The Anaheim Marriott is a 19-floor resort with over 1,000 rooms and a 54,000 square foot convention center. The hotel is adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center and just two blocks from Disneyland. Other attractions include Edison Field (home of the Anaheim Angels), The Nixon Library, Newport Beach, and Anaheim Pond.
The hotel caters to a mix of tourist and convention guests with five restaurants and lounges, sports and recreation facilities and many other services and amenities, with an emphasis on customer service.
In December 2001, the hotel management was in the midst of finalizing plans for a major renovation of their convention facilities. Located adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center, they were upgrading their 54,000 square feet of meeting room space with a striking new look featuring custom furnishings and dramatic original art. One planned fixture did not seem to fit into this contemporary design.
Traditionally, in fulfilling the need to communicate important information to their guests, glass encased printed documents were used. Each morning the staff would update the meeting room schedules and the day's events, print several copies, and deliver them to the information cabinets situated throughout the facility.
Quite often the information would need to be changed throughout the day and the process would need to be repeated.
The Marriott's wish list was comprehensive. They wanted the ability to show unique content on each display. It was imperative that they be able to simultaneously post meeting room schedules, advertisements for the restaurant and lounge facilities, updated news information via CNN, and general messages in a timely and efficient manner. After much research into the digital signage solutions available, the Marriott felt Omnivex would be best able to meet their display needs.
Omnivex's content management software, Omnivex Display 3, provided Marriott with the ability to place virtually any type of media concurrently on multiple displays without the need to convert files. Omnivex Display 3 allows the user to easily create unique layouts for any connected display device.
Supported file types include mpeg, avi, Flash, QuickTime, jpeg, live video feeds, web pages, and live data. Omnivex DataPipe 3 provides the means to integrate almost any type of data into the screen layout. Omnivex DataPipe 3 creates the conduit to incorporate news, sports, weather feeds, real-time market data, meeting room schedules, internal messages, and a host of other dynamic information.
Omnivex Control 4 provided Marriott with the ability to control, monitor, and maintain their display devices and PCs from a central point. Schedules of commands were created to set the display devices to particular modes throughout the day. Reactions to the information received back from the devices were created to maintain set points, send alerts, and/or take corrective action.
The Anaheim Marriott currently manages six 50" plasma displays and a 21" LCD display using Omnivex software. Each display has its own slim line PC (TTUFF Technologies' BCT-101) mounted on the back. There are three cables running to each PC: power, network, and a coaxial cable television feed. There is a short length of VGA cable and a serial cable connecting each PC and display.
The Anaheim Marriott has fulfilled all of its requirements and is discovering new ways of utilizing the displays. The staff can easily post changes to the meeting room schedules directly from their own scheduling software days in advance, with minor changes posted as needed. Television is a part of the screen layout and the software can change sound, closed captioning, and channel as required.
The Marriott's existing marketing materials are integrated into the layouts, advertising the restaurant, bar, and other hotel facilities. They have even converted their existing in-room hotel information system over to Omnivex software.
The system has opened up a new source of revenue for the hotel by enabling it to easily sell advertising space on the displays to visiting groups, turning the entire project into a source of revenue as opposed to a cost center.
According to Lynn O'Brien, Marriott's Senior Convention Coordinator, "Even though we have been using this system for many months, I feel we have barely scratched the surface of its potential. The biggest benefit to using Omnivex Display 3 software is flexibility. Generally, we present information within a template to display changing data, but we also have the ability to modify the output to suit the current convention in-house, or impress the potential client!"
According to Mark Vasquez, Director of Event Management, "This display system is exactly what we were looking for to complement our newly renovated space." What the Anaheim Marriott did not anticipate was the revenue generating potential of this system. "The new method of providing advertising space for our clients has been in place for seven months and it has generated enough revenue to cover half the cost."
As Lynn O'Brien says, "A picture may be 'worth a thousand words', but a digital picture presented on a plasma screen in glorious color is only worth one: IMPACT!"