by the NTI AV Team
A significant concern in the hospitality market place is how continually sky-rocketing fuel prices will affect travel and business. The answers to two questions are creating worries of sagging revenues.
Will the cost of fuel reduce the number of business travelers?
How will fuel prices affect vacation plans?
NTI believes there are ways to bring in alternative revenue even as the price of gasoline spirals upward. A state-of-the-art conferencing system on the premises can provide the opportunity.
A Hospitality facility can reach out to local businesses in the area to offer their technology as a resource. Instead of expensive flights for several people to be in one meeting, a Conference Enabled room can save a local company the tremendous travel cost. This can increase room bookings and provide the opportunity to win over local business with additional services that they might not know are right down the street.
In the past, investing in Conferencing equipment was considered a toss-up. Technology advances coupled with the cost of fuel are increasing the business case to invest in this technology. New automation systems and facility controls make it easier than ever to operate, schedule, and can keep a conferencing room booked fully. The business case is strong enough that some facilities are even considering doing more than just the one traditional boardroom.
There are several design factors that need to be considered for conferencing rooms which affect several members of the design team. Creating the optimum end result is dependant on the entire team’s awareness of the issues. Lights need to be located in specific ways, and controlled within the room. Lights along the back wall that have no wall washers may adversely affect the performance of the system. HVAC air handlers can create ambient noise, and air moving across microphones increase noise to the system. Even the way the room is finished with décor and furnishings might affect the room’s performance. It is also critical to work with the IT provider to make certain your bandwidth is appropriate for the type of conferencing you are installing.
HD Conferencing, Standard Video, Audio only, or even Tele-presence all are a real part of today’s conferencing technology. “So how do I choose what is right for my facility?” First in importance is to know your client and have a good plan laid out to reach them with this program. Secondly, decide on what you feel will make the largest impact on your facility (a cost/benefit analysis).
While it is true that HD conferencing is the newest trend because of its powerful visual impact on clients, it is only as good as the image it is receiving. And, HD conferencing is relatively new so it has yet to become established in the market (not many facilities have made the conversion). Tele-presence is a widely used term, but the full benefit to true Tele-presence isn’t felt until you have an identical room on the other end of the call. Without that second room, you get Video Conferencing functionality. That being said, the facility’s locations may make it a good idea for the brand to consider a specific Tele-presence room as part of the hotel standards to encourage business from both ends of the call to visit more of the brand locations more often.
New systems can be easy to use and operate, even for a novice if set up correctly. They require little input from staff for general operation, reducing the operational cost of the systems. Systems can even be preconfigured to place the call and have the system fully operational before the client even enters the room. With a knowledgeable team to assist in selecting, designing and installing the correct conferencing system, the investment will generate additional revenue for the facility. By attracting new business with a conferencing system that will save their company money, room bookings increase, and potentially added revenue for call time, the ROI of a full Conferencing room can be substantial in a short time.