10 Tips For GettingThe Most Out Of Your CVB Partnership
As hotel operators it easy to get caught up in delivering exceptional customer service to our guests, offering job counseling to our employees or hustling our sales team to close the next big piece of business. The frenetic pace of the hospitality business can often lead to overlooked opportunities.
A key opportunity that often gets taken for granted and unfortunately underutilized is the local convention and visitors bureau. These destination marketing organizations exist for the benefit of their partners and to deliver increased visitor stays to a region.
A hotel operator would make excellent use of their time if they followed these simple tips when leveraging their CVB partnerships.
- Maximize your exposure on your local and state CVB web sites. These sites often attract thousands of visitors per day to their sites and having your hotel visible in multiple locations will help to increase bookings. The more direct links to your hotel’s booking engine the more likely your hotel will be sold. When participating in a special package, make sure the link to that package page is displayed and do not make the customer have to search for the package on your website. Take advantage of the maximum number of photos and word descriptions offered.
- Participate in programs. The CVB has many marketing programs to consider. Understanding your market niche and promoting your hotel along side the CVB adds credibility to your offering.
- Get involved. Sitting on a committee or volunteering for a board of director position can be very helpful to getting your property noticed. Offer to host events and board meetings at your hotel. Have your “A” game ready and wow those tourism partners who attend the meeting. Most likely they are the most connected in the region and word will get around about your hotel’s hospitality.
- Don’t forget about the direct sales staff at the CVB. These sales people are trying to attract business to the area for the benefit of all the partners. They are an extension of your sales office. Make sure the sales managers at the CVB are up to date on your property’s goals and target markets. If you need midweek business in the summer, don’t assume the CVB sales managers are aware of that unless you tell them. If you have special promotions and offers make sure they are armed with the same tools.
- Public Relations. Remember that your CVB has specialists in this field. They are often fielding calls for information on what is happening in the region. They can deliver your press release to the correct media with more authority. Few hotels have the luxury of a PR staff and the CVB can help fill this role for your hotel.
- Social Media. In most tourism regions the CVB has taken a proactive role in Social media and has gained more fans, followers and links than your individual property. Including the CVB in any social media campaign will assist in the offer gaining attention.
- Free Stuff. Make sure your CVB knows you are open to helping out when they are in need of accommodations for writers or meeting planners scouting the area for their next story or corporate event. A bottle of wine and a welcome note, compliments of the CVB will go a long way to winning over the hearts of the visitor and your CVB staff.
- Extend employee rates to your CVB staff. Treat them like your own employees. They will be more likely to remember your hotel if they or a family member has experienced your hospitality first hand.
- Establish direct billing for your CVB. Treat them similar to a corporate account and establish a business rate for them or honor the government rate. Offer VIP status to any of their guests and communicate the rate and benefits to all reservation and front office staff. This will allow others to handle the special requests when you are not available.
- Answer the phone. Make sure your CVB has quick and easy way to contact the decision maker. Often they are working on short deadlines and contacting multiple hotels and attractions. Give them one main contact with authority to make decisions.