Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Do you hear what I hear?

Now we are fully immersed in the festive season and Christmas Day is fast approaching, I have been pondering; What is the sound of Christmas?

No-one wants it associated with sounds that conjure up feelings of anxiety, fear or disappointment, such as emergency services sirens blaring or bleeps sounding when you are on call.  I’m sure Retailers want it to be cash registers ringing and ‘chip & pin’ machines beeping, local churches might like it to be carols being sung or congregations celebrating the messages of the Christmas story and clearly some radio stations believe it should be back to back Christmas music from the beginning of November.  In contrast, you may prefer the magic of a snowy day where all sound is muffled and quiet, when the world takes on an unnatural eerie silence, except for maybe the crunch of snow underfoot or occasional bird song.

For me there are certain songs and sounds that are intrinsically linked Christmas; Paul Young’s ‘Love of the common people’ always reminds me of a certain Christmas school disco and the intro to the Pretenders ‘2000 miles’ transports me into the festive season within a few bars.  These are very personal prompts associated with my own memories and they will mean little or something very different to someone else.  The truth is that each one of us will have a different idea of what their perfect Christmas would be and as such the sound of Christmas will be different for everyone.  What can be agreed upon is that music and sounds evoke powerful memories and feelings in us all, and audio plays a key role in creating your own magical Christmas experience, whatever that may be.

In fact, as with every celebration large or small, Christmas is a truly multi-sensory event.  All the sensations; sights, smells, sounds and tastes add together with our imagination, memories and emotions to create our own personal Christmas experience, missing any one element out would detract from the feeling as a whole.  The sound and experience of Christmas is a very personal thing and what we all often seek is the warmth and security of familiarity whether through a song, film, place or just being with family or people who know you best and with whom you can relax.

We at CGA wish you all a safe, warm and happy Christmas, whatever that means to you.  We hope that the New Year sound as good, if not better than this year!

CGA Integration … Making hospitality sound great!

Friday, 6 December 2019

Don’t forget your most important resource… your Team!

Motivating your team through their working environment is a key way to help drive your customer’s guest experience. In the hospitality industry, it is always vital that we deliver exceptional customer service to reinforce our Brand values and hopefully ensure repeat business. Obviously the look, ambience and technology infrastructure of a venue is key in delivering this, but it is the staff that work at the venue that are paramount in ensuring that your guests stay is a memorable one, for all the right reasons! Valuing and motivating staff comes in many guises; pay, benefits, empowerment, promotional prospects, but working conditions are also key. Ensuring that care is taken over the environment for your staff areas, as well as those for your guests, will help your staff to feel valued and in turn help them to ‘live your Brand’. Improving Back of House Areas using AV Increasingly CGA Integration is seeing savvy employers investing in their staff areas; using AV technology to enhance ‘Back of House.’ Over the years, CGA has installed sound systems and digital signage in staff areas at venues such as The Dorchester, Park Lane and the staff canteen at Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill. We have also worked with partners to install digital signage back of house in hotels, to ensure that their staff arrive and leave work in a pleasant environment and are kept up to speed with staff news and current affairs. Back of House Sound Systems Installing sound systems throughout staff changing areas and back of house areas will help staff to feel relaxed when starting and leaving work. Some venues use soothing music, while others choose local radio stations with news, to ensure that the staff are up to speed with what is happening locally, benefiting both them and in turn your guests. Back of House Digital Signage Gone are the days of paper bulletins to inform staff of important news and key staff events, email has taken over, but at times where your staff might not have access to their mobile phone or computer, digital signage, (a generic term for information disseminated through electronic screens), can be used in staff areas to keep them up to speed. Venues are using this to inform staff of; important corporate news, key employee information and more crucially staff social events and activities, even to wish employees a Happy Birthday! Many employers are very conscientious in differentiating between corporate and staff information to ensure that members of staff feel their events are social occasions. The way digital signage is presented can help with this differentiation. Help your team to live your Brand Creating a back of house environment that is synonymous with your Brand, one which is inclusive to the longest serving and newest arrival alike, will help your staff in turn better deliver your Brand to your customers, selling and upselling products much more effectively than brochures or websites alone. If you think this is an area that your hotel could benefit from then please do get in touch to discuss how AV can be used to empower your most important resource … your team. I look forward to hearing from you. Chris Gunton Managing Director CGA Integration

CGA Integration … Making hospitality sound great!