As part of our hospitality 'online focus' this month, manufacturers and integrators are providing insight on themes within the sector and what goes into a successful project. For this entry, Bryan Edwards, sales manager at Reflex reveals growth technologies in the sector and advice for other integrators.
In which parts of the hospitality industry can well-specified, well-installed AV equipment make the biggest contribution to the success of a venue (hotel, bar, restaurant etc.)?
It has to be within the hotel industry, where we have seen AV equipment making the biggest contribution to the success of a venue, in particular within conference, hired out spaces and remote working and supported business environments.
Whilst the presentation and conferencing equipment for conference areas may not seem that exciting, it contributes enormously in adding flexibility to the space for different audiences, users and functions and so maximises revenue opportunities for the venue. Room booking and control of automated systems reduce the time and cost of resources by making it easier for facilities personnel to manage and control their rooms.
Other areas to highlight would be controllable and flexible audio and acoustic systems that help to create the right ambience and environment within discreet areas and impact on profitability and customer experience.
Which technologies, rather than specific products, are you seeing increased demand for in hospitality venues?
We are working a lot with building managers on BMS (Building Management Systems) and wayfinding. Hotels can manage their costs through BMS eco or BEMS (Building Energy Management Systems) managing energy demand. In particular we are using control systems to manage unoccupied rooms and technology equipped spaces and BMS to manage displays, audio, security and lighting.
Room booking and scheduling are being more integrated with BMS and collaborative and conference/meeting areas are being included. For example, if a room is booked out, an automatic request can be sent for catering and resources. It’s also beneficial from a security point of view, knowing which rooms are occupied at any time and programmed to control the shut down and activation of the buildings electrical and mechanical equipment.
We’ve identified a greater need to offer hosted video and audio conferencing systems and secure and reliable cloud based collaboration services as standard facilities within hotel and conferencing environments.
What advice would you give to an integrator looking to work on hospitality installations?
Hospitality is wide vertical covering very differing environments so look at the individual requirements of each job independently. A hotel will have very different needs to a nightclub.
It’s common for separate areas or zones within hospitality buildings to have differing audio visual needs. Technical knowledge and design, as well as managed support and in most cases strong project management, are all vitally important services offerings.
In hospitality projects, what factors are most commonly overlooked?
It would have to be the audio systems, both zoned and ambient noise. All too often it is an afterthought.
Tell us about a recent installation project that highlights Reflex's expertise in the hospitality sector.
As a new building, the luxury Hotel La Tour had several meeting and executive board rooms with an AV requirement. The solution needed to provide the practical necessity of AV and reflect the hotel’s ambition to be leading edge in its design and technology.
The installation involved fitting out two conference rooms, four meeting rooms, a bespoke video conferencing suite as well as a bar, café and breakout area.
One of the most innovative products installed was the C-Burn music library system with an Ecler audio set up. Designed for the leisure industry it allows the easy management of music within different areas of the hotel.