Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Dallas Hotel Conference. This annual event attracts approximately 500 attendees, including Hotel Owners, Presidents and CEOs, Investors, Lenders and more, from across the U.S. 2013’s event featured panel discussions and presentations from knowledgeable hospitality thought leaders, including top industry executives.
What stood out to me during the panel “The Perspective of Major Brands,” was the theme of emphasizing the guest experience when marketing your hotel. Perhaps Alison Reid, Senior Vice President of Starwood said it best when she stated, “It’s not about the lobby any longer, it’s about the experience the guest has.” Mike Deitemeyer, Omni’s President added that a major focus of theirs is on the communal space, creating a friendly and connected environment for their customers. Another Omni objective is to drive additional revenue by leveraging technology to book ancillary services during the booking process.
Meaningful, memorable, fun, and unexpected experiences influence the way customers perceive you in general and feel about you in particular. It’s the small stuff that keeps a customer coming back time and again; it’s the little details that cause a customer to rationalize paying more because she feels she is getting more. It’s also these same factors that keep your guests talking about you and sharing their recommendations with people they know and those they don’t.
As I contemplated what I heard from our panelists in the context of digital storytelling, I realized that there’s a tremendous opportunity to intensify the focus on the guest experience for the every constituent in hospitality, Brands Management Companies, REITs and of course, the properties themselves. Show your guests what their stay will be like, make them feel something. Hotel shoppers are looking for information wrapped in an engaging and compelling story everywhere they’re shopping for travel. When you present your property this way, they’ll be inspired to choose you.
Learn more about Visual Storytelling in our eBook: Anatomy of a Visual-First Website Experience.