Digital Signage’s Impact on the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is probably the industry with the biggest variety of uses for digital signage. This industry is a broad umbrella covering hotels, restaurants, theme parks, cruise lines and is strongly linked to the tourism industry. This is definitely the area where digital signage is at home. Discussing the usefulness of this tool in the hospitality industry is not even an option: it is a great investment straight off the bat.

If you can't find an adequate use for digital signage in the hospitality industry, you're probably doing it wrong!

Ball room

Cost benefits: Self service and work limits

The front desk is merely the beginning

“Welcome to -” is where the judgment of service begins in the eyes of the guest. Some hotels choose to leave nothing to chance and pre-plan the reception experience to the slightest detail by using self-service kiosks.

Digital feats of technology can provide a faster and easier registration process. Particularly in large hotels where queues are common, your clients can check-in and out of the hotel or see if their room is ready by using the digital kiosk. Yes, this type of administration may provide a faster and more efficient process than a simple check-in desk, but it also eliminates the human factor. If you prefer your hotel having a traditional host of flesh and blood as opposed to a hardware and software, this choice has still its right to exist in a more and more digital world.

A digital kiosk lowers staff work, as an automated interactive digital network eliminates the need for staff presence. It’s important to remind that a digital kiosk shouldn't be a complete replacement for staff. The human factor provides a welcoming presence, but the technology can serve as a great tool to reduce the additional necessity of staff work, not to mention it eliminates human error and ensures things run smoothly.

Additionally, there is no doubt kiosks are an efficient tool, but there is quite an interesting theory which claims that kiosks will be replaced by tablets.

Save money on printed media. Fliers, papers, maps, instructions, menus, plans, schedules or any other collection of words and numbers no longer has to come on a piece of paper which will be most likely discarded. And, if we're honest, they're not as interesting as when they're on a display! On a serious note, placing data on displays allows you the flexibility to update it with ease, if necessary, and share it faster with other parties of the infrastructure.

Person pointing on screen

Wayfinding

A common feature for a versatile industry

One of the greatest places for their use, digital signs can take maps to a higher level, especially if they're interactive. The amount of information provided by a digital kiosk depends entirely on you. A simple display showing main points of the structure can be sufficient; however, if you truly want totake your digital signage to the max, you can set up printable instructions accompanied by event schedules in that area, for instance.

Answer FAQ

Frequently asked questions neatly wrapped in a digital screen

A help desk should always be there to provide necessary information specific to each client, but sometimes, the questions are rather repetitive and easily answered.

What time is lunch? Where is the business center? You can display frequently asked questions to your clients in short bursts or even have a specific section which they can access and search for a specific question by using a digital signage kiosk. If your reception desk is set up to as a digital signage platform, frequently asked questions could be of great use.

Reminders for certain rules or even simple tips are also a good option. Short feeds of data are always welcome and we all will even accept an advertisement if it's provided within such a feed. Reminders to bring an umbrella, to dress warm or to visit the pool once are all tips which can only affect your clients in a positive light.

Inform about the weather or important situations

“High risk of hurricanes. Visit to the beach not advised”

Up-to-minute information is a vital commodity in today's time, not only in a hospitality establishment. Provide your customers with timely data about the weather or other important information they might want to know. Graph on TV

Experiment with the formality of the information delivery; just be sure the data is relevant to the client. You can display such information in short bursts, or dedicate a digital screen or an interactive section specifically for this data.

Placing digital signage in elevators is also a smart option: it is the perfect environment where a display will be continuously observed. Display schedules, reminders, news or even advertisements.

In-house and third party advertising

A penny advertised is a penny earned!

You can advertise for in-house facilities: restaurants or bars located in your hotel. The same applies for any other facility you have available for your guests.  

Advertise to third party vendors for additional profit. Although this, in itself, is a clear goal on your part, you can choose to advertise specific vendors which your clients will be interested in. Advertising is often annoying and bothersome for all of us if we are not interested in the product, but advertising relevant events, tours or guides can be a smart idea.

There is traditionally a large shelf with fliers about what to do around the area which hotel guests are frequently looking through. Make the fliers more classy by allowing them to be viewed digitally and from more places than only the lobby.

In-room digital signage

This extra mile might be a stretch, if used improperly.

The hotel room is probably one of those areas where your clients expect peace and space to breathe; however, (and there's always a however,) you can include custom videos or presentations for the clients at the moment they turn on their television, as it is frequently done. Or, you can simply make them aware how they might access this information. See the specific channel for hotel-related information for example, one of the few common uses in hotels.

Luxury bed room

At the start of their stay, relevant and interesting information will be welcomed by new guests. You can give them a short, summarized tour of their surroundings and make them aware of the opportunities they should take advantage of. Your guests will be thankful; however, I would not advise pushing the line and enforcing this feature on the same client repetitively, as it can cross to the realm of annoyance. The wisest and probably easiest method, in my opinion, is to make the client aware of this content and give them the freedom to access it if they choose to. One time notification will suffice.

Aside from presentations and instructional videos, in-room entertainment and hotel guest experience can be enhanced in several different ways.

Entertainment in waiting and sitting areas

A gift that keeps on giving, no matter the industry

If all else fails, entertainment is your Superman. As long as a human heart beats in the chest of your client, this feature can be a powerful ally in winning them over. Even if you eliminate every other use – which you should never do, of course – the impact of digital signage would be more than noticeable in your final results.

A breath of fresh air and free thought is an excellent commodity in this industry. If anywhere, a hotel should provide it in abundance. Of course, your hotel would never make a client wait too long, but in case such a miraculously occasional event occurs, you can provide entertainment to pass the time and ensure your customers aren't bored. This feature can be used in any establishment aiming at hospitality. Already, we’ve analyzed digital signage for restaurants in an earlier article; it contains several factors which can be wisely applied to this field as well.

Public transportation schedules

Accuracy always goes appreciated

Hotels and travel go hand in hand. Based on your surroundings and proximity to certain locations, you can use your digital displays for schedules to help your guests optimize their time. Schedules for flights are also a great option if your environment permits it.

Printed content can be unreliable, not to mention the need to circulate updates and the complexity of schedules which cover a vast area. Using a digital display, you can easily update the information or you can even set up automated schedules based on feeds coming from the airport or a specific airline. All in all, schedules in general are easier to navigate using digital technology.

Schedules for local meetings and conventions

Be nosy and optimize your guest’s stay!

Event registration can be made simple by using a digital kiosk provide the necessary data. For certain events or conventions, a large mass of people seeks out hotels to stay at during their visit. Most of these events choose hotels for easier management, but you can take it one step further and enhance the customer experience: display schedules for all specific events related to the convention in question, making sure your visitors are up to speed with the information they need.

The beginnings of conferences, meetings or minor events as well as their location are the most important pieces of information to the visitors of the specific event. All of which can easily be shared either via a public terminal or display or any component of your digital signage network in the establishment.

There are some jaw-dropping examples of digital signage in lobbies, starting from architectural video walls, all the way to a digital signage network which greatly impacts the lobby experience.

Mobile use reshaping the hospitality industry

Mobile technology is a component which shouldn’t slip through your fingers. You can also consider the option of using your guests’ second screens: smartphones.

According to a recent report from Oracle Hospitality which polled 9000 millennials about their use of technology in the hospitality industry, some interesting conclusions have been made.

Mobile and beer

39% of users order take-out food using smartphones, and 20% have checked in a hotel using a mobile device. For more interesting data from this report, visit FastCasual.com.

And just like this, we’ve reached the end of yet another set of exemplary uses of digital signage in a dominant industry.

To summarize:

  • Digital signage in the hospitality industry immediately shows cost benefits, especially in the field of printed media and cutting down the required amount of staff activity.
  • Wayfinding, being one of the most frequently required information in a typical hotel, finds excellent use for a digital signage network.
  • FAQ’s provided in the form of digital media allows the guests to acquire information more easily and frees the help desk from repetitively performing this action.
  • Third party advertising is a great option to gain additional profit and provide customized offers for your guests.
  • In-room digital signage and entertainment are also vital factors in enhancing the customer experience.
  • If public transportation data is of great use to your guests, it can be a valuable commodity you can provide.

Images by Thomas Depenbusch, michael davis-burchat, Pyonko Omeyama, Jacob Bøtter and Ben30.