Host Global, the destination management company consortium planned to hold their annual event in the Dominican Republic in July, 2019. When reports surfaced of traveler deaths, Marty MacKay, Host Global, president became concerned. "The news was not favorable, from a U.S. media standpoint, so we obviously started watching it," MacKay said. "Coverage from outside the U.S. was 100 percent different, so we had a lot of different concerns. Being in the hospitality industry, we felt pretty strongly that pulling the event was not the right decision … but it was also our responsibility to do whatever we could to ensure everyone was safe and comfortable."
Host Global suggest a new app feature that would give attendees instant access to help if they needed it. The attendee could push a red button to connect directly to the local 911 service, an orange button to trigger a text directly to MacKay or a green button to email the event team. The red button would be for serious emergencies, while green might be used if a hotel staffer had delivered a room gift despite a do not disturb sign, MacKay said.
When Marty approached us with the idea our immediate response was – Great Idea! We’ll prioritize and accelerate development to get it you in time for the program in seven days.
Hotline, as the feature is called, is now available to all Lenos clients. It also includes a Mark Me Safe feature for emergencies such as earthquakes. "When you switch it on, assuming you have internet or phone coverage, it sends a signal to a reports portal and shows the cell phone number and what time that person marked themselves safe," Chong said. Tackeff added that the feature also helps when someone is feeling harassed at a conference and "something is going on that the organizer needs to know about.“
Over 90 percent downloaded Lenos sync app. "We received a lot of positive feedback about it," MacKay said, adding that one attendee said she opened it every night for her walk back to her room and that "it made her feel safe.“