7 Creative Wayfinding Ideas for the Hospitality Industry
Every year, there are more than 1 billion U.S. hotel guests traveling with a general lack of awareness about how to get around their new surroundings, let alone their hotel.
Everyone can relate to the excitement and subtle anxiety of visiting a new city. The elation of dining at new restaurants, seeking out exclusive attractions, and seeing the sights comes with apprehension under the surface for most travelers. This concern specifically revolves around coming to terms with – and even relishing – unfamiliarity.
As the hospitality industry continues to rapidly evolve in relation to how to best accommodate their guests, the need for innovative and practical digital wayfinding ideas remains all the more imperative.
While most guests tend to rate their hospitality experiences by the quality of room service or accommodations, the unsung hero of enhancing their stay can certainly be awarded to an intricate, interactive wayfinding system. But it takes more than a few signs or arrows pointing guests in the right direction to go above and beyond what’s expected of hotels to serve as navigational resources.
Check out seven of the more accommodating and creative digital wayfinding ideas that are best suited for the hospitality industry.
1. Digital Directories
Nowadays, travelers have seemingly infinite resources to guide and inform them throughout their travels. But at the end of the day, providing guests with accessible and insightful travel guide resources they can use at their own leisure puts less pressure on them to figure out where they want to go or what they want to do.
That’s where interactive kiosk stations come in handy for hotels, serving as digital wayfinding directories that can not only steer them in the right direction to wherever they need to go to, but can also offer up information or recommendations regarding a variety of travel amenities, such as dining, entertainment, attractions, etc.
When conveniently located in the lobby and/or on their floor, these interactive kiosk stations can increase engagement opportunities with guests, serving as eye-catching self-service assistance bases that can direct them where they need to go in a matter of seconds.
From travel times to route directions, interactive kiosks are essential traveling and directional resources for today’s hospitality wayfinding.
2. Storytelling Signage
From the origin story of your hotel to retelling the tales that make the city it resides in so special, one of the most creative ways you can incorporate wayfinding signage systems into your hotel is through the art of storytelling.
The lobby is a perfect place for implementing storytelling digital signage displays or kiosk stands, informing the user what makes the hotel they’re staying at so unique, or the place they’re visiting so special.
Digital signage opportunities present new ways to create a special connection between travelers and the cities they’re visiting, while also installing a better sense of brand identity and awareness with your guests.
3. Smartphone Synchronicity
It’s hard to imagine any of your guests traveling without their smartphones. In fact, studies show that over half of Americans use their cell phones for everyday navigational purposes, and that number will only continue to rise as we go further into the future.
That’s why mobile wayfinding app development has quickly become an essential component of any hotel’s branding and guest accommodation practices.
Developing your own mobile app bridges the gap between building out your brand and providing accommodating navigational resources for guests. From GPS and IPS tracking capabilities to navigational routing, your hotel can guide guests from wherever they need to go, inside or outside of the hotel.
In addition to providing directional resources, your hotel’s mobile app can offer users insight and information for all their travel needs, such as restaurant recommendations, taxi assistance, travel or transportation time updates, and more.
4. Emphasize Accessibility
Part of what makes the hospitality industry so exciting is the sheer diversity of all the customers and employees who occupy such spaces. This is why creating a wayfinding experience that’s inclusive as possible is such a priority for hotels and other hospitality enterprises, ensuring that everyone is entirely capable of utilizing the resources and technology available to them.
Make sure that all of your wayfinding kiosks or digital signage displays have multilingual capabilities and handicap accessibility installed in them, so travelers from all over the world can take advantage of your navigational appliances and applications.
5. Introduce Your Team
One of the more common mistakes most hospitality companies make with their digital signage and wayfinding technology is failing to take advantage of all the branding opportunities these resources have to offer.
For starters, implementing a “Meet The Team” page or screen in your wayfinding directory will allow guests to get to know who’s serving them a little better, which in turn increases their trust in your staff.
Aside from showcasing an interactive photo gallery of your hospitality team, you can accompany each image with a biography that properly introduces each employee to every one of your guests. By digitally introducing your team to your customers, they’ll feel more comfortable and connected with everyone who’s accommodating to their hospitality needs.
6. Incorporate Culture
When it comes down to separating a successful wayfinding signage system from a mediocre one, it’s the little details that can go a long way. Instead of simply resorting to the same signs and symbols that steer guests in the right direction, try injecting more of your city’s culture and characteristics into your wayfinding signage systems.
You can have historical icons or sport team mascots pointing guests toward various facilities, or you can accompany your wayfinding maps with gorgeous, detailed imagery, using captivating photos of various landmarks, nearby scenery, or any points of interest.
Installing more cultural awareness into your wayfinding services is what can make guests feel they’re at home while they’re technically far from it.
7. Real-Time Updates
For many travelers and hotel guests, optimizing their time spent in a new location is the most important element of their traveling experience. This is why implementing real-time updates and notifications within your digital wayfinding infrastructure is imperative to enhancing their stay on your premises!
Aside from utilizing wayfinding kiosks to steer them in the right direction of wherever they want to go, be sure that your wayfinding routes are accompanied by real-time ETAs that show them exactly how long it will take to walk, drive, bike, or bus to reach their destination.
You can also incorporate real-time traffic notifications or emergency updates as well, so your guests will know exactly how much time they have to be as punctual as possible throughout their stay.
Creative Wayfinding Solutions From Oppna Digital
Every hotel needs its own unique digital wayfinding systems and solutions. At Oppna Digital, we take pride in helping out businesses within the hospitality industry better accommodate their guests by providing them with the custom, creative wayfinding strategies they need to thrive.
Contact us today to request a demo of our services, or give us a call at 651-237-5677 to learn more about what digital wayfinding can do for your organization.