Mobile technology is rapidly becoming the new norm in the form of venue-specific apps designed for larger meeting sites.
Marriott and Starwood Hotels and Resorts are promoting their free apps in order to create easy engagement with individual hotel guests or meeting attendees. Marriott’s app gives the user information relating to your venue, your meeting and the surrounding areas, while Starwood’s app using RFID technology is presently used as a keyless entry option for guests.
Hilton and Hyatt are offering “online” tools, but no venue-specific apps as of yet. On the other hand, many big name convention centers such as the Pittsburgh Convention Center, Boston Convention Center, and Madison Square Garden are actively engaging their patrons and meeting attendees with venue-specific apps providing real time schedule changes for sports events and conferences.
The emerging venue-specific apps can act as a personal concierge to your guests – directing them to meeting rooms, scheduled speakers, and times for each event on the itinerary. If a meeting attendee wishes to locate a restaurant in or outside the venue, then the app will provide that information, along with directions, reviews, and even the current weather conditions.
Venue-specific apps were first used to direct ticket holders to their seats during sporting events, with the added benefit of showing bathroom locations and the shortest food lines. Utilizing this basic idea from the sporting apps, venue-specific apps can direct your meeting guests around the venue with ease and to their meeting on time.
Marriot was the first hospitality group to offer an app specifically designed for the meeting and conference industry. The Marriot’s “Meeting Services App” is constantly evolving to offer the best technological experience for meeting planners and their attendees. Currently an event planner can order extra chairs, more coffee, change the meeting room temperature, or look at current charges, all within the mobile app. Event patrons are kept up to date with any last minute schedule changes through messaging available on the app.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts provide the spg app, or the “Starwood Preferred Guest” app which enables quests staying within certain hotels keyless entry using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology through the app. While this is not used specifically for meetings, it is a hospitality app which will gain favor over time.
The closest thing to a venue app offered by Hyatt is “Passkey,” an online reservation booking service where meeting planners can manage blocks of rooms for upcoming events. “HiltonLink,” is a custom webpage available to event planners and a booking link to update reservations as needed.
Check the venue of your next meeting for its venue-specific mobile application and publish it in your pre-event materials for your prospective attendees. It may be just what you need to help plan for your next meeting or conference and keep track of all scheduled events.
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