By Abigail A. Lorden, Editor-in-Chief - 06/10/2011
The other day I was discussing with colleagues here at Hospitality Technology how important our conferences are to the editorial team. We spend 12 months of the year developing content for the print magazine and web site, intent on covering the things you’re interested in; on connecting with you. And then, three times a year, we get a precious few days to interact with our readers face-to-face through our portfolio of industry events (MURTEC and the Hotel Technology Forum in the spring and the Restaurant Executive Summit in the fall).
For the past few years, we’ve incorporated live polling via text message at our events, capturing a snapshot of audience members’ goals and challenges. The interactive polling is always a hit. Through live polling at the April 2011 Hotel Technology Forum, we learned that 41% of hoteliers in attendance anticipate moderate growth in their 2012 IT budgets; 23% are expecting strong growth; and 31% expect their budgets to remain flat next year. When it comes to spending that money, the largest chunk (46%) are looking at upgrading their CRM systems. Property management system enhancement comes in at a close second at 40%. The focus on customer relationship management is a good thing, considering that half of all hoteliers in attendance admitted that they are not confident in their company’s approach to guest data collection and analysis.
From this snapshot, we’ve learned that most hoteliers will have budgets to expand their capital investments in 2012, that the strength of customer data is an area of concern, and that CRM systems will be a top investment priority. As editor-in-chief, those little nuggets allow us to better help you. We now have our marching orders.
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