You may already be familiar with meetup.com, a global online social forum that (as the name suggests!) facilitates offline group meetings in physical locations in cities all around the world?
But If you’re not then no worries, let us explain how it works!
Essentially, meetup.com is an online meeting-enabler forum which encourages like-minded people, with shared interests and hobbies, to join physical groups where they can come together to discuss, do, learn, create, and just have good old fashioned fun together!
Oh and another thing that you might like to know is this: Meetup.com currently has over 22m members and a presence in 180 countries around the world. That’s a lot of groups of people right? Now consider that every single group that meets needs a venue and it would seem that lots of hotels are missing out on great business opportunities!
What opportunities does meetup offer hotels?
As an hotelier, you’ll probably already know of a number of different groups and clubs that meet in your locality; but if you don’t then hopefully this article will inspire you to find out what sort of groups exist in your locality: once you find them, you can introduce your hotel to them, and vice versa, offer them a place to meet and start to build a customer base from them!
But how? What can you offer them exactly?
Well, it could be something very simple: a nice private meeting place in a corner of your bar on a quiet Tuesday night with the only condition being that they each buy a drink, or perhaps a discount on some platters of food to entice them to use your hotel as a meeting venue?
Think long-term as opposed to quick win!
Although you’re unlikely to see a huge spike in revenue as a result of this type of scenario, the point is this: that every group that congregates in your hotel has the potential to add value to your business over time: it’s not just about what they spend on any given evening.
This is the reason why you should think about the value of local groups in the following 3 ways:
(i) Groups create atmosphere
By encouraging groups to use your hotel bar for meetings and informal gatherings, you are helping to create a positive atmosphere in the hotel: a bar is the heart of any hotel so having a thriving bar always attracts others through the doors!
(ii) Groups are networks, networks are powerful!
One small group of people could contain some very influential people who have the potential to bring lots of business your way, in the form of conferences, seminars, events and overnight stays.
In addition, every single person within a group also has their own private network of people, and this too has potential to bring business to your hotel in the form of family parties, weddings, funerals, and other milestone events that happen in people’s lives.
(iii) Groups come in all shapes and sizes
Meetup.com facilitates meetups for anything you care to dream of: from language groups to techies, from hobbies to careers, from arts to fashion and everything else in between:
Some groups will be serious, some will be purely fun. Some will be adhoc, poorly attended and flexible, whilst others will be very regular, timely, and professional.
In other words, they’re really no different to any of the individual patrons who frequent your hotel; and just as you never know the spending potential of individual customers who walk through your doors, you never know what opportunities any group might bring.
A numbers game
At the end of the day, generating business in any hotel is a numbers game: once you are continually adding to your business pipeline, exploring and targeting different channels, and building your hotel’s reputation locally, the results will be evident in all areas of the business – from bedroom bookings to conferences, and from restaurant covers to the bar.
So what are you waiting for? Start finding out what groups exist in your local area and with a little perseverance, patience and a long-term view, great things will happen just when you least expect it!
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