Last month saw Purple and Cisco Meraki welcome guests from the hotel industry to an event at the Lancaster Hotel in London, called “The Future of Hotels”.

Purple partners, hoteliers and journalists attended the event which uncovered the future of the hotel industry and how new technology and means of connectivity can and will create a positive experience for the customer.

Presentations began with Fernando Oliveira from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, providing a platform for customers to voice their opinions. Fernando discussed the current trends in the hotel industry and the challenges hotels are facing.

He was quick to point out how everyone is now connected, able to search and book a hotel at the click of a button. The key things travellers are looking for are WiFi, air conditioning, proximity to local attractions and of course, positive reviews! It is essential that hotel uses reviews to help optimize their service and decrease stress levels for people staying. Fernando pointed out how simple things like supplying phone chargers for people who have forgotten to pack is one way to drive better reviews for your hotel. It’s the simple things that makes trips easier and more pleasant for people that they will remember.

Nick Blofeld from Cisco then discussed the ways in which WiFi is already bridging the gap between IT and hotel infrastructure, including lighting, power management, fire safety, video security, access control and more. Highlighting how a connected building can help hotels cut costs and become much more energy efficient.

James Radcliffe, Purple’s very own hotel sector specialist was up next, talking about personalised experiences for the customer, and how to drive new revenues. “Purple paints a very colourful picture of who is inside your venue”, commented James. He demonstrated an array of Purple tools, which help build a richer experience for the customer, deliver targeted communications and increase brand loyalty.

Last of all was Digital Futurist, Mike Ryan, a thought leader when it comes to digital technology and how human behaviour drives development and change. Mike took the audience on a journey through the hotel experience of 2030, where innovation will take us and how the customer will react to this change.

Mike was quick to point out how important a negative review will become in the future, so it is imperative for hotels to focus their attention on delivering perfect customer service. With the world of online reviews and social media, people are able to publish their opinions freely and negative ones will always gain the spotlight.

Mike also gave an insight into how hotels around the globe are currently using technology to revolutionize their service. He showed us an example in Japan, where one hotel has removed the human receptionist in favour of robots, designed to look and feel welcoming to the visitor.

During the event, Purple ran a Twitter wall for guests to Tweet their thoughts during the presentations, the Tweet of the day, also receiving a prize. So congratulations to Federica Cancarini from The Andaz London for winning!