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Hack the Night 2018

HTNG's First Hackathon!

  • HTNG's inaugural hackathon, "Hack the Night", will take place over three exciting days at the Plug and Play Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. Application Programming Interface (API) providers will provide the building blocks, and participants will come together to develop state-of-the-art prototypes that catapult the industry into the next generation of hospitality technology.
  • Hackathon participants and teams will enjoy a weekend of camaraderie and networking with top tier technology providers in a fast-paced, competitive development environment.
  • "Hack The Night" fulfills HTNG's mission through stimulation of new product development by engaging the vendor and developer community. Hackathon participants bring a fresh perspective to the hospitality industry. 
  • 1st Place: $3,000
  • 2nd Place: $1,500
  • 3rd Place: $500 
  • Each prize will be paid to the entire team, if applicable. Individual challenge sponsors and/or API providers, at their discretion, may provide additional awards for the most innovative use of technology, or other categories.

The guest journey, from search to post stay, is ripe for innovation in hospitality - join us at "Hack the Night" to design something that makes the guest journey unique!

All of these interactions generate useful data for a hospitality company to leverage, but these companies struggle to bring all of this information together in a single, actionable view of the guest.

HTNG challenges participants to solve this problem or a portion of it with innovative solutions.  Hackathon entries may include guest- or staff-facing apps or tools, or something yet unseen by the industry!

Innovative solutions may (but are not required to) involve some of the following:

  • Utilize the customer profile to customize a personalized, unforgettable experience
  • Machine learning and predictive analytics to model guest behavior
  • Building a customer data repository utilizing modern big-data techniques
  • Matching external factors (such as weather data, insights, etc.) to identify opportunities to upsell the guest
  • Integration of other data sources to a customer profile to enhance the hotel's view of the guest, such as social media or product reviews
  • Develop a concierge app to highlight local events and exceed guest expectations
  • Building integration middleware to reduce the costs and time to market of a given integration

Competition entries will be judged on the impact a submission has on the guest journey or customer profile, and how likely a modern hospitality company is able to adopt such a solution at scale. Solutions will also be evaluated based on API usage, as well as HTNG standards adoption.

The guest journey starts with the booking process. Ideally, major companies have established a brand that resonates with the customer, but what about small or boutique hotels that lack marketing resources? How do those companies get customer eyeballs on their products? There may be an opportunity here to develop an inspiring solution, such as integrating an arbitrary potential traveller's preferences to predict what type of hotel (or even a destination) they are looking for. This system could be guest-facing (public website), or it could be an internal corporate system used to influence certain customer segments.

Other opportunities could include:

  • Simplifying the booking process via voice technology
  • Identifying packages (golf, spa, interests) to offer the guest during the booking process

Once a customer has arrived, he or she must check in. Some customers or hospitality companies may prefer a high-touch process, where they are formally welcomed and checked in by a smartly dressed hospitality associate. But what about the weary business traveller that is only staying for one night? they might prefer to bypass the front desk. In either case, the customer must identify themselves, receive a key and other welcome materials, and provide a payment option - all areas that hackathon participants could focus on. Can this be done with a mobile app or kiosk? Can this be enhanced with amenity requests, such as room service, bedding, or other value-add services to guests?

Now that the guest is on property, how can the hotel engage them and create a sticky customer experience that they will tell their friends about? How can they drive the customer to the 5-star restaurant? How can a hotel drive customers toward their business partners, like the amusement park down the street? Utilizing an HTNG or Sponsor API here might create a very interesting opportunity here for many hospitality companies...

Now that the guest has had an enjoyable stay at the property, how do we automatically record the guest activity so we can surprise and delight the guest during their next experience at the hotel or another within the company's portfolio? There is a huge opportunity to augment the existing customer profile with standard APIs.