How Audiovisual Technology Creates Memorable Guest Experiences
AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, recently moderated a panel at HOTEC Design 2019 titled ‘The Guest Experience in the Audiovisual Age.’ In the session, panelists discussed how hotels are integrating audiovisual (AV) technologies into the hotel design process to create unique and memorable guest experiences that generate greater brand loyalty.
“Audiovisual and digital technologies open up the opportunity to not just transform a space, but to transform a guest’s experience, which is what we are all trying to achieve,” says Cameron Lamming, President and Chief Operating Officer of RAR Hospitality. “Technology in a hotel shouldn’t be implemented just for the sake of technology. It should be targeted to create an experience that ties uniquely to the identity of the space and the hotel. It must be more personal.”
For Michael Suomi, Principal of Interior Design at Stonehill Taylor, the movement toward integrated AV spaces isn’t simply a marketing gimmick; it is a direct response to guests’ changing expectations and everyday lives, where technology reigns supreme. It’s important to note, he explained, that technology integration can be highly informative and practical, but it can also be fun and exciting, helping brands connect with guests on an emotional level.
“The best AV technology supports the overall design vision for the property and also enhances the guests’ stay and experience,” he says. “Whether it’s a videowall that highlights local attractions, a touchscreen kiosk, or even throwback technology like the recent revival of split-flap displays, today’s hoteliers have an unprecedented variety of ways to engage and excite their guests.”
Getting more specific, Rebecca Lunceford, Associate Vice President of Design and Development at Hyatt, told the audience that some hotels are finding they can boost revenue, improve the guest experience and set themselves apart by filling underutilised spaces with engaging audiovisual experiences. The Hotel Revival in Baltimore offered an excellent case study, she said. Empty, unused basement spaces were transformed into AV-enabled karaoke rooms with digital displays and sound systems. In the same spirit, W Hotels recently converted many of its under-utilised spaces, such as conference rooms and print centres, into recording studios with digital displays, high-end audio systems, and premium recording equipment. Thanks to the affordability and flexibility of today’s AV technology, leading hotels are now able to deliver guests novel,
on-brand experiences that also generate new revenue streams for operators.
While large in-room TVs have grown in popularity, and hotel lobbies often include informational touch screens, LED lighting has also become a hot design topic based on its unobtrusive nature and ability to transform a room’s atmosphere at a moment’s notice.
“It allows us to be specific for a client,” says Christopher Troyer, Area Director of Venues for event production company PSAV. “So if a business hosts a meeting or event in a hotel, the lighting can be customised to match the company’s colours or fit the theme of their event.”
At a time when nearly every guest walks in the door holding a smartphone, AV technology is helping hotels redefine the guest experience and differentiate their brands. Whether it’s digital displays and high-end audio in entertaining spaces, adjustable lighting in meeting spaces, or interactive visuals that create shareable moments, hotels around the world are finding that when guests get excited by experiences, their brands benefit.
AVIXA and its members are helping hospitality designers create a more successful future through the integration of compelling audiovisual experiences. AVIXA represents the $231 billion global commercial AV industry and produces InfoComm trade shows around the world.