1. Peer Reviews – For those planners who have not been to your site, 66% say that colleague recommendations play a crucial role in their decision making process. Questions like “Have you ever been to this geographic location? What property did you use? How was your experience? Would you go back?” will be asked of their networks before a planner even begins their search. By ensuring your venue has great customer service before, during and post-event, you will generate positive word-of-mouth that no marketing campaign can emulate. 2. Familiarity – The 2013 DestinationMap report by STR found that 92% of planners surveyed say that previous experience with a property is incredibly important to them when considering a future meeting location. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most important is the establishment of known-relationships. The same report found that 91% of planners “consider the helpfulness of staff to be very important in venue selection.” Having past working knowledge of a hotel’s staff and vendor partners gives planners a sense of peace (or not) about the support they will receive and the quality of their programming. Ensure you are maximizing your hotel’s ROI on a client by participating in diligent follow up after they have departed your property. Thank you notes, surveys, check-ins and sending (seemingly) random emails highlighting information you think you client would benefit from are a just a few examples of how to achieve this extended relationship. 3. User Generated Reviews & Online Presence – Once an event professional has compiled a list of potential properties, they will inevitably head to the internet to do some research. That’s when having a great visual and educational presence will help your hotel stand out from the competition. User generated content will take you much farther than a five star rating or a pretty picture. Ask your customers to write a review of your space, and influential guests to comment – then make sure that these responses are front and center when a planner is investigating your property. Should there be a negative reaction to your property, don’t cover it up – embrace it as an opportunity for the public to see your responsiveness and your commitment to making every experience better than the last. Also remember that an easily navigated site, with colorful, updated photographs, virtual tours, and accurate diagramming will go a lot further than an event page asking the inquirer to call you for details. MeetingsImagined by Marriott is a perfect example of how to shape your hotels’ visual platform to be the most appealing to a client. Get the full story at TrustYou