Author Archives: annacole

  1. 10 effective Conference Venue marketing strategies to grow your MICE business

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    The saturated Conference venue market requires MICE hospitality teams to have the right marketing strategies in place to ensure a reliable flow of bookings and healthy pipeline. Events are about so much more than just the space they take place in and each client feels their objective is completely unique. Keep customers wanting to come back and delegates talking about the event long after it has been and gone.

    Be clear on your target audience and what they are looking for.

    • Is your Offer presented entirely from the client’s perspective and user experience? 
    • Do you have a niche specialism that plays to your venue’s strengths? The more focused your offer, the better your SEO can be to ensure you don’t get lost online.
    • Are you focusing on engaging with existing customers to build loyalty, repeat business and advocacy?
    • How good and up to date is your customer data?
    Blog 3 - conference venue marketing strategies - hotel marketing agency - pic of Hotel Chocolat Events/MICE brochure

    Position yourself as an expert and trusted partner  

    • Make your brand proposition clear, relevant and distinct. Don’t let your venue fall at the shortlisting hurdle when the event planner moves from initial research to more careful consideration. 
    • Underline your competitiveness through added value and the reassurance of a hassle-free, seamless end-to-end experience
    • Embrace technology innovation (e.g. Chatbots, Operational and Guest Apps, integrated Booking Automation, 5G connectivity), emphasise amenity benefits and your creative, flexible F&B capability.

    Showcase your venue with marketing assets that set you apart. 

    • The digital space plays a critical role in planners’ influencing decisions when shortlisting MICE venues. 
    • High quality creative materials – photography, video, arial imagery, 360° and virtual tours, to interactive layout settings and downloadable, customisable brochures are all critical assets to support your Conference Event marketing activity.
    • Are you regularly updating them to keep your content fresh?
    • Inspire vision of its transformation potential.   Document event productions from blank canvas to end realisation through photography, time-lapse, blog and social content posts and ensure each event’s possibilities are seen from the client’s eyes.
    Blog 3 - conference venue marketing strategies - hotel marketing agency - pic of Hotel Cafe Royal conference room

    Make sure your venue is easily found online 

    • Do you have all the right website tools and digital marketing strategies in place to ensure a high visibility search ranking?
    • Is your content marketing strategy effective in driving traffic to your site?
    • When visitors land on your website, ensure their experience is simple and easy to navigate, packed with relevant content to encourage the conversion of enquiries into confirmed bookings. 
    • How effective is your SEO and website analytics? Are you clear on the range of search terms your audience are using? Is your website fully optimised to achieve good organic ranking in Search results?  Do you know which landing pages are delivering the most impact?
    Blog 3 - conference venue marketing strategies - hotel marketing agency - pic of Google Analytics re digital marketing & SEO strategy

    Stand out in Local Search results with Paid Ads

    • An essential aspect of your conference venue marketing plan is investing in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It’s the only way to guarantee cut-through in the highly competitive market of Local Search
    • Put your rivals in the shade and emphasise your venue’s credibility and authority in a highly targeted, cost-efficient space.
    Blog 3 - conference venue marketing strategies - hotel marketing agency - pic of Hotel Xenia Instagram page re social media marketing

    Maintain a planned and active social media presence 

    • Before you dive into a snowstorm of social post activity, prepare a quarterly content plan for the year. Ensure your social communication themes fully align with your overall content marketing strategy and business objectives, mapping out tactical opportunities and seasonal events, e.g. London’s staging of the Euro 2020 championships this summer.
    • Post regularly on your channels and engage with your audience through shared website blogs & curated relevant content.
    • Supplement posts with targeted PPC campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn to forensically target your prospects, drive website traffic, increase brand awareness and boost your social following.
    • Don’t leave it all to text: create compelling video content including pieces to camera to accelerate engagement.
    • Building trust, credibility and rapport with your ideal clients requires commitment over time, but it is a proven tactic that drives traffic and enquiries. Do you maintain a proactive dialogue with previous clients to ensure you are front of mind for their next event consideration? 
    • Celebrate event successes, share expert tips and showcase venue capabilities through a thoughtfully constructed social media content calendar. Customise posts and images to reflect the relevance, tone and content expectation of each platform.
    • Encourage event participants to share their experiences online in the post-event buzz.
    Blog 3 - pic of Hashtag re social media marketing & content marketing strategy

    Optimise calendar peaks & troughs with tactical marketing activity

    • Promote your venue to planners organising events for the awards, trade events and party seasons. Business in quieter periods can be encouraged with promotional discounts and incentives.

    Initiate local marketing partnerships

    • Your conference venue marketing strategy needs to stretch beyond digital activities.
    • Form collaborative alliances and shared initiatives with compatible and aligned local travel and tourist partners, as well as engaging with trade organisations or specialised industry sectors your region may be known for.

    Use your customer data to tailor an informed offer

    • Incentivise and encourage Client and Attendee feedback; enable technology to make it easy for comments to be shared through an App, Text or other simple route. 
    • Use surveys to determine what attendees want from a Conference and Events venue and how you can create a better experience next time. 
    • All present opportunities to acquire valuable customer insight and ensure each new event proposal is personalised and on point.
    Blog 3 - pic re customer feedback to build customer data to segment & personalise

    Don’t underestimate the value of e-mail marketing. 

    • It’s a channel that can deliver an exceptional ROI, if you nurture a solid email marketing list and you segment your database to personalise your message. 
    • Sift through previous open rates and run re-engagement campaigns to win back disengaged subscribers.
    • Grow your list with a branding campaign, emphasising your trusted authority and expertise in conferences and events to drive new enquiries
    • Exploit your digital marketing image bank and bring your emails easily to life through repurposable design templates.
    • And of course, track and assess your open and click-through rates.
    Blog 3 - pic re email marketing strategy

    If you’re looking to review or develop your MICE / conference venue marketing strategies, why not have a conversation with us and see how we can help.

    At ZOO, we exist to help clients deliver added value, brand differentiation and competitive cut-through.  Our 20-year hotel marketing experience ranges from independent boutique hotels to larger, global chains. 

    We retain the same passion for every new hospitality brief, harnessing the power of our digital marketing expertise, branding strategy experience and creative storytelling to boost traffic, generate enquiries, grow brand awareness and most of all, keep a relentless focus on ROI.  

    Talk with us today, and let’s work together to elevate your brand ambitions into powerful business performance.

    0208 541 0800 letstalk@zoocomms.com

  2. How Hospitality venues can capitalise on 2020 Industry trends to help increase MICE bookings

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    Hotel GM’s and Sales Teams can help increase MICE bookings by capitalising on 5 key growth opportunities drawn from PWC’s UK Hotels Forecast 2020 industry report.

    With corporate demand for hotel conference venues and meeting space this year predicted to remain soft, it remains critical that venues ensure their hospitality marketing strategies across SEO, content, social media and customer insight are working effectively and delivering solid value.

    blog 1 - increase MICE bookings - blue conference seats image

    The pursuing of a more personalised and technology-based customer offer will be key to outperforming the competition. It will also help increase the attraction potential from Millennial business customers. 2020 trends further indicate that conferences are going to get smaller and become far more customised. The pressure of high new room supply continues to cause a challenge for hotel GM’s. In London alone, 65 new hotels with 8,000 rooms will open their doors this year.

    1. Improve The Sophistication Of Your Technology Offer.

    The key trend to consider when planning your marketing strategies to increase MICE bookings is embracing a more sophisticated Technology offer. There is a growing demand for 5G-enabled live conference event streaming, holograms and Augmented Reality (AR). 5G technology removes the pressure for venues to maintain their WIFI supply at a constant high bandwidth. It also presents an extended revenue opportunity, as it means conference venue and meeting room locations on site can become far more innovative, creative and personalised.

    The introduction of increased Automation and Digitisation of guest services will help dispense with classic business user pain points such as the drudge of the check-in/out process. Whilst connecting with an AI-programmed chatbot or downloading a digital App to enhance their user experience won’t be for everyone, not servicing users who prefer a seamless, time-efficient experience will result in corporate event planners and event organisers potentially crossing off your venue from their conference shortlist, in favour of other hotels who can.

    2. Upgrade To A More Personalised Customer Experience.

    Delegates increasingly expect a more customised experience tailored specifically to their needs and wants. Many corporate customers recognise that the outcome value of a superb conference and meeting experience in terms of productivity, personalisation and relationship-building can be worth more than the event cost. Taking advantage of profile-based loyalty schemes will ensure you really know your customer inside out and thereby deliver a tailor-made package with exclusive offers, that resonate and amplify. Loyalty schemes offer additional opportunities to upsell.

    Zoo blog - increase MICE bookings - 2020 hotel industry trends - pic 2 millennial

    3. Meet the Experiential Expectations of Millennial Business Customers

    Millennials demand a highly personalised and interactive customer experience. High speed Wifi is assumed, however offering complimentary gym access, discounted Spa treatments or free late check-out for late-evening arrivals could make a favourable impression that may be amplified through social media touchpoints. 71% of Millennials make their travel plans via an App. Offering frictionless digital-only access including for example, curated local entertainment recommendations and rewards incentives will help millennial event planners favour the selection of your venue over another that uses a traditional website booking system.

    4. Get Creative With Your Meeting Space Offer

    Events professionals are continually seeking new and innovative meeting room and event spaces, particularly those that foster an informal and sociable team or relationship-building environment. Think about how you can increase MICE bookings with the provision of creative and alternative meeting room space, facilitating the growing demand for highly productive, bite-sized content sessions. Your indoor and outdoor environments – be it rooftop, relaxing Spa or verdant green space all have the potential to host an engaged and inspired, targeted audience.

    5. Are You Highlighting Your Venue’s Environmental, Sustainability And CSR Values?

    A focus on ensuring your venue and corporate event offer projects the right Sustainability and CSR credentials will enhance your selection potential by those businesses who want to be seen to take their sustainability values seriously.

    If you’re looking to review or develop your hospitality marketing strategy, do get in touch with us.


    At ZOO, we pride ourselves on our 20-year hotel marketing experience ranging from independent boutique hotels to larger, global chains. We retain the same passion for every new hospitality brief, harnessing the power of our branding strategy, creative talents, and digital marketing expertise to deliver engaging design, tailored multi-channel marketing campaigns, informed sector insight and most of all, a relentless focus on ROI.

    Take advantage of our proven marketing know-how to help boost your hotel and conference venue’s MICE bookings. We tailor our approach to the individual needs of each client and focus on building long-term relationships, understanding your objectives and target customers before implementing the right strategies that get results.

    Talk with us today, and let’s work together to elevate your brand ambitions into powerful business performance.

    0208 541 0800 letstalk@zoocomms.com

  3. Increase your Hotel Meeting Room Bookings with a smarter marketing approach

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    The facilitating and renting out of hotel meeting space for company employee inductions, offsites, training programmes, culture events, remote working catchups and other corporate needs can add a significant revenue boost for hotel and hospitality venues. MICE sales teams can maximise their hotel meeting room bookings to deliver more and repeat business through the deployment of smarter marketing strategies.

    Ensure your target audience can easily find your venue online.

    Is your hotel visible on the first page of search engine results, ahead of your closest competitors? Are you using the most impactful keywords across your site content meta descriptions? Your SEO strategy, content marketing and social media communications should all be working hard to grow your brand awareness and attract the right traffic to your site.

    A high profile search listing not only boosts website traffic, it asserts the authority and attractiveness of your business offer, gives new prospects confidence to click through to your site and raises your brand awareness by helping you be seen by a wider customer base.  Paid Google Ads (Pay Per Click ) can ensure a top page ranking for customers using search terms such as ‘hotel meeting rooms’.

    Paid Ads for local marketing, using optimised and highly targeted keywords will raise your venue’s ranking over the local competition and ensure you’re reaching a defined audience of the most potential and valuable customers. That in return, will deliver efficient click-through rates and ROI.

    Your content marketing plan forms a key element to maximise your hotel meeting room bookings. It should include themed blogs and social posts which are thoughtfully targeted to engage with your ideal client. They should clearly demonstrate you understand their business needs and lay out a range of solutions as to how your venue can help with the challenges they face. This builds trust and emphasises your credibility, experience and expertise over the competition. It’s how a new prospect can convert into a repeat customer and even become an advocate for your venue.

    blog 2 - maximise hotel meeting room bookings  - team meeting rapport pic

    Are you promoting your company and individual presence on LinkedIn, connecting and constantly engaging with prospective companies, showcasing your venue’s capabilities to meeting planners and events professionals and maintaining a warm rapport with past and current customers?

    Demonstrate how your meeting room facilities, location and hotel environment can deliver valuable team productivity and relationship-building and allow delegates to relax, rest and socialise (sports, leisure and spa facilities, dining, guest rooms etc). Promote with great video and photography posts on Instagram and Facebook

    Blog2  - xenia hotel instagram screen

    Is your social media calendar strategy delivering clear engagement with your target audience.  Are you sharing customer testimonials both as social proof, and online? User-generated content such as TripAdvisor reviews can be added to your website with the aid of a widget. Equally, local Google and Facebook reviews are key to attracting prospective customer enquiries, so focus solid care and attention on your reputation marketing.

    Showcase your meeting room space and facilities at the hotel on your website and social channels by producing striking creative and content assets such as superb photography, video, well designed promotional materials and shareable information downloads.

    blog 2 - maximise hotel meeting room bookings  - brainstorm meeting pic

    Capturing enquiry contact details through a CRM system enables you to build a valuable database of past and prospective clients, providing the ideal opportunity to direct mail themed E-shots that promote for example, your market-leading technology facilities, special seasonal and discounted deals or range of innovative, creative meeting space that could be perfect for that Millennial corporate customer. Ensure you respond to every meeting room and event enquiry within a maximum of 24 hours.  

    Your database is a golden opportunity collect valuable insights from and about your clients. Incentivise customers to comment on their venue experience, reward recommendation and understand what they are looking for from MICE venues generally. A ‘conversation marketing’ approach is far more effective than broadcast marketing, so listen to your customers, respond and maintain a dialogue, using all feedback to personalise your future offer.

    blog 2 - team meeting rapport pic

    Most hotels ensure highly visible signage and marketing materials to promote their weddings offer; does your hotel actively highlight its meeting room facilities as effectively? Think of all the locations that could highlight your corporate meeting room and event offer; from in-room information to signage in the car park, dining areas, front gate, leisure and nearby outdoor space. Add impactful photography to your lobby and bathrooms to ensure every guest and visitor is aware of your meeting room capacities and that a tour is always available.

    If you’re looking to review or develop your hotel marketing strategy, do get in touch with us.

    At ZOO, we pride ourselves on our 20-year hotel marketing agency experience ranging from independent boutique hotels to larger, global chains. We retain the same passion for every new hospitality brief, harnessing the power of our digital marketing expertise, branding strategy and creative storytelling to deliver more traffic and enquiries, grow brand awareness and most of all, keep a relentless focus on ROI.

    To find out how we could help increase your hotel meeting room bookings and MICE sales, do get in touch.  We tailor our approach to the individual needs of each client and focus on building long-term relationships, understanding your objectives and target customers before implementing the right strategies that get results.

    Talk with us today, and let’s work together to elevate your brand ambitions into powerful business performance.

    0208 541 0800 letstalk@zoocomms.com