News Links from July 21, 2011

July 20, 2011

Group Business Up at U.S. Hotels in Q1
First-quarter group business at U.S. hotels has been stronger than expected, according to data just released from Smith Travel Research.  Read the entire article HERE.

The Power of Religious Meetings
Tough Economic times have put a damper on faith-based meetings, but the Religious Conference Management Association’s member survey shows that in 2010 religious conferences continued to be a strong component of the U.S. meetings industry.  Learn more HERE.

Increase direct hotel bookings with social media
For many hotels, the profitability of direct website sales justify investment in website optimization. Fortunately, this process does not have to be difficult or expensive. It simply requires an understanding of recent changes to search engine algorithms and consumer behavior that guide current best practices.  Read the article in its entirety HERE.


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 January 26, 2011

January 26, 2011

Doug Kennedy comes through with a nice article on inbound sales calls.  Josiah MacKenzie also has a nice piece on his favorite 2011 hotel marketing themes.  Enjoy.

True Hotel Sales Superstars Love “Clueless” Callers
Indeed, many  if not most of today’s sales inquiries are from those who are largely pre-sold prior to phoning.   Well established hotels and resorts have the added benefit that many if not most of their callers are repeat guests who have visited before and who already know what they want before dialing.

Given the prolific amount of information available to prospective guests and hotel meeting/function planners, it seems logical that today’s callers to hotel reservations, front desk, and the sales department should be very well-informed before they dial our number.  Read the entire article here.

Five Hotel Marketing Themes I Will Champion in 2011
Thanks to Scott Ginsberg and others, I’ve been impressed with the value of having a few core ideas to “champion” in everything I do.

Here’s the five themes that will be infused into my work in 2011:  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.