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Smart working spaces: the missed opportunity for hoteliers

Helen Attia, VP Worldwide Sales, Chargifi

The hospitality industry is on the precipice of a monumental change. Like most sectors, hoteliers are continuously looking for new ways to diversify and attract new customers. Hotels by their very nature sell space and many have already begun to explore how they use their various kinds of real estate – from rooms to restaurants – to better serve customers, ultimately increasing sales and profits.

While filling rooms overnight may seem like the obvious business objective for hotels, the industry is starting to wake up to the reality of needing to fulfil a new-found customer expectation – one that delivers a fully integrated and exceptional experience which will enable guests to work and play seamlessly.

More and more people are freelancing and working remotely than ever before. Now is the time for hoteliers to not only capitalise on this growing trend, but to set themselves apart from the competition by transforming often unused spaces, like bars, lobbies and function rooms, into thoughtfully designed and highly desirable co-working spaces.

Wireless charging will be the norm

Over the last decade, our lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services. Our relationship with phones has completely transformed the way we live; we check our phones on average every 12-minutes during waking hours. Over three-quarters of us say that we could not live without our phones and many have grown to appreciate a smartphone as their constant companion.

This Autumn, the world’s mobile giants have launched products that will enable consumer experiences like never before and each OEM has come forth to put its wireless charging stake in the ground. Google brought back Qi wireless charging capability to its latest product range and launched the first commercial smart charging stand. Despite Apple choosing not to release its much anticipated AirPower charging mat, it signified its move to all things wireless by introducing the tech to all three of its new iPhones. Whilst Samsung integrated the capability into its mid-range phones making the feature more accessible to those who felt priced-out of Google’s offering... and Huawei, well, Huawei brought us an innovation like no other, a Qi reverse charging capability.  

These brand commitments signify the move to wireless charging as a normality, offering an essential method to power-up, enabling the day-to-day experience we have become so accustomed to.

The connected hotel and hospitality industry

We’re on the edge of becoming a fully wireless world and by transforming real estate into fully connected and co-working spaces by equipping customers with a smart charging service, hoteliers have a very real opportunity to monetise power.

In our most recent deployment of smart wireless power within a global hotel brand’s bar area we saw an increase in revenue representing a projected 64% return on investment – with the average charging session lasting 37 minutes, giving hoteliers the additional opportunity to increase revenue by other means.

Hotels integrating wireless power into their venues will also have access to hyper-local location data based on where and when the user is charging. This is the key to understanding a customer’s real-life behaviours and movements. Data provided via wireless charging is able to pinpoint the exact seating or standing location of any user in relation to a café or restaurant’s layout, in a way that Wi-Fi and beacons cannot due to accuracy limitations. An intrinsic component to the customer experience, this evolution will ensure smart hotels are truly personalised.

Management and monitoring taken care of

The advantages for hotels are genuine. As a platform, Chargifi allows for the management and monitoring of charging hotspots in real-time. The platform can manage large scale deployment and drives down maintenance costs.

Knowledge is power, and smart establishments have opened the door to a whole host of customer data and insights. The escalating use of mobile devices will become a convergence point for this smart functionality - like cloud-based data – and if this year’s OEM announcements have anything to tell us, it’s that a wireless world is inevitably coming.

Technology has a significant role to play in building the workplace of the future to bring us closer together. Workplaces can become places of creativity and well-being, with technology enabling this connection and creativity in new and dynamic ways. We believe that if you can influence how and when somebody gets access to power, you’ve then got the chance to enhance the rest of their journey.


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