A great way to boost your bookings is to network with locals. There are many ways you can do this. There are of course plenty of hospitality networking events, and Business.com suggests checking out what insider events are available. You can also consider Facebook groups, social events (such as Airbnb meetups), and directly establishing relationships with local businesses.
By networking with locals, you can establish yourself as a presence in a community. You will also be able to gain local knowledge that will be useful for your guests. Here are some of the ways you can use networking to gain more bookings.
Get recommended by other hospitality companies
The most obvious benefit of networking locally is to allow your business to be recommended by other hospitality providers in the area. This relationship should, of course, go two ways. You want to work with another business that you would be happy recommending yourself. This not only makes working together easier, but it means you can both focus on getting the right kind of customers to your business.
Build a local brand reputation
You can also help build your reputation within the local area. According to Hotel Executive, local hospitality networking can help you build a local profile. Even if whoever you are networking with isn’t from the hospitality industry, they can still benefit you. A local office worker might not seem like the ideal person to spend time networking with, but if they hear your enthusiasm about your business they may recommend it to friends and family who are visiting them, or even to the company they work for. You should never ignore someone just because they do not seem immediately beneficial. Be friendly, get to know people, and get them feeling just as passionate about your service as you are.
Establish key relationships
It isn’t just recommendations that can help you get more bookings. If you are a hotel and you establish a relationship with a local restaurant, you can work together to provide discounts for your future guests. This way you can offer a better product to your customers at minimal expense.
You can also get better deals on products and services you require for your business. Businesses from dairy farmers to electricians can help you maintain your business and make sure your customers are happy. If you network with locals, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Mark yourself as a community insider
Though more geared towards job-seekers, Bevspot highlight the importance of getting to know the area whilst you network with locals. The more you network with locals, the more you get to know about the local area. When you show that you care about your community, people will be more likely to book with your business rather than others. If you are marketing to tourists, they will want to know you can provide great recommendations and service for their trip. If you are marketing to locals, they will likely be happier booking with a place that knows a lot about the area they live in than with a business that keeps its distance from the locals. You want to be as knowledgeable as possible about the place where your business runs from.
There are plenty of benefits of networking with locals. The important thing to remember is that you should not go into any networking situation with the sole aim of gaining something. Networking is more successful if your main aim is to build relationships. This will allow you to eventually work together to benefit both of your businesses. When you use social media, you should aim to interact before you start pitching yourself. Relax, get to know people, and enjoy your networking opportunities. Good luck!
Want to learn more about how to market your hospitality business? Check out the Boostly Hospitality Marketing Training Website here.