Boosting Guest Engagement at Ski Resorts: The Power of Digital Signage and Mobile Apps

Boosting Guest Engagement at Ski Resorts: The Power of Digital Signage and Mobile Apps

The journey of a guest's experience at a ski resort doesn't begin at the ticket counter, nor does it start as they step into their skis. It begins the very moment they hear of the resort. From the initial stages of planning their visit, deciding on the attire based on weather conditions, to navigating their way to the resort and looking for parking, every interaction and piece of information shapes their expectations and overall experience. How can ski resorts ensure that every touchpoint, even before arrival, contributes positively to a guest's journey? The magic lies in effective communication. Whether it's helping potential guests choose the perfect weekend for their ski trip or providing real-time parking updates, communication is the key. This article will dive deep into the critical roles of both passive and active communication in sculpting a memorable experience and why it's essential for ski resorts to master both. Join us as we traverse the intricate trails of guest engagement, starting from the very first whisper of the resort's name.

Understanding Passive and Active Communication
Every guest is unique, and so is the way they prefer to receive information. In the context of guest engagement, especially at ski resorts, understanding the nuances of communication types is essential. Let's break down these channels.

Definition of Passive Communication: 
Passive communication is more about broadcasting information without expecting a direct response or immediate engagement. Think of it as setting up signboards along the highway – they provide vital details, but they don't initiate a two-way conversation. For guests, it's the silent guide that offers information at a glance, allowing them to absorb details as they proceed.

Definition of Active Communication: 
In contrast, active communication is a two-way street. It's engaging, direct, and often personalized. Imagine a guest receiving a notification on their mobile app about a special après-ski event based on their preferences or a direct message about a personalized package deal. Active communication is about dialogue, understanding, and immediate response.

How Both Forms of Communication Complement Each Other: 
While passive communication lays the foundation by providing essential information, active communication builds on it by fostering engagement and personalization. Imagine a guest reading about a special event on a digital sign (passive) and then receiving a personalized invitation on their resort app (active). Together, they create a comprehensive communication strategy that informs, engages, and delights.

By recognizing the strengths and applications of both passive and active communication, ski resorts can seamlessly guide guests through their journey, ensuring they are well-informed and deeply engaged every step of the way.

The Power of Passive Communication: Digital Signage
Digital signage, with its captivating visuals and dynamic displays, has emerged as a dominant form of passive communication in ski resorts. It's the silent, yet influential force that guides, informs, and entices guests throughout their stay.

Overview of Digital Signage in Ski Resorts:
- Location-specific information: Strategically placed at key points, these signs offer crucial details like ski lift status, trail conditions, and weather updates. As guests navigate the resort, this consistent flow of information ensures they're always in the know.
- Promotions and advertisements: Beyond mere information, digital signs often showcase the latest deals, offers, or events at the resort. Be it a discounted ski lesson or an evening gala, these displays play a pivotal role in piquing guest interest.
- General resort news and updates: Whether it's announcing a newly opened facility or a change in resort timings, digital signage keeps guests updated with the latest happenings.

- Immediate dissemination of information: Digital signs can be updated in real-time, ensuring that guests always receive the most current information, which is especially vital in the dynamic environment of a ski resort.
- Attractive visual presentation: With high-quality graphics and animations, digital signage grabs attention and delivers information in an engaging manner, enhancing the guest's overall experience.
- Reduced need for manpower: With automated updates and central control, resorts can provide vital information without constantly staffing information desks or making manual announcements.

In the bustling corridors, slopes, and lobbies of ski resorts, digital signage serves as a silent concierge, ensuring guests have the information they need right when they need it. By leveraging this powerful passive communication tool, ski resorts can create a smooth and well-informed environment for every guest.

The Reach of Active Communication: Mobile Apps
In an era where smartphones are almost an extension of oneself, mobile apps have taken the lead in active communication, especially in enhancing the ski resort experience.

Introduction to Mobile Apps in Ski Resorts:
- Real-time ski trail status: Through the app, guests can get immediate updates on which trails are open, their difficulty levels, and even live conditions. This allows skiers and snowboarders to plan their runs more effectively.
- Booking facilities: From reserving ski lessons to booking tables at the resort's restaurants, the app facilitates a seamless planning experience, allowing guests to customize their stay.
- Events and promotions: Personalized notifications about upcoming events or exclusive offers can be sent directly to a guest's device, ensuring they're always in the loop.
- Push notifications: A powerful tool that offers real-time updates and alerts. Whether it's a change in weather conditions or a special offer, push notifications ensure guests are immediately informed.

- Direct engagement with guests: Active communication through mobile apps creates a direct channel between the resort and its guests. It fosters a sense of connection and personal attention.
- Personalized experience: Based on user preferences and behavior, the app can curate personalized offers, suggestions, and alerts, enhancing the overall guest experience.
- Increased guest retention: The ability to send tailored promotions, loyalty rewards, and event notifications directly to guests increases the likelihood of repeat visits and longer stays.

Mobile apps, with their dynamic interface and direct communication capabilities, transform the guest experience from a generic visit to a personalized journey. By adopting this active communication channel, ski resorts can ensure guests not only receive information but also feel heard, valued, and engaged every moment of their stay.

Why Ski Resorts Should Increase Guest Engagement
Guest engagement isn't merely a buzzword; it's the backbone of creating memorable experiences and fostering long-term loyalty. Let's explore why ski resorts should prioritize and amplify their engagement strategies.

Importance of Repeat Business: 
- Building a Loyal Customer Base: Guests who have memorable experiences are more likely to return. This repeat business is invaluable, as retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.
- Word-of-mouth Marketing: A highly engaged guest is more likely to recommend the resort to friends and family, turning them into ambassadors for your brand.

Enhanced Guest Experience: 
- Positive Feedback Loop: The more engaged a guest is, the more feedback they provide, whether it's through reviews, surveys, or direct communication. This feedback is gold for continuous improvement.
- Creating Emotional Connections: Beyond the snowy slopes and cozy lodges, it's the personal touches and engagements that guests remember and cherish. An engaged guest is more likely to form an emotional connection with the resort, making their experience unforgettable.

Competitive Edge in an Evolving Market: 
- Setting the Standard: In a market with numerous ski resorts, offering a high level of guest engagement differentiates one from the crowd. It sets the resort apart as a leader in guest experience.
- Adapting to Changing Guest Needs: A resort that prioritizes engagement is more attuned to the evolving needs and preferences of its guests. This adaptability ensures the resort remains relevant and top-of-mind for visitors.

Increasing guest engagement isn't just about boosting numbers; it's about creating a community of loyal patrons who feel connected, valued, and eager to return. For ski resorts, investing in guest engagement translates to long-term success, a sterling reputation, and a legacy of unforgettable experiences.

The Need for a Dual Strategy
In the realm of guest engagement, relying solely on one communication form can be limiting, especially when each guest's journey is unique. Harnessing the power of both passive and active communication is not just a recommendation; it's a necessity for ski resorts aiming for unparalleled guest experiences.

Evolving Guest Communication

The Limitations of a Single Strategy: 
- Gaps in Communication: While passive communication is great for broadcasting general information, it may lack the personal touch that guests often seek. On the other hand, relying entirely on active communication might miss those who prefer a more laid-back, self-guided experience.
- Missed Opportunities: Solely focusing on one form can lead to missed chances for engagement. For instance, while a mobile app might provide personalized recommendations, digital signage can grab a guest's attention in communal areas, informing them of impromptu events or offers.

Catering to a Diverse Audience: 
- Digital Natives vs. Traditional Guests: The younger, tech-savvy guests might lean towards mobile app notifications, while older guests might appreciate digital boards and signage. A dual strategy ensures no demographic is left out.
- Varied Guest Preferences: Some guests want to be actively informed and engaged, while others prefer to discover and explore at their own pace. By employing both communication forms, resorts can ensure they cater to every guest's unique preferences.

Flexibility in Communication: 
- Peak and Off-Peak Times: During busy periods, passive communication like digital signage can effectively disseminate information without overwhelming the active channels. In contrast, during quieter times, active communication can be used to entice guests with special offers or personalized experiences.
- Adapting to Situations: In dynamic environments like ski resorts, situations can change rapidly, like sudden weather shifts. Having a dual strategy allows for agile communication, ensuring guests are informed and safe.

Synergistic Benefits: 
- Enhanced Reach and Engagement: When a guest encounters consistent messaging across passive and active channels, the message's impact is amplified. It creates a cohesive experience, reinforcing the resort's brand and offerings.
- Holistic Experience: The combination of general information from digital signage and personalized updates from mobile apps provides guests with a comprehensive, 360-degree engagement, covering every facet of their journey.

A dual communication strategy is not about choosing one over the other; it's about the harmonious integration of both. For ski resorts aiming to offer unparalleled experiences, this synergy between passive and active communication is the blueprint for success, ensuring every guest feels informed, valued, and truly engaged from start to finish.

Crafting the Perfect Dual Strategy: Tips for Implementation
With the importance of a dual strategy established, the next step for ski resorts is the effective implementation of both passive and active communication channels. Here are some actionable insights to guide resorts in crafting their perfect dual strategy:

Understand Your Audience: 
- Demographics: Consider the age, tech-savviness, and preferences of your typical guests. While younger guests might be more inclined towards mobile app engagements, older guests might resonate more with digital signage.
- Feedback Collection: Periodically collect feedback on communication preferences. This helps in fine-tuning the strategy to match guest expectations.

Seamless Integration: 
- Unified Branding: Ensure that both your digital signage and mobile apps carry consistent branding in terms of design, colors, and messaging.
- Centralized Control: Use a centralized system to control both passive and active communications, ensuring timely updates and consistency in messaging.

- Guest Profiles: For the active communication component, consider building guest profiles on your mobile app. This allows for tailored recommendations and alerts based on individual preferences.
- Location-Based Services: Use geofencing and beacon technology to send targeted offers or information when guests are in specific areas of the resort.

Quality Over Quantity: 
- Relevance: Ensure all communications, whether through digital signage or mobile apps, are relevant to the guests. Avoid overwhelming them with too much information or excessive notifications.
- Clarity and Conciseness: Be clear and concise in messaging. Whether it's a weather update on a digital sign or a mobile app alert, ensure the message is easily understandable.

Continuous Evolution: 
- Stay Updated with Tech Trends: The digital landscape is always evolving. Regularly update both your digital signage systems and mobile apps to incorporate new features or technologies that enhance guest engagement.
- Analyze and Adapt: Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your communication strategies. Analyze metrics, gather feedback, and be ready to adapt based on the insights gained.

Training and Support: 
- Staff Training: Ensure that the resort staff is well-trained in understanding and promoting both communication channels. They should be equipped to assist guests with any queries related to the mobile app or digital signage.
- Technical Support: Offer readily available technical support for guests using the mobile app. This ensures any issues are promptly addressed, maintaining a smooth guest experience.

Crafting the perfect dual strategy is an ongoing process, one that requires continuous attention, refinement, and dedication. By keeping guest preferences at the forefront and integrating the strengths of both passive and active communication, ski resorts can curate experiences that are memorable, seamless, and truly engaging.

Conclusion: The Future of Guest Engagement
The journey of a guest, from the moment they discover a ski resort to the memories they carry post-visit, is paved with countless interactions and touchpoints. In this digital age, where information is abundant and attention spans are limited, ski resorts are faced with the challenge of effectively capturing and retaining guest interest.

Passive and active communication, represented by digital signage and mobile apps respectively, are not merely tools but pillars that uphold the edifice of modern guest engagement. Together, they weave a tapestry of experiences that are informative, engaging, and memorable.

For ski resorts aiming for the pinnacle of guest satisfaction and loyalty, the path forward is clear: a harmonious blend of both communication strategies. It's not about a one-size-fits-all approach, but about crafting a tailored, dynamic strategy that resonates with every guest, ensuring they leave with cherished memories and an eagerness to return.

As the snow-covered slopes beckon and the cozy lodges await, the resorts equipped with a dual communication strategy will be the ones setting the gold standard in guest engagement, ensuring they remain top-of-mind in an ever-evolving competitive landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are hesitating, do not worry - we are here to explain
everything you might want to know. Let us help!

What is the Alpine Media Platform and why would I need this at my resort/park?
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The Alpine Media Platform is a simple to use yet comprehensive guest engagement (and staff communication) platform that helps ski resorts, theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, museums, aquariums, and other attractions build, launch, simplify, measure, and maximize their guest engagement strategy.

The Alpine Media Platform is a leading resort software and app solution with a range of tools, including event planning, real-time operations reporting (e.g. lift & trail status or attraction status), base area maps with POI details, F&B menus, live vehicle/shuttle tracking, emergency alerts, notifications, and much more. The Alpine Media Platform consists of a custom mobile app specific to your resort (Android and iOS), digital signage (ranging from a 10in ticket window display to an LED 'jumbotron' of any size) and an intuitive, easy-to-use content management system (CMS) to control all your content.

We already have a mobile-responsive website, why would I need this?
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Mobile responsive websites are awesome and every organization should start there, but what happens when you need to get an urgent message out to all of your on-site guests? Is all the content on your website accessible when guests do not have an active internet connect? Do you have full control over the content on your website or do you have to rely on your web developer?

Moreover, we all know that every guest is different and how they decide to interact with your organization/brand varies widely. The Alpine Media Platform automatically 'pulls in' existing information about your resort and distributes it to additional channels (digital signage, mobile app, and text [coming soon]) for guests to consume wherever and whenever they want. In addition, our APIs make is simple for your team to 'pull' information from the Alpine Media Command Center CMS and show it on your website. You decide if you want to manage content through your website or through the Alpine Media CMS.

Synchronizing all of your resort information across the various channels should not require duplicate entry; it shouldn't require someone running all over the place updating USB thumb drives; and it definitely shouldn't require waiting in the IT queue for content change requests.

How long will it take you to get my resort set up?
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We make every effort to get your resort activated within 2 weeks.  Most of the time, we'll have your digital signage solution up and running within 72 hours from receiving all the necessary resort information including contact information, design guidelines, logo, existing data feeds, and admin users.  As soon as we activate your resort, you will have the ability to add and control all of your content and more.  From there, it's up to you how quickly you want to roll it out to various locations. In fact, many of your resort partners start with general information displays across their resort and then continue to customize and add additional locations (e.g. F&B menus, ticket pricing & availability, in-room media for on-site lodging locations).

How much does the platform cost?
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We offer four different plans, Green (digital signage only), Blue (digital signage + custom mobile app), Black (digital signage + custom mobile app + shuttle tracking and point of sale integration), and Double-Black (full customization of the platform). Plans start as low as $500/mo depending on the scope. The best part about the pricing of our software solutions is that there are no limits on the number of users and virtually all of the new features we develop are added to your plan at no additional cost. We hate getting "nickel and dimed" and we promise not to do it to you.

Schedule a demo to see the complete platform and get a customized proposal.