The Type of Group Business Marketing That Attracts Meeting Planners
March 31, 2017 5:21am
Are your once-successful group business marketing efforts not producing as much interest and leads?
It’s not surprising.
Too often, hotels settle for recycling their groups sales and marketing assets year after year, instead of giving them the deep overhaul they deserve.
Don’t fall into the tempting trap of merely updating your current sales kit with a handful of new photos or sprinkles of new verbiage.
Here’s what we suggest to hold meeting planners’ attention:
Reconsider how you’re selling and marketing your biggest asset – your destination. You know that planners need to also market the destination to entice attendees to register for the event, so take charge of that marketing content for them.
DON’T BE LAZY and simply list attractions nearby with links to the Websites. Re-design your destination page with an interactive map to show how far things are from your hotel. Include descriptions and photos for each attraction, give recommended trip highlights, etc.
But don’t just stick with your obvious city attractions – go a step further and let them know of local secrets their attendees won’t find anywhere else. Today’s meeting attendee wants to experience the destination like a local, just as a leisure guest would.
Even better, ask your sales people to recommend a ‘don’t miss’ attraction and post that to your site, along with credit to that sales person and their headshot. This is a smart way for your sales team to passively offer value.
Meeting planners want what’s new, what’s novel. Don’t worry - there’s no need for a major conference center or hotel renovation to give them something new. ‘New’ can come in the form of an added amenity that no other property in your comp set has.
Or, even creating new promos or rebranding and renaming your space entirely.
Create photo galleries for each of your hotel’s venues, then fill with photos of past events, not of staged images of empty rooms. The benefits of this tactic are two-fold:
1. You’re showing off the flexibility of your space and your own team’s creativity.
2. You’re using the power of ‘social proof,’ showcasing how other event planners have trusted and selected your property to hold an event atfor their important event. Or, give them a different vantage point with an interactive tour that allows them to virtually ‘walk’ the space.
Static, templated sales kits are becoming an antique. Today, planners are digesting information in various ways. By far, video is one of the most effective ways to harness attention online.
Create venue videos personalized to the markets of your sales team manages. This means using the same footage, but different scripts to address your hotel’s different target customersmarkets.
Shoot video of group activities in the area.
Even on-the-fly video using your smartphone can add impact and authority to mundane marketing and sales activities, such as email correspondence. When following up with a client, send a video message via email using Bomb Bomb, which will play your video (that you shot using your smartphone or computer camera) once the planner opens your email.
Planners aren’t just investing and booking a PLACE to hold their meeting. They’re investing in the PEOPLE they’ll be working with. So, in your meetings and events page of your hotel website, showcase each member of your sales team (similar to DMO sites) along with their direct contact info and headshot. This is one of the simplest and fastest ways to establish a relationship and create trust with clients even before they reach out to you.
It’s all about sales enablement – giving your sales team the tools, facts, and assets they need to better forge trusted relationships and help their planners. For example, don’t assume your sales people have the time to get to know their market on a deep level. Give them market research and buyer insights that offer a deep dive into their planners’ motivations and buying behaviours.
The second part of sales enablement is to leverage those market insights to create content that is personalized for that buyer. For instance, create blog posts or email content that speaks directly to planners and attendees in the freezing Northeast or to government planners. The key is to move away from generic content that planners are likely to ignore since it is not relevant to them.
Tags: group business marketing,
Groups360 is the most trusted marketplace for meetings. Our number one priority is to bring transparency, simplicity and objectivity to group travel. We’ve done that by creating industry-specific platforms that allow event planners, hoteliers and DMOs to make smarter, better, faster decisions.
Contact: Kemp Gallineau
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