|Kirby D. Payne, CHA, is president of The American
Hospitality Management Company which provides consulting and management
assistance to hotels in the U.S.
The following are some ideas for distributing promotional brochures and packages for your hotel. Most of them were provided by George P. Hannau of Bill Bard Associates (516-681-7974). They are an excellent national brochure and graphics company.
Start with your own property. Brochures strategically located at the registration area, bell captain's or travel desk, and public areas including the restaurant, cocktail lounge, shops and of course, guest rooms for packages and special promotions. Educate your managerial and sales staff to carry brochures wherever they go! This should include sales calls, blitzes, civic meetings, and any where a potential referral source or meeting planner might be encountered. (You run into an acquaintance at the grocery store who has an out of town friend along who he introduces as the head of 3M's travel department.
A. Utilize qualified lists (purchased or complied from directories and other sources) of people, companies, and organizations in your market area.
B. Previous quests.
C. All inquiries-direct, from advertisements, Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.
D. Special Promotions like golf and tennis, honeymoons, singles, family, or weekend package plans.
E. Vacation and sports clubs including indoor senior centers and travel departments of rural banks.
F. Tour bus operators.
G. Incentive firms who arrange trips for large groups and companies. Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies is probably the largest in the world.
H. Travel departments of companies that set up accommodations for their traveling executives.
III. Bulk Distribution
A. Independent properties. Reciprocal trade of brochures with other properties not competitive with yours (those one day's drive or more away.)
B. Franchised properties. Reciprocal trade of brochures with other franchised properties in feeder market cities and national; sales representatives.
C. State information offices.
D. Chamber of Commerce/Department of Tourism (U.S. Travel Service)
E. Highway information centers.
F. Tourist attractions.
G. Libraries and supermarkets in selected areas.
H. Travel agencies:
J. Your hotel and representative offices, both those of the chain the hotel is affiliated with and any independent representatives which they may be retained.
K. Dining and public areas of large corporations and manufacturers.
L. Airline, train and bus terminals and sales offices.
M. Car rental agencies.
N. Government offices
O. Trade and travel shows.
It is a good idea to mail inquiry cards at pre-planned intervals to the above mentions sources to check if they have an ample supply of your brochures.
It is not just good enough to have quality collateral materials; it is critical that they be widely distributed into the hands of likely users of your facilities and to those who will refer guests. As a final thought, monitor the effectiveness of your distribution by coding materials when appropriate and asking everyone who inquires, makes a reservation of walks in how they heard of your hotel.
For additional information, contact:
Kirby D. Payne at the firm
American Hospitality Management Company
1500 South Highway 100, #375, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Phone: 763-591-7640 Fax: 763-591-1593
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