Home Audio/Video Q&A: Hospitality in AV with Exertis Almo’s Rob Voorhees

Q&A: Hospitality in AV with Exertis Almo’s Rob Voorhees

Q&A: Hospitality in AV with Exertis Almo's Rob Voorhees

What has Exertis Almo done to stay up to speed with the ever-changing hospitality industry? 

It is perfect timing for this question! Within the past month, we have rolled out an exclusive new website for our hospitality customers, hospitality.exertisalmo.com, which becomes a go-to destination for everything we offer to support our customers with their hospitality needs both outdoors and indoors. TVs are generally the “entry point” to a hospitality job as they are a most common need, however, once you branch out from the TV, you will find the need for audio, control systems, lighting, linens, refrigeration, bandwidth, WIFI and so much more. Exertis Almo helps guide our partners through all of this to increase their level of comfort. 

How has the hospitality industry evolved over the past few years? 

Like other key verticals, the hospitality space had no choice but to evolve coming through the pandemic. Listening to customer needs was more paramount than ever before and creating a “home-like” experience for each guest became the goal. To achieve this, we saw properties focus on touchless technologies, digital signage, audio, and intuitive control systems to modernize their locations. The guest room needed to have all the amenities that someone might find at home such as refrigeration, their favorite channels via DIRECTV or cable, and even wireless charging capabilities. I always travel with no less than 3-4 devices at a time, so to have wireless charging capabilities in my room is always a nice perk to stay at that hotel. Plus, when I turn the TV on and recognize the guide, channel lineup, and have more than 10 channels to choose from plus streaming apps, I feel like I can relax even more during the downtime of a trip. 

How has bandwidth played a role in this evolution? 

It is critical. I just stayed at a hotel where there must’ve been a problem with the network because I was unable to connect to WiFi at all during my stay. This reflects poorly on the hotel and could prevent travelers from choosing that location in the future. As I mentioned before, I always travel with 3-4 devices at a time, so multiply that by the total number of guests staying at a given time and you get a better idea for why hotels need so much bandwidth. Streaming is more prevalent than ever, so that only magnifies the need and that is why most hotels MUST have a secure/dedicated fiber internet circuit because it provides all the reliability their guests expect. 

What specific products and/or services are you seeing most when working with a hotel? 

JBL has introduced a new line of outdoor landscape speakers which I absolutely love. They come in green or brown so they can easily be hidden and some of the larger outdoor subwoofers are actually meant to be buried in the ground. The outdoor audio needs are expanding for hotels so you will start to hear music around you more often, no matter where you are, similar to Disneyworld. Remember how you could be standing in line for a ride and all you hear is music but couldn’t tell where it was coming from? Well they probably had speakers hidden in bushes or buried in the ground so you could hear but not see them everywhere.

The other item I’m interested in is AMX’s new Varia touch panels. We talked earlier about control systems and AVoIP and this product falls right in that space. Touch panels have a variety of uses, including the one we used to schedule this interview we are having right now! The Varia line is persona-driven which means they can be used for Zoom Rooms, Room scheduler, even web kiosks, and I really like the functionality. Plus, it offers little things like a color-coded light to indicate if the room is in use or even to match the décor of a hotel. You can’t ignore the conference/meeting spaces at a hotel, so the Varia panels should be on everyone’s lists. Last but not least, I urge our partners to continue looking at value-added services. We talked about how important bandwidth is at each location, but through Exertis Almo we can also support the programming needs of these systems, the designing of the overall system, and even assist in installing it!  All of this information and more can be found on the new website, hospitality.exertisalmo.com to help our partners get started down the path of success.