HTNG Conference Takeaways: 2015 is the Year of the Door

The HTNG North America Conference proved to open many doors for the hospitality technology world. Literally. Eleven’s CTO, Dan Lulich, walked away from the conference with the conclusion that we have entered the year of door locks. Guests want to walk directly to their room after a day of travel instead of making pleasantries with the front desk staff while they wait for a room key. Hotel brands have started to accommodate this with mobile apps that enable you to unlock your door. We just need to make sure to address the consequences of losing that initial guest touch point. The top 3 considerations for hotels when implementing a mobile key app are:

  1. Reservations Integration: The app must communicate with central-reservation systems so that a ‘Key’ can be issued to the guest’s mobile device after booking
  2. PMS Integration: You need to know the door has been opened to verify the guest has arrived on property, which requires PMS integration
  3. Guest Engagement: The app is now your first guest engagement point; you must present your amenities in an appealing way

The Future of Hotel Apps

“On the heels of door lock apps is ‘Big Data Analytics’ to enable personalized offerings. The first touch point is so much more valuable if it’s tailored to each guest.” - Dan Lulich, CTO at Eleven

The more data that can be linked to return guests, the more opportunities hotels have to personalize the guest experience and leave a lasting impression. This data can also be given back to the guest as a recommender service. Guests will be able to ask questions such as “I want to go somewhere sunny and warm with a great spa where my kids can have a good time,” and the app will present three suggestions based on information gathered from your previous hotel stays. This kind of technology is still in the testing phase, but will be a reality in the near future. Reducing the friction from booking by streamlining how you find what you want will start to open doors for a better guest experience.

How do you see hotels using apps in the future?