In 2003, we observed an unmet need in the hospitality industry: a forum where all of us—brands, designers, manufacturers, owners and operators—could collaboratively share and develop ideas to elevate and transform our industry.
To fill that void, we invited hundreds of collaborators from scores of companies to join The Hotel of Tomorrow®, a series of workshops where we pooled our diverse areas of expertise to develop exciting new ideas in how consumers experience hotels, restaurants, travel and more.
Read more about the original Hotel of Tomorrow® workshops here.
Now, in a tumultuous 2020, our industry is more in need of this kind of innovation than ever before. On Monday, we kicked off a reframed version of The Hotel of Tomorrow®—updated with the latest technology to fit our new remote reality and focused on the challenges that have arisen for hospitality in the era of COVID-19.
Teams comprised of experts from hotel brands, owners, operators, consultants and suppliers will collaborate, ideate, prototype and test innovations for the near and more distant future. Together, we will re-examine every component of our industry—from design and planning, to safety and sanitization.
To help us kick things off, members of our advisory board and valued contributors brought our participants up to speed on the resources and processes that will help us imagine the future of hospitality together:
A collaborative think tank in the era of COVID-19 is bound to look a little different than think tanks of the past—rooms crowded with participants sharing brainstorming materials; enter Batterii’s CoCreation® Studio, an online platform that streamlines the connection of internal project teams and the collection of consumer insights.
Each of our teams of collaborators will focus on a specific aspect of the hospitality experience—sharing research, ideas and articles in a dedicated inspiration gallery. In private ideation rooms, they’ll go on to build concepts together before bringing them to the rest of the group for feedback and refinement. To test and further refine the best concepts, consumers and guests will weigh in with survey responses and video feedback.
With his expertise in innovation consulting, Matt was fundamental to the success of the first iteration of Hotel of Tomorrow®. In addition to sharing his insights on what our collaborators will gain from this experience, he emphasized the importance of innovation at this moment in time.
As people experience new challenges during difficult eras, forward-thinkers recognize them as opportunities to innovate. During times of depression or recession, companies like Disney and Facebook have found success by identifying solutions for new, unmet demands. In another sector that’s struggled to gain traction for nearly a decade—grocery delivery—current social distancing practices have caused adoption to skyrocket, with over 50% of people who have used an online grocery delivery service first using it in the last 45 days.
A major strength of The Hotel of Tomorrow® Project lies in connecting people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to engage with each other. Most of the great ideas we see are collisions of two or more ideas that already existed, so by pooling our ideas and looking for inspiration outside of our industry, we’re facilitating the collision of disparate ideas into bold, new innovations.
In addition to letting our ideas collide, the development of new concepts requires an understanding of the latest material innovations so that they can be integrated into—or even drive—our solutions. As the leading global materials consultancy, Material ConneXion is supplying our teams with resources from their library—the largest library of innovative materials in the world.
The library prepared for our teams will focus on five key areas:
When change bumps up against human needs, it creates tension. Trends emerge when new innovations resolve that tension and change what we expect from the world around us.
As food for thought, Max cited examples of businesses that are already resolving points of tension created by the pandemic—a truly impressive volume of innovation in a short period of time: