Applicable industry insights from Revinate’s annual hospitality conference
Since 2007, NAVIGATE has been one of the leading annual hospitality events in the U.S. This month, Revinate wrapped up NAVIGATE 2023 with over 250 Revinate customers and nearly 350 attendees to share perspectives from guest data to the industry’s digital transformation.
We had the honor of listening to some amazing speakers, including our keynote speaker, Debra Searle. Searle rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean and used her experience to deliver a powerful message about resilience and choosing our attitude every day. It’s an idea that truly translates to hoteliers today amidst challenges and shifts within the industry.
While many ideas emerged from this year’s event, 3 stood out as incredibly impactful for driving direct bookings and improving hotel business.
What you will see here
A Customer Data Platform is critical for understanding guest data
It’s no secret that the use of the Customer Data Platform (CDP) is growing in popularity. In fact, the market for CDPs is projected to increase by $19.7 billion by the end of 2027.
A CDP combines and centralizes data from various sources to provide an accurate and in-depth view of the customer. It’s the one tool that focuses solely on the customer experience to identify touch-points like preferences and intent, while also sharpening messaging, supporting marketing functions, and strengthening connections with guests.
Many speakers at NAVIGATE 2023 highlighted the importance of collecting and organizing guest data by using a solution like a CDP.
With this technology, hoteliers can enrich guest profiles from the data they have collected. Then, they can construct hyper-segmented audiences to target with increased precision. And this data becomes actionable as hoteliers activate data-driven campaigns in various communication channels such as email, voice, web, message, and even 3rd-party apps. A CDP truly supports an omnichannel customer experience so that hoteliers can increase their revenue.
And because a CDP only gathers first-party data, the privacy of guests is preserved as hoteliers continue to develop their unique profiles.
With ever-evolving guest preferences and the need for strategic communication, a CDP is becoming a superior solution to achieve these goals and deepen hoteliers’ understanding of their guests.
Omnichannel communication is vital for every hotel department
Collecting clean, robust guest data is only part of a hotel’s overall business strategy. How we communicate that data becomes transformational.
Not only should guest messaging be personalized, it should be delivered on multiple channels. Andrew Ladd, Corporate Director of Marketing and Ecommerce at Noble House Hotels & Resorts (NHHR), echoed this idea on the NAVIGATE main stage. Ladd described how the NHHR portfolio segmented by booking and stay-based data to craft personalized promotions. They then strategically deployed these promotions on their social media platforms, in automated emails, and even on their website.
Brenda Barré, Director of Mobile and Digital Innovation at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, provides a number of examples of the success of omnichannel communication in hotel operations. Barré took to the stage to explain how her team leveraged Revinate Ivy, a text messaging solution, across their portfolio to promote property amenities, suggest room upgrades, boost online review scores, and increase operational efficiencies. Caesars Entertainment was not only able to drive revenue with Ivy, but they were also able to communicate with guests on the channel that 68% of consumers prefer.
And that’s the objective with omnichannel communication — establishing deeper connections with guests. The guest journey is a dynamic experience, so communicating at the right time, on the preferred channel, makes all the difference for guests. It’s about relevance.
The industry’s transformation and recovery is underway
Throughout the conference, each session reflected the changes hospitality is experiencing from innovations in hotel technology. The industry is continuing to recover post pandemic and technology has only enabled that progress.
Speaker, Farhan Mohammad from Amazon Web Services (AWS), a Platinum sponsor of NAVIGATE 2023, delivered a mainstage session titled, “Accelerating Innovation in Travel & Hospitality.” Mohammad explained that the hospitality industry is ripe for technological disruption as 72% of travel and hospitality executives said that a digital transformation was highly important for their overall strategy and success.
We learned there is a major opportunity to enhance and automate customer experiences while increasing operational efficiency. Travelers expect superior service and embracing advancements in technology will only exceed these expectations.
And as hoteliers continue to adopt new technologies, this will help support changes in demand and occupancy.
We learned from Emmy Hise, Senior Director of Hospitality Analytics at Costar, that this year, occupancy rates are projected to reach 63.3% and RevPAR is expected to grow 3.7%. While there is still room for growth, there is also an overwhelming presence of pent-up demand as increased international travel is expected over the next year. Now is the time for hoteliers to take full advantage of travel recovery and utilize their hotel technology to strategically target these guests.
A look to the future
NAVIGATE 2023 brought a magnitude of thoughtful discussions and unique perspectives that attendees can leverage for growth. With over 15 speaking sessions, more than 25 panelists, and a diverse group of Revinate sponsors and customers, this year’s event was truly packed with industry insights.
Hoteliers walked away with tools to drive direct bookings and develop their businesses after reconnecting with industry professionals. The networking that took place and the connections made in the 2.5 days of NAVIGATE are invaluable.
We can’t wait to see what happens at NAVIGATE 2024.