Summary of the panel discussion at the 2017 Stay Boutique Leadership Conference with
Cameron Urban, Founder & CEO, Roxy
Oleg Kaganovich, CEO, Wyndow
Carrie Ell, Advisor, Voyat
Tech representatives Cameron Urban (CEO, Roxy), Oleg Kaganovich (CEO, Wyndow), and Carrie Ell (Advisor, Voyat) sat down for an enlightening panel discussion on the future of technology in the boutique industry. They shared insights into what their companies are seeing as new trends for hospitality and how hotels seem to be slow to respond to what the consumer wants when they are staying away from home.
Cameron shared that Roxy is creating a voice-activated in-room concierge service to offer to hotels. This technology means getting rid of the phone, alarm clock, etc. and putting them all into one device. “Our goals are increasing communication, guest experience, and making staff service successful.”
All three panelists agreed that using technology to guide the consumer to book after visiting a hotel’s website is key to competing in the industry. “What more can we be doing once we get the guest on the website? That’s the missing link.” Carrie remarked. “It’s a journey you want to take them on. You’re curating an experience.” She also believes that start-up companies are where the boutique industry should be looking for innovative ideas in new booking technology. “Decide what your business needs and find the vendors that are offering that, and do it every year,” she suggests.
Olag advises that businesses use technology to learn more about their customers and what they want to experience when they stay at your hotel. “Artificial Intelligence and voice technology are going to become a big thing.” he believes. “But, don’t accept a technology just to say ‘we’re high-tech’.” It has to be in alignment with your target customer’s needs. The speed at which technology is adapted is faster than what hotels are doing to adapt, therefore, Cameron suggests pushing GM's and decision makers to take those bets on new technology to stay ahead of the consumer's desires and to compete with the big hotels for their business.