Heading to the AHC, AVIXA helps hotels invest in AV tech

AHC 2019
The AHC runs October 9-10 at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate. Image credit: Questex

Sarah Joyce, chief global officer of AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, will be supporting, speaking at and attending The Annual Hotel Conference 2019, sponsored by Questex, parent company of Hotel Management. AHC runs October 8–10 at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

AVIXA and its members aim to help hospitality designers and operators enhance their businesses through the integration of audiovisual experiences and Joyce oversees all the association’s activities outside North America, including member services, education and certification delivery, standards adoption, government relations, and expositions. 

Ahead of AHC, Joyce shared her insights on how hotels are taking advantage of new audiovisual technology.

AVIXA has more than 11,400 commercial and individual members from more than 80 countries. What are some of the key trends you and your members are seeing within the hospitality industry?

As in other parts of life and society, hospitality brands are focused on creating experiences. And for serving a modern clientele so rooted in audiovisual and digital stimuli, it’s natural that they use technology as a foundational element. In public spaces, we see artful video projection, interactive displays and very large-format LED screens creating a reason for guests to linger, visit the property’s bars and restaurants and, ultimately, return again.

In rooms, we see more and more control solutions that not only emulate the growing smart-home market, but also allow guests to customize their experience much more, from the color and temperature of the lighting to the environment to the ability to enjoy their own entertainment—all from touchscreens, and all higly personalized.

Harmoniously marrying high-tech audio and visual technology with distinctive building design can be challenging. How do your members achieve this balance?

Sarah Joyce
Sarah Joyce
Photo credit: AVIXA

Audiovisual designers excel in creating exceptional hospitality experiences by getting engaged with the project team from the beginning. In the recent past, audiovisual technology was among the last considerations when creating a space and the audiovisual integrator was effectively the first remodeler on site.

This has gradually been changing. By engaging AVIXA members from the outset of a hospitality design and construction project, the entire team knows the desired outcome and the AV professional can advise which solutions will best achieve it, how the space should be designed to maximize its effectiveness and, most importantly, how the space should be constructed so that power, network connectivity and other infrastructure considerations can support the digital systems without requiring expensive alterations later.

Hotels are increasing their investment in content as the use of digital signage proliferates in the hospitality industry—in hotel foyers, restaurants, meeting rooms and lifts—to promote special offerings and events to their guests. How are AVIXA and its AV professionals working to support hoteliers in this growing area?

First and foremost, the content must match the delivery method. Digital signage can mean standard displays, curved LEDs or mosaics of screens. The AV integrator knows best how compelling content must be designed in order to appear properly on the digital signage. The message is lost if it’s not communicated properly.

Many AVIXA members offer content services, from design to scheduling to maintenance. Others work with established partners. Some will even collaborate with customers in marketing and communications to get the content correct, then offer the digital signage as a service. Whatever the case, the critical first step in a digital signage project is realizing it’s an ongoing effort. Over the years, many brands have started ambitiously, creating truly effective digital signage solutions, only to realize they need constant updating, maintenance and analysis to maximize effectiveness. That’s where AVIXA members can help.

Related: AV technology revitalizes guest experience

In this hyper-connected and digital world, what value do you place on physically coming together as a community for events such as The AHC or AVIXA’s own event, InfoComm?

Bringing people together, helping people connect and enhancing the way they experience the world around them is our industry’s core value proposition. Whether it’s at a conference or a concert or a museum or even a stunning hotel lobby, the audiovisual experience fosters human connection. And when has human connection been more important [than] in today’s society? We are always pleased to take part in events such as The AHC because we get a chance to influence communication and build connection—in our case through audiovisual technology. It’s an extremely enjoyable, aspirational and somewhat humbling position to be in. Audiovisual technology can have a powerful influence on all of us.

Joyce will be participating in the following sessions during The AHC 2019:

We Have Lift Off! - Exploring Innovations in Hotel Keeping – Oct. 9, 2-3 p.m. 
Almost daily innovations in design, development and management are rapidly changing the face of current hotel operations. This forward-thinking session will introduce innovators of various sizes from across the spectrum to let you know how you can expect your hotel operation to evolve in the next few years.

Reimagining the Guest Experience in the Audiovisual Age – Oct. 10, 10-10:45 a.m.
Audiovisual experiences are playing an increasingly important role in hotel design and operations. Leading brands are incorporating immersive displays, video walls, directional audio, lighting controls and more into the design and operations of award-winning projects in the U.K. and beyond. Moderated by AVIXA, this workshop panel discussion gathers thought leaders from leading hotels, hospitality design and architecture firms, and technology-integration firms to discuss the ways in which hotels are leveraging cutting-edge audiovisual technology to reimagine the guest experience.

To join Sarah Joyce, other leading speakers and U.K. hospitality industry movers and shakers, be at The AHC on October 8-10 at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate. Visit www.theahc.co.uk for more information and to register.