The Guest at the Center
SVP, Experience Technology
- Nov 22, 2022
How guest experience tech is helping brands create memorable experiences.
More than 20 years ago, I was invited to a private concert on an island off the coast of Sweden. To this day, I still have vivid memories of that event: approaching the island, the ambience, the stage, the drinks. It was a unique experience. So unique in fact, that it created an enduring memory.
Brands look at live events as a platform for forging strong bonds with their audience. Live experiences are a powerful way to create sticky memories, but they need to be distinctive. Futuristic technology is often thrown around as the solution to creating something spectacular and, logic goes, unique. However, uniqueness is a factor of how tailored an experience is to its guests, and how it makes them feel special.
To be clear, technology is a massive enabler of live experiences, and not necessarily the flashy type. Going back to my 20-year-old experience, what made it unique was not the fireworks (which I vaguely remember were great), or the ubiquitous usage of PalmPilots (which at the time could be wow-inducing) but the fact that, from the moment I landed, I felt like I had someone looking after me. I felt like I had a private concierge, even though that person didn’t exist. How did they do it?
Creating a concierge-like experience is easy if you have a handful of guests. How about when your guest count climbs to the thousands? That’s our challenge when we support large hospitality programs, like the ongoing FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. Hundreds of guests are landing every day from all around the world, and we want each one to have a unique experience.
Come with me on this trip. As you land in Doha, someone is at the airport to greet you and drive you to the hotel. Your spouse is traveling with you, and they need a conference room for a work meeting, which the hotel knew and booked in advance. The next day, you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime desert tour, followed by dinner at a local restaurant that your host recommended and booked. The next day the U.S. Men’s National Team plays its first game, which is the main attraction of your trip. This is a short trip, and you quickly leave after the game to travel back home. As you get home, you have a small treat from your host.
If you multiply the above itinerary by several thousands, you get an idea of what a hospitality program looks like at large events like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic and Paralympic Games. How do you make each guest feel special? A lot of creative work goes into designing these individualized special moments. The key to making it happen on the ground is our guest experience platform – GMR Marketing's Orchestrate. Orchestrate helps coordinate a variety of teams on the ground and bring countless combinations of experiences into life. The key goal is to deliver a seamless (and unique) guest experience. From the moment you land and turn on your phone, you have precise instructions of where to go to meet your host. Everywhere you go, people know you’re supposed to be there. You don’t need to print tickets, download ten different apps, or stand in registration lines. Everything just works.
GMR’s Orchestrate is our solution for white-glove hospitality experiences. Orchestrate transforms the incredible complexity of large events into seamless experiences that make guests feel special. As the leader of Experience Products at GMR, my goal is to push the limits of how we deliver an ever-evolving guest experience that delights our clients and guests, while simplifying everyone’s life. This is a moving target, since our expectations as guests are always evolving as new technology emerges, but this is the type of challenge that drives our team.
Orchestrate is the means to an end. The end goal is to create powerful and enduring memories for your guests and clients. After all, memories are the foundation of any successful brand.