HOSPITALITY AV: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT SYSTEM FOR YOUR PROPERTY
Your AV system probably isn’t the first thing you think of when it comes to elevating your guest experience – and understandably. However, the truth is that audiovisual systems play a pivotal role in helping guests develop a stronger affinity for your brand.
Critical media elements that foster this type of loyalty, such as branded music, digital signage and touchscreens, depend on reliable commercial-grade audiovisual systems.
Generally speaking, your systems need to be professionally designed, properly installed and backed by responsive support. Additionally, there are many other important factors to weigh so that you can find the right system for your unique property and budget. Even if you’re part of a major hospitality brand, the design and function of your AV system will be unique. In this article we’ll explain those factors and provide some expert insights from our hospitality AV specialists.
#1: Define What Your Peak Experience Looks And Sounds Like.
The experience throughout a majority of your operating hours will serve to enhance the feel of your brand and complement the energy of the day. However, every property has a special time of day and week when the experience reaches a peak. For example, happy hour is an important time for many of our clients, especially those that primarily serve business travelers. If they have restaurants or bars on their properties, then that peak experience may last until 10PM and flow into the weekend. On the other hand, our motel clients in rural areas will tell you that 7AM-10AM is when their properties feel the busiest, when guests are bustling around the continental breakfast.
No matter what your peak experience may be, you need to know exactly what it looks and sounds like. Gib Harris, Director of Systems Sales for Mood Media, emphasizes the importance of understanding the experience you’re trying to create during your busiest times.
“I’ll always ask my clients, ‘What does the experience look and sound like during your peak times?’ Is music front and center, or is it in the background to create a specific ambiance? Are you trying to create a night club feel, a luxury lounge atmosphere, or something more homey and familiar, for example?’ At a minimum, your audiovisual system needs to provide adequate performance to support that peak experience.”
#2: Define Your Clientele.
Before you invest in your AV system, you should consider your clientele and what type of experience they expect at your property. Affluent tourists in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s may appreciate high energy in your lounge, ambient visuals and music in the forefront, boosted by subwoofers. However, Gen X business travelers may want more of a relaxing experience, and a standard commercial-grade sound system will be sufficient for playing your branded music program.
Remember – your clientele is just as unique as your brand, and the experience you create is all about catering to their preferences so that they’re more likely to return. Your AV systems need to support that goal.
#3: Know Your Coverage.
When we talk about coverage, we’re referencing how much space and what areas are being covered by audiovisual. You may not need speakers in every area of your property, and you may only want screens in the lobby and by the bar. Go through your building and make a list of the rooms and areas of each room where audiovisual will have a presence. Factor in conference rooms and outdoor areas as well, and be sure to consider different variations for speaker and screen placement. Coverage determines design, placement and the specific hardware required to meet your needs.
#4: Know Your Function.
Simply put, function refers to what your solutions will do. For example, do you want your screens to play TV or display digital signage? Do you want them to do both? Are you looking to create a theater-like experience at your bar for game days? Or maybe you have conference rooms that require special AV components? As mentioned by Greg Gershon, VP of System Sales at Mood Media, understanding the functionality you need will help you get the best value.
“The importance of knowing how you want your AV system to function can’t be understated,” says Gershon. “If you have a vision of the functionality you need, your AV provider will be better equipped to guide you towards the right components and quality for your needs and your budget.
#5: Demand Commercial-Grade.
There’s an important difference between commercial-grade equipment and home AV, and you’ll want to go with the former if you really want to get the most bang for your buck.
Commercial-grade screens, speakers and amps are designed to run reliably for several hours a day, 365 days a year. Additionally, commercial-grade screens have protective casing that ensure high performance even in a business environment.
A crackling speaker or a fuzzy display on your flat screens isn’t going to make guests storm out of your property. However, this type of quality will contribute to a poor impression of your hotel and your brand.
Make sure you invest in high-quality, commercial-grade equipment from brands such as Bose, Klipsch, LG, Samsung and others who focus on commercial applications. These manufacturers understand how to design their professional lines of products for maximum performance and reliability in a hospitality environment.
Additionally, choosing products from a commercial-grade manufacturer may provide you with an opportunity to receive discounts by purchasing or leasing equipment in bulk. Discounted rates can go a long way when you’re purchasing for multiple locations.
#6: Bring In A Qualified Hotel AV Expert.
This point probably goes without saying, but it’s still important to mention. The AV industry is filled with great designers and installers, but it’s in your best interest to find a company that’s specifically experienced in providing Audiovisual Solutions for hotels because they understand how to properly design a system with respect to the many unique facets of a hotel property. They’ll ask you the right questions, and consequently, they’ll recommend the right equipment for your needs, space and budget.
Remember – your AV provider should also act as a consultant. If you’ve taken the time to work through the previous five steps before your consultation, then you’ll further empower the AV expert to design and install a system that brings your vision to life.
#7: Have An Open Mind.
No matter how specific your vision may be, it’s important to keep an open mind during the consultation. Propose your vision, and let the AV professional share their expertise and ask additional questions. These professionals live and breathe audiovisual, and they understand exactly how to help you create an experience that your guests will want to repeat again and again.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our hospitality AV pros. We’ve installed more audiovisual systems for hotels than any other provider in the world, and we’ll help you find the right components for your needs and budget.
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