Leveraging Local Events to Increase Revenue
Local events present an important opportunity for hoteliers to capture increased bookings and walk-in traffic. It's essential to capitalize on the higher-than-usual demand for lodging, particularly when a special event falls on a weekday or in the off-season. By implementing a strategy to attract more event attendees to your hotel, you can improve occupancy and revenue.
Marketing Your Hotel for Local Events
Location, Location, Location
When choosing a place to stay for an event, proximity to the event venue is one of the primary booking factors. As a hotelier, you’re probably already aware of the major event venues in your city. However, you should also familiarize yourself with some of the smaller venues that are within a few miles of your property. Big events are huge money-makers for hotels, but mid-size events within walking distance of your hotel can also present an income opportunity for you.
To enhance guest experience during a special event, provide walking and driving directions for guests, along with a map of the local area. You can also coach your front desk to incorporate added-value recommendations to guests who are in town for the event, such as suggestions on where to grab dinner pre-show.
Special Event Transportation
Stand out from the competition in your market by putting your guests at ease when it comes to transportation for a big event. At a minimum, you can provide suggestions on the best places to find affordable and convenient parking for the event, along with the directions to the venue. If you know that you have many guests attending an event, consider offering a complimentary shuttle service to and from the venue. This added value could make a difference in a traveler’s booking decision. If you don’t have the ability to offer a shuttle, you could advertise a special package for the event which includes a Lyft or Uber credit to help your guests get safely to and from the venue. Don’t underestimate the appreciation your guests will feel by offering helpful transportation options for busy events in your city.
Showcase Your Amenities
Hoteliers know better than most people that different events attract vastly different crowds. By knowing your audience and what’s important to them, you can tailor your marketing messages based on which events are upcoming. For example, attendees of a major industry conference will appreciate knowing about your business center, Wi-Fi, and available meeting space. On the other hand, attendees of a concert may be more interested in taking advantage of amenities like your pool or included hot breakfast. Finally, for attendees of a sporting event, you could advertise your new fitness center equipment, water refill station, or complimentary sunscreen. Regardless of what amenities your hotel has to offer, you can adjust your marketing message to appeal to the attendees of upcoming events to try to capture more bookings.
Where to Market Your Hotel for Special Events
To beat the competition when it comes to hotel bookings for local events, it’s important to get the word out. The best way to ensure you capture event bookings is to help market the event itself. At Travel Media Group, we include local events as a major component of our social media strategy. By engaging with travelers online and informing them about upcoming events, your hotel will be top-of-mind when it’s time to find a place to stay.
You can also partner with your local marketing organization like a CVB or team up directly with the event venue to have your hotel listed as a lodging option. That way, when travelers are researching the best places to stay for an upcoming event, your hotel is included among the options recommended by local organizations.
To leverage local events to the fullest, we recommend keeping an event calendar. You should include important annual events, along with one-time special events on your calendar. Advertising about these events through email marketing and social media can help you increase occupancy. By planning ahead and letting travelers know when tickets go on sale, you will be an important resource for event planning, and a natural choice for where to stay for their next event in the area.