Technology & Sports Housing
SPORTS TOURNAMENT HOUSING TECHNOLOGY HAS COME A LONG WAY
“Technology has come such a long way.” How many times have you heard someone say this? If you are 30 or more, I’m sure it’s more than a few. It really is the replacement for, “You kids don’t know how good you have it.” Everyone gets a chuckle out of these stories. Ellen DeGeneres has gotten her share of laughs with segments like “Millennial Challenge” and “Technology of Yesterday” on her daytime talk show. These segments feature kids and millennials trying to identify, or actually use, typewriters, rotary phones and can openers. Laughs aside, technology has come a long way.
Technology is a term that has come to be overused, misused and often misunderstood. Stop for a moment and think how you would define “technology”. According to Merriam-Webster, “technology” is a noun, generally defined as the application of knowledge.
In 2021, the word technology often triggers thoughts of smartphones, computers, the Internet or WiFi. As the definition suggests, technology can be applied to a wide range of subjects. In the world today, nearly every aspect of our lives are brushed with a coat of technology. Medical visits, grocery shopping, car washes, even ordering lunch. And why not? The application of knowledge is valuable right? Of course! The application of knowledge paves the way for improvement.
Read a little further and Merriam-Webster gives you the history of a word…
from téchnē “art, craft, proficiency in an art or craft, systematic method of performing or engaging in an art”
Did you get that? “Systematic method of performing or engaging in an art”
Sports Housing is indeed an art.
It requires a systematic method of engaging your attendees through practical application of knowledge, especially in the area of understanding the event attendee’s needs.
Enter technology. Technology is an invaluable tool for Sports Housing.
Gone is the day of faxed hotel contracts, scanned rooming lists and endless spreadsheets.
If any part of that last statement caused you to raise an eyebrow, let’s catch you up on how far Sports Housing has come.
Event Organizers still teeter with who should manage the housing component of their events – the internal team or a third party. Regardless of who manages the housing, the expectation of how the housing is managed remains the same. This is particularly true when you consider technology as an essential piece of the how.
Working with the Hotels should be easy for both the organizer and the hotelier. This starts with the RFP, requires accurate accessible and real-time reporting, culminates with reservation hand-off at hotel cut-off and comes full circle with post event close out. If you do not have the right process, the right software and the right people this can quickly become an overwhelming endeavor.
Attendees expect an easy reservation experience. They want extreme flexibility. This goes beyond their desire for great hotel choices with great pricing and flexible terms. They want to browse real availability when they have time, from any device they have handy, book reservations when they are ready and make changes whenever they need. Plus, they expect timely responses to inquiries and a friendly voice if they need help. Quality customer care starts with providing the right hotel choices but is fully dependent on intuitive software, smart informative messaging and the right people standing in the wings.
In addition to the hotels and the attendees, the organizer needs to have up to the minute data readily available to know how things are going. This requires dashboards and summaries that cannot take hours or days to generate. The data changes by the minute and so the reporting needs to be just as nimble. This is when technology becomes the differentiator. Utilizing the right process, which manages all segments of the housing lifecycle in a single software, delivers the key performance indicators that an organizer expects and needs.
Technology is a tool; a necessary tool that you need in your tool belt. But like the millennial learned about that rotary phone, it is useless without the proper execution. Proper implementation and training of the process and the software is key. Only then can you be assured that the attendee experience, the hotel relationships and the organizer needs are met.
It is true, “Technology has come such a long way” and Sports Housing has already reaped many of those benefits, but now is not the time to settle for good enough. To properly manage sports housing and provide the best experience for the attendees and guests, either the organizer’s internal teams or their third-party housing partners must have technology that will continue to evolve with sports event and the hospitality industry. Be diligent in implementing the right technology in process, software and people. Do not settle for a system that merely works, rather require technology that makes you stand out!