Industry trends

How to build the #1 community in hospitality technology

Petra Hancz

Petra Hancz

Apaleo Community

In an industry famous for its intimacy, we realised that actual network opportunities are limited among hoteliers especially in the digital world. People in the hospitality industry were eager for a fresh approach to team up and learn collectively.

So, our mission was clear from the start: build a platform where hoteliers could confidently advance in their digital transformation and expand their knowledge of hotel technology. With peer-provided insights and support, this platform soon grew itself to be a community that’s all about collective growth.

Members enthusiastically started to invite their colleagues, actively seeking peer feedback, and expressing a hunger for actionable content related to their daily challenges and needs. As they say, the rest is history. 

This is our journey to building and nurturing the Apaleo Community.

The purpose

Since the launch of January 2022, our community has witnessed remarkable growth, with the number of members doubling and now boasting 1,000 members. It serves as a vibrant hub for every stakeholder of our industry, from revenue managers to receptionists, tech vendors, C-levels (including CEOs, CFOs, and CTOs), as well as independent developers, and consultants. Within these virtual walls, professionals gather to share insights, solve pressing challenges, exchange ideas, and co-create with like-minded individuals. We aim not just to enable innovation but to ignite it!

What sets our community apart is the shared knowledge and collaboration among members. Right from the start, our goal wasn't to create a run-of-the-mill help centre, as we already have a dedicated 24/7 support channel and an amazing customer support team. Instead, our community serves as an additional medium and networking opportunity for the tech-savvy champions within independent properties as well as hotel and serviced apartment groups, all driving change in their respective organisations.

A thriving ecosystem of collaboration

This year alone, we've seen nearly 3,000 comments on various topics. Hoteliers are the backbone of these energetic conversations and their interactions revolve around various topics.

Sharing ready-made solutions for fellow hoteliers in need

“People don’t share self-promotional content like on LinkedIn. Here, they understand that everyone cares about advancing through their transformation journey. Therefore, the topics we encounter focus on hotel tech, automation, digital transformation, and occasionally touching upon cybersecurity and sustainability. There is minimal discussion about Apaleo, as our intention is not to utilise the community to talk about ourselves. Our primary goal is to facilitate people's progress in their transformation journey. By interacting with each other, they can grow more rapidly and effectively.” - Fabrizio Sepe, Community Lead.

Seeking feedback on a work-in-progress solution

The art of nurturing

As we saw members generously supporting each other, openly sharing their tech stack, and a consistent turnout at our early events, our motivation skyrocketed. This drove us to invest further in the Community, accelerating its development by inviting selected partners, amplifying conversations, creating dedicated spaces for developers, and introducing sections for direct customer-developer engagement. 

By 2023, the Apaleo Community is the go-to place for hundreds of hospitality professionals, fostering innovation and supporting the discovery of the latest solutions. 

“What I love the most about our community is the collaborative spirit among our members. We have witnessed numerous hotels sharing their tech stacks, the apps they've built, the custom solutions they've created, and various automations, etc." adds Fabrizio.

Asking for advice on a digital solution for a previously manual task

Apart from peer-to-peer content generation, our team works on providing additional assets to enhance the community experience including:

  • Expert-led masterclasses (e.g. digital marketing, e-commerce, cybersecurity, content writing)

  • Monthly meet-ups:

    • Apahero Connect: for product champions, this event provides a tailored experience to collaboratively address challenges in live monthly calls.

    • Automation Club: a hotspot for hoteliers to showcase and share their latest automation triumphs.

  • Actionable app demos

  • Inspirational tech stacks

  • Cool industry reads

  • Product-related courses and interactions

Asking for recommendations on which apps to use

With everything we’ve accomplished so far, we’re excited to see where this journey takes us!

Hoteliers love the Apaleo Community: 

The Apaleo Community is an invaluable resource for Apaleo users. The ability to exchange ideas and brainstorm solutions with other hoteliers around the world is a game-changer. Whether it's asking a question in the discussion forum or participating in the monthly Apahero Zoom calls, Apaleo has created a dynamic space for innovation and problem-solving, giving me access to like-minded professionals who share my hotel’s challenges and interests. The community has empowered me to significantly automate my team's administrative workload, thanks to resources like the Automation Club, which has been instrumental in my learning process with codeless automation. If you are not a member of the community, you are missing out on a wealth of information and support.

Meghan Dinegar, General Manager @ Yours Truly Hotel

The Apaleo Community connected me with fellow hoteliers and software providers, that try to enable their business with more tech. This community showed me how communities can be seen as more than a place to chat and get support but a feature of a software product where independent actors can create and share knowledge and steer the development of their tech environment. I think potential customers should take this more into consideration when they are comparing SAAS products. These places enable features and provide you with ideas that you might not even have thought about and many software products unfortunately leave you alone after integration so that a big junk of potential stays untapped.

Sebastian Gietl, Chief Executive Officer @ BOOK-IT GmbH & Co.

The Apaleo community is a place for inspiration, especially with regard to new automation projects for me. There are many different spaces for topics related to the platform with articles from different hotels and their employees. Especially during the setup process, it was straightforward to ask questions and get direct answers with best practice examples. Whether developer or end user, many people here always try to help you quickly.

Christian Müller, Group Manager Technology @ Schani Hotels

The perhaps most developable platform in hospitality has (alive!) community and a dev like me wants to be in there. As a developer in Apaleo Community I can get quite precise comments and needs from different segments. For example pain points of the daily life of hotelliers/hotel staff that inspires me to create solutions for them to ease their work day."

Tom-Henrik Marttinen, Chief Executive Officer @ Simultem

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