It's on our desks, in our pockets, and now beginning to show up on our wrists. Technology is everywhere and it's only going to ramp up.
According to a recent Gartner study, there will be 1.1 billion connected "things" used by smart cities this year, and that number is expected to grow to 9.7 by 2020.
It's no secret that Apple's iPhone smashed records last year, selling nearly 70 million iPhones in the December quarter, but with the release of the iWatch, the new trending piece of tech will be wearables.
So, seeing as you, your employees, and your customers are all somewhat connected within your venue, what kind of impact does this have on the business?
From a marketing standpoint, things are looking good. The opportunities to reach your audience via social media are endless, especially when they can access these channels on multiple devices.
But, the new wave of tech also provides a great avenue to make process transactions with your customers in a seamless fashion.
"Online and mobile booking has made the entire process transparent and easy for those [who get] uncomfortable with calling up a VIP host and negotiating the price or details for [table service]," says Leo Thomas, founder of SURV, a San Francisco-based start-up.
After surfing the corporate wave for some time, Thomas decided to go his own route, launching SURV, a mobile app that allows users the power to sort out their bottle service bookings at nightclubs and lounges in their area at their fingertips.
Tech benefits that everyone craves are convenience and speed, two characteristics that Thomas believes are of utmost importance for every customer.
"Imagine having dinner at a bustling restaurant and being able to book bottle service for later that evening without having to leave your table or even make a call?" Thomas asks. That's the level of convenience many customers are looking for nowadays, and seeing as you can order nearly everything on any device connected to the internet, venue owners are presumed to meet that expectation.
While it's all about making life easier on the customer, there should be some give and take for the venue too, no? That's where NFC technology can be leveraged.
Thanks to Apple Pay, many consumers are now able to go about their purchasing habits without having to reach for their debit and credit cards, instead tapping their smartphones against any point of sale system.
"I think Apple Pay will be huge [for the industry]," says Thomas. "It will do for mobile what PayPal did for web commerce 12-15 years ago, which is bring payments to the mainstream."
It's convenient for the customer and the venue alike. However, Thomas believes there's an added benefit for the business.
"As Apple Pay evolve it will likely offer merchants useful and easy to digest customer analytics and customer behavior reports unlike what the major banks and credit card companies do today," he says.
That should make sorting through that valuable data a lot less messy than handling an Excel dump.