Hotel In-room Compendiums
Most people would think of a compendium as that folder that sits on the coffee table that gets in the way and gets used and abused. That's pretty much what most properties have but not what savy consumers are wanting
I was recently down in Canberra and stayed at a really cool hotel called Hotel Hotel and they actually had their compendium on a tablet in the room. When I worked out the mechanism of their tablet it was actually like a micro website that was part of their website and interacting with their website. I thought that was a really cool way of doing a compendium. Better than the folders that sit on the coffee tables and go out of date quickly.
You could do a compendium on your television but that would require the television software that you're running in your property to facilitate that. You then have to have the ability to update it and change the information. That's ok if you're one of the big multi-chains like the Westin properties. I remember when I was doing work with one of the Westin properties in Melbourne they had just introduced that. The only problem is that it's really difficult trying to navigate a compendium using a TV remote which is what you're basically doing, so I don't think that's a fantastic solution either.
Virgin airlines have stopped making aeroplanes with screens in the back of the seat. The reason being is that every person now literally owns their own screen or device that they can view things on. It's pretty much the same for hotels. Most people staying there would either have a smart phone, a laptop or tablet while they are traveling. A simple and smart way of offering in-room information would be through one of those devices. They already know how to use their device so make it easy by adding to their device..
The fourth screen
A great way to do this is create a microsite, the fourth screen. To create a microsite for people to use while they are in your property. They want to know what they can do, where can they eat, how things work in the room... you can then provide that information right then and there on their device so it makes it really easy for them to use. It's much more easier to navigate on a tablet than using a TV control with buttons in unfamiliar places.
A content management online compendium
You can have a stand alone compendium but it will require its own website hosting in order to provide the functionality because it will need a content management system in the back-end so you can go in and update the content. The content needs to be fresh all the time.
The best and most simplest way we can do that is if we've already built your website, then we can easily just add pages. You don't need more hosting. You don't need an additional content management system. We can build within the same platform as we built your website. We just add additional functionality so you can update your compendium. We can even feed information directly from your website into the compendium. Say for instance you have a local attractions page on your website, we can feed that information directly into your compendium. That's exactly what I saw happening on the Hotel Hotel compendium in the room. It was pulling in a lot of information from the website.
That is a great way of doing an in-room compendium. It's electronic, you're not printing anything out, it's clean, it's user friendly, it's easy for you to update and keep fresh.
It has extra benefits as well. It's adding extra pages to your website. It's adding additional content to your website. All of it's getting additional SEO value. It's one more opportunity to get more leverage from your website by building in your own in-room compendium as part of your website. It is also making your website work harder at minimal extra cost, so more value from your website.
So if you're interested in going down that path as consumers are getting a lot more savvy out there and are expecting these types of things, then please give us a call and we can chat further about it.