Hotels in Rio are still reminiscing in the aftermath of the Olympics 2016 – and not without reason. The majority of properties in the region enjoyed occupancy in excess of 90% during the event and with the games having concluded, ‘no vacancy’ signs are unlikely to see the light of day for a while. Which is why hoteliers in the region could be experiencing a bit of uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean hotels can’t continue to benefit from the period of high occupancy!
It’s not just Brazilian properties that can benefit. In fact, there are a number of major events taking place around the world which provide hotels with a fantastic opportunity to not just increase occupancy, but also build their brand for long-term success. Global events like the Wimbledon, African Cup of Nations, UEFA Champions League, Super Bowl and even regional events like the Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras, Glastonbury Festival and St. Patrick’s Day attract millions of travelers from across the globe every year. With a little bit of prior preparation and prompt implementation of post-stay strategies, hotels can generate significant revenue during these spurts of activity while penetrating deeper into the global market.
Using events to improve branding
A major benefit for hoteliers is the fact that attendees and fans are generally passionate and outspoken about the event – many will publish pictures regularly on Instagram, Facebook and other social media profiles throughout the course of their stay. These ‘digitally active’ guests can play an instrumental role in branding the property to a segment of the audience that hotels could never get through to with paid marketing – friends and family. Studies have proven that even strangers are more likely to make a booking once they know that the property has been recommended by others. Hotels should continue to reach out to guests after the event, reminding them to upload their pictures on social media and ask to tag themselves in images uploaded at the hotel’s social channels. It’s a surefire way to boost your hotel’s online and social reach – people love to exhibit their involvement in popular events and while doing so, they also display the hotel as a supplement to the entire experience.
Email marketing is also a powerful tool that continues to remain underused after major events. Guests traveling to attend events are generally in a positive frame of mind, and to be fair this has more to do with their own participation than their stay in the hotel – many may only come to the property to rest or freshen up. This provides hotels with a great opportunity to capitalize on the positive experience by encouraging guests to leave a review. It doesn’t matter if it’s been three days or three weeks – sending out that review request is a mandatory step that many properties miss.
These strategies help hotels maintain demand during other windows throughout the year, even during the off-season. Moreover, they can go a long way towards building relationships with guests and establishing loyalty – remember, many of these are annual events and with good branding, your hotel can be the first name they think of if they decide to revisit the city in the future!