Commentary

MGM Resorts Taps Into Tech To Enhance Guest Experiences

Every industry is being impacted by the Internet of Things in one way or another and hospitality is no exception.

Travelers are dealing with beacons at airports to provide more relevant location-based information as they navigate through a terminal on the way to their plane.

Delta lets passengers track if their luggage made it onto the plane and Tumi has a device that tells precisely where that luggage is, anywhere in the world.

Consumers arriving at major hotels also are coming face-to-face with more technology, from the time they book their room to when they enter it.

MGM Resorts International has been on the high-tech road for some time and at the eighth annual FutureM conference in Boston this week, one executive at the major global hotel brand discussed how the brand is tapping into tech to enhance customer engagements.

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Anyone who has ever visited Las Vegas likely has come across or stayed at one of MGMs destination resorts there, which include MGM Grand, Bellagio, Aria, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay and Luxor.

At a break in the event, I sat down with Beverly Jackson, vice president, social media marketing and content strategy, at MGM Resorts International, to discuss the state of technology today and going forward.

“For us, the evolution and transformation in technology is essential,” says Jackson. “We deliver personalized guest experiences at scale. You can’t do that without technology, which plays a central part in that, whether it’s artificial intelligence or bot technology or other iterations of technology.”

The technology deployed is aimed at enhancing hotel experiences.

“As we start to think about more of the things that we roll out, whether it’s actual technology in the room, or the ability to use tablets, one-touch and voice commands, your key or your phone as the FOB to open your room door, and have your personized settings adjusted as you walk into the room, how you like your lights, how you like your water temperature, how you like the shades drawn; those are all very high-end personalized experiences that sort of feed into the space of entertainment, of hospitality.

“That’s important, because when people feel like you know them and you can use technology to deliver those experiences, both to keep track of them and to deliver them, that means there’s a greater opportunity to increase market share and revenue.

“Technology is at the center of almost everything we do going forward.”

Like many other major global brands, MGM has to think and prepare for large scale deployments.

“When you have 40,000 beds, 77,000 employees and 27 global destinations, it becomes more and more difficult to have that one-to-one relationship that you’ve had with customers, so you need to use the technology to do that.”

Jackson notes that she is essentially one cog in a giant wheel of innovation across the MGM enterprise and, as in most successful technological innovations in organizations, the buy-in runs from the top down.

“We have a lot of opportunities ahead of all of us.”

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