Frances attended Hotels World in Sydney a couple of weeks ago to check out their first use of our apps. Some of her observations:
Well I’m still lusting after more of the mouth wateringly good Peking Duck Rolls that were served at morning tea on the middle day of this ‘three events in as many days at two venues’ event! As one attendee said, you’d expect nothing less than five star from the Hilton. Nonetheless they (and all the food) was spectacular. Landed back in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter, I’m also struggling not to obsess about a getaway to one of the amazing hotels being featured on the luxury section of Day 1.
This blue ribboned event for senior executives in the Australasian hotel industry was slick, well run and staged in venues that provided the perfect backdrop. The view from the first venue — sponsor Ashurst’s offices in the 38th floor of Grosvenor place overlooking the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge — was quite literally breath-taking and the Hilton was …. well … the Hilton. Enough said.
Take outs from the event:
Doing the basics well is key
The organisers did a great job in promoting their app ahead of the event, so pretty nearly everyone I spoke to had already downloaded it. However, they also prompted attendees to get the app at the beginning of day to ensure people who were only attending one of the themed days were reminded to use the app.
Less is more
In previous years the organisers had printed a large and expensive programme. By using an app, they were able to make the decision to shrink this down to a small DL size … maybe next year they’ll decide not to print it at all!
Matching features to event
Understanding your audience’s level of app use is very important. For this event at different venues, our multiple map feature worked well as did the ability to include mobile friendly web content for their Dealer of the Year and Hotels World First Awards.
Exhibiting at conferences is all about supporting the eco-system that supports you.
I hadn’t been to a conference for a while and it struck me again how radically different they are from trade shows. Hotels World had an exhibition attached to it — interesting mix with everything from beds to booking systems and AV suppliers like our friends from Staging Connections. Unlike exhibiting at trade shows, the point is to see and be seen rather than to sell overtly. Understanding this difference, we’ve worked hard to enable people to configure ShowGizmo and build in features that drive value for these very different beasts. For conferences the event feed, adding notes, ratings, polls and surveys are paramount whereas for trade shows real time lead capture and qualification is king.
Make it personal
I sat in on one session which looked at the what motivates the wealthy travellers to pick one hotel over another. Other than all the things you would expect, being recognised and remembered came across as being a very strong need. I’d say that’s a corner stone of any service delivery and one we certainly aspire to. We’re very aware that, however ground-breaking, the technology, it can be very a very arid experience without the human touch.
I also learned that the revolution is here! Many congratulations to our partner iVvy who launched their ground-breaking booking engine for events at HotelsWorld. According to CEO Lauren Hall this ‘disruptive’ new new cloud-based product will transform the industry for ‘less than a cup of coffee a day.’ While I hope we won’t actually be manning the barricades, we’re delighted to be in the vanguard and wish iVvy every success.