We had a fantastic time in Sonoma meeting with California innkeepers at the California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns’ (CABBI) InnSpire Conference. At one of our favorite bed and breakfast trade shows, we got the opportunity to share best practices when it comes to optimizing your online directory listings and advanced social media tactics.
Outside of our educational sessions, we enjoyed the conversations with innkeepers on what we deemed to be the hot topics at the conference:
TripAdvisor: At the conference, innkeepers learned about updates to their Business Listings and the implementation of call tracking. Basically, TripAdvisor is adding a unique phone number to each listing to be able to track calls to the property from TripAdvisor. Read our last blog on why we’re recommending opting out of this new feature.
Revenue management: Like most innkeeping conferences, a focus is on how to generate more and maximize your revenue potential. InnSpire was no different in offering educational sessions regarding various financial aspects of running an inn, from Profit and Loss Statement (P&L) to financing with a SBA 504 program.
Airbnb: Also a popular topic lately, many innkeepers wanted to discuss Airbnb and its effect on the traditional lodging industry. Many innkeepers continue to embrace the technology and one roundtable discussion was on how to use Airbnb as an occupancy improvement tool.
Traveler trends: The ways travelers are looking for and booking travel is changing and innkeepers want to learn more about how to stay ahead of the curve. Sessions covered what travelers expect from your website and how you can guide them through the booking process. We found an infographic that showcases 2015 digital marketing trends and strategies for hotels that covers a lot of these traveler trends.
Local focus: Innkeepers learned about the continuing importance of local search marketing and having a strong local presence in search results. This includes claiming your Google My Business page to verify your local business. Consistency in NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) was a frequent discussion point regarding local marketing.
International travel: While we stressed the importance of local marketing efforts, many innkeepers want to know what’s going on with international travel. Evan Saunders, of Attract China, held an hour long presentation on how to attract Chinese travelers that are planning trips to the United States. With Google blocked in China, it's important to understand how you can digitally market to Chinese travelers. We recommend reading Attract China's blog article: Digital habits of the Chinese traveler.
The need for associations: We can’t even count how many innkeepers sang CABBI’s praises and talked about how valuable associations like it are to the hospitality industry. The need for support and education will only continue as new OTA sites pop up or current ones add new features. We also overheard plenty of bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers swapping brownie and breakfast recipes, but those are strictly confidential.
Overall, it was a win-win marketing conference for the attendees and vendors at the trade show. We hope to see you at next year’s InnSpire Conference and Trade Show in Monterey, California where CABBI celebrates its 25th year!
Did you attend the conference? Tell us if we missed any hot topics in the comments section below!