Last month 350+ of the travel industry’s biggest movers and shakers gathered in London to debate, deliberate and discuss the key threats and opportunities set to revolutionise this space. The ever-enthusiastic Lola Tech team were onsite at EyeforTravel Europe 2017 to get the full lowdown and even had the chance to showcase their own bit of tech wizardry...
A hard hitting agenda packed in themes exploring the latest goings-on in the fields of marketing, distribution and partnerships, RM and data and, of course, technology. Experts from across the board, representing airlines, hotels, OTAs, startups and more, came together to brainstorm everything from how to drive revenue through digital products to examining the role of social media in building brand reputation.
Industry kingpin Glenn Fogel, CEO at Priceline (an old colleague of our very own founder, Luke McNeice) set the scene with his state of the industry address, highlighting significant future developments for growth especially with investment in groundbreaking emerging technologies. He emphasised the importance of putting the customer first and using that premise to stimulate loyalty in all aspects of the business.
Other esteemed travel executives sharing their vision included Roland Schutz, CIO at Lufthansa, Fernando Vives, CCO at NH Hotels Group and Guy Stephenson, CCO at Gatwick Airport. Interestingly, despite the wildly varied topics of discussion, the conversation repeatedly returned to focus on how to create the best digital experience for customers. Attendees wanted to know how, when and where to use quality data to improve the consumer journey and what role data driven partnerships play in boosting profits and assisting with enhancing customer touchpoints. Furthermore, over the two days, there was no denying the huge potential of technologies such as robotics, AI and personal digital assistants, and the need for overall digitalisation within travel businesses.
Dazzle the Disruptor
With this in mind, the 2017 Start-up and innovation in Travel Awards celebrated the pioneers developing the hottest technologies in the travel industry.
Charles Cadbury, CCO at Lola Tech blew the audience away with his presentation demonstrating how AI is changing the way hotels and guests communicate. With competition fierce, hotels are looking for unique and innovative ways to empower staff, as well as engage their customers. Lola Tech’s offering, ‘Dazzle’, a voice activated personal assistant, delivers next level concierge service. Having won the Marriott testBED accelerator programme, beating 160 global applicants in the process, Dazzle is now hitting the shelves, with partnerships being fostered with a number of well respected brands.
“It was humbling to be speaking to the travel industry’s avant-garde about our vision for the future of hotel and guest communication. With customer habits changing all the time, we wanted to create a digital interface to enhance these important experiences and help develop highly interactive relationships between the two key players."
Charles Cadbury, CCO, Lola Tech
In a live demo of Dazzle, Cadbury emphasised the top-level room analytics available at a hotel’s fingertips, which enable proactive responses to customer requests and support the provision of first-class customer service.
Reaching the final, Dazzle was pipped to the post by What3Words (an app to simplify locational data) but it was clear that such innovative voice powered solutions piqued the interest of industry leaders. Brian Harniman, Managing Director at Brand New Matter, a member of the distinguished judging panel, enthused;
“I am always impressed by technology that takes pain out of the consumer's daily life - Dazzle takes time and annoyance factors out of information requests and scheduling. The fact that it may simplify hotel operations is a bonus.”
Brian Harniman, Managing Director, Brand New Matter
The Lola Team were delighted to meet such a wealth of talent and industry hard hitters at the event and buoyed by their success in the Startup Awards set to work on refining Dazzle and its unique offering.
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About the Author
Sophie Farrow is marketing and events lead at Lola Tech. Lola Tech is a pioneering airline software business leading the field in travel tech innovation. With big-name clients globally, their talented team is adept at creating awesome systems to increase your uptime and conversion rates or to provide you with that innovative edge to outshine the competition. Supporter of Dazzle, a voice activated personal assistant for the hotel industry. Visit Lola Tech for more information.