Today, the exhibit hall opened for attendees to explore the many products and services being offered to hotels for their technology savvy guests. It seems you can book a room using your smart phone. There are programs that can find hotel rooms for using your personal preferences, current G.P.S. location and even get a fair price, which you may pay using yet another useful app. You can check in before you arrive and even have a key code downloaded to the phone and wave it in front of the door and it will electronically unlock and let you in. You can do all of this without ever having to actually talk to another human. In the lobby or privacy of your room you can access a digital concierge and it will let you know whatever you want to know about local weather, restaurants, parks and rental cars and well, anything…
Meanwhile, there is another program that knows your favorite beverage and it is letting the program that keeps track of the guest rooms know when you will arrive and sends a message to the hotel staff so they can make sure it is in the room, along with your favorite macadamia nuts and cherimoya fruit before you get there. That’s fun.
Just make sure you have plenty of clams, semolians, bucks, dollars or credits on a card of some kind or linked to an app on your smart phone. I would say keep some money in the bank, but that is not necessarily so true anymore.
Tuesday’s Keynote speaker, David Wolman, author of the “End of Money” talked today about, well, the end of money. Fascinating concept and I kinda wondered where all of this world currency competition was heading, but as it turns out there is no need to worry. It is just as I thought; money gets its power from people. We keep it around because we like it. And it is a little more predictable than say, the broccoli standard or the time standard. I am sure we could not agree on the real value of someone else’s time as much as I notice some people like to waste so much, when every second is precious. We could not be nourished by a meal of dollars as much as the broccoli. If you had a million dollars and I had the only stalk of broccoli on the planet, what has more value?
By and by, what it all boils down to is relationship and what means the most to you in any given moment. How do you relate to the world you live in? How do hotels provide their guests with the best service possible? Certainly we like to keep current of the latest technology, but we still need people to run our programs and fix them when they break. You can even find them at the conference. Imagine that.
Patty O’Brien is Central Reservations Manager for one of Minnesota’s favorite gaming destinations Manager Grand Casinos. She is always on the lookout for technology and programs that will increase effectiveness and efficiency.
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