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Focus on Hospitality: Cutting-edge AV in Luxury Hotels

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt


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The Hyatt Regency Chicago project was so successful that analysis firm DisplaySearch selected it as a venue and live showcase for its first digital-signage conference in 2008.

The Hyatt Regency Chicago project was so successful that analysis firm DisplaySearch selected it as a venue and live showcase for its first digital-signage conference in 2008.

Now, the hotel's AV capabilities — including more than 60 large-format (40in. and larger) digital signs and content triggered by guests' RFID tags — led analysis firm DisplaySearch to select it as a venue and live showcase for its first digital-signage conference last year.

“One of the reasons we selected the Hyatt is the unique infrastructure allowing quick content changes,” says Chris Connery, vice president for PC and large-format commercial displays at DisplaySearch. “Branding, wayfinding, electronic menu boards — you get almost all aspects of digital signage in one microcosm of a hotel, especially signage that caters to a conference situation.”

In March 2008, AVT took over AV and signage responsibilities at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. There, AVT inherited the hotel's existing Samsung signage — which includes meeting-door screens, large-format informational displays, and 20in. vertical monitors placed across the front desk. Inspired by a piano-bar webcam that plays on Chicago's digital signs, San Francisco's front-desk signs now feature live webcam feeds of bay views from the club-level lounge, which fosters upgrades to rooms with a bay view.

“We have taken a different approach in San Francisco with the marketing director of the hotel,” says David Alter, the Chicago-based director of engineering and project management for AVT Communiqué. “We took the marketing campaign for print media and billboards and integrated it with all the digital-signage displays so they all have a unified message. We also work together to promote the in-hotel outlets, special events and holidays, and things like that.”

Always looking for the next innovation, AVT plans to begin retrofitting screens in the San Francisco Hyatt over the next couple of years with touchscreen interfaces that allow for interactive on-demand content — including news, weather, and wayfinding. Down the road, Alter says he also anticipates 3D displays, cameras that recognize when someone is in front of the screen, and more dynamic wayfinding that “draws out the path of where you need to go.”

John W. DeWitt is a marketing consultant and business writer based in New Salem, Mass. He can be reached at john@jwdewitt.com.



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