Hotels are mainly focusing on catering sales and room rentals. They see audiovisual as just an additional revenue stream they can add to their mix to increase profits. Why, then, do companies in the hospitality industry plan to spend almost 6% of their capital improvement budgets on AV? Only in the US, hotels spend $3.1 billion on AV projects every year.
Yes, it can help them establish an audiovisual revenue stream. But it can also help them differentiate their offer, stay ahead of the competition, and attract more guests. So, how do you increase audiovisual revenue at a hotel?
One of the best tactics is to take a look at what the competition is doing. Let’s see the most successful strategies for increasing audiovisual revenue at your hotel.
Offer theatrical lighting and additional locations for next-gen events
If you look at the modern events held at hotels, you can notice a couple of things. First of all, the ground floor is completely clear. There is more room for seats, and the visual experience is better. Some events require additional locations for presentation screens too.
The lighting is cutting-edge. It can move in all directions, change colors, and even pulse in the rhythm of the music played. And finally, there is surround sound to complement the immersive experience. This is what the management at The Garland in North Hollywood, California, had in mind for their hotel.
The Ballroom at the Garland was due for renovation, which was great given the scope of work required for these AV installations. After the renovation, the hotel ended up with a ballroom with theatrical lighting, a clean design, and five different locations for presentation screens. It enabled The Garland to increase audiovisual revenue and be more competitive in the niche.
Completely outsource audiovisual equipment!
There are two prerequisites when creating an audiovisual revenue stream. First, you need to have the proper infrastructure. Then you need to have access to AV equipment. The infrastructure is not a problem for many hotels. But what they tend to struggle with is assessing the ROI of AV equipment.
AV equipment is not cheap, let alone the expenses of installing, managing, using, and maintaining it. Also, there is no reliable way to forecast the ROI of investments made into AV equipment.
There is a solution to this problem. A solution even the most prominent players in the game such as Hilton, Marriott International, and Sheraton reach out to in time of need. We are talking about outsourcing AV equipment.
This one is pretty easy to execute. The hardest part would be identifying a reliable AV outsourcing partner.
Professional AV companies have all the resources you need for your hotel to make it more attractive to corporate clients and local businesses. When you partner up with an AV company, you can list all the perks they offer to make it easier for your potential guests to see what is available and understand your pricing policy.
The benefits are many, and they range from having access to readily available AV equipment and staff to lower labor and operational costs.
Deliver actual value to guests
Another way to increase AV revenue at a hotel is to leverage AV technologies to improve guest experience, exceed guests’ expectations, and enhance your brand image. It implies the use of AV equipment outside of conference rooms. Some hotels have already put this plan in motion. One of the best examples is Marriott’s Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel.
The hotel had a four-story LED clock installed at the top of the building. It shows over 80,000 images every day, setting the guest experience tone even before a guest walks through the front door. Inside the hotel, guests can interact with digital artwork. The hotel uses reflective wallpapers, motion detectors, and 3D cameras to create an interactive experience and mesmerize the guests.
Yes, a project of this magnitude would require a considerable budget. But you can execute it as well, without spending this big. Visual appeal can add value to guests, and you can achieve it with the smart placement of wall projectors, tablets, and smart TVs.
Enhance the in-room experience
We live in a world of the internet of things (IoT). Hotels can now use countless sensors to control devices, read data, and schedule turn on/off times. Why not give some of the control to guests too? Why not enhance their in-room experience when the tech is readily available?
Your guests want more from a room than just a place to spend the night. Modern guests are tech-savvy, and most of them have at least one smart home solution installed at their homes. One of the first hotels to pick up on this trend was Hilton.
A few years ago, Hilton released the Hilton Honors App for its guests to download, install, and use for free. The initiative was backed up with a great “The first mobile-centric hotel room” marketing campaign. Siding with a tech company, you can do it too and make the stay for your guests convenient and memorable.
Offer relevant AV upgrades to the right people at the right time
Group business will often require some upgrades from a hotel they choose to stay in. During the research phase, event group organizers will most likely research their own. Instead of hard-selling AV upgrades to group organizers or event planners, you need a more subtle way to upsell and cross-sell them.
Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could sell AV upgrades through the channels managers and booking engines are already using? Over 1,200 hotels, including Apollo Hotels, Herods, NYX Hotels, and Orchid Hotels, are already doing it. They decided to implement UpStay to automatically convert up to 20% of their guests to buy additional ancillaries.
This is by far the most straightforward strategy to execute. All you need to do is implement UpStay. It does everything else automatically.
There are many different ways to increase audiovisual revenue at your hotel. The strategies differ both in terms of scope and budget required. Since every hotel is unique, we will leave it to you to choose the most relevant strategy for your business model.
Graduated from Standford University, Arielle has over 5 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. She holds an MBA in business administration from the IDC Herzliya, Israel. She currently works as Account Manager at UpStay, building and maintaining strong, long-lasting customer relationships. She is deeply passionate about helping hoteliers unlock significant new revenue streams from unsold premium inventory.