In addition to the vacationers and business travelers that stay at your hotel, there is another audience you should be marketing to that could equal big business for your company. This audience is the conference and corporate meeting industry. If you aren’t already capitalizing on the industry, and you have the capabilities to hold corporate meetings or conferences, your business is missing out. Per Statista, the direct spending of the United States meeting industry on meeting planning and production from 2009 to 2012 totaled $106.66 billion.1 With this industry so large, I’m sure your hotel would like a piece of this business. Today we will discuss a few before, during and after marketing tips for your hotel to become a conference location hot spot. Even if your hotel already welcomes conferences and corporate meetings, there may be some new marketing tips for you to consider.
Initial Marketing Initiatives
How are you going to get someone to consider your hotel for a conference versus another hotel? First thing is to market your conference abilities to your hotel guests. These are the customers that already like your company, so they will likely be up for considering your other services. Great places to advertise that you can accommodate these types of events would be in your in-room guest directories and at the bottom of your hotel receipts. In addition to marketing to your current guests, other places you would want to advertise would be with your local chamber of commerce and event planners (both locally and nationally).
When advertising your property make sure to focus on what makes your hotel stand out from other event locations. It is important to know what your conference attendees are looking for in a location, so make sure you have this information. Some amenities that can help a location attract events include the technological capabilities of the property, availability of parking or near public transit lines, and proximity to the airport.
During the Event
During the event you want to make sure your facility, staff, and every aspect of the event is top notch. Especially starting out, it is important to for events at your hotel to be great as that will greatly help with referral business. Details such as making sure technology is working when presentations are starting, water pitchers being full and bathrooms being cleaned are all noticed.
For future marketing purposes, take photos (ask permission first) so you can show others what your facility looks like filled and with attendees having a great time. Eventually you will have a portfolio of your events you can share with event planners that are interested in using your hotel as a conference space!
After the Event
After your event you want to contact the coordinator for the event that was at your hotel, and even attendees if you have that information. You want to survey and gather feedback about their experience at your hotel. Ask if you can use their feedback for future events, and even see if they wouldn’t mind being a reference that someone interested in the property in the future could contact.
Looking for other hotel marketing ideas? Click here for some additional ideas from industry professionals!
1 - Statistics and facts on the exhibition, convention and meeting industry in the U.S.. Statista. Accessed January 10, 2017. https://www.statista.com/topics/1413/exhibitions-convention-and-meetings/