Event Marketing - The Neglected Outreach Tool Within Reach
By Vanessa Horwell Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, ThinkInk & TravelInk'd | August 01, 2011
Ask any meeting or event planner, or any sales and catering department, and they can tell you: events are big business for hospitality organizations.
For those hotels and resorts with the facilities to hold and operate events- both large and small- how those events are marketed can have a real impact on revenues. Yet most hotel marketing efforts focus not on events, but on the property itself, or on amenities and services. If event marketing is a part of the overall marketing strategy at all, it is probably aimed at touting the property's capability to hold events, or at attracting future events. Marketing during events is often an afterthought, or something left to the event-hosting client.
This is a missed opportunity.
What's more, the failure to engage in robust event marketing is not just a missed opportunity for that specific class of hotels with events that merit widespread media coverage- in the society pages and otherwise- nor for those convention center hotels that host large-scale events that effect entire communities. Events of any size allow hotels to market their core services as well as their event capabilities to a captive audience of attendees. On a wider level, events lend themselves particularly well to public relations campaigns and initiatives, and can potentially serve as the of-interest item that lands that hotel expansive coverage, and thus expanded visibility in the marketplace.
In short, events are as close to an ideal marketing and public relations vehicle as hotels are likely to encounter. There are hotels that recognize this, and leverage the unique marketing benefits of event hosting to their fullest. But most properties do not consider theses ancillary benefits of events, instead viewing them as simple revenue producing functions, tertiary to the hotel's core operation of letting rooms.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this viewpoint; after all, if a property made events its number one priority, it would be a banquet hall. This perspective does, however, neglect the tremendous impact successful event marketing can have on revenues- from 'core' room sales to increased catering and banquet business to higher traffic at that property's public offerings (like F&B outlets, spa and pool, etc.).