Ask the Experts

How to boost conference and meetings business

By Ciara Feely

- Last updated on GMT

The right signage can help you convert lobby traffic into meetings and conference revenue
The right signage can help you convert lobby traffic into meetings and conference revenue

Related tags: Rooms, The guest

Effective promotion of meetings and conference space can provide a big boost to non-room revenues, but many businesses are missing out. Ciara Feely of ConferenceConverterToolkit.com, gives her tips on how to convert lobby traffic into conference clients.

In business, there are three ways to generate additional revenues - raise your prices, find new business or sell your existing customers more.

The quickest, and cheapest, option is to focus on existing customers. Not only have you already spent marketing money to get them through the door, but if you impress them with your offer, you can turn them into word of mouth marketers to attract new business.

This is particularly true when it comes to advertising your events and conference space. Thousands of people walk through your lobby every month – whether they are a hotel guest or just a visitor attending a wedding, eating at your restaurant or meeting in the bar. But how many leave never knowing there are meeting and conference facilities at your hotel?

Is there any active communication around the hotel letting people know you have great meeting rooms? Is there marketing activity to plant the seed that your hotel would be a great place to hold a conference?

The majority of hotels I visit have effective signage and marketing material promoting their wedding suite – perhaps a table in the lobby dressed for a wedding set up or a pop-up stand with a photo of a happy bride and groom – but very few promote their meeting and conference space.

A client of mine generated ten show arounds a month by putting up a framed sign on the reception desk which simply read ‘Ask to see our space to think’.

Here are some more effective ways to ensure everyone leaves the hotel knowing there is are meeting and conference facilities and they are welcome to take a look at it...

Put up photos of the conference space in the lobby and bathrooms.  ​Frame them tastefully so they match the decor, they will be sending a constant subliminal message to those who glance at them.

Don’t put up a pop up stand, they are over used and just clog up the lobby and walk way areas.

Use signage in the parking area​ such as a sign reading ‘Conference /Meeting Rooms or Event Space’, which points to the closest door to the conference area.  This way everyone will see there are meeting and conference rooms even if they are arriving for a spa treatment.

Set up finger posts in the gardenpointing to the conference/meeting centre. ​This will let leisure guests know there are conference and meeting rooms and helps to orientate delegates/meeting attendees.

Remember the sign atthe front gate​ to let people know there are meeting rooms in your hotel. That way you can target people passing by, particularly locals who might not visit the hotel otherwise.

Think about in-room information. ​A lot of guests like to flick through the in-room literature, so use this to promote your meeting and conference facilities. Make it visual - put in lots of photos and perhaps put a small sign on the desk letting guests know it is there.

Another nice touch is to put a floor plan of the hotel in the guest rooms so each guest is orientated and knows exactly what is on the property.

Get access to Feely's free online training each month by signing up at http://www.conferenceconverter.com/proposals-webinar

Related topics: Business, Hotels

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