Post pandemic planning

Remember when we used to travel? When we filled airports, anxiously exploring the world for new business and opportunities? When we could wow customers with buffets on the beach, before our meeting rooms had to go dark? Life and business may be on hold, but it’s not over.

Seaside service.

While the world is in lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if you are a hotel, convention centre, off-site venue, DMO or other supplier it’s worth investing in post-pandemic business rebuilding now.

Potential clients have time on their hands. They are working remotely, and they’re also looking to restore lost or postponed business, and/or salvage or shift still-planned events because of the optics and challenges this health crises has created for clients, destinations, sponsors and attendees.

Two immediate actions are to imagine what business will look like once the all-clear is given. Then to prep your website and messaging to tie in to those new travel trends. Guerilla marketing works when you have a plan.

If you were one of the 15,000 travel professionals who attended Meeting Professional International’s 12-hour webinar on Global Meetings Day, you know how industry leaders see the recovery happening.

Twelve hours is a long day, but MPI provided such quality content and great ideas that the time flew by. And armed with what came out of that event, members, suppliers and partners should be adjusting their websites now. 2020 will be a lean year, but some preparation may make your year less lean.

The unfortunate reality is that a lot of websites – even the professionally created ones – are not specific and targeted very well to the needs of planners and incentive houses. These are sophisticated volume buyers, with very specific needs and interests. The problem suppliers create for themselves is a reliance on what amounts to generic websites built by web generalists who don’t understand this part of the business. Since the group market can be 40 percent of a property’s business it’s not the place to pinch pennies. On the upside, it’s not very expensive to correct these shortages. Our invoices rarely exceed $300.

While you ponder your post-pandemic business here are some digital status to consider:

  • As of January 5, 2020 there were 4,437,215,927 internet users in the world. That’s an increase of 1.1 billion users in four years. Interestingly, only 8.2 percent of those users are in North America, behind Latin America and the Caribbean (10.4%), Africa (11%), Europe (16.8%), and Asia (49%).
  • In January 2020 there were 1.74 billion websites on the web, BUT 1.2 billion are inactive. People and companies launch sites with great expectations of being found, being meaningful and generating income. But to rate, you have to update. Once is not enough when putting content on-line.
  • This volume of inactive websites makes it more difficult for potential clients to find your business if you happen to be one which doesn’t update information.
  • That said, there’s a hell of a lot of new content going on-line each day. Over 27 million new pieces are added to the internet each day. How will yours stand out and is it even your goal to gain that many eyeballs? What you really want is not a random volume of clicks but to inspire actual customers to act.
  • Don’t be afraid of content. Research shows longer posts of 1,100 to 1,250 words generates 9 times the leads of shorter items.

 

A web audit is a modest investment in your post-pandemic future.

For a first contact write Web Doctor in the subject line to: nscelt@hotmail.com

Is your message what customers want to hear?

Beach, ballroom or barn – whatever space you’re selling, is your message what the potential client wants – and needs – to hear?

Is your website working for or against you?

A website is a living ad for your business. It needs to show the benefit to the customer AND it must be accurate.

Too many hotel, off-site venues and convention centre websites are failing their employer by failing the customer. They’re inaccurate, generic and deliver a corporate sales message built on what a sales team wants to say without thought to what the reader wants to know. And, often without thought to how to make it easy for the planner customer to find that information.

For hotels, the meetings and incentive sector can account for 40 percent of revenue. For convention centres the sector is your sole reason to be. And for off-site venues meetings and incentive are the golden goose which subsidizes your other activities and work.

Are you 100% confident that your website is working for you? Have you wondered why a piece of business didn’t come your way? It could be as simple as your web content. For $300 Destination Doctor can do a web audit of your digital presence to ensure it really is a working asset and not a drag on your business. We have three decades of experience working with the meetings industry. We know the client complaints and we know what your competition is doing.

Our audits focus on content and accuracy. They are not a re-design. It’s a nimble, affordable process.

If you are a web designer or webmaster, we can work with you to hone your client content.

Can you afford the status quo?

To book your audit, email: scribble@ns.sympatico.ca

 

Eggplant president urges web audits

It’s important for businesses to identify and remove “single points of failure” (SPOFs) from websites. That’s the message from Alex Painter, president of a website speed and performance testing company, Eggplant, to travel aggregator TravelMole.

In listing the issues which impact a website’s performance Painter addressed links and content that slow down connectivity and download speeds. He advised ensuring “static assets have long cache lifetimes” and getting “rid of non-essential content”.

Painter said, “If there is anything on your site that is redundant, get rid of it. It’s the excess baggage to your customers’ serene and speedy journey. Newer features are added more often than older features are removed, building up the number of unused scripts and styles. A full audit of your website or even just your key pages may not be possible at short notice, yet a brief check of the source code will most likely reveal some content that is not needed and could be removed.”

His bottom line is that spot checks and audits will make your site perform better and optimize conversion from clickers to customers. That applies to individual travelers as well as the corporate market. Is your web presence resonating for you or costing you business because of dated and/or irrelevant content? When was the last time your content was updated, fact-checked and read to see if it is on message?

Destination Doctor does affordable web audits for properties, destinations and venues.