Guiding Guests

By Gretchen Spear, Promotions Manager, Hyatt Regency Chicago | June 01, 2007

Hyatt Regency Chicago is the city's largest hotel in terms of number of rooms and square footage and is the largest Hyatt property in the world. Within two towers, we provide 2,019 guest rooms, seven restaurants/lounges and 228,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 70,000 square-foot exhibit hall and four ballrooms. On average, the property hosts 180 large conventions, 430 small conventions/meetings and an additional 1,000 social functions each year.

The hotel's great capacity is both a boon and a challenge, particularly when it comes to guest navigation. Generally, guests are visiting for a conference and are unfamiliar with the hotel layout. In the past, last-minute easels and printed signage were placed throughout the hotel to help guests locate conference sessions and events. Such signs are costly, can clutter traffic paths, and are unable to handle last minute changes. We needed a way to communicate vital information with the flexibility of providing last minute updates.

Hotel management selected AVT CommuniquÃÆ'Æ'Õ©, a division of Hospitality Partners headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, as its audiovisual integrator. AVT undertook a thorough evaluation of the facility and its needs, and recommended the NEC Display Solutions 40" MultiSync LCD4010 and 32" MultiSync LCD3210 large screen LCD displays ( www.necdisplay.com) based on screen brightness, overall performance and the ability to run programs natively through the software and firmware. The final solution included Omnivex ( www.omnivex.com) content software and 55 NEC display screens located throughout the property. The combined system addressed the need to communicate hotel navigation and information, conference readerboard information, and quick display of meeting information, which would be legible to many guests in a large space while complementing the hotel's modern interior design.

One of the most interesting elements of the system is the personalized aspect of content delivery. RFID readers located at the arrays of LCD displays detect a unique RFID tag, which a staff member or guest can carry with them. As the individual nears the RFID reader, the content of the screens will automatically change to display customized information specific to that individual or conference they are attending. This RFID system will be taken to another level in the future, as we plan to offer meeting planners the option to issue RFID badges to their conference guests. This will allow conference attendees to walk up to a display and view customized conference information and agendas pertinent to them.

We have since expanded display content to include weather and flight departure information and advertisements for hotel services and attractions in the city, which also serve as a new revenue generator for the hotel. Guests are now better and more quickly informed about their meetings and even learn more about what our hotel and Chicago has to offer.

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