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8 Effective Ways to Introduce Your Property to Meeting Planners

October 31, 2015

As you look down the road at 2016 group business, CVB and hotel marketing folks think they can sell their destination either through digital efforts such as LinkedIn and Facebook or by advertising a meeting venue in publications.

But what about old fashioned "snail mail"? Is it passé? I say no...But rather than providing a "core-dump" all of the things your destination and hotel can provide, try a different tactic that will get you noticed. 

8 Effective Sales Methods

 

  1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the organization and planner. Check LinkedIn, Google the person, and talk to individuals who know your contact. Ask if you can use their name in your correspondence and then do so within the first sentence of your letter. 
     
  2. Invest in packaging. If your hospitality budget can afford it, create very usual packaging for an envelope (such as a pizza box, pop open card, record album, etc.). But if it cannot, try bright colored envelopes and paper. Whatever you can do to set yourself apart from the rest of the mail is the key. 
     
  3. Ask a few questions about their wants and needs in the letter. After you establish a common link and you have completed your homework, ask no more than three questions about their meeting objectives for 2016. You could write something like this: 

    "I noticed you have always held your meetings in the south, if we can meet all your criteria would you be open to hosting it in the Midwest? 

    This tells the planner two things about you, 1) you did your homework and 2) you are not trying to sell your destination to someone who is not interested in it. 
     
  4. Wait four business days after you sent the letter and then follow up with a series of telephone calls. Do you know how few people actually do this? Call, call, and call again. Have a system for follow-up. 
     
  5. Tell your destination's story...in a fun, interesting and tailored way. Here are some things to weave into your story:
    • Geographical information, such as climate, views and weather
    • History of your city and hotel (if appropriate)
    • Photos
    • A map indicating how close hotels, restaurants and attractions are to the convention center
    • Local entertainment options
       
  6. Limit your correspondence to two pages and make certain there is plenty of white space. 
    Use 12-point fonts and don't try to cram everything about your property or destination into two pages. Remember, this is an INTRODUCTORY letter. Think of it like dating. You don't tell everything about yourself on a first date, do you? Of course not! Just tell them enough about your property and destination to keep the conversation going. 
     
  7. Build on your brand awareness. Make certain your logo, address, telephone number, website and social channels are on your envelopes, stationary, website, blog and everywhere else. People remember visuals before they remember words. Keeping those visuals consistent is very important. 
     
  8. Keep the campaign going all year long. Send out letters once a quarter or every six months. Add something unique. Take risks. Don't be one of the also-ran hospitality marketing peeps; be creative and let group business planners know you want and value their business. 

 

De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM has been an experienced meeting professional since 1993. She has planned, coordinated, and executed over 1,600 meetings for groups from 10 to 10,000 individuals. She has been an active blogger and social media strategist in the meetings industry since 2009 and writes meeting and event related pieces for several event organizations. She works in Streetsboro, Ohio.

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