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Digital Signage Connects Guests Across 28 Acres
By Gina Petrone, marketing communications coordinator, Hotel del Coronado
Built in 1888 and about to celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Hotel del Coronado (www.hoteldelcoronado.com) near San Diego has long been considered one of America’s most beautiful beach resorts. In 2012, the hotel invested in new technology to bring enhanced communication to the property, without compromising its historic, luxurious atmosphere.
A digital signage network was designed to provide guests with wayfinding and information on the property, hotel amenities, local attractions, and real-time promotions. To create the network, hotel management turned to Arizona-based Audio Visual Source (AVS) (www.audiovisualsource.com) and X2O Media’s (www.x2omedia.com) Xpresenter platform.
Challenges in size and scope
There were numerous challenges in this installation, the greatest of which was the sheer size of the hotel. The property covers 28 oceanfront acres and in order to provide visitors with a complete view of the resort for wayfinding, each display needed to show a large, detailed map at all times, while still maintaining interactivity and space for other content. Furthermore, management needed to be able to quickly update content on the screens in the event of a change to a group meeting. This ability to provide real-time information not only eliminates the time-consuming process of staff reprinting and distributing paper signs, but it increases visitor satisfaction by ensuring they always have the most current information. The final component of the project was to integrate certain information on hotel amenities into guests’ smartphones, such as spa treatments and dining menus.
To address the issue of the resort’s size on wayfinding displays, AVS and X2O Media created dual-screen wayfinders. Each wayfinder consists of two displays side by side that are driven by one Dell PC: one touchscreen for interactivity, and one non-touch that constantly shows a detailed map. The content on the two screens is synchronized to display the information requested on the touchscreen. AVS installed six dual-screen wayfinders across the property. An additional 38 signs were installed outside the entrances to all conference spaces and one of the guestroom television channels is dedicated to digital signage content.
Efficient and interactive
Each wayfinder display provides information on current conferences and meeting spaces, in addition to video on dining, recreation, shopping, the spa and salon, and guestrooms. Three-dimensional wayfinding directional maps guide visitors to their destinations and can be emailed to smartphones for convenience. Live data feeds provide access to real-time weather and flight information, while PowerPoint slides keep guests informed of daily resort events. Each screen also includes a customizable ticker featuring promotions, resort highlights, and announcements. In addition, meeting room signs provide a listing of current hotel groups/conferences, meeting times and locations, and “now and next” information for each room.
The interactive wayfinders, meeting room displays, and in-room TV channel are all driven by X2O Media’s Xpresenter digital signage platform. Having only one platform to manage all these different types of displays saves staff time and effort. Xpresenter integrates seamlessly with the Delphi (www.newmarketinc.com) hospitality software, ensuring that displays are always up-to-date with the latest meeting information. It also allows guests to access more information on hotel services by dynamically displaying QR codes. Guests scan the QR codes on the displays with their smartphones to access digital content, which they can take with them.
Since its rollout in April 2012, the digital signage network has proven to be an efficient tool in relaying meeting, property, and amenities information in a dynamic visual format. The hotel is able to track the use of specific QR codes, the results of special offers placed in the customizable ticker and other regions of the screen, and the number of maps emailed to users’ smartphones. The data shows that a large percent of guests are not only using the wayfinding screens, but are emailing maps to their phones.
Next, the Hotel del Coronado is planning to incorporate near field communication capabilities, which will allow hotel management to communicate and receive consumer information for marketing and promotional purposes. The hotel also plans to display real-time social media content on signage as another method of driving guest engagement.
Gina Petrone is the marketing communications coordinator for the legendary Hotel del Coronado. She oversees production of hotel-wide collateral, promotional materials, and internal marketing campaigns for the 757-room resort. Most recently, Petrone supervised the installation of digital signage throughout the resort and manages its content and development.
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