conferences, Falls Park on the Reedy, Greenville South Carolina, Liberty Bridge, PAII, Rob Peck, Simon Hudson, Southeast Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show, trade shows, Upstate Shakespeare Festival
Dust off your Southern drawl and prepare for some warm hospitality at the Southeast Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show June 4-6 in Greenville, SC. This PAII-hosted conference will welcome southern innkeepers from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina as they converge to discuss increasing occupancy, improving relationships, optimizing amenities, and much more.
“We’re gearing up for a great event with top-notch education, a jam-packed trade show, and unbeatable networking opportunities that will interest every innkeeper,” said Brook Patterson from PAII.
This year’s Southeast Conference featured speakers will focus on how innkeepers can better react to their many stressors and how their businesses can benefit from more targeted, digital marketing efforts.
Rob Peck, a University of Pennsylvania graduate and founder of the speaking, training and consulting firm Zestworks, will teach innkeepers how to perfect their juggling skills. “I haven’t met an innkeeper yet who isn’t trying to keep a lot of balls in the air,” he said.
That art of juggling, and the inevitable stress-inducing nature of being an innkeeper will be the crux of Peck’s motivational speech. “The bad news is everybody gets overloaded. When you get overloaded you can easily get overwhelmed,” he said. “Overload is inevitable. Overwhelmed is optional.”
The trick is to avoid becoming overwrought — when you may overreact of one of those overloading things. Remember, when juggling so many things at one time, there will be a moment when one of those balls will get dropped. It’s how you react to that situation that can make all the difference, Peck said.
For instance, if you’ve made a mistake that affects a guest, the keys to recovery are to admit to the goof, apologize in a sincere way, add a little levity to the situation — possibly through some fun, self-deprecating humor — and then discover a solution to remedy the situation. “This is one of the best chances we have to establish customer loyalty,” he said. “(The guest) feels a sense of trust and loyalty.”
Peck’s presentation will offer up clever ideas for making a stressful situation into a positive, even laughter-inducing, experience where customer bonds are strengthened and innkeeper stressors are alleviated.
Simon Hudson, Ph.D., who is the endowed chair of the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at University of South Carolina will help innkeepers find new marketing strategies and inspiration. Marketing their bed and breakfast, innkeepers are always trying to define their customers — who are they and what are they looking for. “We will be focusing on the tourist of today,” Hudson said. “And how do you reach them in today’s environment.”
Hudson’s presentation, which is designed to entertain as well as educated with some fun video clips and lots of visuals, will focus on the importance of certain marketing tools, particularly digital media. “How do you leverage the digital world,” he said. “What are customers looking for when going online to book?”
Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter or attractive videos, Hudson said he will help innkeepers get those customers booking, know what they want once they arrive and then completely wow them. That wow-factor will then turn to valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
Workshops planned for the conference will also cover a variety of topics, including the following:
- Measure returns on your marketing investments
- Discover efficiency through automation
- Increase your value through social media
- Attract a new generation of travelers
- Keep pace with the mobile-device user
- Learn the must-haves in web design
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of South Carolina, Greenville is known for it’s lush greenways and more than 400 acres of park space. Some of that park space, enhanced by stunning waterfalls, can be found at Falls Park on the Reedy. This 32-acre park is enhanced by the unique Liberty Bridge — a pedestrian suspension bridge completed in 2004 that allows an unobstructed view of the captivating waterfalls.
An amphitheater at Falls Park hosts the Upstate Shakespeare Festival. Performances will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 1-3 and June 7-10 for conference attendees who will be arriving early or extending their visit in Greenville.
For more information, or to register for the Southeast Innkeeping Conference & Trade show, log on to www.southeastinnkeepingshow.com.
Mark Your Calendar
Are you hoping to go to your region’s innkeeper convention but unsure of when or where the party is this year? We have created a working list of the 2012-2013 conventions. You can find it by clicking here, or you can also find it in the sidebar to the right of this blog post.
If we have missed your association’s conference or you notice changes that need to be made to the list, please email Jennifer Durrant at firstname.lastname@example.org