Editors Note: Since the publication of this article, movement to regulate e-cigarettes by the FDA has progressed. On the local government level and in other countries e-cigarettes have been banned in public places or banned all together. Recently, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as medical devices.
The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) boasted the largest show floor in its history featuring more than 3,200 exhibitors. It was a sight to see, with a lot of improvements on things we have been hearing about in the industry for quite a while.
One trend that really stood out to me was the proliferation of e-cigarette vendors and users. The growth in sales of the e-cigarette will likely make it a habit that’s here to stay. Many large tobacco companies seem to think so, including R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Altria (think Marlboro).
The recent data breaches at major retail outlets such as Target, Michaels Stores Inc. and Neiman Marcus brought this type of modern crime to the forefront in the minds of the consumer; and for us in the hospitality community, it really hit home when news surfaced of a breach at White Lodging properties throughout the United States. For those who were not able to keep up with the “screaming headlines’ about this incident, one thing that both consumers and credit card retailers were warned about is that there would be more to come … and obviously they have. I am going to also predict that there will be even more of these that we will hear about over the next few months from other types of businesses and organizations. Regardless of the tens of millions of dollars industries spend to protect credit card data, criminals who try to steal this data are constantly attacking our information systems and eventually they get lucky — for a short time. As in these recent cases, they were shut down. Read More »
The faculty experts at the Kendall College School of Hospitality Management recently released its trends outlook for the hospitality industry for 2014. The hospitalitymanagement program is highly regarded in the Chicago for preparing students for careers in the hospitality industry. With the combined collaboration of the entire faculty from the hospitality program, they were able to come with this infographic that provides a lot of insight into the top trends within the hospitality industry for the upcoming year. I’ve highlighted some of the more interesting findings below: Read More »
Ranking highly on TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index, a rating system based on quantity, quality and recency of customer reviews, is the best way to draw new customers to your hotel. Knowing that responding to reviews can entice others to write their own, the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin jumped 26 spots to become the highest rated hotel in the city. But how exactly did it happen? Read More »
I left HITEC sensing mobile and the resulting real-time communication was a dominant theme this year and the future of our business, but barely scratching the surface of overall impact. With the lightening pace of change, the role of the IT manager has never been more difficult; opening the mind to embrace new high-impact technology, while continuing to protect against constantly emerging threats (PCI, malware, phishing, and other malevolent activity). It’s not an easy balance to achieve, but some organizations have been aligning a few technology resources with marketing to ensure new market realities are quickly leveraged by current technologies. Read More »
In two years we will have forgotten that there was actually a “year of the tablet.” As mobile, hand held computing will become so ubiquitous in the operation of our business.
Tablet productivity will come from two sources. The guest and the hotel employee.
The guest becomes another user on your system without the training you would normally give to your staff. They make reservations, will check themselves into your hotel, order room service, request towels, all with no training.
Now just think of the effect tablets in the hands of your employees will have. They will be mobile, but more importantly, training times will be greatly reduced. You will even be able to train a general manager or director of sales to check a guest into the hotel. Read More »
The REALLY Big Show
The “rise” occurred on Tuesday afternoon and It was a REALLY big show starring senior people from Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor and Room 77. The stage was groaning with all these heavyweights in one place. Cindy Estis-Green did a great job in getting each to discuss their strategies of:
She had two pundits that started the Q&A into a frank and lively discussion. Read More »
The exhibit hall opened for business on Tuesday, and there’s a frenzied dynamic on the floor ever since; it reminds me of a busy beehive or ant hill in a sophisticated kind of way. Realizing time is a common enemy for client and vendor alike — with only three days to work with — opportunity must be sized up in the blink of an eye. It’s been a long wait since last year’s spectacle and it’ll be another’s year time before the next gathering.
The psychology of the event is interesting to me to dissect. There are entertainers, free refreshments, stress balls and toys scattered around, looking to catch our primal attention. Many of the key players set up in large aesthetically inviting displays near the main entrance, while smaller entrepreneurial outfits were based further from the beaten path. There is an element of Darwinism to the individual offerings. It will be interesting to see the businesses becoming more prominent next year and others replaced by more marketable ideas. Read More »
Every year the first thing I do at HITEC, pretty much to the exclusion of all else, is wander each and every aisle. I’m in that zone between focus and apathy, just cruising for new vendors, products, marketing … things … that catch my eye.
In no particular order, here are a few of the people and companies that, primarily because of product and in some cases product category, caught my eye this year.
A brief caveat, I have no relationship with any vendor mentioned, and in no way should mention here be construed as endorsement or recommendation. In most cases my opinions and thoughts were shaped by a brief, but universally smart and engaging conversation. Read More »
Hundreds of vendors are about to spend three days hawking their wares to thousands of attendees at HITEC. It’s a thrilling time for all the techies who attend. It’s like a toy show. All new bright shiny stuff to look at. This year, Tablets and clouds…… sounds like what doctors and weatherman talk about.
On the exhibit floor, there will be magnificent castles with princesses spinning stories of the “magic wand” that will solve all technology problems. A three ring circus with all sorts of software performing a cunning array of stunts. Travelling medicine wagons with tonics to cure all that ails you. Read More »