Similar hotels in an area are usually going to charge similar rates. Many hoteliers include checking competitors' prices when creating their rate parity strategies. But on an even playing field, it comes down to the overall value you can create in your property that will edge out your competition. Packages are a great way to set yourself apart, but they aren't for every guest. When large conventions come into town, they bring in a lot of guests looking for a place to stay. Everyone in the area raises their rates to meet demand, but the hotels closest to these events often sell out first. They let their location do their marketing for them, but what can the hotels farther away do to build value around the event to help entice guests to book first?
Lowered rates will bring in the reservations, but everyone wants to capitalize on the higher demand for the rooms. In these situations, it is best to tailor your property to meet the needs of those attending the event. For a lot of guests, small gestures can make the most significant differences. These gestures can be a simple tweak to existing policies that can sway a guest to book with you. Standard check-in/out time may not be the most convenient for those attending events, and offering a no-charge extended check out can sell your hotel. When events run late, guests are forced to check out early and store their luggage. Having the option to return to the hotel on their own time, shower, and check out without the rush can be just as enticing at a cheaper rate. Regardless of the event, flexible check-in/out times are always appreciated.
Cosplay Repair Station
Comic Book and Fan Events have been dominating convention center schedules for the last few years and show no signs of slowing down. The largest of these events bring in hundreds of thousands of tourists into the area, and their attendees bring a new meaning to the word dedication. For many, the actual event isn't the draw. The draw is cosplay. They spend countless hours creating costumes to dress up and show off as their favorite characters. After several hours of walking around in these costumes, it's not uncommon for things to break or tear. Stocking your front desk with safety pins, additional sewing kits (with lots of thread colors), hot glue guns, or duct tape could save a guest's outfit and make your hotel their hero for the weekend. If you happen to be located near the convention center for the event, you can label yourself a "Cosplay Repair Station," and welcome guests and attendees access to supplies to keep their outfits pristine throughout the event.
Marathons can draw large and passionate crowds to an area. These athletes are very particular about how they prep for a marathon, and this can be an excellent opportunity for your hotel to build more significant value for those guests. Before any big race, a marathon runner is going to need a particular breakfast. The breakfasts that can be found at most hotels are often not up to the dietary standards of these runners, so consider changing the menu for the days surrounding the marathon. Add in higher quality proteins or carbohydrates and include some popular energy bars into the mix. If you have space, grab a couple of blenders, some fresh fruit, and add in a smoothie bar for the weekend. Food costs may go up, but not compared to the satisfaction level of your guests, and you can be sure that they will return for the next race.
There will always be a common need among all those who are attending the same event. Tailor your property to meet this need better than anyone else in the area, and guests will gladly book with you first. Make sure to highlight this need on your website with a custom landing page for the event. A custom landing page will help drive prospective guests to your site and help to increase direct bookings.