The moment guests step into the lobby of a hotel, they immediately — consciously and subconsciously — internalize every sensory element that shapes the experience. This crucial first impression is why one major hospitality brand welcomes guests with a freshly baked cookie that not only tastes good but also creates an inviting smell of home in the hotel lobby. Atmospherics including sight, sound, smell and touch shaped by decor, lighting, video and audio determine the guest experience and by extension the commercial success.
A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov found it only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression, and once that is formed, judgment is hard to sway. Take sound for instance. Ensuring every guest is greeted with welcoming audio when entering a hotel could be the first step to creating a lifelong returning customer.
Audio and acoustics can affect a guest’s experience more than one might think. According to research, music has the ability to set the tone of a hotel stay by branding a venue and enhancing a guest’s perception of a venue’s personality.
Since music is proven to be an effective stress reduction tool, it can evoke different emotions in guests, even helping to calm them after a day of travel. A soothing hotel lobby can provide relief after a long journey, with relaxing music to welcome guests in and instantly brighten their mood.
As guests make their way from the lobby to their room, music carries them along, filling the elevator to further shape their positive experience.
When a hotel lacks a sophisticated quality audio system, tinny or muffled sound creates an annoying distraction instead of an immersive, pleasant atmosphere. This unpleasant feeling can spoil the moment and risk ruining the overall stay. Beyond audio quality, sound must match and enhance the hotel’s ambiance. If the first sounds guests hear when entering a hotel do not blend with the design and mood of the space, the all-important first impression of the hotel’s brand will be compromised since consumers expect every part of their experience, including audio, to fit cohesively. Conflicting audio shouldn’t be a reason guests are unsatisfied with their stay. That’s why investing in a high-performing sound system can pay dividends.
Pick the Correct Loudspeaker
Determining which loudspeakers are best suited to each hotel application comes down to the individual needs and architectural demands of the space. In a venue with open and reverberant spaces, selecting a loudspeaker with specific directivity and the power to cut through the room is key. A good sound system ultimately places the sound back on those who need it most: the guests.
If the hotel features small spaces with intricate interior design details, loudspeakers shouldn’t be visually intrusive or clash with the composition of the space. Instead, aesthetically pleasing loudspeakers can be matched to the hotel, adding a harmonious element to any venue. Easily mountable loudspeakers that incorporate architectural sensibilities are the ideal choice for blending in with the carefully curated decor of the hotel.
Loudspeaker design can be purposeful and aid the architectural integrity of a hotel. An ultra-sleek, modern hotel may call for futuristic loudspeakers that make a statement as a technological centerpiece, while a more classically-styled historic hotel may opt for a subtle and unobtrusive look to pay homage to the era it reflects.
In a survey that explored music’s impact on public spaces, 51% of individuals thought music should fit with a business’s public identity. The same survey found that 44% would never visit the place again if they find the music too loud or unsuitable for the business’ identity.
Working with a thoughtful and thorough sound system integrator is essential during planning and installation. The integrator will take into consideration the minute details required to ensure the sound system elevates the hotel. A great integrator will have specific knowledge of the systems that are needed and be able to provide cutting-edge industry solutions to any problems that may arise.
Tangible Benefits of an Improved Audio System
Once a hotel implements an enhanced audio system, every room and guest touchpoint in the building could see a vast improvement in guest satisfaction. Within hospitality, audio and acoustics affect the guest experience beyond the walls of the hotel lobby. Outdoor hotel bars and clubs can provide electrifying nightlife when a great sound system is integrated. The first in a series of studies by Rightsify found that playing slower music in a hotel restaurant or bar increased guest spending on drinks by 40%.
In order to elevate its guests’ sky-high experience, the Kimpton Maa-Lai in Bangkok, Thailand recently deployed a complete audio system for its hybrid indoor and outdoor rooftop bar, Bar.Yard. The bar mirrors the beauty of the city through futuristic designs and technology, with performances from elite DJs to create an exciting, entertaining guest experience – but the music battled a cacophony of ambient noise from the lively city below. To cancel out undesirable city sounds, the Bangkok hotel installed specialized loudspeakers throughout Bar.Yard’s indoor/outdoor spaces. Thanks to the new sound system, guests now enjoy their drinks and conversation while surrounded by the music of the rooftop DJs without any traffic noise to spoil the moment.
Revamped Sound Systems Improve Guest Attendance, Satisfaction
A hotel is more than a room and a bed for a night; it is an opportunity to feel comfortable in a place away from everything familiar.
When a guest recalls a hotel stay experience as exceptional, they are drastically more likely to not only return but also refer friends and family. Audio and acoustics play a key role in the guest experience and customer satisfaction.