Senior European Hotel Business Development Manager at Samsung, Discusses AV in Hospitality
We catch up with Piotr Lipiec, Senior European Hotel Business Development Manager at Samsung to discuss the current UK hospitality sector and the role AV products play
Q. What excites you most about the UK hospitality sector right now?
A. With lockdown restrictions lifted, the hospitality sector is back open, with occupancy rates rising significantly. This is a result of people starting to travel again, whether for business or leisure resulting in a return to near pre-pandemic levels of business. This is a much needed improvement following a tough couple of years for the sector.
Q. How can AV products be used most effectively in a hospitality space?
A. There are certainly still some ‘blind’ spots in how AV equipment can be used in both promoting and better controlling guest management within hospitality and entertainment. For example, our Samsung Kiosk is used widely in fast-food restaurants for self-ordering but can also be used efficiently to speed up the check in process at hotels, as an example. Large Format Signage displays (LFD), both outdoor and semi-outdoor, can promote offers like food and drink deals in hospitality, and help gain the attention of potential customers to step into the hotel or bar to find out more, resulting in increased footfall and ultimately more revenue.
Q. As hospitality venues welcome customers new and old alike back, do you have any tips for businesses, who may be struggling, on how to return to pre-pandemic levels and re-capture customer interest with AV technology?
A. The new reality is that today we have inherited some post-pandemic habits and new ways of working. One of them being, the decline of direct contact or automation when it comes to customer service. For instance, LFD signage displays present a new way of delivering targeted and specific messages created by the venue’s management.
To engage with guests and to ultimately increase sales of the local facilities and services provided, digitalisation of promotional or facility materials and sharing them on TV displays, is a way to save costs on promotional materials and is flexible making it simple to update and change promotions.
Q. How important is it for pubs and other hospitality venues to be looking at AV products ahead of key sporting events this year?
A. Since the pandemic, social gatherings and connecting with people in real life is important and pubs, bars and other venues are a key place for these interactions to take place, especially when it comes to sport.
For those unable to attend the big matches and events themselves, pubs, sports bars and other hospitality venues are the next best thing. Supporters can get together and watch their favourite team and country all on a big screen., The bigger the screen the better and with the increased adoption of LED technology, there is an opportunity to make a lasting impression on customers, helping to drive loyalty and repeat custom.
Alongside offering a great place to watch the latest sport, AV products, like the BizTV, offer bars and venues the capability to promote any sport shows, events and matches while also promoting customised sales content directly by the bartender, whether new menu items or promotional offers like happy hours.
Q. Are there any interesting tech trends you’ve noticed across the hospitality industry that you believe will continue throughout 2022 and beyond?
A. A current trend we have noticed is the shift from the “on-premise” to the “cloud base” solutions in TV systems, PMS and even payroll systems and as a key player in TV manufacturing, Samsung has continued to adapt and shape this trend. Firstly, we begun to offer LYNK Cloud solutions, an all-inclusive integrated platform featuring content management, device control and even data analytics to help hospitality managers deliver optimised promotions and increased revenue.
Taking this one-step further, we have prepared the smooth transition for all Samsung hospitality TV and systems installed to include LYNK Cloud.
Q. Which products are popular amongst hospitality owners at present?
A. A popular AV product within the hospitality industry is definitely Hotel TVs and, to provide guests further interactivity and engagement, these can be equipped with Over-the-top (OTT) app functionality such as Netflix or YouTube, which help guests stream their own content anytime.
There is the opportunity to take Chromecast technology which provides streaming functionality with increased IT security level and seamless streaming experience, all delivered by TV system integrators.
Q. How can AV products be used to generate revenue for hospitality business owners?
A. LYNK Cloud is based on the structure of cloud base topology and is a great tool for franchises, individual venues and hotels when it comes to central management sales and marketing revenue stream. Generating central and scheduled actions, improving loyalty programs, central promotion (with videoclips) can all be played as promotional content in the TV in each room simultaneously.
Q. As we continue to become increasingly digitally led, how do you see the future of hospitality adapting to and incorporating wider digital trends?
A. The digital footprint is significant and visible across most hospitality properties, but we’ve noticed there is still the underestimation in the power of delivering content with LED walls which provide the opportunity to build any shape or size of the displaying surface while showing a quality picture, and an extraordinary experience.
Piotr has been described by those that have worked with him as a great professional, dedicated, a positive innovator and out-of-box thinker. After spending 5 years at LG, he moved to Samsung as the European Business Development Manager for the hospitality sector. He has volunteered on various advisory councils and worked with the biggest hotel chains in the world.