Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is Your Property Marketing to Business Travelers? Take a Hard Look at What They Want

Every hotelier knows that their business guests are looking for more from the property but not expecting to pay through the nose for it. This niche traveler has to submit their expense report every week to the finance office and at times, needs to justify their expenditures. Since the frequent business traveler will often be the hotel's "bread and butter" business during the week, it is important to attract these type of guests and more importantly, keep them happy. Below are some suggestions gleaned from frequent international travelers as reported in a recent travel edition of The Wall Street Journal, along with some of my own observations. 

There are 2 schools of thought about hotel expenses:
ALL EXPENSES ARE ITEMIZED
"Today, I want complete transparency when I travel around the world. I want to demonstrate to my financial director what I spent has been worth it and that value was my overriding criterion in every hotel," said Nigel Massey, Infrastructure Service Manager at TDG. 
"Business travelers always ask for itemized bills, rather than all-inclusive ones," said Debrah Dhugga, General Manager of DUKES London

ALL EXPENSES ARE INCLUSIVE

Here are items some hotels are providing to their guests, free of charge:
  • Local phone calls
  • Morning breakfast that is delivered to the guest's door
  • Newspaper delivered to their door 
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mineral Water
  • In-room iPads, loaded with city guides, tips and newspapers in the traveler's language
You and I both know these expenses are not exactly "free" but they help hotel marketing simplify the cost to their guests. In addition, if something is not of value, such as a breakfast that is cold or Wi-Fi that is very slow, the value to this offering goes down significantly. 

HOWEVER, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO SERVICE
Hotel guests are becoming pretty demanding and the ability for guest services to meet their needs 24/7 is becoming more and more the standard. Shopping for a business traveler that forgot a pair of shoes, finding a courier, allowing them early check-in, or providing expedient laundry service at little or no charge, enhances or takes away from the guest experience. Just like a toddler asking for a piece of candy just before dinnertime, the business traveler doesn't want to hear the word "NO". 
"The most important thing, is that all the facilities, provide such things as a good laundry service, hairdresser, and efficient room service," said Nicoletta Trapani, a corporate lawyer that travels all over Europe and the Middle East.
"I always expect a very high level of customer service," said Sir Rocco Forte, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Rocco Forte Hotels. "Service should meet the individual needs of a client."
"I look for customized service and attentive staff," said Reto Wittwer, CEO of Kempinski Hotels. 
"It is service, service, service and a cozy bed with fabulous pillows and a good shower", said Debrah Dugga. "Sometimes it's the simple things that make the difference." 
- See more at: http://i-meet.com/pages/blog/ShowBlogPost.aspx?BlogPostID=2623#sthash.Yo118EgW.dpuf

Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Minutes to Judging an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

As much as we would like to get away from PowerPoint, it is still the number 1 presentation method used by most speakers and facilitators. However, now more than ever, you need to review the slides to make certain the message is right for your audience. You can no longer take for granted that presenter is the subject matter expert on effective PowerPoint presentations. You are. But you have so little time -- how will you manage? 
Take the next 5 minutes to read this blog for effective methods in evaluating PowerPoint. To save even more time, forward the entire post to your speakers and ask them to follow this advice. Here are the 6 most helpful tips: 
  1. Use Large and Legible Fonts. 

    Ideally, when you run through the presenter's talk, go to the farthest corner of the room and see if you can see the message. According to  Guy Kawasaki, Advisor at Motorola Mobility, the smallest font type used should be 30 point. However, if you think that is too large or too small, take the oldest person in the room and divide by 2. That is your font point.

    In addition, use legible fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or Rockwell. Clean and crisp is the name of the game.
     
  2. Keep it Short.

    Kawasaki recommends that the presentation be no longer than 20 minutes and many other presentation methods are shorter. Take for example, TED (18 minutes), PechaKucha (6 minutes and 20 seconds) and Ignite (5 minutes).

    The point is a brief presentation keeps the speaker on point, focused and gives attendees plenty of time for questions.
     
  3. Follow the Rule of 10. 

    Kawasaki uses only 10 slides for any presentation. It doesn't matter what the topic is, this is the format he uses. Each slide contains a single image with one sentence or phrase.

    In addition, his first slide identifies the problem, second slide the solution, and so on up to slide 10 which is the call to action. 
     
  4. Show Them. 

    Attendees are visual learners. According to Price consulting firm, attendees will retain your speaker's message the following way:

    55% visually (through photos or videos) 
    38% by what the speaker says and
    7% by the text on the slide.
     
  5. Tell a Story. 

    Whether you or your speaker are conducting a product launching eventtraining seminar or sales meeting, you are trying to sell your attendees on an idea or concept. However, you need to connect to them both intellectually and emotionally. How do you do that? By telling them a story -- that has a beginning, middle and end.
     
  6. Know the Attendees. 

    Make certain the speaker tailors their message to the attendees. If you rent iPads for your meeting, encourage the presenter to keep the line of communication open with Twitter. A speaker that can adapt to to the pulse of the audience is one that you want to have...not one who is delivering the same talk for  the 200th time.