One of our favorite conferences of the year is the Mid Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show & Conference. This year it was hosted at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. The show is organized and run by Pete Holladay, a former innkeeper, owner of Virginia Inn Broker and one of the best gentleman in the innkeeping industry. Mid Atlantic is one of the largest and best run conferences available each year and Pete’s experience in running events shines brightly.
Mike Blumernthal was the opening speaker and he talked about Google and search engine optimization (SEO). He communicated effectively that website optimization can bring in many times the business than social media. He had very solid tools for checking and improving your presence on the web like NAP Consistency, Google Places guidelines, GetListed.org and much more. His presentation is on his website and we’d recommend it to everyone. Mike communicated that there really are no secrets or mysteries but very logical reasons for how computers evaluate and rank our websites.
Mid Atlantic is one of the largest and best run conferences available each year and Pete’s experience in running events shines brightly.
The tradeshow floor had vendors ranging from some amazing specialty teas from The Cozy Tea Cart to amazing hand stitched rugs from J & S International to Living Social to RezStream to Little Luxuries of Virginia. One innkeeper, who is also a chocolatier, brought around samples that were very tasty. They serve chocolate treats to their guests each night!
Pete finds wonderful places to host these Mid Atlantic innkeeper conferences. We arrived several days in advance and visited The Brick House, A Williamsburg White House, Williamsburg Sampler Bed & Breakfast Inn, Fife & Drum Inn, Newport House and The Cedars of Williamsburg; touring their inns and learning the area history. There are some wonderful inns in Williamsburg. From our research the local government has really tried to limit and regulate the bed and breakfasts in the area. New inns can only have two rooms! Yet there is very little regulation on timeshares which were built during the bloom and didn’t sell. This is a common issue we come across through our travels.
With the amazing historical events in Williamsburg combined with area attractions like Busch Gardens, Williamsburg is a wonderful place to visit. Part of our group ate at Shield’s Tavern where it feels like you are eating back at in the 1800s in a candlelit room. One of the innkeepers said the food has improved a lot of the years because some of the establishments were being too authentic to the time period years ago!
We extend our thanks to Pete for a wonderful conference and our gratitude to those inns and bed and breakfasts that took a moment to allow to learn a little more while touring their beautiful establishments.