News Links from April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011

I came across some pretty good reading today.  Enjoy!

Are Boutique Hotels Ready for Meetings?
A rooftop pool that morphs into a dance floor at night. A lounge that hides behind an open-sesame bookshelf. A lobby that’s more like a living room. Boutique hotels have always employed design to create unique experiences for guests. Now, more of those guests are corporate groups.   Read the entire article HERE.

How The Museum Hotel Improved Their Website Conversion Rate by 100%
Today, Dave Lemmon shares with us how Redcow Marketing helped The Museum Hotel improve their conversion rate by 100% and achieve a 70% increase in online sales. You can download Dave’s case study in its entirety, below.  Read the entire article HERE.

The Big News About Meetings
Larger than the auto industry, the U.S. meetings business supported 1.7 million jobs and generated $263 billion in spending in 2009. Here’s our inside look at the big numbers from the new Convention Industry Council economic significance study—plus seven ways you can promote your meetings internally and externally.  Read the entire article HERE.


News Links from February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011

Hotel Marketing Must Gain Better Control Over Pricing
Even as the hotel industry recovers from the recent recession, hotel operators must find a way to work on pricing and distribution in the brave new world of the internet, according to a new hospitality trends report by Cornell’s Centre for Hospitality Research.  Read the entire article here.

The 25 Most Influential Executives of the Business Travel Industry
The 25 Most Influential Executives of 2010 is Business Travel News‘ 26th consecutive annual effort to identify the executives who most directly drove those changes, who forced the industry to take notice of and react to their decisions. The list of those executives is not a ranking; BTN is not measuring their relative influence against one another. An appearance on this list is not necessarily an honor; influence, after all, can be perceived positively or negatively, and this list over the years has hosted its share of disrupters alongside its visionaries and innovators.  Read the entire article here.

RCMA Tampa Conference Hits High Notes
“It’s a testament to this organization and to Tampa that with all the doom and gloom about the impact of the economy, we enjoyed the highest turnout in planner attendance in three years,” remarked RCMA Executive Director and CEO Dr. DeWayne Woodring during the state of the association address on the final day of the Religious Conference Management Association 39th World Conference & Expo, January 25–28, Tampa, Fla.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

5 Steps to Hit Your Sales Target
Oftentimes, salesmen and women tend to up-sell the very product or service they’re trying to sell. Talking about every single feature they have to offer is a fool-proof way to send their buyer in the opposite direction. In this economy, it’s become evident buyers know exactly what they’re looking for and don’t want to waste any time being distracted with irrelevant details.  Read the entire article here.

Expedia Discusses Q3 Hotel Business
Expedia’s Q3 earnings call revealed some interesting news on the hotel side, like what drove Expedia’s improvement in U.S. hotel room night growth, and how the company explains the slight Agency Program drop in Europe compared to the previous quarter.  Read the entire article here.

Hotel Rebound Mandates New Buyer Strategies
With all indicators pointing to a rebound in business travel and hotel rates next year, it’s clear that meeting planners and corporate travel buyers may need to exercise new strategies at the bargaining table.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010

Hotels Book More Meeting, Convention Groups This Year
Americans are meeting again on the road.  Hotels are reporting a rebound in business from group customers, a key segment that includes companies, associations, sports teams, religious groups, social organizations and the military.  Read the entire article here.

Hilton Tweaks Name and Logo
Hilton Hotels, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, is changing its name to Hilton Hotels & Resorts and updating its logo.  Read the entire article here.

Hotel Rate Talks to Toughen
Buyers are facing their toughest hotel negotiating environment in several years, as hoteliers say they’re planning to push for rate increases amid rising demand and declining supply growth.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010

Top 10 Social Media Strategies for Hotels
Social Media continues to grow in importance. It has not only become a critical tool to interact with customers, but is also a key element that impacts organic search rankings for your hotel. Hotels that take advantage of this hot trend are seeing significant benefits in terms of online placement and revenue.
Read the entire article here.

Bigger Group Bookings Bode Well for Resorts
Professional meeting planners, who have been deferring, cancelling or drastically cutting back on both size and frequency of meetings for more than a year now, are scheduling more site inspections and booking much larger groups for 2011 and 2012. This was confirmed during a long interview conducted this month with John Washko, VP sales & marketing, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Read the entire article here.

Arizona Convention Boycott Called Off: What Will it Mean for Meetings?
After a ruling by Judge Susan Bolton of the U.S. District Court for Arizona that strips out some of the most controversial aspects of the Arizona immigration law (S.B. 1070), Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has called off his boycott of meetings and conventions to the state, which has evoked reactions from every corner of the meetings industry.  Read the entire article here.



News Links from July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010

Harnessing Social Media, to Drive Sales and Improve Hotel Operations
While it can be daunting to develop and implement a strategic plan for online reviews and social media, InterContinental Montelucia Resort and Spa was able to look at social media as an opportunity to use online guest feedback to its advantage in marketing, sales and operations.  Read the entire article here.

Virtual Meetings and Exhibits Still Coming of Age
“Virtual Meetings: Friend, Foe, or Flash in the Pan?”  That was the question addressed during an engaging session at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events Mid Year Meeting in Boston—which was streamed live to a virtual audience.  Read the entire article here.

Leaving a Community Footprint
In an era where stories about corporate greed and excess are all too commonplace, it is refreshing to find companies interested in more than just the bottom line. Many organizations are finding that corporate social responsibility programs (CSR) can be a win-win-win: The employer is looked upon as a caring corporate citizen, employees feel good about working for an empathic company, and a local community gains what is usually a generous donation.  Given the intense scrutiny meetings and incentives are subjected to, incorporating a “give back” element also makes good sense from a publicity standpoint.  Read the entire article here.

Hotels Bolster Breakfast Offerings
Economy and mid-scale hotels around the world are adding value to their free breakfast offerings with the addition of waffles, eggs, sausage, and other foods this year.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

GHO’s Top Ten Meeting & Incentive Tips for Hoteliers
Great Hotels Organisation, the London-based hotel sales and marketing alliance representing 3-5 star hotels under the brands Great Hotels of the World, Special Hotels of the World and Metro Hotels has announced its top ten meeting and incentive tips and trends for hoteliers.  Read the entire article here.

Facebook versus Google Travel, the upcoming travel wars?
With Expedia, Orbitz, and other online travel stocks hovering just above the basement, news of Facebook and Google dancing around the travel niche cannot be thrilling. Online travel is about to take off like a rocket. For some that is.  Read the entire article here.

Research Says Companies Still Loosey Goosey With Meetings and Events
Companies’ spending on meetings and events can be hard to track and varies by industry, says a new study from travel-management giant Carlson Wagonlit Travel. But before you stop reading thinking you’ve heard it all before, the study also finds that certain best practices can save companies up to 25 percent on that spending over three years.  Read the entire article here.

How to Create a Sales Driven Hotel Website
Nowadays the web has become a powerful search engine tool for travelers. Hence hotels must make sure that their websites transmit quality, professionalism and credibility together with a good design and comfortable look-and-feel.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010

Association Meetings in 2010 and Beyond: A Think Tank
As we enter the second half of the second year of the worst recession the travel industry has ever experienced, we know that associations—and their meetings—may never be the same.  Read the entire article here.

Survey: Planners Redefining Sales Meetings With Suppliers
More and more, meeting planners are interested in scheduling face-to-face meetings with their suppliers at industry trade shows, conventions and conferences, finds a new report released last week by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).  Read the entire article here.

Marketers Look to Ride Occupancy Rebound
Following a downright terrible 2009, hotel marketing executives are eagerly trying to take advantage of what appears to be rebounding demand.  Read the entire article here.

Numbers Tell the Story: Things are Getting Better
The luxury hotel segment’s fall from its lofty perch as a result of the global recession has been well-documented, but perhaps no statistic demonstrates the segment’s dramatic drop more than one that Mark Lomanno, president of STR, presented during the opening session of the 32nd annual New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from May 17, 2010

May 18, 2010

More Travel to Meetings, CFOs Say
CFOs are lightening up on meetings travel spend, finally.  The new American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor found that just 34 percent of 479 respondents will restrict travel for staff meetings this year. That number was 81 percent a year ago! Only 35 percent say they plan to restrict travel to conferences and events, compared to 79 percent in 2009.  Read the entire article here.

What Cities and Countries Top the List for Association Meetings?
ICCA releases its rankings based on more than 8,200 meetings in 2009.   The United States and Vienna both held on to their number-one positions in this year’s International Congress & Convention Association rankings of the most popular destinations for international association meetings.  Read the entire article here.

HSMAI Foundation to Release New Revenue Management Road Map
Revenue management has continued to evolve in the hospitality industry, especially in recent years due to the changes in the economic environment. To address the growth and change in the revenue management field, HSMAI’s Revenue Management Special Interest Group advisory board commissioned Inspire Resources to author “The Evolving Dynamics of Revenue Management: A Comprehensive Revenue Optimization Road Map for Hotel Owners, Operators and Practitioners.” Published by the HSMAI Foundation, it will debut at HSMAI’s Revenue Management & Internet Marketing Strategy Conference on June 21, 2010, in Orlando, Fla.  Read the entire article here.

Commentary: Meetings in the Age of Distraction
When President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at Virginia’s Hampton University May 9, he raised questions about technology, communication, and thoughtful deliberation that could have profound implications for your next meeting.  Read the entire article here.


News Links from April 16th, 2010

April 16, 2010

We’ve got some good reading for ya today… enjoy!

Sales Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers
In the battle for market share, hotel managers with a background in sales have a distinct advantage. For managers who worked their way up through other departments, keeping the sales team productive and motivated can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips for ensuring your property is sales driven from the top down.  Read more here

How Meetings Are Changing Post-Recession
Meetings 2010: Smaller, Closer, Shorter
The economy is also affecting the size and location of meetings, according to the panel, moderated by Annette Gregg, CMP, CMM, regional director, Unbridled Solutions, a Denver-based event management and communications company. Budgets are decreasing and companies are downsizing, so pharmaceutical meetings are generally smaller, shorter, and more regional than they have been in the past, said planners on the panel.
Read more here.

Urban Hotels’ Recovery Outperforms Suburban
As demand begin to show positive growth rates in the United States, are urban or suburban properties benefiting the most? As of February 2010, in the U.S. there were 4,830 hotels (744,759 rooms) and 17,388 hotels (1,736,915 rooms) classified as urban and suburban properties, respectively. Historical performance was as follows:  Read more here.

Breaking the Chains: Seven Secrets of Success from Florida Superior Small Lodging Association™
In a tough economic environment when U.S. hotel occupancy rate dropped by as much as 17 percent in the last quarter, and even visits to tourist-friendly Florida were down by nearly a full percentage point, a slight glimmer of light – the ongoing success of smaller, quaint, family focused hotels with hands-on owners/managers – presage better times ahead for the entire hospitality industry.  Read more here.


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