Hotel Operations Weekend ended in Poreč yesterday - the first festival in Europe on the topic of hotel operations. This year, the festival gathered over 50 speakers in 20 panel discussions and presentations at which the participants were introduced to the latest world trends in hotel operations.
The focus of the second day's program was topics such as social networks, the quality of wi-fi in hotels, new trends in hotel households, and communication and emotional connection with guests and creative concepts in the food and beverage departments.
"The biggest danger on social networks are the new generations. They create their own content and their own closed digital ecosystems. Despite research, we still don't understand how they make decisions. ", He said Dalibor Šumiga from PromoSapiens on the final day of the third edition of HOW. He cited the example of memes in the closed WhatsApp group as the main source of information for Generation Z, ie all those born after 1995, and a great challenge for marketing agencies in the future.
Given that 73% of tourists watch accommodation social networks before booking, the first panel is "Sales and marketing: Engage your guests - let them be your ambassadors / Social networks: do we value them enough?" aroused great interest and filled the hotel hall. The panel was moderated Denis Prevolšek, regional director of Valamar Riviera, and together with Šumiga they participated Alexander Novicov from the IQD agency in London and Maja Lena Lopatny from HTP Korcula.
With the introductory sentence "Which is a vacation without pictures you can share”Lopatny presented the first Croatian Instagram hotel campaign where guests are rewarded for posting their pictures at seven selected hotel locations. Some of them were influencers in whom Lopatny sees added value for the recognition of the hotel brand, while Šumiga pointed out that influencers should be selected from targeted target groups, giving the example of wrong selection of influencers with poor followers to promote luxury resorts. micro influencer.
We will find brand ambassadors among the guests if we increase the speed of wifi
Novicov also mentioned moving away from Google ads towards more effective marketing methods. When asked by Prevolšek, he gave an example of a bad campaign where the author speaks about himself and does not offer a call to action, while a great campaign has a purpose, great content and supporting context behind it. "It’s never about the product or the hotel, but about the goal of coming to the hotel, why we’re doing something. We need to build an emotional connection with the guests and share our passion", He said.
At the panel, Šumiga reminded the audience that likes on social networks for sale no longer mean anything and that one should be consistent in messages to guests, and every marketing activity should be measured, otherwise we are just a "person with opinions". In the end, he highlighted a sore point of many destinations he had experienced himself; the slowness of wi-fi which deters guests from posting on social media; "If we increase the speed of wi-fi, we will get brand ambassadors among the guests without much effort", He said.
Disposable packaging of hotel cosmetics is replaced by dispensers
That "personalized cosmetics will be a trend in the future" was concluded at the panel on trends in hotel cosmetics in 2020, where they discussed Ivona Begušić from The Pucić Palace Hotel in Dubrovnik and Nina Brouwers from Rituals Cosmetics in Amsterdam. More than 70 percent of those present in the audience supported dispensers as a better solution for packaging hotel cosmetics than small disposable packages in the survey.
Begušić concluded that there must be other solutions for small hotels because cosmetic gifts create memories for guests. Brouwers pointed out that trends indicate the importance of organic and ecological solutions, the use of gray, white and beige tones and increased attention to the general well-being of the guest in the form of personalized cosmetics, in-room yoga mats, yoga videos and the like.
Smart hotel without reception and personal concierge access
On the final panel she moderated Marina Franolić from Beach Events, two different forms of hotel communication with the guest are opposed.
Peter Palitz, CEO of QuiHotel in Budapest, presented the first "smart" hotel in Europe, which with the help of one application and nine employees runs a hotel with 40 rooms. "We communicate with guests before, during and after their stay. We have a virtual receptionist for every channel, Viber, WhatssApp, Messenger”Said Palitz, who noted that the younger generations prefer writing to face-to-face communication even though they are then more courageous in asking tricky questions. "The best proof that you are doing a good job is when a guest leaves a comment on social media with your name or when they contact you before their next stay. Personalization is the key to everything from interaction through communication channels", she pointed out Sandra Grčić, head of the Valamar Experience Concierge program whose Concierge employees are available to guests at the info desk, but also in the breakfast room. "We have digital pilot projects that will help us respond more quickly to the needs of the guest, but it will all go through a personalized approach. ”, she concluded.
The last panel ended another edition of the famous Festival of Hotel Operations in Poreč, which gathered over 570 participants and thus once again confirmed the status of the leading regional conference of hoteliers.