According to the 2019 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, produced by American Express Global Business Travel, planners and hoteliers headed into the year with a positive POV of the market. It’s a continuation of about the last four years, when we’ve been seeing incremental growth where we witnessed a decline only a decade ago.
In most regions around the world, the Forecast shows, industry professionals are planning more meetings activities across nearly every type of meeting. And they’re doing that for a higher number of attendees, and for longer lengths of time.
To guarantee you grab your share, make good use of our recommendations on hotel group sales strategies:
Improve your branding.
In the 40 years Dana’s been around (happy milestone birthday to us!), we’ve developed a real passion for marketing travel and hospitality brands. Bringing your travel brand marketing to life applies in every sense here, because it’s the bedrock on which your group sales efforts are built. Even the Forecast says, “respondents across the globe noted the increasing interest in unique properties and brands.”
If you didn’t catch Dana’s recent article, “Travel Brand Marketing, The Essentials,” do yourself a huge favor and read that next. We lay out five Dana branding principles and provide specific examples using our clients. To summarize: Identify your market, and understand and differentiate from the competition. Know your major/minor, and hone your “elevator pitch.” Construct your brand pillars. Find your brand touchpoints. Live your brand story.
Produce the right marketing materials.
Gain the most mileage from that amazing branding of yours, to attract and impress planners 24/7, during every step of the sales process. All vital investments:
- Professional photos and videos – Craft a varied portfolio of the property, meeting and event setups, venue details, guest rooms, amenities and activities and food and beverage.
- A great website – Search engine optimized, so planners can find you. Properly mobile optimized for all devices. Dedicated pages for meetings, events and weddings. Info that’s well organized, comprehensive and clearly written. Accurate floor plans. A place to submit RFPs. Easy-to-find contact details. And of course, those snazzy photos and videos!
- Traditional to digital – Stand out with materials that span media. From tangible, memorable print ads and handouts like brochures, to banner ads, to mobile-optimized email marketing, to the perfect trade show booth, and beyond.
Be present and get noticed, online and off.
Always stay visible to planners who are hunting for the ideal venue by incorporating a comprehensive marketing plan. Create robust listings on venue marketplace websites. Connect with those searching event venue sourcing solutions for the ideal location.
Integrate across-the-board, trend-savvy and updated strategies for social media marketing and paid search advertising. And don’t forget about pitching the media. A public relations and content marketing effort—appealing to hospitality industry publications and websites—can keep you in front of planners by providing a valuable signal boost.
Tap into event and hotel industry trends and tech.
Maximize your group sales opportunities by remaining informed of trends and open to innovative approaches. That can include a range of ideas, such as the use of direct booking channels, customized site visits, more effective methods for automatic lead scoring, better RFP management and RFP responses, and cutting-edge event management software.
Participate in trade shows.
With a solid trade show marketing strategy, you could make your group sales job a whole lot easier. At our client IMEX America’s meetings, events and incentive travel industry show, exhibitors regularly book lots of business in only three days, right on the show floor. (Explore the ultimate trade show engagement here.)
Trade shows are also incredible for presenting new event technology and suppliers. And in myriad education sessions, learn about important trends (for instance, we keep hearing over and over about venues needing to support planners in creating experiences), and glean more insight into what planners really want.
Ensure your business enjoys the uptick.
Capture a bigger cut of this growing market, with hotel group sales strategies designed just for you. Email Lynn Kaniper at firstname.lastname@example.org––or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117.