How to Connect Your Hotel with Your Community
One of the best marketing strategies for your hotel is to get involved in your community.
When you build relationships with other businesses and locals, you have a better chance to contribute to the overall well-being of your city.
In this article, we look at how to connect your hotel with your community, so everyone benefits and builds long-lasting relationships. First, let’s explore why it’s important for your hotel.
The Benefits of Connection with Your Community
Your bottom line shows profitability, but in today’s world, your community wants to see you making a commitment to your city. They want to see you getting involved and building relationships.
Increased loyalty is also a by-product of community engagement, and you’ll find other business owners recommending you just because you’ve taken the time to build a relationship.
How to Get Started
As with anything related to marketing, you want to create a plan to get started. Make sure your strategy aligns with your hotel’s business objectives.
In other words, don’t just respond to every community engagement request. Make a plan and choose your relationships carefully. Weigh the benefit to both your community partner and your hotel.
You don’t want to look unscrupulous because the goal is community connections.
Consider the areas where you have the most to offer. Draw on the skills of your staff.
For example, you might offer customer service training to other businesses in your area. Or, perhaps you might partner with a local non-profit and provide meals from your own kitchen to disadvantaged families.
Now, let’s look at some ways to connect your hotel with your community.
Have a Party
An easy way to get involved is to throw a party. Make it an annual affair that people look forward to.
This gives locals the chance to visit your hotel, sample your extraordinary hospitality and eat your food.
Some ideas for the party include:
- Host a charity event.
- Have a mystery night dinner.
- Throw a holiday party.
- Have a casino night.
Another way to connect your hotel to your community is to host classes for them.
For example, if your hotel specializes in a particular cuisine, you might host cooking classes.
Or, let’s say you provide a hot spot for local bands on the weekends. You might host classes for aspiring middle and high school students and give them the opportunity to play on your stage.
Remember that connecting is about building relationships and offering classes builds good will.
Meet Your Neighbors
Involve your staff and send them out into the community to learn what’s going on.
If you live in a tourist town, send some of your staff out on adventures in their hotel work apparel.
For example, if a business in your community offers guided hikes, have your staff take these hikes and get to know the owners and staff. Or, perhaps your town is full of high-quality museums. Again, send your staff out to experience it on their own.
This way you start to build relationships. Your staff can then recommend these hikes or museums to your guests. Your community will appreciate it and in turn recommend your property as well.
These are some of the best partnerships in your community. Once you’ve met other businesses, you can begin recommending them to your guests and guiding them through their stay with you.
Businesses to consider include:
- Amusement Parks
- Tourist Attractions
- Retail Stores
Sponsor a Charity
You can make a difference in your community by sponsoring a charity. You can build an ongoing relationship, or perhaps you want to pick a new charity every year.
This gives you a chance to give back to your community, and in turn it earns you some good PR because it’s great public relations.
If you want to build relationships and increase local engagement with your hotel, you want to network on a regular basis. (tweet this)
This means getting out into the community and meeting business leaders.
The Golden Rule of Networking says you should give before you try to get something from your connections. If you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you’ll have more success.
You want to be the first contributor – the first person to offer something.
Forbes says this approach is “like a savings account that enables you to withdraw goodwill in the form of ideas, suggestions and insights from key contacts when you need them most.”
Many businesses find that volunteering together creates a stronger company culture and better employee morale. It also helps you connect your hotel with your community.
Volunteering shows your town that you’re willing to give a little and be part of something bigger than your hotel. It makes you a team player in your own city.
So, volunteering is a win-win for you and your team as well as the community.
Serve on a Board
It seems like non-profits are always looking for new board members.
Consider joining a community board as a way to connect. Make sure that it’s an organization that you care about. Secondarily, you want to ensure it aligns with your overall strategy.
Participate in Local Events
Finally, if your community hosts festivals, parades or other large events, get involved.
Set up a booth, have a contest or give-away, serve food or showcase your partner non-profit. Have a spa in your hotel? Have free mini neck massages at the event.
Your goal here is to showcase how much you love your community. Here are a few tips:
- People love free gifts, so hand out a lot of branded free items.
- Make your booth beautiful and interactive. Play music.
- Host a drawing.
- Have plenty of staff on hand.
- Make it fun.
The best part of community involvement is that everyone benefits – both local businesses and your hotel.
Before you begin connecting your hotel, do create a plan. Stick with it and reevaluate as needed.
By getting involved, you’ll make an impact on your community for years to come.
At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites that utilize your star ratings to help you stand out in the crowd. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website and compel visitors to make a reservation. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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