Lessons from Eurovision: what can hospitality learn from a song contest?

Written by Tom Brown, Senior Copywriter at Mews
6 min read

A man in a giant hamster wheel. A monster playing guitar. Six grandmas dancing around an oven. If you’re unfamiliar with Eurovision, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m losing my mind. But these wildly different scenes really did happen, and they have something in common: they’re all lessons in great hospitality.

Eurovision is the world’s biggest song competition. Once a year, Europe (and Australia – don’t ask) gets together to celebrate the continent’s latest musical offerings, throw a huge party, and crown a worthy winner. It’s a spectacle like no other, which is why over 200 million people tune in.

Besides proving a huge boost for its host city (revenue managers in Malmo are currently rubbing their hands in glee), Eurovision is a valuable example of how to provide remarkable hospitality. Let’s take it away.

Don’t be bland

Everyone has different tastes, and nothing exemplifies this like Eurovision. Past winners include perfectly pitched Swedish pop, a Portuguese-language jazz waltz and Italian glam rock. Songs that do well can come from any genre, but the key is that they commit and feel authentic.

Nobody votes for a bland, middle-of-the-road song, just as nobody chooses to stay at a bland, middle-of-the-road hotel. If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up with a confused space where no one really feels at home. So how do you stop guests from Running Scared?

Think carefully about the demographics that you want to attract and focus on providing services and experiences that will appeal to them. This is inextricably linked to your brand vision, which should guide your property’s aesthetic (digitally and on-premises) and messaging. In a world where experiential travel is on the rise, it’s important to stand out.

You don’t have to go as far as implementing a shining silver dress code, creating pixel-face jumpers for each of your team, or setting your piano on fire. Steer away from gimmicks and focus on what fits in with your brand ethos.

Embrace diversity

The great strength of Eurovision is not its music. What makes it unique is its acceptance of a hugely diverse range of cultures. Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, sexuality or gender, and this is integral to the unique Eurovision experience.

How diverse is your hotel staff? A diverse workforce can better understand and cater to the needs and preferences of guests from various backgrounds. It helps you make more thoughtful and inclusive decisions, in terms of staff management as well as guest experiences, and will provide unique insights that you might otherwise have never considered.

One of the problems of legacy hospitality technology is that the barrier to entry is too high. Old-fashioned, unintuitive systems mean that management is forced to hire from a narrow talent pool, most of whom have had the same traditional hospitality experiences.

One of the (many) brilliant things about Mews is that it was designed with simplicity in mind, by a generation that grew up with modern technology. It means that staff don’t need a degree in Excel or years of accumulated knowledge about the idiosyncrasies of hotel software. Instead, it can be learned in a few hours by anyone, so you can broaden your hiring pool and focus on key abilities like interpersonal skills. And Voilà: even this simple change will have a positive effect on diversity.

It’s all about teamwork

When you’re watching a Eurovision performance, you might only see one person on stage. (Well, you’ll see a maximum of six because those are the rules, but I digress.) At this precise moment, this performer is the most important person for the experience of that song. But they’re not the only ones who made that moment possible.

There are songwriters and musicians, producers and artistic directors. There are countless camerapeople and stage managers who ensure that the song experience is delivered as impactfully as possible. You can see where I'm going here.

Just as a viewer only experiences the fine-tuned version of the song, a guest should only experience the very best version of their stay. Your front-line staff like receptionists and concierges are the performers, the ones who are there in the moment to ensure your guests receive the hospitality you intended.

But there are a whole host of other Heroes who have contributed to their journey to get them through the door, from marketers to revenue managers to management. Only by working as a team will you create a cohesive and memorable experience for your guests.

There are no rehearsal stays

Most people limit their Eurovision viewing to the grand final on Saturday night. But before the final, there are semi-finals and countless rehearsals, all to ensure peak performance when it really matters.

Guests don’t get rehearsals. From the second they arrive, it’s showtime for you and your staff, with no room for error. And unlike Eurovision, your performance isn’t over in three minutes. Every stay requires the same amount of care and attention, which means your guest-facing team needs to perform their roles at a consistently high level.

On the plus side, this gives you endless leaning opportunities, and you should seek guest feedback to guide any improvements. A reputation management tool will help you easily solicit, track and analyze reviews, and if you use a hospitality cloud like Mews, you’ll be able to easily integrate with your chosen solution for no connection fee. Implementing this feedback will help your team continually improve and see you receive plenty of douze points from your guests.

There we have it. Eurovision is much more than just a song contest – it’s a hotbed of hotelier inspiration. If you can incorporate these learnings into your property’s operations, you’re sure to feel a sense of Euphoria as your guests live their hotel Fairytale.

Don’t forget to check out more hospitality inspiration in the Lessons From series, including Lessons from Taylor Swift and Lessons from the air.

Sales & Marketing Property Technology Market Segments

Tom Brown

Senior Copywriter at Mews
Tom Brown

Mews operates an innovative hospitality management cloud that empowers the modern hotelier to improve performance, maximize revenue, and provide remarkable guest experiences.


LondonSE1 0BS
United Kingdom


Share this article
Powered by