Let’s play “Would You Rather” for a moment.
Say you want to take your sweetie for a weekend getaway to a new destination. You see two ads in a magazine for two separate hotels that just opened in that destination.
Hotel A showcases its guestroom in its ad. Maybe the room looks luxurious, spacious and there are two robes draped over the end of the bed.
Hotel B shows you two beautiful people who are elegantly dressed, clearly in love and focused on each other, enjoying themselves at the hotel’s outdoor café with a scenic view of the destination in the background.
Would you rather book a stay at Hotel A or Hotel B for your upcoming romantic getaway?
Hotel A’s ad is saying, “We have pretty and clean rooms”.
Hotel B’s ad is saying these two people are staying at their hotel and having a great time in that destination as a couple. It’s also relaying to the reader the quality of their clientele, the quality of service their guests expect – and receive – and that this hotel provides its guests with the ultimate experience they’re seeking.
Hotel B’s ad is saying so much more in that one image. It’s telling a story. It’s showing an experience.
Now consider the sales materials meeting planners typically receive from sales managers to try to get them to book a meeting at their hotels. They’re usually full of images of empty meeting rooms, ballrooms, tables set for dinner rounds of 8 or 10, guest rooms, maybe an image of the spa. If the property’s a resort, maybe there’s a signature shot of the golf course in there.
While these images show off the facility (and these are must-haves for a meeting planner, no doubt), this is where a lot of properties stop. And unfortunately it’s in these images that properties – no matter how grand the ballroom – come off looking all alike.
We’ve gotten so good at showing off how we measure up, that sometimes we forget to show off what makes us stand out.
Consider your property. What makes it stand out? Is it your conference service team? Maybe it’s your culinary experience, your team-building activities, or your proximity to a specific destination that’s incredible. Whatever it is, show it off! Tell your story – and tell it loudly with photos and videos.
Need examples? How about a short Q&A with the concierge who’s been there for twenty years and is known and beloved all over town? Or a photo of a meeting planner along with her awesome testimonial letter that’s been sitting in the sales manager’s desk for a year or more? Or a short video of a group of meeting attendees having fun during one of your special team-building activities? Or a quick “how-to” with photos of your chef preparing an appetizer that’s a meeting attendee favorite.
To take it a step further, suppose you have a specific piece of business your property is vying for and you know who you’re up against for it. Think about what sets you apart from those competitors, specifically. Then create a short homemade video for the meeting planner showing off your competitive advantages and your earnestness for their business. They’ll not only appreciate the creativity, but they’ll appreciate the extra effort.
I should say here too that what’s unspoken to the meeting planner in this extra effort (to add to your property’s story, if you will) is that your property is progressive, your property can exceed their expectations, and your property not only knows what it takes to be successful, but you go the extra mile to make sure they’re successful too.
And when you have these photos and videos, make sure your potential new clients see them. Yes, get them into your sales team’s hands to use, but also use them in blog posts, social posts, email marketing, in push marketing on your website and more.
Properties have so many tools at their disposal to really show off what sets them apart, to tell their stories and showcase full meeting experiences. Are you using all the tools you have at your disposal to tell your story? To put it another way…
Would you rather run with the pack? Or lead it?