By Andrew Gould
Consumers are willing to pay for convenience. Ten dollars per month to have unlimited music on my phone? Sure. Twelve dollars per year to increase my iCloud storage capacity? Absolutely.
To consumers, hotels are symbols of convenience. If you travel 500 miles for a sporting event, you pay for a hotel room because it’s convenient. Does your hotel meeting space evoke that same feeling of convenience from business professionals?
The answer most likely depends on the technology in your meeting spaces. Here are five technology-based amenities every hotel meeting space should have.
1: Cloud-based screen sharing
Your hotel conference room must have modern screen-sharing capabilities. Professionals need to share the presentations, campaign proposals and reports on their devices with everyone else in the room.
If your meeting space still requires guests to manually connect their computer to projectors using a series of HDMI (or worse, VGA) adapters and cables, you’re not providing the latest presentation amenities. Cables and adapters are restrictive and often incompatible with guest devices.
There are now affordable, cloud-based screen-mirroring solutions that allow guests to walk into a room and wirelessly connect their laptop screens to the primary display. This ensures your guests don’t need to worry about downloading additional software or figuring out adapters.
2: High-speed internet
If your guests have to wait for a video to buffer, your internet speed is too slow. Nothing derails a meeting and breaks momentum like waiting for a web page to load or troubleshooting the internet connection.
As much as slow internet speeds convince people not to book your meeting space, fast and reliable internet will encourage repeat customers. Many small- to mid-sized local businesses struggle to attain reliable internet. If a professional is trying to win or retain a client, everything needs to go as planned. The strong internet connection in your hotel meeting space will give guests much-needed peace of mind.
3: Access to outlets
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how often I walk into a conference room and find that the only electrical outlets are located on the walls near the floor in the corners of the room.
Electrical outlets should be located where your guests are seated in the room, which is generally at a conference table. Having built-in electrical outlets on your conference tables will keep guest devices fully charged and help prevent people from tripping over wires.
Do you remember the scene in the 2009 movie “I Love You, Man” where Paul Rudd grabs his laptop to play a classic Rush song for his wife? He presses play and the resulting audio from his tiny laptop speakers is… underwhelming. The same thing happens for your guests if your meeting space doesn’t have an external audio source.
Circling back to the screen-sharing point, wireless screen-sharing software generally includes the ability to wirelessly send audio to the speakers that are connected to the primary display.
5: Conference phone
Conference phone speakers are better suited for meetings than cell phone speakers. People do business all over the world, and your conference room needs to give guests a way to easily contact partners.
Local businesses and professionals may not have access to the items listed above in their own workspaces. Incorporating these five technology-based amenities will make your hotel meeting space a more attractive place to do business. ■
Andrew Gould is the co-founder and COO of Squirrels, LLC. His company created the cloud-based Ditto screen-sharing software used in hotel conference rooms and meeting spaces around the world. Ditto allows any guest to walk into a meeting space and immediately mirror their computer screen (and audio) to the primary screen in the room. Learn how to bring Ditto to your hotel at www.goditto.com.