Webinar Wrap-up – How to Better Market Your Hotel to Business Travelers

Last Wednesday I hosted a webinar titled Business Travel 2.0: How to Better Market Your Hotel to Business Travelers.  The webinar proved to be a great success with over 1500 registrants.  We received a lot of great questions and feedback from our attendees.

I was joined by two terrific guest speakers – Joff Romoff, Director of Supplier Relations, Global Supplier Management] of Concur and Sandy Taylor, Director Worldwide Sales Corporate, Government and Travel Agency Programs of Best Western.

Joff explored the current corporate trends in today’s market while Sandy shared valuable tips for attracting business travelers online. I would like to thank them both for sharing their insights and deep knowledge of the corporate travel landscape.

We also received a lot of questions and comments, and answered as many as we could during the session. However, we weren’t able to get to them all so we compiled a list of the most popular questions and have taken the time to answer them below.

Q: Do you think not offering free in-room Wi-Fi impacts business travelers’ impressions and loyalty?

Many industry studies, including one by BTN, show that complimentary in-room internet is the top feature that business travelers look for when evaluating hotels.₂ By not appealing to their travel needs – especially their top need – you run the risk of reducing the overall number of business bookings you receive.

Q: What are your predictions for trends within the next few years?

The business travel booking cycle is getting shorter and shorter; what used to take days now may only take hours. In turn, this is causing travel managers to think outside of the box and book based on an available time frame as opposed to the traditional booking based on a specific brand. This means that there are more opportunities for hotels to capture new business.

Another rising trend is the transition to mobile research and booking. This has already begun and is expected to continue growing, requiring hotels, chains and corporate booking tools to optimize for these devices.

As Joff mentioned in the webinar, the ways that business travelers and leisure travelers shop for hotels are becoming more and more similar. Both groups do their research on multiple sites, using multiple devices, and I believe this will continue to be the case. What it means for hotels is that they must ensure they are well positioned to capture business travelers across the web and devices.

Q: Do you think there is any reduction in corporate travel now that there are web and teleconferencing options?

Although more and more companies are using these types of technology for virtual meetings, corporate travel is on the rise in 2012 and expected to continue growing. At the end of the day, nothing beats true face to face meeting and interaction.

Q: Do you think social media sites are great for promoting hotels?

Yes, social media can be a valuable marketing tool for hotels if used effectively. It is important to be consistently active on these channels by offering interesting and engaging content to consumers.  A recent study showed that 50% of travel companies had seen increased bookings as a direct result of Facebook alone₁.

The Z Ocean Hotel South Beach and The King and Prince Beach Golf Resort are examples of excellent hotel Facebook pages.

If you have additional questions on this topic, feel free to post them here or tweet them using #vfmlwebinar.

Don’t miss out these upcoming webinars! Next week we will be explaining how to use VBrochure to attract more business travelers with speakers from Granite Hospitality and Coakley and Williams. Register today!

Missed this webinar? No problem. Watch the full recorded presentation here.

₁Eye for Travel: Social Media and Mobile Strategies for the Travel Industry
₂BTN Research Issue: Connecting With Managed Travelers

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