Pillow Talk – June 2014

Dear Amita,

Welcome to the June 2014 issue of Pillow Talk by Pillow Mint Partners.

June marks the beginning of summer – According to anAmerican Express survey conducted in May 2014, travel demand is up when compared to same time last year despite an increase in the cost of travel.  The increased costs stem from higher hotel rates and airfare.  Hotels get ready to make some $$$$$!

Summer also marks the beginning of RFP Season…and for some hotels the process of drafting the 2015 budget commences…such fun!

It is important during this increased stressful time period that we take time out to unwind and recharge. Take a quick walk around the block and grab a cup of coffee at your nearest Starbucks (or in my case Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf). You will be so much more productive when you return to your desk. For more tips read “5 Productive Things To Do in 10 Minutes”.

Enjoy this issue of Pillow Talk and I would love to hear back any feedback you may have…

Warmest Regards,


In This Issue

What is Pillow Mint Partners
Take the PMP Hotel IQ Test
Need Staffing Assistance?
Content Marketing 101
Create a Superstar Sales Person!
Simple Ways to Elevate Service
Cool Apps For Your Phone
New Hotels – Genre Hotels

>What is Pillow Mint Partners?

Find out more about Pillow Mint Partners and how we can assist you achieve your revenue and marketing goals in 2014…click here

Take the Pillow Mint Partners Hotel IQ Test

IQ Test

Click Here

Hospitality Taskforce

Need Staffing Assistance?

Is the sales office short staffed due to a vacant position or a leave of absence? Need someone to fill in for a short time? Need a telemarketer to call on inactive files to generate new leads?

Look no further than HospitalityTASKFORCE – providing staffing solutions  for sales, catering, conference services and upper management positions.

Use promo code PMP

Tony DiRaimondo

Key Tradeshow Tips for  Successful Tradeshow

TradeshowSummer is chock full of industry tradeshows such as Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) – July; Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)  – July; Meeting Professionals International (MPI) – August; American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) – August; U.S. Travel Association (USTA) – August.

We have all attended tradeshows in some capacity and have experienced both successful and not so successful events. So the question is – were we really successful?  How could we improve for the next tradeshow?

Below are key tips for a successful tradeshow…You will find that the underlying theme for a successful show is preparation and research.

Research Other Companies
This is probably the most important aspect. Knowing if your competitors are going to be present will assist you with your strategies. Most tradeshow website will have a list of companies exhibiting at the event. Target your competitors; know their product so you can draft a successful strategy for the trade show.

Naturally, you want to stand out more than your competitors. Develop a strategic approach to your trade show marketing efforts and draw more exposure to your brand. Then be prepared to talk to visitors about how your company’s offerings differ from your competitors.

Set Specific Goals
Approach the trade show with clearly defined objectives, both at a business level and a personal level. Set goals that are measurable, timely, and precise, yet also realistic and attainable.

Broad goals such as enhancing company awareness and effectively promoting a new company message are good places to start. Also include quantifiable and logistical objectives like establishing a certain amount of qualified leads, generating a certain amount of revenue, or meeting a certain amount of new key clients.

Promote Like Crazy
Generate excitement about company’s presence trade show. Send out save the date messages including the booth number and indicate if there is anything special about the booth that will draw attendees to the booth such as an i-pad drawing or an exotic trip for two. Implement a social media strategy to engage potential /existing clients; use your personal social media presence to post updates about your company being at the show, or use it to connect with other attendees.

Make Plans With Other Industry Colleagues
Before the tradeshow, reach out to key people you know who will be attending the tradeshow. It is important to establish your connections with those important, influential individuals within your industry that you may see every few years.

Extend an invitation to meet for drinks after the show, dinner or catch up over a quick coffee break. By working them into your plans in advance, shows that you are interested in keeping in touch and building a great relationship.

Dress To Impress
When representing your company at a tradeshow, it is best that the attire is professional to make a good impression with the clients you interact with. Some companies have a required dress code for employees who travel to tradeshows and other simply let you dress how you think is best.

At the very least, attire should be business casual, but business professional clothing is highly respectable and more tasteful. Some trade shows have formal events so do not forget to pack that tuxedo or gown.

Stay Motivated The Whole Time
When you are on the tradeshow floor for days on end, it can be tricky to keep consistent, energetic stamina going from the start of the day to the final minute of the last day.

In order to ensure a quality experience for all those you interact with, find incentives, whether internally or with coworkers, that will keep you motivated to represent your company well. If it’s exceeding your personal and company goals or holding a contest between booth staff, find a way to keep trade show morale up.

Promotional Items
Promotional items are an extension of your company’s brand. Yet, this area is probably the least important to most companies. It becomes a dumping ground for giveaways that companies want to get rid of. Not a wise move. Any promotional item should reflect the brand and message. Who really wants another pen that may or maynot work?

Promote Yourself
Always be sure to have plenty of business cards with you at the tradeshow. Also be mindful about how to hand them out.

Only give out your business card to individuals who have established a strong, quality connection with vs. every single person you ‘bump’ into.

Additionally, strive to get business cards from those who you interact with. This way, you are guaranteed ti have their contact information on hand for you to follow up with. Remember: quality vs. quantity.

Use Social Media
Trade Shows can be fantastic places to accomplish some if not all of the following:

  • Grow your company following – both people and businesses are looking to engage with you and the same goes for your online presence before, during and after the show
  • Connect with professionals in your industry
  • Generate leads

Always Follow Up
We all know the importance of follow up with a client after a sales meeting. Well the same principle can be applied here. It is important that follow up with the connections made at the tradeshow is done no later than 10 days after the event. These new contacts are not only valuable leads or business associations to have, but they can prove to be lifelong company friends as well.

Stay in touch often through e-mail or phone conversations to develop your relationships and watch your business grow.

Choice Hotels International

Choice HotelsTop Ten Summer Travel Trends

Choice Hotels, one of the nation’s largest hotel companies announced the results from its annual survey Summer Survey:

  1. More Trips, But Fewer Nights Away:   There will be a 17.2 percent increase in the number of leisure trips taken this summer, but travelers will spend fewer nights away, with a decrease of 9.4 percent.
  2. The Beach in August: August will be the busiest month for leisure travel this summer. When asked about their preferred leisure travel destination, 43.1 percent of respondents said they would most enjoy a beach, followed by mountains at 12.3 percent and a city at 10.4 percent.
  3. Travelers Prefer Driving: The survey found that 75.3 percent of summer travelers are planning to drive to their leisure travel destination this summer, driving an average of 689 miles round-trip. Fifty percent of respondents also said that they would prefer a two-hour drive compared to a flight, bus or train ride to get to their summer vacation.
  4. Free High-Speed Internet Most Important: Free high-speed Internet was selected by 65.5 percent of respondents as the “must-have” amenity when selecting a hotel or resort for summer travel. Following free high-speed internet, free continental breakfast and an in-room refrigerator polled highest for needed amenities at 54.5 and 49.6 percent, respectively.
  5. Loyalty Programs Influence Travelers’ Booking Decisions: The survey also showed that 34.6 percent of travelers say that loyalty and incentive programs influence where, how and when they travel, and over 53 percent of respondents are enrolled in travel rewards programs.
  6. Travelers Would Rather Lose Their Luggage than Their Phone: In this increasingly digital world, survey results showed that Millennials and parents with children under 12 years of age would rather lose their luggage than their mobile phone when travelling.
  7. Camping is the Least Favorite Vacation: Nearly 40 percent of travelers (38.2 percent) said that camping was the least desirable type of summer vacation.
  8. New Locations Trump Old Favorites: Almost 70 percent of respondents (66.8 percent) would prefer to visit somewhere new over returning to a favorite vacation destination this summer.
  9. Travelers Want to Explore Cuisines, Unless They Have Kids: When on summer vacation, 28.9 percent of respondents choose to dine at restaurants they can’t find at home, unless they are traveling with children. If travelers have children under 12 years of age, 24.5 percent most often visit casual dining restaurants, like TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s.
  10. Millennials are travelling with Pets: The survey found that Millennials are 21.7 percent more likely than older generations to be traveling with a pet this summer. Correlatively, 34.2 percent said locating a place to stay was the greatest inconvenience when travelling with a pet.

The Choice Hotels 2014 Summer Travel Survey was conducted by research company, Newlio among 1,350 U.S. adults that are planning to take one or more overnight leisure trips this summer.

5 Productive Things To Do In 10 Minutes At Your Desk

  1. ProductivitySpend a few minutes at the end of each day to map out your next day. By doing this you will have you day already mapped out when you arrive in the morning. Allot your peak performance time of time for your most important tasks. These few minutes of pre-planning you day will make you more productive…Caution: Do not schedule every minute of the day…you need to ‘pad’ time to account for interruptions, distractions and occasional crisis that pop up during the day.
  2. Sort through what’s on your desk. Throw away anything you do not need. Forward items of interest to appropriate staff members or colleagues. Respond to any correspondence immediately and put vital documents in active files or archives.Being productive means maintaining an organized desk. A quick 10 minutes of maintenance a day will make sure nothing falls through the ‘cracks’.
  3. Take a quick break when your energy begins to fade. Take a quick walk around the block to release endorphins; walk to the coffee shop for a cup of coffee. Do not think of it as an interruption of your work schedule; think of it as recharging your batteries!
  4. Institute the ‘rip and read’ technique on the pile of magazines, newsletters or newspapers. Quickly peruse each publication, rip out any articles of interest and place in a reading file. Toss the rest. For digital newsletters etc. create a file designated ‘reading’ in your in box.Your pile will shrink and become more manageable. Take the folder with you..you can read in front of the TV, while traveling on the plane etc.
  5. Add 10 minutes today with this strategy. Arrive at work 10 minutes earlier than usual to ‘prepare’ your mind, documents, desk and staff for ‘blitzing’ through the day. You will be amazed at how much difference only 10 minutes make.

Cool Apps For Smartphones, i-Phones and Tablets

Cool AppsWe all love our smartphones/i-phones. I cannot live without mine…I also love my apps…makes life so much more easier and convenient…especially when you are constantly on the run working with tight schedules.

Over the next few months I will be sharing really cool apps that are fun, makes life easier and keep you informed. Here are the apps for this month:

Flipboard: Highly visual ap for both i-phone and android phones. Not a RSS based. Cost: Free

Evernote: Syncs files across all of your devices. Similar to dropbox, but instead of dropping files, it allows you to edit and work on them and then sync them.
Available for Android, iPhone and iPad. Cost: Free

AroundMe: Local services app allowing user to find out what is in the vicinity of where they are located.  Available for Android, iPhone and iPad.  Cost: Free

SnapSeed: the only photo app you’ll want to use every day. It makes any photograph extraordinary with a fun, high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips. Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software. Available for Android, iPhone and iPad.  Cost: Free

Advanced Task Killer: Allows user to turn of apps not in use. More essential with smartphones. Available for Android. Cost: Free

Download and enjoy!

Genre Hotels – New Hotels

Genre Hotels

Hotels recently added to the Genre Hotels portfolio:

Mediterranean Inn – Seattle WA
A few minutes walk from Seattle’s main attractions

Learn more about Genre Hotels…click here


Pillow Talk