The ‘tribe’ has spoken

Irene Costa
Irene Costa

We are certainly living in a time of chaos and disorder. This was something that came across at the recent Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) congress held at the Hilton Sandton.

And best of all, it has nothing to do with being South African. This is an international trend, according to Dion Chang, a trend analyst.

Basically, everything we know today will change. So how do we survive? According to Dion, you need to stay consistent – learn, relearn, unlearn and relearn again. In other words – keep an open mind.

This certainly made me wonder about our sector or should I rather say “tribe” – another term Dion used quite regularly.

I think the word “tribe” for our sector could work quite nicely. We are all part of the same “tribe” – most of us anyway.

It is a more inclusive word – it doesn’t mean we always agree but it means we understand.

So we belong to a local “tribe” but more importantly we are part of a global “tribe”.

I have to mention that when I first heard the term I kept thinking of the Survivor series and the words – “the tribe has spoken”.

Well, what has our “tribe” got to say?

According to some speakers at the HICA congress we are in a very exciting new age, mobile optimisation is key for any of our survival, especially if we are expanding our African operations.

Technology is constantly adapting. It is difficult to stay on top of everything but we need to try. A word of caution, the Internet is an amplifier when you are doing something good or bad.

Already WI-FI and battery power are part of our daily “Maslow” needs.

Future data seems to be more important today than ever before. What has happened is in the past. You need to move on.

The use of beacon technology can also revolutionise our “tribe”. What is beacon technology? Well, it works on Bluetooth low energy (BLE) – which is used by a low frequency chip that is found in devices like mobile phones. These chips communicate with multiple beacon devices to form a network. This is the technical answer.
What does it offer? Information about the user of the device – where they are, what they do, where they eat, what they were looking for online. Basically, it takes this data and transforms it into smart information that can assist marketing efforts.

Yes, it does sound rather intrusive, but it is smart. I can see this working in business events. Imagine how this could improve sales on an exhibition floor – or at a congress – understanding the delegates a little more.

For the hospitality sector, hotels would be able to offer a more tailored approach to what kind of food guest likes or what kind of activities they are looking for.
The world is changing, somethings are exciting but others are a little daunting.  We do need to adapt our own mindset in order to survive. The “tribe” has spoken.