Category Archives: Conferences

Upcoming Innkeeping Conferences

Upcoming-Innkeeping-Conferences

Don’t miss these upcoming innkeeping conferences in 2016.  In January, hundreds of innkeepers and industry partners from all over the country (and beyond) will meet in Austin, Texas to experience the biggest industry conference in the U.S. The PAII Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show January 10 – 14, 2016, will showcase industry trends, best practices, and encourage you to renew and build new relationships with industry partner vendors and innkeepers alike.

Join in special events, mixers, and cutting-edge education, tailored to aspiring to novice to master innkeepers.  You’ll learn new ways to drive your business forward, refine your services, and exceed your business goals at over 40 live sessions.  You’ll consult face-to-face with industry professionals, and engage all of your senses at the Innkeeper Trade Show.

Hosted by the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, this conference will provide insight and perspective on our vibrant, challenging, ever changing industry, and more specifically, your investment. Gain a renewed focus, build vital connections, and reignite the passion that drives your hospitality business.

Upcoming-Innkeeping-Conferences
Celebrate 25 years of CABBI (the California Assocation of Bed and Breakfast Inns).

Join them January 31 – February 2, 2016 at the Monterey Marriott for this once-a-year opportunity! Network with fellow innkeepers during the 2016 InnSpire Conference & Trade Show. This year’s trade show is the largest yet and promises to introduce you to the latest and greatest in industry products and services. Join us Monday night on the 10th floor of the Marriott as we host a celebration in honor of CABBI’s 25th anniversary!

The conference will kick off on Sunday with opening keynote speaker Nancy Friedman! An expert in customer service, Nancy is excited to provide InnSpire attendees with real-world takeaways to implement right away and make a difference in your business.  CABBI has over a dozen educational sessions planned, including their always-popular round-table sessions.

Upcoming-Innkeeping-Conferences

Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers from all over the Mid-Atlantic region are invited to attend the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia from March 6 through March 8.  Learn from nationally known bed and breakfast industry experts.  Products and services related to the B&B industry will be on exhibit.

Upcoming-Innkeeping-Conferences
The 2016 Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace, hosted by the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, will take place in Nashville, Tennessee from April 4 through the 6th.  This event will feature over 50 learning opportunities including Think Tank problem busting round tables and workshops that span educational paths from everything from Future Innkeepers to Back of the House to Guest Experience to Heads in Beds, plus multiple pre-conference sessions including professionally facilitated state and local association leader events and more.

If you want to share other bed and breakfast industry events (such as innkeeping conferences) that will take place in 2016, feel free to comment below.  Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging improves the marketing success of bed and breakfast businesses.  Contact us to learn how we help increase your inn’s revenue.  Let’s have our best year yet!

How To Easily Attract More Guests To Your Inn

Attract-More-Guests

How to easily attract more guests to your inn?  One key component is to focus on good things to do, things to see, food to taste, places to explore, and places to go in your local area.

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do most people visit our local area? (ex: for a romantic getaway in a secluded area or in a bustling city with lots of culture)
  • What do people like to do when they visit my area? (ex: attend a major business conference or participate in a marathon for your favorite cause)
  • How could I convince someone to want to visit my area? (ex: write great content about your local area and develop a reputation for showing warm hospitality to your guests)
  • Do I ask for guests to give me great online reviews?  Tell guests when they arrive,  that if for some reason they do not have a five star experience with you, to let them know in person how it could have been better.  For the few who were disappointed, perhaps offer them an upgraded room or some other perk if they decide to return again.  Make it your marketing mission to get 5 star reviews online so others will want to visit.

Then, as you read this list, think about what you could feature in your local area:

Things to Do

  • Bowling
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Fairs
  • Festivals
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Local shopping
  • Marathons
  • Miniature golf
  • Quilting
  • Reading
  • Shopping
  • Spa relaxing
  • Sports
  • Walking
  • Writing
  • Yoga

Things to See

  • Ballet
  • Bird watching
  • Book stores
  • Circus
  • Comedy
  • Concerts
  • Movies
  • Parades
  • Photography
  • Sporting events
  • Theatre

Food to Taste

  • Bakeries
  • Bars
  • Coffee shops
  • Food trucks
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Picnicking
  • Restaurants

Places to Explore

Places to Go

  • Arenas
  • Churches
  • Conferences
  • Retreats
  • Stadiums
  • Workshops

Attract-More-Guests

Another important key to attract more guests is to establish relationships with these other local proprietors. Perhaps the business person will give you a reasonable deal in exchange for exclusively their particular type of business (such as using only one local florist for all of your flower arrangements).  Consider putting together guest packages that include local area businesses:

When you categorize your blog posts, this allows your web visitors to easily go to the content that best fits their needs.  For example, some of my blog categories include:

Write about what makes your area a destination for most people.  For some, this could mean featuring local concerts at your popular entertainment venues or dishes from award-winning restaurants.  If your bed and breakfast is in a place known for popular events (such as film festivals), be sure to promote that.

Write about things that make your inn unique.  Give them reasons to choose your inn for their accommodations.  Does your bed and breakfast have its own restaurant, horse farm, gift shop, spa, or something else?  Maybe you have amenities such as hot tubs and fireplaces in private guest rooms.  For those who cater to the business traveler, be sure to talk about your free wi-fi internet access as well as desks with comfortable office chairs.

In summary, write blog posts and put on social media the things that are popular in your local area as well as what makes your inn so special.  Offer packages that include things only found in your area.  Be sure to encourage five star reviews from your guests.  This is how you will easily attract more guests to your bed and breakfast inn!

Images by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Professional Hospitality Photographer Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Breakfast-05Logo

Professional Hospitality Photographer Marcus Berg, from Unique Angles Photography, develops beautiful pictures for his hospitality clients.  When asked how he first got interested in photography, he said he received a phone call from a friend who asked him to take photos at her wedding reception.

This was back in the late 1980s when he did not even own a camera.  Borrowing a camera from his brother-in-law, Marcus later was told that his images of the wedding reception came out the best.  It was then that he decided to take a class at a community college.  Marcus Berg started his Unique Angles Photography business in January of 1994.  From his website, his bio reads:

Bio - Unique Angles Photography 2015-10-23 19-17-04

Marcus takes his wife to a bed and breakfast on every wedding anniversary.  In 2007, he was asked to attend a bed and breakfast conference.  This was his introduction to the world of hospitality.  After a few years, he devoted all of his interest in the hospitality industry.

His clientele is mainly in the B&B industry, but he has grown into serving boutique hotels as well.  He has done work from hotels, wineries, architects, and restaurants. He has kept the mindset for the hospitality image.

JuraRm-03Logo

What he likes most about being a professional photographer is being able to be creative and unique.  He is happy when he can make an image that attracts viewers to his client’s particular location.  Marcus also enjoys making so many new friends while doing his expert photography work.

When I asked him how he was able to masterfully capture the beauty of what is outside from inside a room, he explained that he captures the same lighting with an interior image, matching the exterior light because of his photography experience using lights and angles while keeping an interest in details.

Before Picture                                                         After Picture

Unique-Angles-PhotographyUnique-Angles-Photography

Marcus said that it is crucial for a hospitality business to have excellent photography because of how fast technology is moving these days.  Guests looking for places to stay make decisions based on the images they see.  First impressions stick in one’s memory.

Hospitality owners not only should have images with warm colors, but also an invitational feeling.  Images that enable potential guests to picture themselves right there.  According to Marcus, people do not read about a location before they see images of it.  They read to confirm the images.

Room1-02Logo

It is important for innkeepers to hire a good professional photographer who specializes in hospitality.  Updated images help hospitality businesses with reservations and they will see an increase in their bookings.  This increase in occupancy rates improves their bottom line.  Thus, good images make a profitable difference on a website.

Bed and breakfast innkeepers more than make back what they spend on professional photography and the images last.  Innkeepers can use last years’ photos to continue to build reservations, even though the photographer was only there a short period of time.

Exterior-01Logo

Since Marcus is based in Oregon, his ventures started taking him around the state.  Then after he started attending more conferences, he made more contacts and soon was traveling the whole west coast.  Then he decided to branch out and made a contact in Texas and got the job.

Since then, he has made contacts all over the nation.  He has traveled to all four corners of the United States and many states in between.  Taking photos at conferences supports the association putting on the conference and helps increase his exposure to potential hospitality clients.

Sunset Cruise-02Logo

Marcus said that the greatest part of the type of work he does is being able to meet so many wonderful people across the nation.  The hospitality industry has become a family set for him and every time he attends a conference or returns to a familiar inn, he said it is like being home.

You can see more of Marcus Berg’s Unique Angles Photography work on his website that lists some of his previous hospitality clients and their testimonials.  You can also follow Marcus on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.  Thank you, Marcus Berg, for letting me display some of your gorgeous photography on the Bed and Breakfast Blogging website as well!

What Should My Inn Blog About?

what-should-my-inn-blog-about

What should my inn blog about, you ask?  Since each inn is unique, your blog should give readers a better understanding of your particular bed and breakfast.

Is your location a relaxed beach setting, a scenic mountain location, a rural country farm, a contemporary urban inn, or something else entirely?  Entice your website visitors to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Pictures are a very visual way to attract vacationers.

Why do people visit your local area?  What local leisure activities can guests participate in?  Does your area have any local tourist attractions?  Blogging about this will give you fresh content and keywords for search engine optimization.  Moreover, knowing this information helps you target different types of guests:

Do you offer any special packages or retreats?

How does your inn serve breakfast?  Some B&B inns have their own restaurant.  Some bring breakfast to your room on a tray while others have a common dining area for guests.  At some bed and breakfasts, guests can choose from a menu what they would like to have while at others everyone the same delicious gourmet cooking.

Be sure to ask guests if they have special dietary needs.  Your blog can feature pictures of your breakfasts as well as recipes of guests’ favorite dishes.

What kind of amenities can your guests enjoy?

Potential guests also like to know more about the owners, innkeepers, and staff members of bed and breakfasts.  Be sure to put their pictures on your website including their name, a couple sentences about what they do, and what they recommend guests try when they visit.  You could even feature staff members that receive a lot of compliments from your guest feedback.

Be sure to tell guests what you, as an innkeeper, love the most.  Let them know that you will be attentive to their needs, but also give them the privacy they desire.  If you have a historic bed and breakfast, be sure to share your inn’s history.

Do you have any accreditations or affiliations?  Membership in a bed and breakfast association and/or having received a certain award or level of distinction will set you apart from other bed and breakfasts.

Do you have your own bed and breakfast shop?

How does your inn celebrate the seasons?

How does your inn celebrate holidays?

You can even write about remodeled or redecorated rooms.  Improvements to your inn are worth talking about.  Previous guests may want to return based on your description of the new changes.

Do you offer any incentives for frequent stays and/or referrals?  Reward your guests for returning and recommending your B&B to friends. On the topic of frequency, be sure to have a frequently asked questions section on your website.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

 

When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Give website visitors an “inn-side” look at your B&B from behind the scenes.  Having a blog and being active on social media is a great way to draw more attention to your website.

Don’t have the time or desire to write a blog or stay active on social media?  Let Kristi Dement and her team at Bed and Breakfast Blogging do all the hard work for you.  Her clients see results with consistently booked rooms.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Tao of Twitter (Part 3)

tao of twitterIf you have not yet read the #1 bestselling book about Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer, called the Tao of Twitter, we highly recommend it.  We have shared how Twitter can help you get more business as well as explained Mark’s three essential components to achieving Tao:

  • Targeted connections
  • Meaningful content
  • Authentic helpfulness

We have gone in depth on Mark’s concept of providing authentic helpfulness. Now we will explore how to attract the right Twitter followers (targeted connections) to find your tribe.

 

  • Start following people, companies, and brands you already know using the search box
  • Look at Who To Follow (Twitter makes recommendations based on who you are already following)
  • Mine Twitter lists which are categorized by special interest or geographic location
  • Use Twellow an exhaustive directory of Twitter members by every category, industry, interest, and city
  • Add yourself to up to ten special-interest categories to make it easy for people to find your B&B
  • Search for related businesses by relevant hashtags
  • Look through other social media accounts
  • Go hyperlocal to find real time tweets within a few miles of where you are
  • Find by “prominence” at WeFollow a user-generated directory
  • Join Twitter chats–regularly scheduled online meetings based on special interests
  • #Discover to find friends, popular accounts, or activity
  • Add your Twitter handle to your business cards and email signature
  • Consistently tweet quality content to provide value
  • Make tweetable moments in presentations
  • Live tweet an industry event hashtag
  • Hold a contest to get new people to follow you and retweet your contest to other potential connections
  • Team up with another business, brand, or a media partner
  • Offer exclusive content, discounts, and insider access to your Twitter followers
  • Watch what and who your followers are talking about
  • Use advanced search for more in-depth searching
  • Use specialized search prompts “keyword” near: location

Bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers will be well on their way to building a relevant and targeted community. Let Bed and Breakfast Blogging write search-engine friendly blogs and give you an active presence on social media so your rooms are consistently booked.

The Tao of Twitter (Part 2)

tao of twitterBed and Breakfast Blogging has been sharing some highlights from the excellent social media marketing book about Twitter called The Tao of Twitter. If you remember, one of the three essentials to achieving Twitter Tao is called, “authentic helpfulness.”  The author, Mark W. Schaefer, refering to this concept:

  • Friendships are built on trust and that trust must be earned
  • Treat people like friends and not like targets
  • Ask questions and answer them or refer them to someone who can
  • Read people’s profiles, visit their websites, and write a comment
  • Retweet other people’s useful or entertaining tweets
  • Look in your notifications for @mentions where they refer to you by your @twittername
  • Be genuine, stay honest, and show your personality
  • Take extended conversations to direct messages or going offline
  • Never have a public argument on Twitter
  • Congratulate others publicly for achieving milestones
  • Look for opportunities to help people and answer questions with links to your helpful content or others
  • @HiltonSuggests answers ANY traveler questions whether or not they are staying at a Hilton (by showing this goodwill they are earning others’ trust and possibly their business the day on the tweet or some time in the future)

Schaeffer has a chapter called “Unraveling Twitter” where he explains the language of Twitter:

  • @reply is visible to everyone
  • Avatar” = personal image
  • BFN” = “bye for now”
  • Choose “block” to prevent someone from following you or your tweets
  • Report anything offensive or illegal
  • DM” refers to direct messages only sent between people following each other
  • EM” = “email me”
  • Everyone can see what people “favorite
  • Feed” refers to your posts on your Twitter feed or timeline
  • Follow” means subscribing to another’s tweets
  • #FF” = Follow Friday
  • HT” = Hat Tip, acknowledging who gave you the idea for the content
  • ICYMI” = “in case you missed it”
  • IDK” = “I don’t know”
  • IMO” = “in my opinion”
  • Locking” means only your friends can see your updates which is not good if you want to network, gain more awareness, and host more guests
  • Mention @Twitterhandle to engage with people you are talking about in your tweets
  • MT” = modified tweet (put the MT before the tweet)
  • RT” = retweet (via @username) credits others for their work
  • Search tool helps find people, links, and the latest real-time news
  • TFTF” = “thanks for the follow”
  • TMB” = “tweet me back”
  • Trends or trending topics list the most popular topics in real time
  • Tweeps or tweeples is a cluster of friends on Twitter
  • A “tweetup” is an arrangement to meet up in real life, this can be formally scheduled or spur of the moment

Mark writes in his book that hashtags (#) make tweets more meaningful and discoverable. They connect people at conferences or events.  Hashtags are the key to making sense of Twitter, an easy way to group tweets, and the key to making money on Twitter.  Eleven percent of tweets now contain hashtags.

  • #’s can group together messages from an extended conversation
  • # to discover topics in the search box and to help others find your content
  • # trending topics
  • # news and emergencies
  • # contests and promotions
  • # TV and live events
  • # research to get news and conversations happening now
  • # to create buzz or raise curiosity
  • # to be funny
  • sometimes #’s can be “news-jacked” and refer to a different meaning than originally intended

In Part Three of The Tao of Twitter we will discuss Mark W. Schaefer’s suggestions for ways to attract Twitter followers and how to find your tribe.  Twitter is a great social media channel to attract more guests and earn more business.  Bed and Breakfast Blogging helps bed and breakfasts get more business through our blogging and social media services.

How To Ask for a Link Request

how-to-ask-for-a-link-request

Do you wonder how to ask for a link request?  I am going to sum up the main points in the awesome book published by Entrepreneur Press called Ultimate Guide to Link Building: Build Backlinks, Earn a Higher Search Engine Rank, Increase the Authority and Popularity of Your Site by Eric Ward and Garrett French.

Steps:

  • Look over the website you want to have your link on to make sure it is relevant
  • Do not put the words “link request” in the email subject line
  • Start the e-mail off addressing the website owner by name
  • Introduce yourself, your website, and why you would like to the link
  • Identify the exact URL on their site where you think the link is a fit
  • List the exact URL from your site that you want them to link to
  • Give a valid email address and respond to any email requests they send
  • Provide your phone number–something a spammer would not do
  • Follow any link request instructions they give
  • If a reciprocal link, confirm that you have linked to their site and provide the URL
  • Be attentive, professional, courteous, and to the point

This book also lists Link Building Strategies written by Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO:

  • Start blogging on your website
  • Have internal links to other content on your website
  • List resources and outside links
  • Build relationships with others
  • Find niche-specific directories
  • Write guest posts or have guests write posts for your blog
  • Provide educational content
  • Write compelling testimonials
  • Provide useful lists–there is power in making lists!
  • Be interviewed or interview someone in your industry
  • Offer timely/seasonal content
  • Use humor
  • Provide printable resources
  • Host contests
  • Cover news first
  • Give helpful infographics
  • Host online webinars
  • Promote National Days and Events
  • Survey people and post results
  • Debunk popular myths
  • Comment on relevant blogs
  • Do question and answer blog post
  • Ask customers what they want to see more of
  • Connect with industry associations and organizations
  • Attend relevant conferences
  • Call people
  • Host local group meetings
  • Retweet Twitter tweets
  • Provide email signature listing website & ways to connect with you via social media
  • and much more!

There are always things you can do to draw bigger audiences to your website. By taking the steps to ask for link requests and implementing the link building strategies, you will be well on your way to developing more a popular website.

Readers, I welcome your responses to this post as well as other ideas related to the topic of link requests and link building.  I read every comment and respond when appropriate. Thanks! Kristi

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

B&B Guests: Business Travelers

bb-guests-business-travelers

You may host business travelers who decide that they would like the bed and breakfast experience rather than an impersonal hotel. There may be a business conference in your area or a large corporation nearby.

You can cater to their unique business needs by providing things such as a roomy desk with a comfortable office chair and wi-fi internet access as well as a coffeepot with freshly brewed coffee in their own room.  You can find out the most convenient time for them to eat their breakfast. When you go out of your way to be hospitable, they will remember your extra consideration and be a regularly returning guest!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

PAII Conference January 16, 2014

We have been looking at the Professional Association of Innkeepers International conference being held from Monday January 13 through Thursday January 16.  From 8 am to 9:30 am on Thursday ten different innkeepers will each have five minutes to present fifteen different informative slides as they share encouraging and uplifting stories.

The final trade show hours are from 9:30 am to noon on Thursday.  This is also the last chance to get your silent auction bids in.

The Innkeeping Industry Awards lunch will present various awards to different innkeepers, reveal the winners of the silent auction items, and raffle winners will be picked.

From 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm will be various learning opportunities, including:

  • Live Website Reviews– “Your website must showcase the emotional experience by accurately portraying how your guests will be taken on a journey of relaxation, romance, and adventure. The primary communication tool to impart this experience for a guest is your website. Does your website entice visitors to part with their hard-earned cash or are they booking with your competitor?”
  • All-Star Panel in the Art of Mastering Hospitality-“Brilliant minds unite spreading innovation, creativity, and time-tested strategies for innkeepers. Take a journey down a fellow innkeeper’s path- one of pain, laughter, and implausible success. Discover the secret strategies that catapulted other innkeepers into surpassing unreachable goals. Bring your tough questions to our experienced panel – a group who will candidly share their expertise. Join us as the most sought after industry experts reveal all for the first time together.”
  • A Day in the Life of an Innkeeper-“Find out from experienced successful innkeepers what goes on behind the scenes and how the most successful innkeepers spend their days. Learn about everything from menu planning to staffing, from social media marketing to local high touch business to business networking, from check-in to check-out and everything in between. Get valuable tips that only an experienced innkeeper can give. Learn how to spend your time and what jobs you need to take on vs. those that you need to hire out. Ask your questions and get answers tested in the innkeeping trenches. “
  • Cooking Classes B&B Style-“Offering cooking classes in your inn using the local ingredients and even, in some cases, local chefs will enhance your reputation with local business and with your guests.  Learn to create a farm-to-table experience that you can cash in on along the journey.”
  • A Taste of Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking-“Vegetarian cuisine is now more popular than ever. Increasing health and ethical concerns, and an appetite for adventure, have sparked a growing demand for attractive, appetizing, and creative vegetarian dishes that hold their own against any meat choice on the menu. Chef Bergeron will show how to harness traditional cooking methods and techniques to produce exciting and elegant meatless creations bursting with freshness and flavor. Moving from appetizers and side dishes to delicious entrees, breads, and desserts.”

You will not want to miss this last day of fun and camaraderie with your peers. Your enthusiasm for innkeeping and your love of entertaining guests in your own bed and breakfast will all be renewed as you make important contacts.  This is a great opportunity that happens only once per year and it is being held in Charleston, South Carolina!

PAII Conference January 15, 2014

The Professional Association of Innkeepers International is holding a four-day conference starting Monday January 13.  This post will focus on day 3, Wednesday January 15.  The opportunities to learn abound. Speakers will be discussing topics including:

  • Tips for Running an Efficient Bed and Breakfast
  • The Basic Gourmet
  • Inn Property Valuation
  • Video Marketing 101
  • Insurance Strategies to Maximize Coverage and Minimize Cost
  • Capture Your Guest in Under 30 Seconds
  • Panel of Marketing Experts To Answer Questions
  • Google: Get Your Geek On!
  • Trends in Bed Linens
  • Back Office Secrets: Making Your Business Work When You are Not There
  • Trade Show Open with Lunch and Dessert
  • Inns and Outs of Serving Gluten-Free Desserts
  • Understanding Your Finances
  • Major Forces Transforming Travel in Today’s Market
  • Creating Your Niche for More Profits
  • Innkeeping Can Make a Difference: retreats, classes, support groups, outreach, etc.
  • Create a Winning Purchasing Agreement
  • Hands-On Public Relations
  • Elements of Hospitality Marketing
  • More Than a Bed and Breakfast: Innovative Programs and Partnerships to Increase Income and Publicity

This will be followed by a 25th anniversary celebration of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.  The dress will be casual and there will be barbecue, bluegrass music, and dancing.  This is the last evening of the conference. Another opportunity to make more connections with other important people in this industry.

« Older Entries