- Timeshare is going high-tech
- VR is the future of group presentations
- Bluegreen Vacations may adopt technology as foundation for the future
Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading presentation software by a distance and is said by Microsoft to have been installed on over a billion computers worldwide. What began as a very basic piece of software, has become an incredibly powerful design tool for storytelling and putting a guest or potential owner in the picture for timeshare developers.
Technology is most certainly changing the way we all present, providing new ways to engage audiences and interact with content, and the timeshare presentations of the future could be unrecognisable to those we sit through today.
We interviewed Joseph Bailey who started the powerpoint presentations for Bluegreen Vacations and who was recently recognized as a 2019 Timeshare Sales Influencer. He made some exciting predictions about the future of group presentations regarding the timeshare industry and gave us some high-tech insight into what we could see implemented soon.
Joseph designed and implemented the group presentation powerpoint at Bluegreen Vacations – Mountian Loft Resort in Gatlinburg Tennessee. He stated that the powerpoint used in sales presentations in 2004 wasn’t created through innovation, but more out of necessity. He was the Group Presenter at the Mountain Loft Resort and he was already talking to multiple couples daily using only a dry erase board as a visual tool.
Using the skills he acquired while building websites prior to timeshare, Joseph created a basic slide show presentation to give an enhanced visual aid to his sales pitch. He thought it may help the guest to better understand and follow along in the sales presentation process. He was right.
Sales increased dramatically at the Gatlinburg location and the resort closing percentage became more consistent. It didn’t take long for it to become obvious to everyone that group presentations were a better alternative and more cost-effective than the traditional “one on one” presentations. One year later powerpoint presentations totally replaced the traditional one on one sales presentation process at 90% of all the Bluegreen Vacations Sales Centers.
When we asked Joseph about what he sees changing in the future regarding timeshare sales presentations he replied with two letters, “VR”. Joseph stated that ideally, every vacation ownership provider would love to take their guest into the virtual reality realm. Rather than painting a mental picture of the perfect sunset on a tropical beach, we would love to have the guest see it themselves.
VR headsets will allow audiences to be transported beyond the screen and into presentations with the presenter. Imagine walking around at a new development, being immersed in 360-degree videos or exploring interactive data visualisations.
Joseph added that another new, engaging way of presenting information, resort locations or accommodations is by embedding 3D models. Such models have been used in industry for years, but are becoming popularised as 3D modelling becomes more accessible.
PowerPoint’s 3D functionality can allow presenters to, for example, present the room model of a new resort, with a 3D animation of the entire room on-screen, that can be rotated, spun and zoomed around to be shown from any perspective.
Of course, good presentations are not all about the information that is being shown, but how it is being shown. He stated, “When you present, maintaining a good rapport with your audience is key – from body language to eye contact – and while technology can be a powerful tool to have – technology shouldn’t detract from that.”
Elsewhere, we’re beginning to see multiple devices being used for displaying presentations. Having small iPads or other tablets distributed around a room or table can actually allow eye contact to be maintained, with people looking back-and-forth between device and presenter and interest maintained to a greater extent as a result of passing over some degree of control to audience members. In this way, conversation also becomes more natural.
Zeetings, although not used in the timeshare industry, takes the multiple device approach to another level. Audience members can follow a presentation on computers, tablets or smartphones from in the room or remotely. They can watch and listen as the presenter scrolls through and narrates the slides, contribute to polls and live Q&As, discuss presentations amongst themselves in a live feed and take private notes.
In fact, you needn’t actually be in the room to deliver a presentation at all any more. There are a number of tools that allow presentations to be delivered remotely. PowerPoint itself offers this functionality when used in conjunction with Skype for Business, allowing presenters to scroll through their slide-deck with an audio connection for narration.
With technology moving at such a fast pace we had to ask if there may ever be a time when Group Presenters would not be present in the room with the guest or vice versa during a sales presentation and Joseph replied with, “No, timeshare sales will always be a face to face sales business.”
He finished with, “Technology can, and will, go a long way to making presentations more engaging and, dare I say, even exciting. What it can’t do, of course, is make the content itself any more interesting. That, I’m afraid is still up to the presenter.”