Take Me Somewhere Real...

By Tiffany Axner Interior Design, 5G Studio Collaborative | June 15, 2014

New Space Created with a Real Grounding in History

As a design firm, 5G is sought by our clients to evoke ideas that surprise and inspire the public with innovation, energy and quality - opening eyes to things not seen before. Our roots are well positioned in history to achieve these goals every day for clients.

Our studio sits in a 110-year-old exposed brick building with original wood floors, century old windows with views to the city on the East, and skies on the West. There is something truly refreshing about the space. As we design and create new spaces, the nostalgia and history of our corporate headquarters are, in a sense, always anew. Working with colleagues in our historic office space, I find myself thinking about trends and how peoples' expectations are changing. Travelers, restaurant clientele, the business leader - they all have different expectations now. But there is always a connection to time and history, because people today want something memorable: a sense of place, similar to the views of the city life and originality you may find in my office. We aren't just designing spaces, but we are designing experiences. Being grounded in history is important to maintaining that connection to our goals.

A couple of recent trends I've encountered speak directly to the idea of authenticity and settings with which the public can identify. The biggest movement came with the integration of more casual community areas and shared spaces; there is a high demand for flexible, multifunctional layouts geared to prompt social activity.

In a more recent hotel lobby, one might find a group of suited men in morning meetings alongside a woman having her coffee and reading the paper. The reality is that the majority of people want to be around other people and in an atmosphere conducive to memorable, natural experiences and unique opportunities.

On the more aesthetic side of design, interiors are becoming more convincing than ever. Originality and credible prior existence are the new standard-if it's not a venue versed in "grandma's" decor, something from the '70s or it can't pass as a vacant warehouse, it may need rethinking!

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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.