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Creating the Future of Hospitality Together

June 5, 2020

In 2003, we observed an unmet need in the hospitality industry: a forum where all of us—brands, designers, manufacturers, owners and operators—could collaboratively share and develop ideas to elevate and transform our industry.

To fill that void, we invited hundreds of collaborators from scores of companies to join The Hotel of Tomorrow®, a series of workshops where we pooled our diverse areas of expertise to develop exciting new ideas in how consumers experience hotels, restaurants, travel and more.

Read more about the original Hotel of Tomorrow® workshops here.

Now, in a tumultuous 2020, our industry is more in need of this kind of innovation than ever before. On Monday, we kicked off a reframed version of The Hotel of Tomorrow®—updated with the latest technology to fit our new remote reality and focused on the challenges that have arisen for hospitality in the era of COVID-19.

Teams comprised of experts from hotel brands, owners, operators, consultants and suppliers will collaborate, ideate, prototype and test innovations for the near and more distant future. Together, we will re-examine every component of our industry—from design and planning, to safety and sanitization.

To help us kick things off, members of our advisory board and valued contributors brought our participants up to speed on the resources and processes that will help us imagine the future of hospitality together:

 

Chad Reynolds, Batterii

01 / Connecting from a Distance

A collaborative think tank in the era of COVID-19 is bound to look a little different than think tanks of the past—rooms crowded with participants sharing brainstorming materials; enter Batterii’s CoCreation® Studio, an online platform that streamlines the connection of  internal project teams and the collection of consumer insights.

Each of our teams of collaborators will focus on a specific aspect of the hospitality experience—sharing research, ideas and articles in a dedicated inspiration gallery. In private ideation rooms, they’ll go on to build concepts together before bringing them to the rest of the group for feedback and refinement. To test and further refine the best concepts, consumers and guests will weigh in with survey responses and video feedback.

 

Matt Phillips, Phillips & Co.

02 / How to Ideate Brilliantly—Remotely

With his expertise in innovation consulting, Matt was fundamental to the success of the first iteration of Hotel of Tomorrow®. In addition to sharing his insights on what our collaborators will gain from this experience, he emphasized the importance of innovation at this moment in time.

As people experience new challenges during difficult eras, forward-thinkers recognize them as opportunities to innovate. During times of depression or recession, companies like Disney and Facebook have found success by identifying solutions for new, unmet demands. In another sector that’s struggled to gain traction for nearly a decade—grocery delivery—current social distancing practices have caused adoption to skyrocket, with over 50% of people who have used an online grocery delivery service first using it in the last 45 days.

A major strength of The Hotel of Tomorrow® Project lies in connecting people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to engage with each other. Most of the great ideas we see are collisions of two or more ideas that already existed, so by pooling our ideas and looking for inspiration outside of our industry, we’re facilitating the collision of disparate ideas into bold, new innovations.

 

 

Gayatri Keskar, Material ConneXion

03 / Materials That Are Shaping Our Future

In addition to letting our ideas collide, the development of new concepts requires an understanding of the latest material innovations so that they can be integrated into—or even drive—our solutions. As the leading global materials consultancy, Material ConneXion is supplying our teams with resources from their library—the largest library of innovative materials in the world.

The library prepared for our teams will focus on five key areas:

  1. Eco-Innovation: while not a new trend, a powerful driving force for building a sustainable tomorrow
  2. Manufacturing of Tomorrow: developments like 3D printing that have completely changed the way we produce products
  3. Comfort: sensorial comfort as the next luxury
  4. Invisible Tech: addressing the challenge of enhancing a product with integrated technology without adversely affecting its aesthetics
  5. Health & Wellness: addressing protection, mitigation and inhibition during a pandemic

 

 

Maxwell Luthy, TrendWatching

04 / Accelerated Expectations

When change bumps up against human needs, it creates tension. Trends emerge when new innovations resolve that tension and change what we expect from the world around us.

As food for thought, Max cited examples of businesses that are already resolving points of tension created by the pandemic—a truly impressive volume of innovation in a short period of time:

  • Some innovations have found ways to help people safely re-emerge from isolation. To limit human exposure and decrease the costs for personal protective equipment, Buffalo-based start-up EagleHawk has developed drones to spray disinfectants in Broadway theaters between shows.
  • Other innovations focus on preparing newly unemployed individuals to pivot into workforces where there’s a high demand for more support. After having to temporarily lay off many employees, Scandinavian Airlines has offered fast-track courses to train them for positions in overwhelmed sectors of healthcare.
  • As many of us continue relying on technology that connects us from a distance, innovative thinkers are finding ways for our real and virtual worlds to overlap. Singapore’s island resort Sentosa is taking advantage of the popular Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, offering players 30-minute time slots to visit a virtual Sentosa via their Animal Crossing avatars.

 

 

Watch the Webinar

To learn more about The Hotel of Tomorrow, please visit us at hotel-of-tomorrow.com. To stay updated on the project and our participants, we invite you to follow us on Instagram.

Advisory Board

Adam Kubryk, Global Allies
Chad Reynolds, Batterii
Matt Phillips, Phillips & Co.
Maxwell Luthy, TrendWatching

Key Contributors

Gayatri Keskar, Material ConneXion
Jason Schwartz, Bright Bright Great

In the Media

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Author

Bio

With a passion for pioneering innovative approaches to hospitality design, Ron identifies new strategic growth initiatives for The Gettys Group family of companies. His vision led to the founding of Gettys ONE—our interior design group dedicated to branded hotels—and our branding group—where he led design and strategic thinking projects for boutique properties, large industry events and international brands. He is currently leading a new phase of the Hotel of Tomorrow® Project, aimed at addressing the new needs that have arisen for hospitality in 2020 through collaborative innovation.