How To Market Your Hotel’s Special Event
Special Events can be held for any number of reasons – from celebrating your opening anniversary to engaging with the local community, to simply wanting to do something new to increase hotel bookings, there are thousands of different reasons and different events that hotels can hold. Whilst all of these may wildly differ in their event planning, the one thing they all have in common is your guests.
Unless you’re holding a private event for your staff, you’re going to want to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, and the marketing of your event will make a big difference in the success or failure of the venture.
FINDING YOUR ANGLE – WHAT MAKES YOUR EVENT SPECIAL?
Hotel Marketing requires that you find your Unique Selling Points – and this is even more important when you’re putting on an event.
- What is the event for?
- What makes it different and worth attending?
- Why should people care?
You need to answer these questions at the planning stage of the event, this will give you a better focus and direction – not just for the logistical organisation, but for your Customer Services teams, your Social Media, Marketing and Advertising strategies. The more time in advance your teams have, the better they can align your campaigns with the event, and gain maximum exposure.
When thinking about what makes your event special, you need to think from a customer perspective – what is it about your event that would make you want to attend? What is the draw? What are the highlights? When you put yourself in your customer’s position, you can gain useful hints and ideas for marketing and advertising.
When thinking about what makes your event special, you need to think from a customer perspective – what is it about your event that would make you want to attend?
WHO IS YOUR EVENT FOR? HOW ARE YOU REACHING THEM?
One of the first things you need to decide when you’re planning your event is who it’s for. Knowing who your customer is will influence everything, and your Social Media and Marketing Teams need to know who they are looking to encourage.
For example – if you’re holding an event for young ladies, it wouldn’t be appropriate for your Marketing team to target a male audience, and they’d likely gain better traction on social media platforms rather than traditional media. Conversely, if you were looking to host an event for business professionals over 40 – you wouldn’t want to focus your attention on channels such as Instagram, you’d want to look at using networking sites such as LinkedIn and an email outreach campaign.
By understanding your audience, knowing what channels they engage with, and what interests them – you will be much better placed to create a Marketing Strategy that is going to connect with them.
CREATING VALUABLE CONNECTIONS – WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU.
Marketing your event isn’t something you have to do by yourself in isolation. It’s important that you update your website and social media pages, and keep these updated with any changes, and all the relevant information – such as availability, price, accessibility restrictions – these pages will form the backbone of your marketing campaign, and ideally you want people to find everything they need to know in one place without having to contact customer services.
But it’s important to have a Customer Experience plan in place, if you’re going to be generating more engagement, enquiries and queries – you need to make sure you’ve got people in place with the right information, so they can respond as fast as possible. The longer you leave a query unanswered, the more likely it is that you’ll lose a potential customer.
Getting support from others will also help you in your marketing efforts. Look at your local community, and consider whether a partnership could be beneficial – for example, if you’re putting on a high-class cocktail night, then you might want to connect with local boutiques and salons – because these are the places your target customers will trust and visit – by connecting with other businesses, you are gaining their endorsement and the trust of their customers.
Networking is one of the cornerstones of a successful business, and it is no different for marketing your event.
When it comes to marketing – the key is to be consistent, both in quality and schedule. People are flooded with information from companies every day, and if you’re not getting seen – then you’re not being remembered. Sharing high-quality content – whether it’s blogs, videos, images or something else – on a regular basis will help to encourage customer engagement, build excitement and referrals.
The marketing doesn’t finish with the event – it’s important to showcase your event on your website and social media channels, show people how much fun was had, and how well it was attended. This gives more opportunities for people to discuss your brand, to deepen trust levels, and to encourage excitement for the future of your brand – and any other events you put on.
CHECKING IN WITH THE KEY TAKE-AWAYS
- KNOW WHO YOUR EVENT IS FOR, AND WHERE YOU CAN CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
- LET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING TEAMS KNOW ABOUT THE EVENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
- ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND OTHER BUSINESSES THAT COMPLIMENT YOUR EVENT
- BE CONSISTENT WITH CONTENT – BOTH QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY
- DON’T FORGET TO POST ABOUT THE EVENT AFTERWARDS – ENCOURAGE USER GENERATED CONTENT AND EXCITEMENT FOR YOUR BRAND