A list of the top five activities to do while at the HITEC Amsterdam hospitality technology conference.

Top 5 Must-Do’s While at HITEC Amsterdam

The hospitality technology landscape is vastly different from the 1972 inception (many years before the first hotel Property Management System) of The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), a now global conference that exhibits the latest innovations in hospitality technology. Until 2017, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has presented this leading hospitality conference in cities across the United States. Last year, the inaugural internationally-hosted HITEC event took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

As an innovative leader in hospitality technology and recent winner of the HTNG TechOvation Award, Beekeeper joins the conference this year to share the latest product updates to our team communication app. Stop by Booth 132 to learn more about how Beekeeper is connecting hospitality workforces everywhere across departments and locations with mobile-first digital communication tools.

Digital Hospitality Technology is ‘The New Normal’

This year, the second annual HITEC Amsterdam is being held April 11–13 at RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre. While online booking systems long ago replaced manual hotel ledgers, opening keynote speaker Nancy Rademaker’s presentation emphasizes the increasingly vital role digital internal communications play in the hospitality industry, and that hoteliers should not underestimate their impact on hotel business revenue.

In “Extreme Customer Centricity in a Networked World,” Rademaker stresses how our hyper-connected digital world has shaped consumer behavior, and how the hospitality industry must prioritize digital internal communications within their hotel workforce to meet the demands of and remain profitable in this digitally-driven market—wherein digital communication tools are the catalyst “to give customers what they want in a warm and human manner.”

Never been to the Netherlands? Not to worry: We’re here to share pre-and-post-HITEC conference ways to network, unwind, and enjoy the best of what Amsterdam has to offer!

1. Best Caffeine Fix: Bocca Coffee

Though weekends can be busy, Amsterdam locals describe the “amazing vibe and service” of centrally-located local spot Bocca Coffee as a “nice and spacious location to chill out.” Beekeeper insider buzz says it’s the place to enjoy the taste of truly exceptional coffee. Get an energy boost before the conference whirlwind begins, or think of it as a caffeinated HITEC networking alternative to the bar.

2. Contracts over Cocktails: Tales and Spirits

Boasting cocktails such as Bartender’s Ketchup and El Tango, and a bar bites menu with eclectic offerings such as oysters, truffle risotto, and ebi katsu, Tales and Spirits serves up intimate class in spades. Though on the smaller side, Tales and Spirits is perfect for a 1:1 meeting with any new leads you discover while at HITEC.

Insider tip: while there’s no dress code per se, house rules suggest you “dress to impress,” and to check in first with the hostess if your group is over six people, as they seat parties over six at their discretion.

3. Finger Food: Everything On A Stick

With a playfully self-explanatory name, food here is served up (you guessed it) on a skewer. With an equally fun philosophy, “Sharing is Caring,” Everything On A Stick’s menu is designed for the social interaction shared dining facilitates. Beekeeper insiders share that: “The exciting part is you are naturally curious how they manage to get certain foods on a stick!” If you prefer your food on-the-go, check out their website to track down their food truck.

4. Amsterdam’s Ultimate Walking Tour: FreeDam Tours

Led by locals (marked by their traffic-light-yellow umbrellas) this is said to be the most comprehensive walking tour available in Amsterdam––and, incredibly, is free for individuals and groups up to six people (though tipping your guide for an amazing experience is highly encouraged). The tour kicks off at Old Church (or ‘Oude Kerk’ in Dutch) covering Dutch cultural history, modern lifestyle, and personal anecdotes. This is a tour you simply can’t get anywhere else.

5. HITEC After Hours: The Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience is the official tour of the first Heineken brewery, built in the heart of Amsterdam. Due to high demand, this original site closed in 1988, but is still active daily with 1.5 hour tours, available 365 days a year. There are three different tickets: Standard, VIP, and a combo ticket which includes the Heineken tour, a canal boat cruise with a tour guide, and also access to an epic 360 degree view of the city via the A’DAM LOOKOUT, located on top of the A’DAM Tower in North Amsterdam. Naturally, all tours end with two complimentary signature green bottles of the Dutch lager beer.

Want to learn more about how to elevate the guest experience and employee engagement with Beekeeper? Sign up for a complimentary consultation with Connie Rheams, Global Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper, during HITEC at Booth 132.

How 5G Will Transform Digital Workforce Management

How 5G Will Transform Digital Workforce Management

With over 100,000 attendees from 200 countries, the predominant theme of this year’s Mobile World Congress was unquestionably the upcoming impact of 5G technology on digital workforce management. The fifth generation of internet connectivity promises to deliver more speed for faster data transmission, better response time, and to increase device connectivity.

As the world’s leading technology providers prepare to launch products and services that benefit from this enhanced network, one concept is clear: 5G will transform global connectivity through faster unified communications in many ways, and workforce software will play a key role.

5G global connectivity

Mobile Collaboration Software Will Lead 5G Adoption

So what does this mean for digital workforce management and the hospitality industry? Generally speaking, the main takeaway is that 5G will possess higher capacity which translates to the ability to share more data faster, and this has a variety of applicable benefits for hotels. For example, we’ll see an increase in the development of smart buildings with accompanying smart room technology as multiple device-connectivity is made possible with 5G. From adjusting lighting and room temperature to requesting music, 5G will be able to handle the increased data demand.

When it comes to digital hotel workforce management, Mobile World Daily contributor Anne Morris highlights the importance of mobile collaboration software, like Beekeeper, as part of creating “win-win digital ecosystems,” with 5G technology. Quoting Marie Ehrling, Chair of Telia Company and security firm Securitas: “Silo thinking is not only unadvisable, but also wouldn’t work. From every company I’ve worked with today, collaborative working environments are rich across industries and markets.” With digital communication tools, the hospitality industry stands to reap the rewards of 5G with more expedient, unified communications and better employee connection.

5G Will Connect the Unconnected With Unified Communications

Despite overwhelming global mobile connectivity—with this number set to continue growing in 2025, to the tune of five billion people, according to this year’s Mobile World Daily—connecting the final 40% of the world’s population is not only necessary, but arguably the biggest challenge.

Eveline Pupeter, CEO and owner, emporia Telecom calls this ‘The Missing Millions,’ and stressed that workforce management software needs to recognize smartphones as more than communication devices, but as essential parts of our personal and professional routines. Pupeter also emphasized how the social aspect of workforce management software aids in the adoption of positive digital behaviors. 5G is set to contend with this challenge with improved coverage for mobile internet services.

mobile workforce collaboration

Digital Communication Tools Will Be More Accessible with 5G

As the cost of mobile devices and data pricing for mobile users decreases, digital communications tools will be more accessible. Though smartphone use is now prevalent, this provides ample incentive for companies to embrace digital workforce management solutions and to be digitally fluent.

In combination with the future availability of better internet coverage through 5G, chances are that the majority of your workforce will own a smart mobile device soon if they don’t already. Companies can best take advantage of the 5G revolution by implementing digital workforce management software to better connect and motivate workers through familiar mobile device technology.

To learn more about digital workforce management, download our white paper, “The Digitization of the Non-Desk Workforce.”

5 Ways to Maximize Your AAHOA 2018 Experience

5 Ways to Maximize Your AAHOA 2018 Experience

Conferences present incredible professional development opportunities for your workforce to discover the latest in hospitality trends, attend insightful thought leader panels, engage with other industry professionals, and promote your brand. This year, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is hosting their annual convention and trade show at the National Harbor, MD, March 27-30.

From national guest speakers such as keynote speaker Jimmy Johnson, Former Coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins, and over 400 hospitality related vendors offering the industry’s latest products and services, this year’s AAHOA convention is packed with activities and networking opportunities for your workforce.

Just 15 minutes from our nation’s capital, there’s plenty to do both during and after hours during your stay in National Harbor. Here are five insider tips to maximize your workforce’s time at the AAHOA convention this year!

1. Download the AAHOA engagement app.

To stay updated during the convention, and to follow-up with convention connections afterwards, check out AAHOA’s engagement app. With this AAHOA-dedicated communication tool, get insider access to after parties, create a personal convention agenda, access workshop locations and speaker information, and participate and view photos and posts on the app’s activity feed.

Beyond being an invaluable communication tool during the convention to stay in touch with other colleagues attending from your workforce, the AAHOA engagement app keeps you connected to the hospitality industry professionals you interacted with and met at the convention year-round. Even better: you’ll be rewarded for your participation on the AAHOA app with points, badges, and prizes.

2. Treat your workforce to the best happy hour in National Harbor.

According to TripAdvisor, McCormick and Schmick’s has a happy hour that starts well-ahead of the typical happy hour at 2:30 pm. Rave reviews cite happy hour prices with large portions. After a day of inspiring speaker panels and educational workshops, be sure to bring plenty of business cards, hone your company’s elevator pitch, and be ready to ask relevant industry questions about employee engagement and workforce management to prospective clients and hospitality peers alike. Harborside at McCormick and Schmick’s might just be the perfect place to do this.

3. Take a selfie with co-workers (and new convention friends!) at The Awakening sculpture.

One of many public art offerings to be experienced along the banks of the river community of National Harbor, New Jersey-born American artist J. Seward Johnson’s 70-foot, cast-aluminum sculpture, The Awakening (1980), is a cultural focal point for all ages to enjoy. The figure looks as if it washed up on and is emerging from the sandy shores of the Potomac River, with giant limbs protruding from the ground that make both excellent climbing structures and a remarkably unique selfie backdrop.

4. Take advantage of National Harbor’s newest mode of transportation, the Circulator.

Stay close to the convention venue to make sure transportation hurdles are minimized. For less than the cost of one taxi or Lyft ride, for just $5, you can shuttle between the area’s hot spots, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—including Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, this year’s AAHOA convention venue.

5. Get a birds-eye view from atop the Capital Wheel.

The view from 180 feet above the National Harbor never disappoints! Opened in 2014, the Capital Wheel lifts between 600,000 an 800,000 guests into the Maryland skies each year for an approximately 15-minute ride. For those who want the full VIP experience, National Harbor One (one of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas) features glass floors, chilled Perrier, Amazon Alexa technology, and leather seating.

With hundreds of hospitality-oriented vendors, educational workshops, expert panels, after-party networking events, and even certification courses and trainings, there are plenty of opportunities for both work and play at this year’s AAHOA convention! After checking out our recommended National Harbor activities, be sure to stop by our booth to meet the Beekeeper team and find out more about how our award-winning employee app can improve internal communication and operational alignment for your workforce.

Fill out the form below to schedule a meeting and meet the Beekeeper team at the event.

Beekeeper to Lead HRIH Panel on Increasing Employee Engagement

Beekeeper to Lead HRIH Panel on Increasing Employee Engagement

What’s the secret to exceptional occupancy rates, an enviable work culture, and engaged frontline employees? The answer lies in your company’s employee engagement and internal communication strategies. Alongside fellow hospitality thought leaders, Andrada Paraschiv, Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper, will present industry best practices and key ways to drive employee engagement, performance, and revenue growth with digital workplace apps.

The panel will also focus on how employee engagement leads to exceptional guest experiences. This presentation is part of a hospitality expert panel at the National HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo, taking place March 5-7, 2018, at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Engaged Frontline Employees Are Your Brand’s Best Ambassadors

Frontline employees are the primary representatives of your brand and can be the primary champions of your company, too. Joining Andrada Paraschiv for the panel titled, “How to Engage Your Frontline Employees,” are Erica Carey, Senior Director, Digital Product Management, Hilton Worldwide; Jason Brown, Head of People, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge; and Jeff David, Managing Director, The Watergate Hotel.

The panelists will share how Beekeeper’s award-winning digital workplace app has transformed their teams’ internal communication, increased employee engagement, and empowered frontline employees through company-wide alignment on common goals, real-time delivery of critical information, and opportunities for performance recognition.

How Digital Workplace Apps Create Unified Communications

1 Hotels’ Colleen Kerrigan, of Conference Services at 1 Hotel Central Park, credits Beekeeper as, “100% the most important internal communication tool that we have at this hotel to help us operate.” Beekeeper’s digital workplace app is the primary communication tool used for the property’s Morning Rally, where the team gathers together to go over pre-shift information, including daily VIP arrivals, events, and overall guest check-ins and check-outs.

Best of all, the Beekeeper digital workplace app makes this information accessible on-the-go, and 24 hours a day, enabling unified communications, employee engagement, and mobile collaboration for the whole team no matter what shift they work.

Beekeeper hospitality employee engagement app

Why Employee Connection and Employee Engagement Matters

Historically, the hospitality industry has prioritized the guest experience and spent fewer resources on the employee experience. In this panel discussion, attendees will gain significant insights on how to successfully steward frontline employee experience and engagement and reduce turnover while providing exceptional customer service. The panel will address why implementing effective communication tools in the workplace, such as a digital workplace app like Beekeeper, translates into happy employees, loyal guests, and satisfied investors.

What you’ll gain from this employee engagement panel:

  • Hearing from hospitality experts how your company’s internal communications directly affect employee engagement and employee connection to your brand
  • Employee engagement is integral not only for employee performance and satisfaction, but for an optimal guest experience
  • Learning ways to ensure your frontline employees feel informed, connected, heard, and recognized
  • How to increase frontline employee connection, collaboration, and performance through leadership-led, three-way internal communication
  • How a digital workplace app like Beekeeper benefits your entire team with real-time, unified communications that connect leadership and frontline employees alike

Be sure to check out booth #313 and attend Beekeeper’s breakfast panel, “How to Successfully Engage Your Frontline Employees,” in person! Join the panelists and Beekeeper team for lunch and an informal roundtable discussion on employee engagement best practices to ask any questions and snag your very own Beekeeper pashmina.

To learn more about how Beekeeper can help your frontline workforce, schedule a meeting with one of our experts.

Digital Transformation Trends From the World Economic Forum

Digital Transformation Trends From the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting just ended and I’m excited to share the insights I gained about the digital transformation and the future of mobility. I was invited to attend two sessions that relate to topics we frequently discuss at Beekeeper and drive our product evolution.

First, here’s a little background about the event in case you aren’t familiar. The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss non-profit foundation, was established in 1971 to improve global affairs “by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.” The forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January which brings together more than 3,000 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, journalists, and even celebrities for four days to discuss the most pressing issues worldwide.

Below are some of the key digital transformation trends from the events I attended:

The Future of Mobility

Since I studied Computer Science at ETH Zurich, I was especially eager to attend their private event about the future of mobility. Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) Andreas Meyer, Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations at ETH Dr. Detlef Günther, and ETH President Lino Guzzella announced an exciting mobility partnership.

ETH Future of Mobility event

ETH Zurich is partnering with SBB to launch the ETH Mobility Initiative that will invest 100 million over the next ten years in mobility research and teaching. The purpose is to make better use of the existing railway infrastructure. In fact, Meyer stated, “Our goal is to get up to 30 percent more capacity from the existing rail network.” Using SBB’s traffic and passenger data, experts from ETH will use their models to calculate optimal traffic flow. By analyzing all the data and deriving trends, they plan on making public transportation much more efficient by utilizing digital mobility. SBB is a prime partner because they have the resources to put ETH’s research into practice quickly.

The Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence

Hirzel. Neef. Schmid. Konsulenten and CEBIT organized an event to share insights about strengthening cooperation — the official theme of the WEF this year. Speakers focused on the digital transformation, including machine learning, AI, and how to use digital to bring people together and combat fragmentation. Following the keynote, they held a panel discussion with Martin Ott, Managing Director Central Europe at Facebook, Danilo Bertocchi, Enterprise Sales Manager at Tesla, and Jürgen Schmidhuber, Scientific Director at IDSIA.

Digitization opens the door to endless possibilities to create a more connected and efficient world, both in the personal and professional sense. With the intersection of AI and machine learning, we can attain so much data that can help improve both the employee and customer experience. However, the biggest problem is the lack of support and education surrounding this topic.

Beekeeper CTO Flavio with robot

To reap the benefits of digitizing your workforce, you need to empower your teams with the right education and tools. In the Q&A session, an attendee asked Ott how he will help digitize subject matter experts. The discussion made evident that everyone has a different understanding of digitization and there is a great need for management to become more knowledgeable on the topic. Most executive teams don’t know what to do with new digital tools, how to use them, or even why they need them.

He explained how Facebook aims to use digital to build communities and create a more open, connected world. The social media powerhouse is constantly developing resources to aid in the digital transformation. Online tutorials, courses, community hubs , etc. are all part of their strategy to educate users.

Beekeeper’s Role in the Digital Transformation

Connecting people is of course at the very core of what we do at Beekeeper, but the idea of educating and supporting your customers to help them achieve the change needed to digitize their workforce and fully benefit from the digital tools they have at their disposal also really resonated with me.

We talk to customers on a daily basis who have been sold various software tools, but because they don’t get the right support to sell the benefits at each level of the organization or educate users on how to optimize existing processes with the new tools, adoption often fails. This is why, at Beekeeper, we have focused on developing a wide range of high-quality resources to help customers be successful in adopting our product.

Our Customer Success team knows each customer’s challenges and objectives and support them every step of the way. From understanding how Beekeeper can help them reach their goals to ensuring every single employee has access to information about the product and how to use it. We also have our own suite of digital resources, in the form of a Help Center and e-learning courses, to enable customers to learn in their own time and always have the information they need on hand.

We know that to achieve our own goal of shaping digital workplaces for 2 billion frontline employees, we must act as a partner rather than a provider.

To learn more about the digital transformation with the Beekeeper team app and how it will benefit your business, download our free white paper on the topic.

Header image copyright by World Economic Forum / Walter Duerst


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