When our editor, Christina, came into my office to discuss the theme of the HITEC cover story, “Giving the industry a voice,” a sly smile appeared on her face as she added, “I think it’s time we give you a voice as well.” With that, I found myself writing my first column. Those of you in the industry who know me are aware that I play in several bands in my spare time. I can tell you this—writing is far more frightening than performing in front of an audience. For your sake, I hope I’m a better writer than musician.
This will be my 15th year attending HITEC, learning about the latest innovations in hotel technology. It’s always exciting to see how companies—and the lodging industry as a whole—progress year to year. With that in mind, I’d like to use this, my inaugural column (my own personal progress), to share with you how Hotel Business continues to advance in the areas of technology and publishing to better serve you, our readers and marketing partners.
We’ve all read the mind-blowing statistics as everyday people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views—and that’s just on YouTube. So in the beginning of 2017, Hotel Business created an in-house video studio. This has opened the doors to many exciting and useful ways we can serve our community better. The “Hot Off The Press” video series is just one example. Our very charismatic editor provides a “coming attraction” for each issue of Hotel Business we publish, giving our readers a quick video rundown of the exciting content to come. Our investment in video has also enabled us to provide high-quality conference coverage, and our marketing partners have taken advantage of our expertise as well. Many more exciting projects are in the works (you’re going to love “Off The Cuff ”) so keep an eye out as we do our part to help generate those billions of views.
Engaging video is wonderful to have—but it needs a good hub. So this year, we’ll be launching a new website. This sleeker, more user-friendly hotelbusiness.com will continue to provide the industry with the latest news, video coverage and web exclusives from anywhere you are, on any device you choose. In addition to our robust website, our social media presence continues to grow by the day (you may have even seen Facebook Live coverage from HB), reinforcing our mission of delivering to you the content you need to run your business anywhere and everywhere you are.
And that’s not all—digital editions have traditionally been a reproduction of the print experience transformed for digital consumption. We’ve all seen the flipbook model and know it’s not the best user experience. Well, here at Hotel Business, we’ve created a better mousetrap. In the near future, we’ll unveil a new spin on our digital edition. We’re even diving into the world of augmented and virtual reality: In July, we’re launching our first InspireDesign event at the Art Institute of Chicago. Get ready for a truly inspiring demonstration and presentation by Sonny+Ash and The Gettys Group. For more information, check out InspireDesignMag.com.
As my first crack at writing a column draws to an end, I thank you for taking the time to learn about some of our latest innovations. In this issue, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to read about what you and your peers are doing in the world of technology. Be sure to check out the Technology Innovations insert for the latest trends and how they work together to better the guest experience. For a trip down memory lane, this issue also includes the next installment of our special anniversary coverage as we look at 25 Years of Technology Innovation. Trust me, it’s a fun read (fax machines in the guestroom… What’s a fax machine?). I wish you all an exciting and productive HITEC. Now, do I hear any song requests?