Driving Event Bookings and ROI at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley’s booming technology industry, the Hiltons of San Francisco Union Square are setting the pace for using technology to enhance the guest experience.

In 2008, the hotel approached FWI to improve how guests navigate the Hilton Union Square’s three towers. Then, with the addition of Parc 55’s 1,025 rooms in 2015, the combined complex totaled 175,000 square feet, further expanding the need for a powerful wayfinding solution. Throughout the long partnership, the properties have evolved their use of FWI’s platform, adding new applications to drive guests to onsite food and beverage outlets, simplify meeting room signage and more.

  • 60%
    ROI after up-selling digital branding

  • 40%
    Increase in year-over-year sales of digital branding

  • 140
    Screens across both properties

The Challenge


After successfully solving wayfinding, menu board, and meeting room signage challenges for both properties, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square complex sought a way to leverage its signs to win site visits and create a new revenue stream.

As a prime event destination, hosting roughly 300 events annually, event bookings comprise a significant portion of the property’s revenue stream. To differentiate its properties from other venues and guarantee more event bookings, the Hiltons of Union square wanted to be able to impress event planners by dynamically program content to create personalized site visits. Additionally, the complex realized that with the amount of high-cost, labor-intensive vinyl and paper branding associated with large events, there was an inherent need for enhanced, flexible branding opportunities. And finally, because the properties had multiple amenities, the hotels wanted a better way to cross-promote their outlets and further capitalize on onsite-revenue generation opportunities.

What Needed To Be Done


  • 01
    Create a “wow-factor” to impress event planners and increase event bookings

     

  • 02
    Create a new revenue stream by up-selling branding packages

     

  • 03
    Empower hotel staff to update content on the fly during events

     

The Solution


The complex approached FWI to enable the properties’ sales and marketing teams to create more personalized events and site visits.

Addressing those challenges as a part of a comprehensive, phased rollout, FWI implemented a multifaceted strategy that included managed services and a software upgrade. To immediately solve the need to deploy customized content for site visits and develop a branding strategy, the Hiltons of Union Square leveraged FWI’s Visual Communications Management (VCM) service. The VCM team quickly created customizable templates to make site visit personalization easy, then developed the upselling and event execution program. While the VCM team expedited time-to-value on the event planner engagement and branding strategies, the Hiltons of Union Square began exploring the functionality of FWI Cloud, a mobile-first digital signage management tool. Quickly realizing that FWI Cloud would enable its event and marketing staff to change content on the fly while also streamlining device management, the properties began the process of upgrading to FWI Cloud.

Components Used


The Results


Within one month of leveraging FWI’s VCM service, the Hiltons of Union Square started using their signage networks to create personalized site visits and begin selling digital branding packages.

The idea to use digital signage more dynamically paid off, without sacrificing the value the properties’ traditional digital signage applications provide. Additionally, the initial success of the program prompted the hotels to expedite their upgrade to FWI Cloud, further enhancing the marketing and event teams’ ability to create personalized experiences.

Added Benefits


  • 01
    Increase Revenue
    By up-selling digital branding packages, the hotel generated a 60% ROI on its signage network in less than a year and now sees a 40% increase in branding package sales, annually.

  • 02
    Empower Additional Content Contributors
    With FWI Cloud, the marketing and event teams will be able to update their digital signs—on the fly—allowing the hotel staff to be more responsive to the needs of their guests and take advantage of cross-promotional opportunities.

  • 03
    Differentiate from Other Venues
    By personalizing the site visit using its digital signs, the Hiltons of Union Square are differentiating its properties from the competition and winning more event business by simply showing how easily the hotels can be transformed to meet the event planner’s needs.

Competition for event business is fierce. The way we’re using FWI’s platform to dynamically personalize signage for incoming site visits gives us a major competitive edge, plus provides an additional revenue stream.

—CINDY RAMESH, COMPLEX DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING, HILTON SAN FRANCISCO UNION SQUARE

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