Adapting Guest & Employee Communications at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Effectively communicating with guests during the pandemic.

As the largest property in the Hilton chain of hotels, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has complex guest and employee communication needs.

Introduction

Since first opening in 1955, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has grown from a small staff and just 60 guest rooms to 1,800 team members and over 2,860 guest rooms.

As one of the largest hotels in the world, the Hilton Hawaiian Village needed a one-to-many communications solution capable of displaying relevant content to guests throughout the property, as well as a solution flexible enough to be used to communicate with its on-site employees.

In 2018, the hotel selected FWI to replace its legacy digital signage system.

2,860

Guest rooms leverage the FWI GRTV application

150,000

Square feet of event space

82

Screens throughout the property

The Challenge:

Unsurprising for a property of its size, the Hilton Hawaiian Village sought to solve multiple challenges with its digital signage network.

One of the original challenges the Hilton Hawaiian Village came to FWI to solve was simplifying the content contribution and device management processes. With screens throughout its 22-acre property, the hotel needed to make it easier for staff to update signage on the fly, have that content be displayed within minutes of deployment, and be better equipped to check the status of any of its content players—all without needing to physically be in clear line of sight of each sign.

Additionally, with a greater chance of being impacted by natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, the Hilton Hawaiian Village sought a method of rapidly notifying both guests & employees during an emergency. Apart from weather-related communications needs, the hotel required a solution flexible enough to disseminate other types of critical information to every screen across the property if needed.

Once COVID-19 spread to Hawaii, another critical use case for Hilton Hawaiian Village’s signage became apparent. Due to health and safety concerns as well as state mandated guidelines, the property immediately and unexpectedly faced unprecedented communications challenges. Not only did the Hilton Hawaiian Village require a way to minimize contact between team members to reduce the chance of transmission of COVID-19, they also had to eliminate the need for large back-of-house meetings at a time when communicating health and safety information was more important than ever. Additionally, the necessary launch of the Hilton CleanStay program required properties to stop using paper handouts and find a new way of communicating to guests in hotel rooms, dining areas, and other public spaces.

What Needed To Be Done

01

Make content contribution easier for hotel staff

02

Use digital signage to deploy emergency messaging

03

Effectively communicate with guests during COVID-19 crisis

04

Comply with both state and brand health and safety guidelines

The Solution:

The Hilton Hawaiian Village immediately saw the value in FWI cloud over their existing solution due to its ability to provide access to multiple content contributors, easily add devices and users, and quickly swap content as emergency situations arose.

The inherent flexibility of the FWI platform allowed the hotel to adapt its signage on the fly and empowered individual departments to take control of the content on their own displays. Immediately after rolling out FWI Cloud, the property was able to use its screens to respond to an incoming tropical storm, providing updated weather information, storm trajectories, travel impacts and more, keeping its guests at ease and its staff informed. As part of its original implementation, the hotel leveraged the FWI Guest Room TV (GRTV) application in all 2,860 guest rooms to communicate Hilton brand messaging and property-specific information to guests. Additionally, the property has 20 screens for back-of-house employee communications, 50 signs in meeting spaces, 3 larger signs throughout the one of its ballrooms, and 9 screens in public spaces.

The Results

As the hospitality landscape undergoes rapid change, the Hilton Hawaiian Village continues to meet the evolving communications needs of its guests and employees by leveraging its existing digital signage platform.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is using its digital signage to ensure that guests are aware of the safety measures the property is taking, given that individual’s concerns for their health and safety are at an all-time high. By leveraging GRTV, the hotel can act in accordance with Hilton’s new requirement to stop using paper handouts, giving guests access to details about Hilton’s CleanStay program and other relevant information through in-room TVs. Additionally, FWI Cloud has reduced the burden on the IT team by empowering non-technical employees to easily contribute content to any sign. This has enabled the 500-person housekeeping department to adhere to social distancing guidelines and hold much smaller pre-shift meetings—using signage located at each staff elevator landing in the property’s five towers to communicate instead of requiring in-person meetings.

Added Benefits

01

Quickly Update Content from Anywhere

The Hilton Hawaiian Village uses FWI Cloud—a mobile-first interface that streamlines device management and content contribution—to quickly update content and adapt to guest and staff communications needs on the fly.

02

Comply with Brand Standards

By leveraging FWI’s GRTV application, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is able to fully comply with brand standards by eliminating the use of paper handouts in guest rooms and displaying information about Hilton’s CleanStay initiative on guest room TVs. This not only ensures compliance with Hilton brand standards but allows the hotel to reinforce state guidelines and avoid potential fines.

03

Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines

After facing the staff-related communications challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hilton Hawaiian Village added 20 screens to its back-of-house elevator banks, eliminating its larger pre-shift meetings and having smaller groups meet at the signs on each floor. This step drastically reduced the size of staff meetings and allowed the property to more effectively communicate while also minimizing face-to-face interactions between employees.

COVID has caused us to think outside the box and change the way we communicate with our guests and team members. With FWI, we can communicate effectively while protecting our guests & employees without sacrificing the high level of service and experience our guests expect when they come to our property.

Triscia Uehara, Senior Manager Technology

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