Shanahan says that another important factor is having the ability to manage all aspects of a client’s technology needs. “We project manage and provide all of the low-voltage systems, including data, telephony, lighting motorized drapery, background/foreground music, performance systems. We also do all of the video, digital signage. We have a very IT-centric staff. While we have A/V and security/surveillance designers and engineers, we also have a high concentration of IT-savvy engineers.”
It’s also important to have an intimate understanding of the particular needs of the hospitality market decision makers, says Kevin Groves, co-owner and director of sales for Alpha Video & Audio.
“A number of years ago, we had some small success selling our CastNET digital signage solutions to casinos,” say Groves. “At that time, we thought that this might be a growth market for us. We had a couple of sales representative focus on the market so they could really get to know the needs and requirements of prospect clients.
“Over the years, our sales representatives, engineers and technicians who focus on this market learned how to ‘talk the talk’ to hotel and casino clients, and learned how they could customize solutions that fit these client’s needs. They also sought out complementary vendors and partners so that we could continue to expand the products and solutions we offer to this market segment.”
There are other logistical challenges involved with hotel projects, adds Kelley Technologies’ Schiff man. “Major hotel and casino projects typically have aggressive construction schedules with hard opening dates that coincide with holiday or year-end activities. The low-voltage systems are one of the last items to be completed and are dependent upon the successful on-time completion of many of the other trades. This can result in accelerated, high-stress deadlines with severe implications if not properly planned for.”