This summer offers unprecedented touristic opportunities for UK hoteliers – even businesses outside of London can profit from London-centric events like the 2012 Olympic Games.
We speak to Graeme Davidson from Epson UK and ask what hoteliers need to do to effectively screen, market and profit from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hotel-industry.co.uk: Why should hoteliers consider broadcasting the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee?
Davidson: This summer’s packed calendar of sports and royal events presents hotels with a huge opportunity. Having the right AV technology in place and creating the ideal atmosphere for guests to enjoy the action can ensure that they receive an experience they wouldn’t get in another hotel. Once you’ve got everything in place for one event, such as the Olympics, it will be even easier to broadcast subsequent events, such as the Queen’s Jubilee, Wimbledon or even the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. Broadcasting these events also means that for guests that want to watch them, they don’t have to look for another venue in which to enjoy the action during their stay.
Hotel-industry.co.uk: What level of revenue and ROI could this generate?
Davidson: Such is the variety of spectator events taking place this year, it’s likely that guests from all walks of life will be interested in following the action. Subsequently, even hotels that wouldn’t normally see a big screen as part of their ambience need to consider catering to their guests by having at least one area where they can watch. Providing guests with the opportunity to view a major event can help a hotel create an additional revenue stream for itself. The level of investment needed to show these events isn’t necessarily high, and if done properly can deliver ROI by attracting additional guests and making your hotel a more attractive choice to stay during the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.
Hotel-industry.co.uk: How would you characterise the quality viewing experience for this event?
Davidson: TV coverage has improved with every major event we have seen over the last few years. During the 2008 European Football Championships we saw a 20% increase in projector sales compared to the same period the year before, and during the 2010 Football World Cup that rose to a 30% increase. This year, the BBC is promising to bring us wall-to-wall coverage of London 2012 and will attempt, for the first time ever, to show every hour of every event via coverage on BBC One and on-demand on 24 live high-definition streams accessed via the red button.
For most guests, a quality viewing experience will be one that beats hands down anything they could get at home. With many people using widescreen HD TVs in their homes, hotels need to look at other technologies to show these events. A guest will be looking for a large, bright, immersive viewing experience with a great atmosphere. Hotels that steal the march on creating this will be the ones to reap the financial rewards.
Hotel-industry.co.uk: What would be the best technical set up for this type of event?
Davidson: Projectors offer enormous images which are ideal when large numbers of people are watching the same event, unlike the fixed sizes you get on flat panel TVs. A key benefit of home cinema style projectors is that they enable you to achieve a much larger screen size at an affordable price, up to 300 inches on many models. The huge screen size brings sports and other events to life, and is the perfect partner for modern high definition content. They are also more easily hidden away when not in use, so provide hotels with a discreet option, especially where the room being used serves multiple functions. It is also important to remember that projectors use two main ways of beaming light: either DLP technology or 3LCD technology. 3LCD, which splits the white light from the lamp into its three primary colours of red, green and blue, offers benefits in terms of colour saturation, smooth video playback and overall brightness
Another advantage of projectors is that they do not necessarily need dedicated screens – most will work fine simply on a plain white wall. You can also get special paints to improve the brightness of the picture, much in the same way that a dedicated projector screen will do. These are widely available, with resellers offering anything from portable tripod screens to installed electric screens controlled automatically by the projector. It all depends on the required usage and budget. Also, don’t forget to check on-going running costs. For example, projector lamps can be expensive to replace.
A projector and screen can create an atmosphere that is so totally immersive for your guests that not only will they want to stay longer (and therefore spend more with you) but the experience will make them want to come back for the next big event. With a little careful consideration, you can build on that effect by offering some supplements to the viewing experience.
Hotel-industry.co.uk: How should hoteliers go about marketing their event?
Davidson: If your hotel offers a public bar, consider using banners and chalkboards outside your venue to let people know what you’re showing. Think particularly about how you can drum up local support – is there an athlete competing in the events who hails from your area? If so, call on customers to come and support their ‘local hero’. In addition, consider creating a calendar of events on your website, detailing what you’re showing. Also, ensure that these details are listed on any third party booking sites that you use. However, a word of warning here about the use of logos: no business, unless it’s an official sponsor, can be seen using an Olympics logo in order to suggest an association between their venue and the games.
It is also worth looking at how you will market the event on the day. Last year’s Royal wedding saw thousands of pubs and hotels throw traditional British street parties, fry-up breakfasts and even afternoon teas to ensure their customers could get fully into the spirit. This year, think about little touches like cucumber sandwiches for the Golden Jubilee, dressing your staff in tennis whites for Wimbledon, or stage your own opening ceremony at the start of the games. Make sure that your guests and potential guests know what you’re doing so that you can capitalise on the investment that you are making.