A&O: A simple idea with a future

The story about the largest privately owned hostel chain in Europe began in the year 2000 when Oliver Winter and Michael Kluge founded the A&O Hotels and Hostels Holding AG.

The idea was simple, but the concept hit the nail on the head and filled a gap: The need for professionally run and centrally located accommodations that combine the advantages of a hotel with those of a hostel.

Today, 16 years later, A&O welcomes backpackers, youth groups, as well as families in 31 hostels in 19 cities. They pride themselves on the same friendly and modern atmosphere at all of their locations.

The digital info screens in the lobby were just another, important step on the way to a flexible and modern guest interaction.

Flexible and up-to-date with viewneo

„We are looking for a simple and centrally controllable solution that includes up-to-date information about the weather or news.”
-Phillip Winter, Head of Marketing-

Some important criteria for the choice of Digital Signage Software were that it would have an easy and centrally located management system, that would send the same content to different screens and also to different locations.

Before, A&O used Dropbox and USB sticks to get their content onto information screens. However, this left each individual hostel as being responsible for the management of their own screens. It was a situation that cost the company both time and money. Additionally, not all of their employees were familiar with the use of Dropbox. As a result different up-to-date information was shown on the screens. The solution: viewneo.

Project: viewneo

At first, A&O ran a viewneo pilot project in some of their locations. They noticed very quickly that the Digital Signage software was meeting their needs.

“We have tested various applications and found the best solution for us to be viewneo. The cost-benefit is great. The support is fast and effective. Overall we feel very well supported.”

After the pilot project, A&O implemented viewneo in all locations.

The easy, central management of the lobby screens is now being run from their headquarters in Berlin. Not only does this allow a consistent design and content across all screens, it also takes another to-do item off the individual location’s list:

“Thanks to viewneo I can now guarantee that the same up-to-date information is being shown in all our lobbies. I can even integrate promotions based on the time of day or add other important information.”

A&O noticed quickly that the moving images that were implemented with viewneo provided strong incentives for potential customers. The pizza ads or the promotions during happy hour are now being noticed way more than before.

A&O also likes to use viewneo’s special offers, like content for the European Football Championship or the Olympics. “Our guests like it and it shows that we don’t just show pre-canned presentations, but up-to-date content.”

Content concepts with added benefits for guests

 „The up-to-date content is helping with our bottom line and by using moving images we create a modern atmosphere in our lobbies.”
-Phillip Winter, Head of Marketing-

The concept and the advantages of the Digital Signage software by viewneo allow A&O to create truly added benefits for their guests, right in the lobby.

Depending on the time of the day, they show hotel information like check-in services, promotions for the lobby bar, and information about local events. They also implement location-based information, like the local weather forecast.  All of which are provided by viewneo.

Since the lobby is the most frequented area the screens attract a higher attention, which allows A&O Hotels and Hostels Holding AG to place their own content and play it during certain hours of the day.

While from 7 to 10 a.m., the morning coffee selection is being shown in tandem with the check-out times, by late afternoon, the screens shift towards displaying cocktails and soft drinks for happy hour. Timing information like this has already significantly increased revenue, said Phillip Winter, even though it is too early to name numbers.

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