Archive for the ‘Innkeeping Show’ Category
I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is this Sunday. That means the Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show is less than a month away. “Tempus fugit,” as my high school Latin teacher would say. She would also say “Semper ubi sub ubi,” but that’s beside the point. (Look it up, if you’re interested). With regard to your thinking about coming to Austin in early March, I’ll bet most of you are in one of these camps:
- I don’t care what it costs, I love it, I need it, and I’m going…
- I have to carefully consider the cost (it ain’t cheap), but I know it’s worth it, so I’m going…
- I have to carefully consider the cost (it ain’t cheap), and I bet it’s worth it, but I just can’t spend the money this year…
- It’s too expensive. Period.
And of course, I have a response and two cents for each camp.
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I’ve asked some folks at the INnkeeping Show here in Atlanta to “guest blog” about their experiences. These are being cross-posted to the PAII member forum.
Bronze Antler B&B
Greetings from Atlanta and the 2009 PAII Conference! Today’s pre-conference activity included the Association Leaders Meeting. Twenty-five innkeeper-leaders from across the United States and Canada assembled for a full day of idea gathering, presentations and collective thinking. Of course, a tasty salmon filet lunch didn’t hurt either. Roll the tape! (The session was recorded.)
The meeting started off with a local presentation by Janet Cochran, the Northwest Georgia Historic High Country Regional Tourism Representative for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GA’s home for state level tourism). GA divides its state into 9 marketing regions with a representative for each. Janet gave us an overview what the state office does to promote travel in the state. One particularly notable fact–any lodging entity in Georgia can be listed on the state’s website at no charge!
Jeff Logan from InsideOut Solutions continued the morning with a detailed presentation, “Effective Internet Marketing Tactics for B&B Association Websites.” Very interesting and definitely useful. Jeff touched on the importance of incorporating blogging, Google maps and photos into bed and breakfast association websites. He encouraged associations to post specials and events to provide more fresh content. Using free products such as Google docs and Google analytics are also good ideas. Jeff provided some interesting, limited statistics about association websites.
Tags: Allied Associations, Innkeeping Show
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At the risk of having this column sound like a promo for our Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show, I want to list for you some great memories I personally have now that the Atlanta show is over. I’ll explain the importance of this list at the end of the column.
1. Having a fantastic time at dinner with some innkeepers from Texas, all of us highly anticipating a fantastic Innkeeping Show in Austin next March. The Texas B&B Association is helping us with the event, and we’re sure to have some wonderful experiences in store for everyone. Thanks Carol et al for your support.
2. Seeing a gorilla walk through the ballroom during our “State of the Industry” general session. It’s one of those things where you had to be there to understand. If you were not there, and you’re curious, drop me an email and I’ll tell you about it. I must have been laughing (on stage during a professional forum) for five minutes after the prank.
3. Having a late-night beer with Tim and Amy Brady, innkeepers extraordinaire from Brattleboro, Vermont, and coming up with some fantastic ideas for PAII.
4. Each evening seeing the Tweets posted on the live Twitter feed at www.innkeepingblog.com. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of conference attendees who were sharing their experiences via Twitter.
5. During the opening key note, listening to an innkeeper tell her story about when she damaged her giant RV in front of one of the Disney hotels in Orlando, which caused the holding tank to spill all over the front entrance…and how wonderfully the Disney staff handled her crisis. The story was priceless and the timing was perfect.
6. Seeing Lynnette Scofield from the William Henry Miller Inn in Ithaca, New York, throw her leg up on the stage during her spin around the dance floor during the Great Innkeeper Idea Fair. Seeing our members dance with professional ballroom dancers was so much fun!
What we hope to accomplish with running a large conference like the Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show is to create memories for those who come. What memories are you helping to create with your guests? I stayed at a handful of B&Bs with my wife before I took the job at PAII, and there is a range of memories that remain with me. Without naming the names of the inns (in some cases I really can’t remember), I’ll mention what I can recall. I don’t know why exactly these are the primary memories, but they are:
· Rock Hill, SC – the innkeeper had a wonderful Southern accent and AMAZING biscuits at breakfast (which she pronounced charmingly as “bre-fiss”)
· Carmel, CA – very clean place and tasty breakfast
· St. Augustine, FL – difficult to navigate around the property with our luggage at night when we arrived
· Long Island – the room felt run down, as though it had not been updated or freshened-up in 20+ years
· Farmville, VA – engaging innkeeper and great suggestions for a jogging route
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Ms. Terry Adams
Boxcar Willie Inn
Now that we’re halfway through the last day of the 2009 Innkeeping Show And Conference here in Atlanta, I—as a first-time attendee—am stealing a few moments away from all the activities to log a few observations:
1. You don’t have to eat all the desserts. Of which there are lots and lots to sample. PAII and its sponsors treat you well, but it’s up to you—if you can—to exercise self-control when it comes to the many dessert breaks between workshops, on the marketplace floor, and at Wednesday night’s fabulous Dixieland Dessert Party.
2. The Lenox Mall in Buckhead, Atlanta’s Beverly Hills, is not the place to hunt for bargains. OK, so maybe I shouldn’t be admitting that Pam Hatch, our inn’s General Manager, and I snuck away from the show to shop. But it was only for two hours—honest! And how could we not sample a teensy bit of our host city’s delights. We took the MARTA train from the Hyatt, where the show is located, right to the mall. Quick and easy. The mall is huge, gorgeous and home to every high end apparel purveyor in the nation. None of which seem to be feeling the economic crunch, at least if you look at their price tags. But, it’s fun to window-shop.
3. Innkeepers are great dancers. As evidenced by last night’s amazing Great Innkeeper Idea Fair, which was modeled on Dancing with the Stars. Innkeepers who submitted ideas to share with the audience first had to dance a tango or rumba with a professional ballroom dancer and were then judged on both their dance flair and their ideas. Loads of fun. Brave innkeepers. And really terrific ideas to take home.
4. PAII is a wonderful community. There’s a nice camaraderie here and it’s so much fun to share questions, answers and ideas with innkeepers from all over the country as well as with industry leaders. Although I’ve never been to a PAII event before, I have been to two other trade shows already this year. Because they combine lodging association members with lodging buyers, the pressure is always on to network with an eye toward gaining future business. They’re also fun and informative, but you don’t feel you can relax and learn at the same time like you can here at PAII.
5. There’s LOTS to learn. I’ve taken pages and pages of notes, all liberally strewed with stars, exclamation marks and underlines. Can’t wait to get home and put them all into action.
6. Sharing is fun. It’s so rewarding to discuss issues or concerns newbies in the industry and see the look of anxiety on their faces replaced with one of understanding. And to know that someone else is there to do the same for me. ___________________________________________________
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Hot Springs, AR
It’s been my pleasure to serve as a Buddy for the PAII conference, checking in with a couple of newbie innkeepers or folks attending the PAII conference for the first time. The trade show has been a buzz of excitement and conversation, not to mention darn good desserts. (Today, the afternoon break included huge canisters of grande malted milk balls, popcorn, sweet & sour balls, and gummy worms–how fun!). How fun to watch the expressions of first timers as they explore the vendors, mingle with innkeepers, and absorb all of the terrific information. One of my new friends is Gary, from Auburn, Alabama. After two days of sessions and workshops, he was FIRED up! When asked what were the two best things about the conference so far, he thought first, and then replied “learning how to better package the inn & weddings, and just being around all these wonderful innkeepers who truly understand our lives!” Gary was grinning from ear to ear. Tonight at the Great Idea Innkeeper Fair, with Dancing With the Stars Judge Impersonators, each innkeeper danced with a professional dancer to the rumba or samba. Wow! Do some innkeepers have two left feet (or maybe just too many knee or hip replacements.) But you should have seen Lynnette from Ithaca show a bit of leg, trying to improve the judge’s scores! The crowd was hysterical! Jan’s idea for the sample itinerary won the most votes. Congratulations for ALL the great ideas! My brain is tired and overloaded, I’ve eaten too many great desserts, my face hurts from laughing so much, and I’m energized and excited about innkeeping. Can’t wait until tomorrow–learning more and enjoying the satisfying company of terrific innkeepers. If you weren’t able to attend–put it on your calendar and in your budget for 2010 in Austin!
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