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A great deal has been written over the years about the viability of moving a hotel’s property-management system (PMS) to the cloud to take advantage of the latest technologies, but hoteliers need to realize that it’s not the only viable option. All platforms have advantages, including self-hosted, private cloud and on-premise solutions that leverage the latest mobile, contact free and web-based technologies. Independent operators can still enhance the digital guest experience, support personalized and mobile check-in, deploy contact free technologies, and secure hotel/guest data even if their PMS does not reside in the cloud. It should not be a question of “Cloud or On Premise?” but rather “Does the PMS solve your business objectives in both technology and service?”

Much has been written in the mainstream hospitality press about the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the industry. Hotels are in more pain than at any time in our memories. Because of the extensive media coverage, I won’t dwell on this topic further in what is primarily a technology column. But it’s the background for this week’s column, and so merits acknowledgement.

Are You All In?
Posted: 07/27/2020

Imagine everyone in your organization engaged, aligned, and performing to their potential. Imagine everyone playing “All In.”

Great organizations have synergy. Their culture allows them to play to a rhythm at a different tempo than the average organization. How do you get that at your organization?

Many front-line hospitality workers rely on tips for a significant part of their paychecks. If not for tips, many hotel associates who serve as waitstaff, bartenders, housekeepers, bell staff, concierges and pool attendants would soon be looking for other jobs. This is a regional issue: in most of Asia and Europe, staff get higher base pay, and tips are either not expected at all, or are truly discretionary. But in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries, tips are an important reality, and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As somebody who’s helped to grow a company from 13 people to nearly a thousand, I know very well the excitement that comes with having a mindset focused entirely on growth. Every newly acquired customer, every new office and every milestone means the gap between you and your nearest competitor is that much bigger and that much harder to overtake.



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Why Talking About Local Events on Your Website is Important

09/15/2015
by Nimesh Dinubhai

You are in the hospitality industry, providing lodging to travelers and vacationers and you have a website to maintain. Planning and building your content calendar is important to get the most out of your online prospects. If you think about it, your interaction on the web is 100 percent through content. It only makes sense to adjust your web activity and focus it around what we want to market, right?

Not quite. What you want to be known for is not necessarily what people want to hear about right now. What I mean is: your heated pool and tufted pillows may not be your best selling point. You may understand who you’re marketing to, but pushing a hard marketing message may not be enough to attract prospects. If they don’t seem to be listening to you, try grabbing their attention in a different way like using local events.

How to connect between my prospects interest and my product?

Make a list of important events throughout the year. These events are your attention grabbers. Vacationers come for these events, so talk them up. Now, discuss your service/product in correlation with the upcoming events, and boom, you have lit a spark of interest. A reader planning their next trip might even convert. Here are a few examples.

  • Event: Super Bowl
  • Product/service: Hotel rooms
  • Content idea: Write about keeping a stable travel budget while affording the big game. Make sure you mention your hotel’s special offer for the Super Bowl. Fans can both enjoy the Super Bowl and stay on budget thanks to your reduced rates.

 

  • Event: Zombie Fest
  • Product/service: Hotel rooms
  • Content idea: Write a post about the coolest Zombie costumes and make sure to entertain them with images. Talk about the Zombie Fest in your area, and maybe even host a competition for the best costume. Offer a hotel room at a discount for those who show up in a costume.

 

  • Event: Downtown Christmas Party
  • Product/service: Hotel rooms
  • Content idea: Write about how you are getting ready for the Downtown Christmas party; maybe even include pictures from last year’s decorations and parties. Mention that you have available rooms for those who want to stay over the weekend while enjoying the holiday spirit right near downtown Christmas events. Specifically consider those traveling for family get-togethers. 

Coming up with these content ideas is easy. The time consuming part is writing a post that will create engagement. Pay attention to the above examples. You’ll notice, everything is focused around the things prospects are interested in.

Note: you should write these with as little promotion as possible.

Your offer should either be right at the beginning so that it’s on the table, or all the way at the end, so as not to make people feel uncomfortable. People don’t like to read promotional content and sales copy. Readers like to invest their time on content with added value. Serve this, and you have their attention.

Finding local events

First let’s see how we find these events. It’s actually very simple. Search in Google for events in [your city’s name]. Here is the one I found for Santa Clara: https://goo.gl/5zsZ9C. It’s that easy!

Now, let’s talk about engagement. Engagement happens only when there is interest. You can create interest by first learning what subjects your potential prospects are interested in, and then talk about them while incorporating yourself and your offer. Although, as the owner of a hotel, you most likely already know which events attract the most visitors. All you need now is to write about it.
 
Here is one example of great writing that focuses on interest: ShopHonest explains about how cleaning with bleach might increase child illnesses. In the article, they spark interest with mothers about safe bleach usage and also provide their product as a healthier alternative: https://goo.gl/gL9tqO

Increasing engagement is not simple

You need to be creative when giving interesting content. Take time for brainstorming sessions. If your content doesn’t provide any added value for its readers, you won’t get their attention. To get the right traction you must make sure that you provide value. It can be newsworthy, new information, a solution, funny, entertaining, helpful tips, and even money offers (coupons, discounts, free stuff, etc.).

Increasing engagement with events

Marketing events on your hotel website is not just important for increasing content value, but also for increasing engagement by providing and helping your prospects and returning guests.

Each marketer chooses to build his content strategy differently, but I highly suggest to lay out a plan 12 months in advance. You will notice a cycle every year, as most planned events cycle and repeat each year around the same dates. 

The ultimate goal here is creating a real connection between your guests and your hotel. Providing ongoing useful information will eventually have them return for more. If you want to be ahead of the curve, investing in your customers is definitely a good way to go. So spread the word, what’s going on around your hotel? People out there are searching for things to do this weekend! 

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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