to pay for higher levels of performance needed for more complex applications, like streaming movies or video conferencing In fact, a recent study of Eleven customers found that 17% of guests chose a higher tier of Internet service when given the option. By creating real value between tiers, guests receive the level of service they need, and hotels create opportunities to recoup infrastructure costs. PROMOTE YOUR ONSITE AMENITIES Don’t miss out an opportunity to promote your revenuegenerating services from the welcome screen. Offer business center users a drink coupon to drive them to the bar after they finish their work or add one-click spa reservations for easy booking. Guests appreciate the added-value and you can increase RevPAR by promoting onsite amenities. Show your loyalty members some love by offering special pricing on Wi-Fi and bundled services. Segment your offers based on loyalty tier or give discounts to groups. Your most valuable guests and groups will appreciate the added value it brings to their stay or event and you will continue to build loyalty with this profitable segment. ADVERTISE LOCAL AREA INFORMATION & SERVICES Hotel guests are often first time visitors to a city. Your guest Internet portal is host to a captive audience - monetize those eyeballs and give guests access to the services they need. With third-parties like TKOUT, a food carry-out and delivery distribution network, guests can easily order virtual room service from local restaurants, and hotels can create monetization opportunities from shared revenues. ENGAGE LOYALTY MEMBERS & GROUPS OFFER IN-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT BUNDLES By combining other services with your guest Wi-Fi, you will make the Connected Guest Experience more seamless. For instance, you could set up “double play” package that gives guests instant access to TV and Internet for in-room entertainment. The add-on services increase perceived value to the guest Wi-Fi utility. The move to a single platform simplifies maintenance and administration as well. Properties could provide unique content specific to a property. Staying at a certain hotel in Miami? A night club could provide VIP access to their club for elite guests who use the network on the property. Are you in Denver and staying downtown? The Broncos could partner with hotels that are near the stadium to provide those guests who use the network with a seat upgrade when they head to the game. - via HotelExecutive.com 1 Page 9
THE POWER OF THE PLATFORM Installing a high-performance guest network is just the start. Leveraging a cloud-based solution for guest Internet management is crucial to making it seamless, personalized, and accessible. From authentication on guest mobile devices to the public computers in your business center, choose a platform that allows you to ensure a reliable, high performance guest Internet experience throughout your entire hotel. In most hotels, they have one vendor for TV, another for the mini-bar, another for Wi-Fi, another for HVAC controls, etc. When considering an option to manage the technology portion of the hotel, having one wireless platform can eliminate many of the inefficiencies. - via HotelExecutive.com 1 Page 10
SOURCES 1. http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/4277/checking-in-how-wi-fi-is-transforming-the-hospitality-industry 2. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Mobile-Continues-Steal-Share-of-US-Adults-Daily-Time-Spent-with-Media/1010782 3. http://www.tnooz.com/article/hotel-technology-trends-erevmax 4. https://deviceatlas.com/blog/us-mobile-users-download-2gb-month-average 5. http://ehotelier.com/news/2014/11/18/digital-elite-travelers-growing-fast-spending-more? 6. http://skift.com/2015/04/21/rethinking-hotel-communications-for-a-multi-screen-world/ 7. http://skift.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Hospitality-Survey-2013-Infographic.jpg 8. http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2304/what-to-expect-from-the-in-room-entertainment-industry-in-the-nextyear 9. http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2397648/84-percent-of-millennials-don-t-trust-traditional-advertising 10. https://www.revinate.com/blog/2014/11/hotels-need-personalize-guest-experience 11. http://products.skift.com/trend/the-future-of-conventions/ 12. http://info.doubledutch.me/rs/doubledutch/images/mpi-research-state-of-event-apps.pdf 13. http://www.ibtimes.com/why-do-expensive-hotels-charge-wi-fi-when-cheaper-hotels-dont-1705568 14. http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/3046/hotel-wi-fi-balancing-budget-bandwidth 15. http://www.mindtree.com/sites/default/files/mindtree-thought-posts-white-paper-insights-into-consumer-engagement-inhospitality.pdf 16. http://hospitality.cvent.com/blog/cvb-internet-marketing-2/how-online-hotel-reviews-affect-booking-decisions-theresearch-stats-viewpoints-strategies 17. http://www.moonblink.com/does-your-hotel-wifi-suck-infographic 18. http://lodgingmagazine.com/how-much-bandwidth-does-your-property-need/ 19. http://www.statista.com/statistics/333861/connected-devices-per-person-in-selected-countries/ 20. Voyat Study, May 2015: http://www.voyat.com/ 21. http://www.pcma.org/convene-content/convene-article/2013/01/01/working-smarter-banding-together#.VGWbWWTF95I Page 11
ARE YOU READY FOR THE CONNECTED GUEST GENERATION? WE CAN HELP . A full-service network systems integrator, Wanaport can install a reliable guest network and Wi-Fi system that will earn your property rave reviews with US based, 24x7 technical guest support. Eleven’s cloud-based guest Internet management platform enables centralized control and actionable insight into the connected guest experience across all Internet touchpoints throughout multiple properties. WWW.WANAPORT.COM WWW.ELEVENWIRELESS.COM CONNECT WITH US FOR YOUR FREE GUEST WI-FI CONSULTATION TODAY. +1 (877) 501-9262 firstname.lastname@example.org