A client recently emailed me a question about a “reservation calendar” for an eleven room inn. This is really a two-pronged question. There are reservation systems, and there are reservation calendars. I’m answering the reservation calendar question in this article.
You know it when you see it and use it, but what is it about a bed and breakfast website that makes it good? Your website is an imperative B&B marketing tool. The quality of the website creates the first impression of your inn and hospitality; it sets the tone for the guest experience.
The B&B industry is a wonderful community that I’ve been part of one way or another for almost 20 years. Through this community I have had first class mentors who have taught me hospitality, have had helpful brainstorming sessions to solve problems, have learned valuable business and marketing tips, made special friends, had sympathetic ears for venting to, and had supportive friends to crow my successes and awards to. As the industry has matured and the community has grown, there have been even more opportunities for these experiences. PAII had its first bi-annual B&B convention in Philadelphia in 1998, and the changes that have happened since then are exciting and invigorating.
Meeting rooms and conference centers are a common additional revenue source for hotels; they could be for B&Bs too. Regardless of your property’s size, having separate space for a meeting or conference is a smart move. Consider, while you are developing your conference center space, creating a green environment and practice for that space. If you already have a meeting room, that could be a great place to begin sustainable practices.
I’d say the largest category of “Myth” I see innkeepers and aspiring innkeepers fall into is the “Authentic B&B” Myth. By that I mean the innkeeper justifies a decision on doing business, designing the inn or furnishing the inn based on what “authentic” inns do/did.
In October, I travelled to Budapest, Hungary, to be initiated as a new member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. This is a group of senior independent consultants, working in various and diverse areas of the hospitality field. The members work worldwide and represent countries in all corners of the globe.