The World's leading technology and hospitality experts take over London's Earls Court today for the kick-off of Hospitality Technology Europe (HTE) - Europe's specialist hospitality technology event that is forecasting a 60% growth for the 2014 show. IT executives and V.I.P. from leading travel operators, online travel agents, travel management companies, hoteliers and airlines are coming to collaborate on the latest technology decisions facing the industry over the next 3 quarters - with relevant hospitality industry mobile apps being one of the more pondered over issues.
Maximising Your App Power, a selected panel of HTE key experts from the hospitality and technology sectors, addresses the methodologies behind hospitality getting guests to download and use their mobile apps not only while visiting their property - but also how they are keeping guests from deleting the app. The group is moderated by University of Brighton senior lecturer and executive council member of the Institute of Hospitality, Dr. Ioannis Pantelidis. The panel will inform on the status of mobile app functionality for hospitality and encourage discussion on how technology companies can make brands' and properties' apps so multifunctional that guests will value the features enough to take up permanent real estate on their smartphone.
"Very few mobile apps in hospitality address the entire lifecycle of a guest, and the few that I've seen that claim to are so crude, that they're really no more than glorified interactive phone directories," says panel member Ken Marold of Monscierge. "I see a lot of booking apps - but usefulness drops off after that. And once usefulness drops off so does the app from my phone - and any meaningful connection with me through the mobile channel. It's something hospitality needs to face in order to keep guests coming back to them and not 3rd-party apps."
Monscierge is a hospitality software technology firm most recently noted for deploying technology throughout more than 30 countries for the Novotel brand alone, and having fully developed and branded hotel mobile applications available on both iOS and Android in 11 languages - unprecedented in the hospitality mobile space.
In the interview with Marold, he comments, "App power is about actionable insight. Actionable insight builds a guest profile full of historical data, which is your crystal ball. So the next time they arrive, they get a specific upgrade deal or an offer to hit the lounge, or if the queue is long, trigger a message to let them know they can check in while they're en route and when they get to their room it's already stocked with the extra amenities they requested last time."
He goes on to say maximizing app power in hotels is about delivering a more immersive, layered travel experience. "My company, Monscierge, created a Recommendation Network™ for the hospitality industry as a way to facilitate a dialogue with local area small businesses and to give hotels the power to curate local information for their guests, and for your guests to share their experiences back to you and to their social networks." Monscierge mobile apps have now curated almost 60,000 local hotel recommendations for guests. These local recommendations from the hotels are accessible from anywhere, giving reason for a user to keep such an app on their phone. It also delivers features such as localized travel information, and staff-to-guests communications among other features that are controlled from logging into the correlating CMS portal.
HTE is looking to the panel to deliver further insight on how mobile applications are effectively developed and marketed to guests.