It’s early Friday morning and the PAII Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show just ended with a spectacular finale. The Better Way to Stay effort raised about $100,000 from donations, a silent auction, raffle, auction of two vacations, and three year commitments from a number of sources including The B&B Team®. The target of this creative new marketing program is to create new awareness for the American traveler. When TripAdvisor polled a number of potential travelers as to why they do not book at a B&B, the typical answer was “We didn’t even think of it as an alternative”. With creative, funny, and “edgy” (as Jay Karen put it) promotional features, this effort will change that traveler perspective. And the hundreds of innkeepers and vendors at this conference BELIEVE it and recognize the VALUE to the B&B industry. Thanks to all who contributed and for having the vision of what a remarkable and effective marketing effort this will be for the industry.
Here are a few highlights and photos from the conference.
The B&B Team® sponsored the Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar to continue to develop that next generation of innkeepers. Here Marilyn Bushnell of The B&B Team®, Bushnell & Bushnell Services (right), leads one of the roundtable discussions about Staffing the Inn. Peter Scherman, Rick and Jan Wolf, and I all had key parts in the session. We had a total of 18 aspiring innkeepers…a bit disappointing over some of the numbers we have had in the past…but a group filled with enthusiasm and a real commitment to realize their dreams of inn ownership.
The Secrets of Packaging Success, Simplified, was a popular session presented by The B&B Team® and Joe Veneto, The Opportunity Guy, as innkeepers learned to differentiate their packaging offerings to gain competitive advantage in their marketing region. Filled with classroom activities and hands on exercises, a trademark of the Joe Veneto style, the attendees left the workshop with an actionable plan to improve the sustainable results of their businesses.
Creative packaging with area attracti0ns, marketed effectively on your website and other media outlets, can increase the length of a guest’s stay…but more importantly…fulfills the total guest experience and links that memorable stay with YOUR inn. That is a key to generating repeat guests.
The trade show at the conference was a success as well as scores of vendors displayed their products and services useful to innkeepers. Large periods of time during the conference allowed in depth discussions and discoveries, including one-on-one intensive for website planning, visits with the vendors of bedding, vacuums, pottery and artwork, and photography. Everything from A to Z! The trade show was a hit with the innkeepers as they sought out those products and services useful to their success.
Overall…by far one of the BEST conferences ever. If you were able to attend, please let us know your favorite or most useful learnings at the conference. If you were unable to attend, the 2012 conference will be in Little Rock, Arkansas, next January. You don’t want to miss out!
Marilyn and I had the privilege and opportunity to serve on the conference staff again this year and look forward to serving the industry again next January.