We're so excited to announce the first of our outstanding key note speakers for The AHC 2017, the Man of Steel himself, Chris Penn. Chris will be taking to the stage on the morning of Thursday 12th October.
A hotel professional, GB triathlete, Ironman, one of just 1,700 people in history to swim the English Channel and now co-founder of an exciting new hotel brand, we spoke to Chris in advance of The AHC on the progress of Steel Hotels, his thoughts on the industry and his objectives for the rest of the year.
The AHC: Your session at The AHC is about customer experience. As guests wants and needs continue to evolve at a pace, how do you keep up with trends, expectations and requests?
Chris Penn (CP): Trends are exactly that. Consumer facing organisations that are chasing trends will continue to innovate behind the curve and become expensive versions of a prior fashion. Delivering incredible experiences needs to be much more deeply rooted within the human mechanisms in an organisation and by nature, we as humans are evolutionary mammals, so with the right people and an employment ecosystem encouraging and facilitating this 'natural' inclination, our organisation will continue to be at the forefront of service delivery.
The AHC: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect in creating a good customer experience and what are some of the common mistakes you see?
CP: Product vs people. Products are chosen carefully, researched, reviewed and invested in both at the outset and throughout their lifecycle. People, in a service led organisation, should receive greater levels of attention and investment than the physical products, but seldom do.
The AHC: With Steel Hotels, you will have almost total control over the philosophy, direction and goals of the business, more so than in your previous roles. What is your starting point in building a brand?
CP: Only build something that you understand, are passionate about and truly love. That is a pretty good basis for creating incredible products and experiences.
The AHC: Where do you anticipate Steel Hotels being by October this year? What progress can we expect to hear from you when you take to the stage at The AHC?
CP: Building a hotel company from scratch is no small task and as a start up we are diligently developing our concept and company from roots. We are actively searching for the right assets now that the ground work has been done and we hope that we will have secured our first site by the end of this year.
This was simply the warm up – don’t miss the full interview with Chris live at The AHC this October. Limited Early Bird tickets still available here. Early Bird rate will expire at the end of this month! The interview with Chris - Penn-ing His Own Story - Understanding and Interpreting The Customer Experience with Chris Penn – will take place on Thursday 12th October at 9.15am.
AHC 2017 is dedicated to delivering an event that benefits UK hotel owner and operators; Chris is one of these. There are key areas of the programme that are sculpted to encourage peer to peer interaction and operational inspiration alongside show-rounds of local hotel openings, an exclusive registration rate, a hotelier dinner on night one and content that will help make a difference to your business. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to understand more.