Hotels want to be known as technology innovators, but innovators are rarely known for instant successes. Here are four mistakes hotels have made in their push for the future through TVs, and some ways to avoid making the same missteps.
1. Don’t jump on something just because it’s new
This is a lesson hotels have learned with a number of technology fads, such as 3D TVs, but in this case manufacturers are on their side. “When we watch something like OLED displays in hospitality it’s because we spent three years in the consumer market successfully,” said Garry Wicka, senior director of marketing for LG One. “The hotels that are focusing on connecting to millennials and business travelers are driving technology further.”
2. Treat TV purchases as a platform purchase
Hotels have to live with their TV purchases for five to seven years, and these devices heavily impact guest satisfaction. For that reason, Fred Crespo, director of technology & business development at Samsung Electronics, said deciding whether to use a full smart TV or install set-top boxes could carry more weight beyond initial TV costs. “Choose the right platform for your hotel,” Crespo said. “After that, everything else matters.”
3. Keep the consumer experience in mind
When the average consumer goes home, he or she doesn’t go home to a 27-inch TV. Average TV sizes have increased dramatically over the years, alongside picture quality, and hotels have to keep pace. “When a consumer is used to a 42-inch, high-definition TV, they are expecting the same regardless of chain scale,” said Amaury Piedra, GM of the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. “Nothing looks worse in a guestroom than a large wall space dwarfing a small TV.”
4. Don’t forget existing technology
While operators are hungry for the latest and greatest, they still must remember to buy what they know works. Wicka said that 4K is the current buzzword, but 8K technology has also been around for some time and at some point will become the norm. But hotels can’t simply upgrade to whatever appears in the market because they have to be sure any new buys will work with their existing infrastructure.