Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 09 2013

Major Hotel Leads the Way Forward

By David McMillin

Talking to a hotel front desk employee? That’s so 2012.

As more hotel guests stare at the screens of their smartphones, Marriott is now offering mobile check-in at more than 300 properties in the U.S. and Canada. Guests can check-in as early as 4 pm the day before their arrival. They’ll no longer arrive hoping that they can access their temporary homes, either. Guests will receive notifications when their rooms are actually ready. Once they arrive, there shouldn’t be much of a wait. Guests simply go to a designated mobile check-in desk to pick up room keys.

The hotelier is also working to make the check-out process smoother with plans to add that feature to its app by November. Expect even more ways to put mobile power in motion during the stay soon, too. Marriott is using four of its properties to test other ideas such as housekeeping service requests via the app.

SEE ALSO: Prediction - What Hotels Will Look Like in 2015

Real Revenue Opportunity 

While questions may have surrounded mobile monetization for some members of the hotel industry, it’s clear that Marriott has found a promising answer. The app has been downloaded by more than 2 million guests. Last year alone, the hotelier earned over $700 million via smartphones and tablets, which accounts for an increase of more than 80 percent in mobile revenue. In fact, Internet Retailer ranked Marriott Mobile as the third largest mobile commerce site on the Internet behind two names you just might know: Amazon and Apple.

SEE ALSO: How to Take Your Meeting Mobile

Why Meeting Planners Should Pay Attention

Marriott may stand at the front of the pack in mobile innovation, but the hotelier certainly isn’t alone. More big-name brands are investing in new mobile tools to accommodate an evolving set of guest preferences, and that should serve as a clear wake-up call to organizations that are still lagging behind in embracing mobile possibilities. If attendees are getting a top-notch mobile experience in their room, they’re certainly going to expect that experience to continue in meeting rooms and on trade show floors.

WATCH: Free Webinar on Building An Event App Your Attendees Will Love

Chances are that some of your competitors are already capitalizing on the ability to connect with always-on attendees. Data from Vancouver-based Quick Mobile shows that 80 percent of attendees have a smartphone, and they’re putting them to use on-site. At large events with more than 1,000 attendees, 77 percent of them download and use the app.

Still concerned that developing a mobile app will be too expensive for your meeting? Click here for a full picture of why that investment is essential to deliver the new attendee experience.

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