Look busy and sell healthy: Top tips on how to whip bookings into shape

Tip 1: The most common photo on a hotel’s meetings and events page is also the least helpful to meeting planners. The photo of an empty room.

You may assume that this shows a blank canvas of possibilities. Or, that the room’s versatility will spark some creative event ideas.  In reality, your clients are leaning on you for inspiration on how to maximise space. They will want to know what other planners have done in the past and what attendees enjoyed the most.

Further, our meeting planner survey shows that photos of previous events are one of the top five things meeting planners look for on a hotel’s website. Even better still, if they are captured by the event attendees themselves.

Here are two easy ways to build your collection of FREE event photos that best showcase your meeting space:

Connect with the event photographer. Most events will have an official photographer hired to capture keynotes, networking events, breakouts, award ceremonies, offsite activities, etc. Ask to use some (in exchange for promotional credit on your hotel website) that show off the space, décor, while also showing attendees engaging, mingling and enjoying both the space and the program. This works especially well for wedding photography.

Use the event hashtag to search attendee photos. Dig into the event’s official hashtag, whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and more than likely you’ll find plenty of photos captured by attendees throughout the event. Reach out directly and ask if you can post their image on your website and in group sales materials.

Tip 2: Promote health and wellness to get bookings into shape

Take a page out of the luxury segment playbook and drive bookings with health and wellness experiences.

Luxury hotel brands understand what affluent travellers want. Beyond the exclusive amenities, outstanding cuisine and above-and-beyond service, affluent hotel guests prioritise their health and wellness.

But this trend isn’t just isolated to the luxury travel market.

Industry research proves that EVERY traveller wants to incorporate wellness regimens in their lifestyle, especially while on the road. And, are drawn to hotels that help them do that.

Even if your hotel only has the budget to offer 2 complimentary bike rentals or fruit-infused water in the lobby, be sure to advertise ANY wellness offerings on your website and marketing channels.

Here’s how you can show guests you prioritise balanced wellness without breaking the budget:

  • Direct guests to popular healthy restaurants and cafes in the area
  • Add green juices to your menu
  • Offer in-room yoga kits with a yoga mat, DVD, and blocks
  • Replace minibar candy with healthy snacks
  • Offer organic fruit at the front desk
  • Showcase locally sourced ingredients on your menus
  • Partner with local yoga, pilates, barre and other fitness studios to offer passes or classes to guests
  • Create an online and in-room list of local active adventures, including paddle board lessons, bike tours, guided hikes, snowshoe rentals, etc.
  • Offer maps and photos of nearby trails for biking, walking, jogging and hiking
  • Emphasise air purifiers or organic bathroom amenities
  • Have specialised equipment in your fitness centre? Highlight what they are instead of loosely describing it as ‘state-of-the-art equipment’.

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