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  • Writer's pictureDeniz Tekerek

Our First Smart Hospitality Forum

Yesterday, together with Chinaccelerator and ATIOM, we hosted the very first Smart Hospitality Forum in Hong Kong. Part of the reason as to why we wanted to stage an event that was designed to simply encourage an open conversation among hotel industry leaders, was the necessity of pin-pointing the most beneficial ways of applying technology at hotels.

Keynote speakerm Brett Henry, equipped with almost two decades of hospitality experience across Asia kicked off the gathering with a thought-provoking message:

"Personalization (at scale) is for losers; genuine personalization rocks!"

Brett was keen to point out that buzzwords don't make a difference and that the true value of personalization will always be generated via people. Brett also urged the hospitality-focused audience to not simply tag along with trends, just to be part of something they don't necessarily understand or can utilize. One such example is Big Data, something deemed "not the new oil" by Henry.

Great contributions were also added by Shanna Lee from EAST Hong Kong, as she spoke about her efforts of hand-writing notes to guests who stay at her property and continuing to help travelers navigate Hong Kong, even when they don't stay at EAST - that's genuine care and local pride. Shanna said: "I don't only represent EAST but I also represent Hong Kong, and it makes me happy if and when my recommendations can make a difference to someone's travel experience."

Matt Spriegel of ATIOM talked about a unique guest experience, classing his completely tech-free arrival at a hostel in Dali, China as the most memorable stay anywhere:

"The host didn't even take my credit card details and sat me down and immediately and started feeding me family style. There was no seamless check-in, no face recognition, just simple attention to detail."

The two panels set the scene for any upcoming events, as a critical tone was set regarding the need for hotels to continue differentiating with people, instead of following the crowd. For instance, a point was made that competing with Airbnb is not to follow the same logic but to focus on the one thing that actually is a differentiator - hotel staff.

We concluded an incredibly successful evening and continue to focus on delivering value to the sector that goes beyond selling our product! Keep an eye on the future of the Smart Hospitality Forum, as it makes its way across Asia. Next stop: Bangkok

About Portier Technologies

We have worked with the hotel sector for many years now, and our key mission has been built on the belief that nothing makes a hotel stay more distinguished than well-trained and highly attentive staff. In that respect, our philosophy was to build a platform that would focus on enhancing and empowering staff members, rather than replacing them.

Here are 3 Portier features that were designed in line with this mindset:

1. Concierge Chat

There is certainly a sense of romance about the concierge position at any hotel. When you come across the most capable concierges in the business, you get to discover the city with unparalleled confidence and knowledge that is so varied, any form of artificial intelligence would struggle to capture any useful datasets.

Our Portier Phones embrace this notion and ultimately weaponize the hotel concierge with an uninterrupted connection to guests who typically spend the vast majority of their time away from the hotel. Portier’s Concierge Chat is a pure channel, a communication channel where the hotel does not need to compete for attention, a channel where the hotel does not become one of many conversations, as would be the case with a personal chat app.

Instead, the knowledge of the concierge is always available to guests, even when they’re exploring the wonders of a destination. Equally, the guest’s attention is always available to the concierge or other staff members, as both parties are aware that this is exclusively “their” communication channel.

2. Direct Dials

Portier Phones come with the ability to add direct dials of any person or department to the phones. While we also automate some of the bookings for ancillary services, the hotel can always choose to have a phone conversation, no matter as to where the guest might be at the time. Think about trying to book a spa treatment - the problem is the complexity of personnel shifts, the availability of specific therapists and even a full understanding of the treatments.

In such cases, a quick phone conversation via direct dials empowers knowledgeable spa staff to eliminate any misunderstandings, to explain the treatments in full and to manage the spa calendar with more efficiency. Should a guest prefer a less personal interaction, our staff chat is the logical alternative. In either case, the power is with hotel staff, and the service is always delivered to the highest standard.

3. Promotional Direct Messaging

Portier Phones come with the benefit of unlimited push messaging to individuals, groups or the whole hotel. This feature specifically empowers the hotel’s marketing department to drive more personalized offers to guests, while also being able to go beyond expectations.

When utilized correctly, the hotel can greatly benefit from this, as our partners at Banyan Tree Samui have been able to showcase with great success. In fact, Portier made an impact to the tune of $48,000 (over 12 months) in additional revenues from a single spa promotion alone.

Why did we succeed? Because Banyan Tree staff immediately understood the value of the Portier platform, put together a well-designed campaign and captured the guests at the most opportune moments. What’s more, the hotel didn’t just increase spa revenues, but their guests were happier in the process, benefitting from a level of personalization that they never experienced before.


Portier - The Best Guest Engagement Platform

All 3 features described above are very much in line with Portier’s belief that nothing can ever replace a great hotel team or a well-structured guest experience philosophy. What’s clear is that, with the Portier platform at their disposal, any members of hotel staff can become exponentially valuable, and the time spent at hotel schools and in training will have not been in vain.

Contact our sales team at, should you like to dive deeper and get more information on how we continue to empower staff actions and enhance staff abilities at hotels across the world.



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