The hotel industry’s innovation challenge was on full display at last week’s HSMAI Digital Marketing and Strategy Conference in New York City.
On the one hand, keynote session attendees listen with rapt attention to Google’s chief evangelist of brand marketing, Gopi Kallayil, as he provides examples and statistics about “assistance as the new battleground” and to closing keynote David Atkins’s counsel about the changes artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles will bring to the industry.
On the other, attendees identify with hotel leaders’ challenges in implementing innovation at their organizations, nodding in agreement to obstacles like corporate culture and the inability to sometimes even master the basics.
Multiple sessions discuss the importance of meeting expectations before, during and after the guest’s experience, while at the same time, attendees acknowledge their struggle with fundamentals like content.
And while audience live-polling results show they’re most interested in A.I., Internet Of Things and voice as trends on the horizon, at present they’re still trying to figure out revenue management and campaign optimization.
The juxtaposed desire to innovate with the acknowledged laggard nature of the industry highlights the challenges today’s hoteliers face.
Still, hospitality tends to be an optimistic industry, and according to live audience polling results, this year’s HSMAI attendees skew no different.
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