As the events and hospitality industry prepares to raise the safety curtain when released from lockdown, technology will take centre stage in providing solutions to keep everyone safe and give them confidence.
No longer is its primary purpose to solve the business problems of tomorrow. In the aftermath of this global pandemic, technology can solve the unparalleled challenges of today and create a safe environment for all. So how can technology deliver safer solutions? Here are five areas where technology can transform the guest experience.
Go cashless and contactless
The number one priority for organisers, delegates and venue staff is minimising the risk of transmission with a touch-free experience. Going cashless is an ideal first step for venues and hotels. When we introduced it earlier this year, safety was a factor, as we are all aware of how much bacteria banknotes harbour. What we didn’t know then was quite how imperative this element would become a few months later when coronavirus swept across the globe. At the same time it speeds up the user experience at outlets, increase administration efficiencies and reflects the trend that even before the pandemic 90% of people only use cash in 9% of transactions.
With a touch-free or ‘low contact’ experience more important now, self-check-in technology really comes into its own. This facility also helps hotels to personalise the process and eliminate waiting in long socially distanced queues as well as human-related errors. Guests at Wyboston Lakes Resort can now use our newly installed kiosks for contactless self-check-in which dispenses their room key and enables them to pay for their stay and other services. Mobile check-in is also available to limit human contact further.
A food ordering portal can cut down the human interaction to just the delivery of the meal or drinks. Guests can order and pay for their food from their table or bedroom, via their smartphone or tablet, helping to limit contact during their stay.
Thermal imaging technology can take the heat out of the crisis for hotels and venues, too. The technology can be used to detect elevated body temperatures, which is one of the main symptoms of Covid-19. At Wyboston Lakes Resort, we have introduced a hi-tech thermal imaging system with cameras that discreetly check the temperature of staff and guests at every entrance. Developed by Vodafone, the cameras will detect temperatures of up to eight people simultaneously and 100 people in 60 seconds. This type of tech is important to give guests confidence when booking events and hotel rooms.
In room information
Those bulky information manuals in each room are potentially a trap for germs and virtually impossible to clean thoroughly. This can be solved by removing them entirely and making all the information accessible online by mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Not only is this much more hygienic, it’s more sustainable as it eliminates the use of so much paper.
While many hospitality and events businesses are investing in the wide range tech solutions available on the market, we are among others who have developed customised software in-house for most of the applications.
As an industry, we have always been creative, innovative and tech-forward and, in the face of disruption, we must continue to be these things. Now, more than ever before, is the time to adapt and the time to invest in technologies that can and will relieve the impact of Covid-19. The businesses that do will be among those that flourish into 2021 and beyond.