Utilizing Local Events

In the hospitality industry it can be difficult to make your property stand out from the competition. However, an easy and often unused way to do this is by including local events on your website.

Your business knows the local area and activities, so you can be a guide for your guest. You open up a whole new range of activities that otherwise might have passed your customers by. This is a great benefit to your business because it helps you get out of what is sometimes called ‘the sea of sameness.’ Basically, this phrase means that because everyone’s websites offer similar content, it’s harder for you to stand out. For example, say the main attraction in the area is a national park; naturally most businesses are going to focus on the park to appeal to their guests. Your business should do the same, but in addition, focus on other activities in your area to make your business appear more informed and involved. This is a great way to market to the traveler who doesn’t want to do the typical touristy stuff, thus increasing the unique appeal of your property.

Where should you begin?

Step One: Make a list
The first thing you want to do is make a list of all the local activities occurring throughout the year. You probably already know quite a few of them just from living in the area, but it’s always worth taking a minute to do a quick Google search. You might not focus on every single event because some of them aren’t going to appeal to your guests, but this exercise gives you a list to pick and choose from. In addition, be sure to branch outside of your city to other nearby communities to see what activities they’re hosting.

Step Two: Promote what is the best fit for your business
After you have your list, write about these events and discuss your services in tandem with the event. If it’s a slower season or the event is further away, you may want to offer an incentive or discount to bring in more guests. You may also want to have a page on your website devoted to local events. To take it even further, you can post about the events on your online newsletter or Facebook page, if you have one.

Here are a few examples of what you could put down:

  • Event: Battle of the Bands
  • Product/Service: Local Accommodation
  • Content: Join us for our annual Battle of the Bands. This event highlights the best music in the area and is only three short blocks away. Come and enjoy great music while sitting in one of our city’s pristine parks.

  • Event: Annual Polar Bear Plunge
  • Product/Service: Local Accommodation, Discount, Retail Item
  • Content: Brave and fearless? Looking for a challenge? Take part in one of our coolest traditions. Every January people visit our area and have a chilly bath in Bear Lake. Since we know your hands will be too cold to reach for your wallet, we’re offering a 10% discount off your stay along with free hot chocolate for all participants. Don’t forget about our wonderful hot tub to warm up in after the dip in the cold.

  • Event: Smithfield Fireworks Show
  • Products/Service: Accommodation, Retail Item
  • Content: Located only half an hour away from us, the Smithfield Fireworks Show is the largest in the state. Come enjoy an evening filled with great barbecue and dazzling fireworks. To help celebrate, we’re offering a free meal and free package of sparklers to anyone staying with us over that weekend.

An important item to note when writing about the event is to be mindful of how much self promotion you do. A good rule of thumb is to put in enough that your guest will want to stay with you, but avoid making the whole thing a sales pitch.

Step 3: Create your own event
Having trouble coming up with events to highlight? Create your own. While this may seem like a daunting task, it’s not as hard as you might think. You can do this either by yourself or by joining up with other businesses in the area. Remember, events and traditions came about because someone took the initiative to start it. The event you host could be remembered and repeated for years to come, leading to an increase in business for you.

Keep in mind that people remember experiences, and it’s often what brings them back to stay again.

One last note, don’t rely solely on local events to fill your rooms. This is simply another tool to help you reach the next level from where you are now to where you want to be tomorrow.

Look tomorrow for “Part 2” of this article on using the Holidays and Events feature on the ResNexus Grid to help you prepare for upcoming events.

Information for this article was pulled from Hospitality Upgrade and was originally written by Nimesh Dinubhai.
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