Great to be sitting down with you Dimitri! Tell us about yourself, what your background in the hospitality business is, and where you are now professionally?
DIMITRI SIONIS / HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Thanks for having me on your video marketing magazine. My background is from video production world, and I still work as a video producer. I am a person who loves to travel and appreciates a good hotel and a good video!
Tell us about your site Hotel Video Gallery! Your slogan is ‘The World’s Best Hotels, Official Videos’ – tell us about this!
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: “Video Catalog” and “Showcase Platform” are two definitions that apply to Hotel Video Gallery (HVG). HVG aims to be a point of reference both for travelers who wish to browse the videos of hotels at a given destination and for the hotels and the industry to showcase their work and their properties.
Visitors are presented with a clean, easy to browse site and can get to watching just hotel videos of their choice in a few clicks. For every hotel, a link to the property’s website and to booking.com is provided so if a visitor wants to find out more or book they can do that with the ease of just one click.
Hotel video gallery is the only site that collects and organizes official hotel videos.
Where did you find your inspiration to create Hotel Video Gallery?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Like most travelers and tourists, while planning a trip I like to find out as much as I can about a hotel before booking. I’d often search specifically for hotel videos and would notice that they were hard to find.
Countless times I’d be presented with a photo slideshow, amateur footage taken by guests, or videos of some business convention that took place in the lobby of a hotel and so on. However hard to find, lots of videos were actually out there, real quality professional videos, so grouping them by location to help people browse seemed like the right think to do.
All those videos needed to be gathered on one convenient site.
What are some of the biggest brand names you have featured?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: All the big brand names are featured on HVG. Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, you name it. As of 2013, HVG has over 1500 videos; from the more famous hotel giants to the very small family owned hotels. This stat alone shows the importance role that video is playing in hospitality marketing.
What is it about each of these that makes them so notable?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: This video (below) has a “real feel” to it, it really takes you to the location. The arrival by single prop plane lets you know that it’s far away but someone will take you there. Some beautiful editing choices combine the concepts of the hotel:
Florblanca Resort, Costa Rica, Santa Tersea
The homemade pie made with a simple tool appears in the next cut as being the base to an elaborate meal. The monkey jumping from a branch is followed by a p.o.v. shot of someone’s legs flying through the jungle on a zip wire giving you the feeling of freedom. It’s raw and realistic at times and gives you a feeling of rugged luxury, accessible adventure.
Hayfield Manor, Cork, Ireland
Though a bit long this video has exactly what most customers will appreciate. Genuinely smiling faces taking care of every little detail and aspect of the hotel.
Domes of Elounda, Luxury Resort in Greece
This one tells a story. Using simple concepts, superimposed with text, this video makes sense, it’s convincing. The imagery goes from peaceful to glamorous. The excellent camera work and the stunning colors are accompanied by a soundtrack that’s just right.
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
The hotel is gorgeous and the setting is spectacular, how can you add to that? This video brings to life the essence of Patagonia and brings out the explorer in the spectator. This is outstanding quality video, every shot is a work of art. I don’t believe anyone can watch this and not feel left out for not being there!
We don’t see low quality video on Hotel Video Gallery. Why do you feature only the higher quality videos?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: All the videos that appear on Hotel Video Gallery are professional videos produced or endorsed by the hotel itself. That’s HVG’s philosophy. It has to be video, slideshows don’t qualify. If a video is professionally made and represents the hotel then there is no reason for it not to be on HVG. Some videos are better than others but everyone is welcome to submit a video and it will be included. Viewers appreciate quality so it’s up to the hotels to make sure they deliver. I believe HVG will have a positive effect on the hotel video production business; hotels will want to display and show off their videos to impress not only their customers but also the competition.
Hospitality video is steadily becoming a more important part of a solid online-marketing formula; why is video marketing gaining importance?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Video is probably the most powerful way to engage your audience.
Unless you’re prepared to fly your guests over for free and show them your property, video is the best way to convince them that their money will be well spent. In 60 seconds you can show the rooms, the views and the little details. You can capture the atmosphere in a way a photograph or text just can’t. The Internet is everywhere and people are familiar with online video; its integration with online booking seems to be the natural thing.
Are viewers specifically looking for something when they view a Hotel video? If so, what is that thing?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: A hotel is a collective effort made by all the people who work there that offers a unique experience.
Viewers want to see the hotel come alive in a video. This is a chance the hotel video must not miss! Viewers want to see the smiling faces of the people that will be taking care of them, the hidden views that only the property can offer, that special service a hotel excels in, they want to see how what makes a hotel unique.
And of course bacon, everyone loves bacon!
Why are shorter videos typically better than say, a 4-5 minute long video about the same topics?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Anything longer than two minutes risks losing the viewers’ attention. Viewers don’t want a list of amenities or to hear the restaurant’s full menu. A video needs to communicate the key concepts that define the hotel’s philosophy. The hotel is the star of the video; it must be ever present but doesn’t need to be the center of attention. The hotel should be an excellent setting where a good story takes place.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Cologne, Germany
I cannot not mention this video. Everything is wrong about it, it’s long, it’s kitsch, it’s in German, the hotel director talks for what seems like an eternity…. but I love it! Damn you Bond. A dose of humor can always be incorporated in a video; going over the top like this might not always be appreciated though – you probably shouldn't follow this video's example:
What is it about quality video that gets viewers to turn into buyers?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Let me put my spin on that: a video produced by a professional on an iPhone will probably be better than a video produced by an amateur with an expensive camera.
A professional knows what a good story is and has the skills to bring it to life.
An in house video is likely to fall into the traps that amateurs with cameras tend to fall into: unnecessarily long, overly descriptive, bad or no editing, no sound, dated and uncalled for effects etc…. This doesn’t mean that hotels can’t upload content and make it public. Maybe a celebrity walks in and agrees to say that they’re having a great time at the hotel, that’s a nice thing to get on camera and upload to the hotel’s YouTube channel. Maybe there’s a spectacular rainbow after a rainy day and that can go straight to the hotel’s Facebook page.
There are many different qualities and combinations of those qualities that make a video engaging. It might be the camera work, it might have an intriguing story line, or just great music to set the mood. I’m a fan of hotel videos that show the importance of details in the everyday functions of a hotel and the care that is put in ensuring that guests are satisfied.
Mobile video is a great and direct tool to use to communicate with fans and guests, but if you have a “bad” corporate promo video it will probably work against you. Choose wisely, as your brand will most likely be affected for the long term.
Dimitri, where might a Hotel look to have a professional video done for them? How much might a quality video cost?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Getting a video produced is really easy, there are many talented videographers and production companies that are easy to reach and it doesn't have to be that expensive. Here are a few European companies: travizeo.com – geckomedia.gr – destinationluxury.com – vipplusworldwide.tv. A professional video that makes your property look good could cost as little as 1000 euro.
More and more hotels will have exciting videos produced and the ones who remain without will miss out on an incredible opportunity to attract customers.
Can you go into more detail; how do hotels benefit from having their videos shared on your site?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Hotels around the world have produced thousands of professional videos that are often hard to find, being featured either solely on the hotel's website or on youtube, often hidden amidst low quality slideshows, guest generated clips and other irrelevant content. Hotel Video Gallery groups these official videos by location for convenient browsing providing a showcase platform for hotels.
If someone is looking for a hotel in Milan Italy and wants to see the hotels’ videos they’ll find all the real official videos nicely and neatly organized in one place on HVG.
Hotels can also opt for our paid “Featured Video” spot to gain higher visibility. There is space for one Featured Video per country, it’s a prominent spot at the top of the page much larger than the standard thumbnail option.
Thank you for taking the time to inform our audiences to what your company stands for, and what you do! How can one get listed on Hotel Video Gallery? And, how can someone learn more about you and/or your company?
HOTEL VIDEO GALLERY: Thank you so much for having me on ReelMarketer! If your official hotel video is not on HVG just send an email with the youtube link to email@example.com it’s free! Learn more about Hotel Video Gallery, comment, share and say hello through HVG social media channels: facebook.com/hotelvideogallery and twitter @hvgallery.