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Hospitality Art, Millennials and the Changing Landscape


Hospitality Art & Millennials

News flash! Millennials are the fastest growing customer segment in the world. OK, while we’ll admit this isn’t really breaking news at this point, it still is extremely important for the future of hospitality and countless other industries.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder why copious amounts of research has gone into examining Millennial preferences and behaviors. In fact, with some modest digging, you’re sure to uncover great reports like the White House’s 15 Economic Facts About Millennials, the Pew Research Center’s Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next, and Nielsen’s Millennials-Breaking the Myths, just to name a few.

Survey says

Millennials are tech-savvy, cause-driven, and attracted to unique design. That’s a great start. But for those of us who want to take things a step further, more info is needed.

Back in 2015, Art Force was hot on the trail of untangling this mystery. To point, we created a survey in hopes of authentically connecting with needs of Millennials entering the workforce. What did we discover? Work environment is tremendously important to Millennials. For many, in fact, it was more important than pay. That alone should tell you a lot about Millennial values.

Art Force hospitality client

Aesthetically pleasing design is clearly something that Millennials want in all environments. Where the rubber meets the road, the hospitality industry has taken notice and begun to change hotel design to offer far more than a comfy place to rest one’s head. Hotels want to spice up their look in hopes of gaining business from this new market. This is a definitely a smart move for the industry because it’s no secret that Millennials love to travel more than the generations before them.

Currently representing 32 percent of all US travelers, by 2025, Millennials will represent over 50 percent of all travelers.

What’s more, the hospitality industry must not focus solely on how their hotel rooms look. Inviting lobbies filled with art, enhanced common areas, multi-functional public spaces, and unique bar environments will draw in this new market (as research has shown millennials want to be able to get out of their rooms to be around other people).

Art Force hospitality client

Public spaces act as an extension of the overall experience by promoting socializing and collaboration, something that the millennial generation greatly values.These burgeoning customers are drawn to the “experience” while staying in a hotel.

Urban, active, mixed-use environments are appealing to them. These spaces should assimilate the energy and culture of the location they are in to add to the experience of their trip. One way to do this is through commissioning local artists to help make the space unique, and incorporating familiar elements to the location. Through this, the hotel will become much more than just a place to rest your head, it can double as a museum of local artists.

Adam Turman mural, Art Force Hospitality Client
Adam Turman mural, Art Force Hospitality Client

Another aspect to incorporate into spaces to attract these tech-loving people is social media.  Wanting to show all of their social media friends how great their trip is, millennials have an eye for cool design. Hotels will want to create unique, beautifully designed hospitality spaces with artsy backdrops for guests to snap and share on social media. The more creative, original, and radical the space is, the more they will be inclined to share on social media. Every inch of the space can be used as a potential setting for photos and videos. Radical hospitality will surely gain tags, likes, and follows.

So how does a hotel moderate between extravagant décor and price control? By utilizing “creative standardization,” you can offer compelling artwork features without breaking the bank. Art Force worked with the Radisson Blu to help them achieve this. The Radisson Blu hotel’s tagline is, “Unique. Stylish. Entirely Radisson Blu.”

Art Force partnered with them to equip their space with unique artwork done by local artists. Bold wallpaper was used in all 360 rooms.

Wallpaper in action

Wallpaper is easily reproducible and requires less extensive installation on a massive scale without skipping on the décor factor. Radisson Blu’s Twitter page asks guests to take a photo with the wallpaper backdrop and use the hashtag #MplsBluDrop. This is some effective and easy free marketing for the Radisson Blu hotel as well as free marketing for the artist who designed the wallpaper.

Besides using social media to attract the tech-loving guests, hotels may also incorporate digital design to their space. The leading hotel chains have started to do this to lure in museum loving guests. The Renaissance NY Midtown hotel uses technology to illuminate their walls with images that coordinate with changing sounds. Talk about hospitality! By incorporating design elements like this, the hotel could be the main attraction of the trip.