Mobilizing and Monetizing The Lobby Experience

By Vanessa Horwell Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, ThinkInk & TravelInk'd | March 11, 2012


That's the exclamation (not to mention double entendre) that's likely doing cartwheels inside the heads of corporate higher ups and casino/hotel bookkeepers that are busy tallying their property's profits. It's a joy especially potent considering that a large portion of the green in their piggy banks stems from those very same gaming additions.

It may seem obvious to any Las Vegas traveler who's ever stepped foot in the MGM Grand, The Bellagio, or Mandalay Bay, but it's important to remember that at sometime, at some point, hotel designers reached this no-brainer conclusion: Instead of building casinos and hotels as separate structures, why not build them as single entities? Better still, why not pair the hotel and casino branding? That way, room rates, the mainstay for a hotel's revenue, can be partnered with an entirely new income stream: gambling money. Everybody knows tourists are coming to cities like Las Vegas to try their hand (and luck) at the one-armed bandit. Why not give hotel guests what they want right in the lobby, and monetize the experience?

A simple idea, for sure, but it's the aesthetic and business success at the root of the world-famous Las Vegas strip. And when it comes to creating revenue opportunities in common spaces, the burgeoning world of mobile, digital signage and location-aware technologies could learn a thing or two. Like the resort-casino model, mobile's next frontier - or certainly a frontier as it relates to hotels, is the lobby. It's a potential revenue, entertainment and loyalty source so significant that hoteliers who choose to mobilize their lobbies should be shouting "jackpot" too.

Mobile's Winning Combination: Engage, Entertain, Enjoy

Of all the places mobile technology has reached, (through smartphones or tablets) it's surprising that the hotel lobby has yet to be tapped – even less so than the hotel room, which is beginning, finally, to find its digital footing.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.