Events are a never-ending marketing opportunity and a major source of tourism. Any sensible hotel manager will be using events to inform their rates and their website content.
Nowadays, search engines won’t tolerate old or stale content. In the last five years, Google in particular has favoured ‘fresh’ content for its search rankings.
This puts a thorn in the side of many hotels, who don’t believe they have a lot of content at their disposal, or the time to continually post blogs and updates. As a result, revenue can suffer.
Fortunately, local and global events are constantly on the horizon to provide fresh content every month of the year. Whether your hotel is located in a tourism hotspot and can capitalise on huge events like the Olympics, or it’s smaller and relies on worldwide occasions such as Valentine’s Day, there is always something you can repurpose to create promotions, drive bookings, and generate additional revenue.
There are a few ways you can use an event to boost the popularity of your hotel and adjust your rates, depending on the event in question and what your competitors are doing.
Check out the following 5 simple tips…
1. Make your hotel a source of information
It may simply be a case of writing a post on a local event, providing details, and FAQs. This will improve your SEO and attract potentially very thankful guests to your website.
Examples could include writing about a music festival and posting the location/directions, set times, regulations, and attractions. People looking to attend the event may find this information on your site and decide to book accommodation with you at the same time.
Doing your own research will also give you an idea of how many people are expected to attend and for how long, so you can optimise your occupancy and keep an eye on the rates of your competitors with a pricing intelligence tool.
2. Use event-inspired promotions and extras to attract bookings
Some events are universal, like Halloween or Christmas, and need no further explanation.
You can still boost your bookings by running themed promotions, offering specials, or adding topical extras to fuel the excitement of guests and capitalise on the fervour that always surrounds such occasions.
For example, on Halloween you might offer extras such as chocolate or other candy, or run a best dressed competition.
With a good pricing intelligence tool, you’ll know if your competitors are doing the same thing and adjust your strategy accordingly, meaning you’ll stay on par with similar properties.
3. Use social media to engage guests
Commonly the public will follow certain events on social media such as Facebook where they’ll have their own pages. Posting your own content on the event or mentioning it to your followers will connect your hotel to that event.
If you already have guests that are attending an event, encourage them to share their experiences of their stay via pictures and videos with your hashtag and the event’s hashtag.
This is a powerful form of marketing because everyone who views the posts will associate the pleasurable time at your hotel with the event. It will act as a recommendation, one of the most effective ways to influence travellers.
4. Targeted advertising
Pick a popular event that will be happening near you, e.g a theatre production, and create a Facebook ad that will redirect to your website every time it is clicked. It’s vital to define your audience first, so you know who to target and convert as many visitors to bookers as possible.
However, before you do this you need to be equipped to accept direct bookings from all this traffic. Without a functional, integrated booking engine, like SiteMinder’s TheBookingButton, or an optimised website, there’ll be no point.
5. Respond to market demand for increased revenue
Events usually create an influx of tourists and a big opportunity for hotels to capacitate 100% occupancy.
Naturally, some serious revenue will follow – but you need to be aware of your competitors rates and occupancy levels to ensure you are staying competitive and offering value for money.
Using SiteMinder’s Prophet will allow you to know when other hotels have increased or decreased their rates and when their availability has reached zero. This enables you to optimise your rates at all times for more bookings and consistently high revenue.