4 Major Takeaways From HITEC 2021 Dallas
By: Rob Cox
We recently attended HITEC 2021 in Dallas and spoke with leaders at the forefront of digital transformation across the hospitality industry. We last attended HITEC in 2019, and the significance of meeting with new and old friends face to face (or should we say mask to mask?) was not lost on us.
We spoke with hospitality professionals and gathered insights into the biggest challenges facing the industry. Here are a few of our top takeaways:
#1: Staff and Guest Safety Are Mission-Critical
Staff and guest safety is the number one priority of the hoteliers we spoke to at HITEC. They continuously search for new ways to innovate and automate emergency responses beyond the standard panic button often mandated by legislation. They need solutions to voice-automate safety workflows with panic alerts that immediately show managers and security who sent the alert, their location precisely down to the room, and identify and deploy the closest backup or security — all without manual intervention. Automated voice-triggered emergency alerts are critical to reducing response times and increasing safety for both guests and employees in urgent situations.
Learn about Orion’s Emergency Response
#2: The Highest Levels of Service Are Essential to Guest Experience
Improving guest experience is a high priority for hotel, casino, and resort professionals. They are searching for new solutions to reduce inconvenience, speed staff response time, and create a seamless, remarkable customer experience. They need innovative technologies to improve team and cross-departmental collaboration and automate routine procedures, ultimately reducing lag time in facilitating customer requests.
Automating routine processes so staff can focus on customer service was a big trend this year. Team leaders need easy ways to identify when team members need additional support — whether providing guidance or deploying other resources to help. Hospitality professionals are now automating processes like All-Call emergency communications, cleaning checklists, safety SOPs, and more. When voice-activated bots handle routine tasks, workers are free to focus on high-value tasks like customer service.
Integrating voice solutions into existing back-end systems was another large trend for improving customer experience. Many of the hospitality organizations we talked to were interested in connecting communications and collaboration technology to their loyalty systems, for instances like when a VIP member swipes a card at a slot machine, the closest staff member can be notified and assist.
#3: Hoteliers Need Real-Time Visibility Into Activities Across Their Hotel or Resort
We talked to several managers at HITEC who wanted to be able to see staff location on a single pane view, even when the managers were away from the hotel, casino, or resort. These managers also wanted the ability to communicate with their employees 1:1 or in a customizable group. Their teams operate dispersed across several stations like front desk check-in, stores, restaurants, spas, housekeeping, grounds, golf courses — even drivers on the road. Having a single pane view of every team member’s location and communication activity would give them complete operational control and a Voice Operations System of Record.
#4: Team Member Engagement is More Important Than Ever
Hospitality professionals know team member engagement is critical to excellent guest service and satisfaction. Team leaders are searching for innovative ways to motivate, engage, and connect their team members. They told us they need a well-rounded solution that provides multimodal collaboration with voice, text, image, videos, and files so workers can seamlessly connect with their teams. They also told us they need voice-driven automation technology that supports multilingual teams with real-time language translation so team members can always communicate and collaborate, no matter which language they speak.
Hotel leaders are finding new ways to combat the high turnover of frontline workers and train new and seasonal staff so they get up to speed on Day One. They require new ways to provide instant access to training manuals, subject matter experts (SMEs), and best-practice guides — all from the point of work.
The Orion Collaboration Platform for Hospitality
Hoteliers need better solutions that improve guest experience, boost employee engagement and productivity, and keep employees and guests safe. Orion’s voice-first collaboration platform addresses these needs and the ongoing challenges we heard from leading hospitality professionals at HITEC 2021.
The Orion Collaboration Platform for Hospitality:
- Keeps staff and guests safe with emergency response and indoor/outdoor geolocation
- Improves guest experience with personalized notifications and recommendations, automated processes, and heads-up and hands-free communication
- Provides managers with a single pane view of all staff location, even when the manager is offsite
- Engages employees with amplified onboarding and training, real-time language translation, and multimodal collaboration
We were thrilled to meet so many leaders in the hospitality industry and share how Orion is the only voice-first collaboration platform that fully supports their needs. See you next year!
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