Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Future of Hotel Keys

You have a long day of travel, you get the hotel and check in. You throw your key in your pocket, lug your bags up to the 38th floor. You walk a half mile down the hall to your room all the while dreaming of kicking off your shoes and having a cup of tea... and your key doesn't work. Gah! It has happened to everyone. Sometimes the clerk didn't assign the key properly. Sometimes it's your fault. (I took me years before I found out that putting your key next to your cellphone will cause it to lose magnetism. Yes, years. How pathetic!) Now you have to lug all of your stuff back down to the lobby to get a new key. All you wanted was that tea.*

Finally a solution! Starwood is rolling out a new program where you can dispense with the key all together and USE your phone instead. Now that's what I am talking about! It's great for the smartphone traveler because it's one less thing to carry and worry about. I'm sure it saves the hotels time and money, much like electronic boarding passes did for Delta and other airlines. It's a brilliant idea and I'm sure other hotels will be taking up this idea soon too. I, for one, can't wait! Oh, and did I mention that you can use the app to check in and out? That's right, you don't even have to interact with anyone if you don't want to. I like to chat with the desk folks because I am personable like that. But I know others who would want to skip that step all together and head right for their room.

Now where's that tea?

- Anjee

* By "tea" I mean "wine".  Obviously.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Recognition Trends for 2014

Roy Saunderson at Incentive Magazine has posted an great blog about the Top 10 Recognition Trends for 2014 That You Can't Ignore. He points out the use of mobile devices, video and social media as continuing trends in the engagement sphere. Overall though, I think number 9 is the most important- Company culture is the key to engagement and recognition. People need to feel like a part of something greater, to really care about what they do. That is the greatest motivator of all!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Recession Recovery for Travel Industry

According to Successful Meetings, the travel industry is just 5,000 jobs shy of a complete post-recession recovery. That is excellent news!  Incentive travel took such a huge blow around 2009. In addition to the overall downturn due to the economy, the incentive industry was hit hard by the press surrounding AIG, Wells Fargo, et al who were publicly lambasted (justly or not) for sending their people on "boondoggles". These two things combined for a significant industry impact that saw massive layoffs, closures and struggles for many companies. I know we felt it as did many in our business circles. There were several very lean years and many incentive companies couldn't weather the storm. In the last year or so we have felt it getting better.  It's wonderful to confirm it in hard numbers and to know people are able to go back to work in this great industry. Hooray!

- Anjee