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Your Weekly News & Updates
News You Can Use - our weekly cruise thru the issues and topics for the
business of Innkeeping.
Greetings! I had the pleasure of traveling to Michigan last week, to attend and keynote at the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association Conference. The ‘lake to lake’ moniker is a ready reference: when I asked an innkeeper about their location, the response was “I’m on the Lake Huron side” or “I’m on the Lake Michigan side” of the state! We all enjoyed sessions on getting beyond burnout, building guest loyalty, social media marketing tools and more, plus a robust trade show. In my presentation, we took a look at the innkeeping industry (past, present, future) and examined a few of the challenges that you as innkeepers face daily – specifically, trying to keep up with marketing / social media, and unfair competition by unregulated lodging properties listed on a number of websites. This slide illustrates this unfair competition using the cost of doing business:
We had a lively discussion on whether / how B&Bs can differentiate their lodging from the unregulated lodging … and there is no easy formula that will appeal to all audiences – just as marketing must be differentiated.
I’ll be attending another state B&B conference this coming week – the joint Wisconsin & Minnesota B&B Association Conference – and we say “East or West, B&Bs are Best!” This will be my final event as Executive Director of WBBA. Many of the presenters I first saw at a PAII Conference – which I’ve always looked to as the go-to-source for the speakers that I would want to bring to the state B&B conference. And now as the Executive Director of PAII, that’s a tradition well worth continuing – the upcoming PAII Innkeeping Show will feature the best & brightest & most experienced in our industry. As we’re just over 2 months away from the trip to Austin, we’re turning our focus to the program details – and we’ll share them with you as soon as finalized. BTW, early registration discounts are on!
On-going education is vital, and on that note, this week’s News You Can Use has plenty of food-for thought, including:
The continuing shift in online bookings from the ‘brand’ (directly with the property) to the OTA’s … while lodging properties have focused on the guest experience, OTA’s have invested in digital booking technology.
TripAdvisor now provides analytics to its registered businesses, with the insights sourced from Tripadvisor itself: its reviews, rankings, and competitor analysis. And, check out the LINK on this article to the “Naked Truth…”
Utilizing yield management in regard to your rates can help you increase profit without doing anymore work. How does that sound? Maybe a better question is, how does that work? In this webinar, we will show you how to use basic yield management practices to increase your profit. Some you of you may be doing it without realizing so. Do you have different weekend and midweek rates? Or do you have different rates based on peak season and low season? If you do, then you've already started practicing yield management! This session will dive a bit deeper on other ways you can increase your profit. Are you 90% occupied on weekends throughout the year? Time to raise price! Are you 100% occupied for a local graduation? Time to raise price! These are just a few examples of when you should raise price and let that additional $20, $30, or $50 go straight to the bottom line!
An in-depth look at how to create and use optimized lead gathering landing pages to grow a list of prospective customers and nurture those you already have so they continue to book on your website and return to your inn. We will also focus on campaigns and tactics to boost occupancy during slow seasons. We'll compare do-it-yourself services, persuasion principles, and tactics for using specials and promotional packages pages to capture more prospective visitors before they leave your site. Includes an introduction to A/B testing concepts and real world examples; some incentives that get people to sign up; and a review of some "lead nurturing" and "drip marketing" tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp.
B&B Photography DIY Tips & Tricks Part One How you can get good looking food shots with what you already have to work with. We’ll cover things to consider before and during your food shooting session, primarily using your smart phone and available lighting. With the right planning and a sharp eye, there’s no reason you can’t get some nice photos to help entice those new visitors.
Additional discussion to help finesse your food photography, again using what you have available. Emphasis will be on styling, arranging, props, accessories, and looking at the results with a ruthless eye! Also we’ll talk about the factors under your control that either make or break a good food shot.