As hoteliers, the biggest challenge is how to get customers in the door; making them a return customer is the easy part. So here are some ways to get your hotel’s name out in the community, generate a positive buzz about your property and increase business.
Holding a ‘business after hours’ party at your property can showcase your hotel efficiently in multiple ways. The first step is determining the purpose, who do you want to have drinks with, and why?
Travel Industry Invite people in the industry such as the local convention bureau or chamber of commerce. They are key in booking conventions and groups in your market, so you want to make sure that they are familiar with you and your hotel. This can lead to them suggesting your property to smaller groups, and helping you with the bidding process on large groups.
Local travel agents, who book local corporate, group business. Offer them a free room after the party with a welcome basket. The event can also be a great way to access local company lists of corporate visitors.
Targeted Industries Look at your local market. For example Spokane WA has a population of 470,000. Its 4 largest employment sectors are military, government and medical, higher education. Hold nights once a month such as these:
It is important to include support staff and executive assistants; they will generally be the first line of communication for potential clients, as well as the gatekeeper of the organization. Target all local corporate sectors; technology, manufacturing, retail, dining, bartenders, etc.
Sponsor Local Events Hosting the event at the hotel will give the most exposure, but if that’s not possible you can still gain a lot by having your name out there. Community events will advertise in advance and usually name the sponsors. In addition, they will definitely talk about the sponsors during the event, and added exposure from any giveaways you participate in.
As hotel owners and managers it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations and forget why you love this business. So go back to the basics and remember that the definition of hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, and strangers.” Be proud of your hotel and staff, and get the word out there that your hotel is the friendliest in town!
So—who to have drinks with? Everyone in town!
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