With social TV, hotels are the new community organizers
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Cloud-based smart TVs in hotels source the crowd for reliable real-time information about its local community to create a better experience for the busy business traveler

Business travelers are perhaps the most reliable agents of information, bouncing from one destination to the next, spending at most 48 hours in one location; they are busy, stressed middle-aged men and women who seldom have the time to do much between meetings, hurried meals and quick phone calls home.

However, even the busiest business travelers use their hotel’s services. As guests they order room service, extra towels and of course occasionally indulge in adult entertainment. This, in a nutshell, is the typical business travel experience.

The interaction between the traveler and the hotel is also the one common and unchanged denominator among people who travel for work.

How a hotel’s smart, social TV can help busy business travelers

To investigate hotels’ potential to connect tourists with local communities, I spoke with Shiri Sivan, the VP of marketing for Viggo.tv, a cloud-based smart TV provider for hotels.

“We want to make hotels the drivers of local businesses. Hotels need to have an active, not a passive, role. Hotel owners and managers often wonder: I have all this data and knowledge of our surroundings, but why haven’t I conveyed this effectively to our guests? Hotels should play an active role in building local communities. After all, hotels — by definition — connect the city to visitors.”

According to Sivan, for hotels to become hubs of civic interaction, they must have technology that allows for immediate, real-time service.

“We offer an ability to create a profile. If the guest says he likes Chinese restaurants, we are able to recommend these restaurants in future locations. We want the guest to be able to do absolutely everything possible with the Viggo app, for example to find the best laundromat, breakfast place or massage parlor.”

“We are the microphone of the hotel. We get the message out with our user-friendly technology instead of relying on archaic means used by many hotels,” Sivan said.

Oftentimes the 48 hour visit includes a number of negative experiences: incompetent hotel staff, rude taxi drivers, massive, soul-crushingly awful traffic from and to the airport, etc.  Such experiences are frequently confined into brief exchanges with colleagues and family members.

Using a smart social TV gives the guest a direct, real-time ability to influence his or her immediate surroundings.  The social TV is a necessary vehicle for the guest to communicate with the hotel, whether to check out or to order services.

Business travelers also make for the ideal reviewer: They acquire knowledge from traveling, making them able to compare multiple venues, and they are usually affluent (money isn’t often an issue).

Of course the profile of the business traveler also presents a danger: They don’t have time to peruse the city’s or town’s periphery and often opt for the nearest bar or pub.

This is where smart Social TV proves its value. Guests give their recommendations for nearby restaurants and therefore, trusting the taste of the previous patrons, a new guest can walk the extra mile to get to the restaurant that comes with the promise of the finest steak on this side of the globe.

Still, delicious meals aren’t the main concern of your average business man or woman. Questions regarding the nearest printer service or fax or pre-ordering haircuts or manicures describe services many travelers hope for but often don’t have the time to research before reaching the destination.

A hotel smart TV can give information about such services based on the user’s profile. After a few visits, the hotel TV is already well-acquainted with the guest and therefore is able to provide relevant information.

“When the hotel becomes active, it becomes more attractive in the eyes of the guest and the local business community, we believe,” Sivan concluded.

Photo Credit: Luxury modern room in hotel with facilities / Shutterstock

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