There are a multitude of ways in which a hotel can increase its occupancy rate. This is especially needed in low season, when individual bookings for holidays are more scarce. Switching the focus on event marketing for groups is one particularly rewarding opportunity!
If weddings, anniversaries or retreats come to your mind, then know that the range of events your hotel could approach far exceeds these classical gatherings. Ever thought about bringing in businesses to hold seminars or their own activities? Or having press conferences and parties from local arts and sports events? Efficient event marketing can help you attract new audiences!
Not only do you get more bookings with hosting events, but you make good use of other facilities you own: a conference room, a spacious garden/ terrace, food & drinks as well your hotels other services like spa.
Benefits of hosting events for hotels:
- Increase of occupancy is the most obvious result of event marketing. But it’s not the only revenue driver. Most events require a meeting room, catering services or entertainment/ relaxation options for participants.
- Returning guests: If the experience is fulfilling for the business, it is likely it will employ your services with its next event. Furthermore, each participant can forward good recommendations about your hotel to his/her professional or even personal network (word of mouth).
- Visibility and brand building. You don’t need to be the Cannes Film Festival official hotel partner to get media coverage. Hosting local events like arts or sports festivals means your hotel will be mentioned in media news, since the latter always specify the location of the subject they’re covering. Not to mention this shows engagement in the local community. The events you associate with help create or strengthen your own business brand!
If by now this all looks tempting, let’s have a look at how hosting events and event marketing can be tackled.
Here is our advice on how to approach each essential step:
1. Evaluate what events your hotel could host. Take into account the space you own, its characteristics and how it could be put to good use. A business meeting space or a press conference require excellent communication infrastructure. Instead, a terrace would be more fit for serving cocktails, throwing parties or team building.
2. Research the market and target your audience. What businesses would you like to draw in? Is your hotel a better venue for official business meeting or seminars? Or perhaps its personality will attract the creative industries? What if you could offer to host different types of events for different types of industry businesses? You need a clear answer to all these in order to approach the right marketing strategy. Segment your targets into niche lists.
3. Know what to offer. The better you know your audience, the more persuasive and customized offer you can propose. Point out the benefits for their business: how your space and services fits their needs and how it can help boost their revenue and brand. Pricing is also important: events mean groups of people, therefore special discounts are expected. Just make sure that the pricing offer you make is profitable for both sides!
4. Let (potential) clients know that you also manage a hotel for events.
Add an “events hosting” tab on your website, so visitors can read about the spaces, services and equipment you are offering. Give it a special attention if you have a mobile app for your hotel or make it easy to explore for mobile internet. Why? The people checking you here are most likely interested in business bookings.
- Don’t forget to optimize the new page with good SEO, so people already looking for hotel events can quickly notice you in search results.
- Furthermore, use your e-mail marketing campaigns to inform subscribers about this.
- Finally, let the social media followers be informed that your hotel is offering more than just accommodation bookings!
The next low season could become an opportunity rather than a headache.