In Industry events by Clyde Mooney

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Another edition of Hotels & Hashtags took place last week, helping hoteliers in Victoria to consider and plan beyond the today.

The Hotels & Hashtags concept began two years ago, a partnership between the AHA Victoria and Carlton & United Breweries. First held in Bendigo, last year it moved to Richmond and this year more than 100 industry guests attended at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

The day’s line-up of speakers began with a talk by Chris Pang of co-sponsor CUB on the ‘Pursuit of Hoppiness’. This was followed by:

  • Chelsea Ford, presenting ‘Money for jam, milking the latest F&B trends’
  • ‘Trends shaping the future of commerce and the opportunities that exist for businesses’ by Chris Hughes
  • ‘Developing millennials from the palm of your hand’ from Typsy’s Aaron Johnson
  • ‘Using in-venue data to drive your rostering’ from Impact Data’s Sarah Franklyn
  • ‘If a picture is worth 1000 words, is an Instagram post work 1000 comments?’ by Brindle Marketing’s Leah Grinter, and
  • ‘The future of socialising and the impact for the On-Premise channel’ with Diageo’s Andrew Grenville

After a break for lunch, a panel of Rabih Yanni (St Kilda Burger Bar), Tashi Dorjee (Two Space) and James Jordan (Cookitoo) discussed topics of the day.

L-R: Rabih Yanni, Tashi Dorjee & James Jordan

A contrast to the f&b and social media-based presentations, Impact Data discussed smart ways of using a venue’s existing data to aide what it describes as the “holy grail” of hospitality – balancing labour to optimise customer experience, drive spend and minimise wasted staff hours.

This is done by assessing data out of sales/POS, loyalty and membership programs, customer feedback, Wi-Fi stats, staff profiles, marketing, internal operations and even weather, to create a ‘Roster Robot’ to optimise results.

Sarah Franklyn

“It was my first attendance at the AHA (Vic) Hotels & Hashtags, and I was really impressed by the quality of presentations,” Franklyn reported to PubTIC.

“As an AHA (Vic) Partner we took some venue guests along, who all commented that they learned something that they could use in their business straight away.”

Having successfully executed its third instalment of the event, a spokesperson says the Association is showing results in helping licensees address modern issues.

“The event was designed to share innovative ideas with our members by challenging them to think about the future rather than what’s happening in the business today.

“The feedback from this year’s event has been overwhelmingly positive with members seeing the value in thinking outside the square in terms of trends, making use of dead space in the pub, and looking at ways to integrate technology into their businesses.”