Pillow Talk – September, October 2014

Dear Amita,

Welcome to the September/October 2014 issue of Pillow Talk.

We are now officially into Fall as we continue to develop our Sales and Marketing Plans, while strategizing our marketing campaigns for 2015. As we determine how much of the hotel’s business mix comes from OTA’s, we also must understand that this business is necessary, but cannot replace all revenue channels. We are fully aware that to increase/maintain our online presence, we must maximize our exposure efficiently. We need to understand and be aware of the technology trends for 2015.

The impending New Year is also the best time to evaluate who we are as individuals and determine if we are the best we can be. How are you remembered? Are you someone who has impact and influence or simply someone who only makes a good impression? Below are tips on how to be someone who makes more than a good impression.

To get you motivated – I have shared a few more tweets on leadership…nothing better than a jolt of inspiration from a great leader!

In September, I was honored to be an integral part of theBLLA Leadership Symposium at the brand new SLS Vegas. There were over 300 in attendance as the symposium focused on a variety of topics especially industry disruptors and the upcoming trends in the industry. Read all about the event and pencil in your attendance for September 2015!

The 2nd Annual NYC Tradeshow was wildly successful as over 350 travel agents attended the event with over 70 exhibitors! Hosted at 230-Fifth, the theme was the Roaring 20’s. Read about the event and how you can participate in 2015.

The Annual LA Tradeshow is scheduled for February 24, 2015 at Sony Pictures Studios, with sales calls on February 23 and 24. The lunch panel on February 25 will be held at Musso and Frank Grill in Hollywood.

And the best for last – Some really exciting news – Pillow Mint Partners has entered into a partnership with Genre Hotels. We recently launched a program called genRev.This program provides three options:

  • Sales and Marketing Audit of the hotels current strategies to determine its effectiveness as well as determining other possible revenue streams.
  • A complete Brand Audit to determine how well your business is performing. It will assist you determine the hotel’s position and provide strategies to improve image and brand awareness in all channels. It will assist uncover the strengths and weakness’ of your brand strategy.
  • Conduct both audits for more depth and added value!

Warmest Regards


In This Issue

What is Pillow Mint Partners
Take the PMP Hotel IQ Test
Need Staffing Assistance?
Effectively Maximize Your Online Brand Presence
Technology Trends For 2015
The LA Tradeshow – February 2015
2015 – BLLA Events – Save the Date
Leadership Tweets
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

Effectively Maximize Your Online Brand Presence

Tips to Build your Online Brand

In this day and age, online presence = brand awareness. Most marketing experts agree that how you present your brand online is the 21st century equivalent of your first meeting with a customer.

Your online brand is what people think of you when you are not available. In fact, your online brand is as important as any of the traditional forms of branding and becoming more important each day. Most customers today are technologically savvy and typically rely on a company’s online presence as a validity test of its credibility in the market.

In order for your brand to succeed online, in this highly competitive environment, the brand must be highly recognizable, relatable, and authentic; setting itself apart from the competition. High visibility of your brand increases credibility and customers will be more willing to retain your product/services.

Creating and sustaining an online brand presence is about capturing the attention of the targeted audience. Consumer’s today look to connect directly with business owners and hear their stories before they make a decision on whether to buy their products/services. With that in mind, these key insights outline how to effectively maximize your online brand presence.

Click Here to continue reading

Technology Trends For 2015

tech TrendsThe Lodging Technology Study by Hospitality Technology reveals trends and future development in the industry spurted by the increasing amount of Wi-Fi-enabled guest devices. The 7 trends summarized below are the most relevant from the study.

1. Mobile Apps: Ranked 2nd  (behind mobile websites) among Customer Engagement Technology (CET), the most common mobile app functions for hotels are:

  • 72% have the ability to make room reservations
  • 50% provide property searching without GPS
  • 44% collect real-time guest feedback
  • 41% provide local information or a concierge-type function
  • 38% offer GPS-based property search and loyalty account access
  • 34% include the ability to book restaurant and spa reservations

Mobile is definitely a must in the hospitality industry. To be successful, properties need to re-architect and streamline, including optimizing personalized services across devices in a consistent and non-cumbersome manner.

2. Digital Signage:  In 2013, static signage remained the most popular with 5% growth and adoption of interactive signage didn’t change from 2012. However, by 2015, it is projected that digital signage adoption will to grow 66% for static signage and 56% for interactive signage. Popular features include event listings, weather and news feeds, and maps. Interactive devices also include concierge-type functionality and on-property navigation.

3. Kiosks and Guest Computers: Hoteliers are finding value in providing computers and/or kiosks in the lobby or other public spaces for check in and out and local information on the fly. Hoteliers project continuous adoption of kiosks and guest computers through 2015.

4. Tablets: As an in-room amenity, tablets grew only to 8% in 2013 ( from 6% in 2012), it is projected that in 2014 usage is expected to grow near 28%. Although luxury and boutique hotels are leading in providing in-room tablets, the personalized nature of the devices (for music, reading, etc.) suggest guests may prefer to bring their own devices. Meaning that the Wi-Fi experience should be optimized for mobile devices.

5. Mobile Payments: This technology is still in the experimental stages and there are a few early adopters. But over the next 2 years, a projected 39% of hotels are planning to implement mobile payment solutions.

6. Mobile Room Keys: In 2012 no U.S. properties reported use of mobile room keys, but for 2013, 8% reported adoption. By 2015, 34% of hoteliers will be seeking to replace and upgrade their guest room door locks.

7. Social Media: In 2012 73% of hoteliers said they used social media as a marketing tool. For 2013, that figure grew to 91% – outranking any other interactive marketing tool measured, including traditional loyalty programs. In 2014, the trend has continued to skyrocket.

So which Social Media Networks work best?

  • Pinterest is seriously under-used by the hotel industry in their social media marketing efforts. It’s crazy as there are so many great uses for it. Imagine a board for your events, one for your beautiful rooms, a board for your outside spaces, a board for local attractions, I could go on. Take great photos and get them on Pinterest, it’s simple and extremely effective. 
  • Instagram is like a visual Twitter, every time you have an event or special occasion, shout about it on Instagram. It takes seconds from a smart phone to take a quick photo or video and upload it. If you build up an Instagram following, you build up your reputation! 
  • YouTube is another under-used network. Videos don’t need to be a huge production;
    you can upload videos just a few seconds long and share them across all your networks for an instant impact. If you are not confident about your film making skills, use a professional or use your beautiful photos to make a slide show with captions and music in the background. 
  • Twitter of course is the fastest way to share your content etc. Building up your following can take some time, but with a little dedication and just a few minutes a day you can build an amazing network of support. 
  • Facebook is a given. People often use Facebook like a search engine so if you can’t be found on there, they may give up and look elsewhere. It’s great for instant engagement with your customers and allows them to have access to you for their questions instantly.

The LA Tradeshow – February 2015

LA Trade ShowThe LA Tradeshow is the perfect event for a boutique and lifestyle hotel to participate in. The show producers are deeply invested in the boutique world and understand the different needs and nuances of this growing segment.

Brought to you by the LA Trade Show team, event will be the corporate, entertainment, and high touch travel industry’s celebrity for the week of February 23, 2015. The event will welcome more than 500  qualified clients and more throughout the week for 2 days of sales calls presentations throughout the city, plus the trade show, and capping off with their famous annual corporate panel lunch at Musso and Frank in Hollywood.  The lunch is known for its  networking and educational programming, with the corporate buyers as our panelists (the exhibitors will be the audience) and a cutting edge moderator.

Your hotel can participate in pre-arranged appointments and sales calls. These appointment-based calls combine entertainment, corporate, production, small group & leisure presentations, and sales calls at the client office. This is always convenient for the client!

The sales calls are:

  • Held in collaboration with the trade show, panel discussion and sales workshops.
  • Always held during the first two days of the trade show week in the host city, the presentations preempt the trade show and esteemed panel discussion.
  • The team schedules and confirms hard to get appointments for travel related buyer companies.
  • The Registration Fees cover this cost – Just mark the correct box and pay ahead!
  • Board Room style presentations for you and your team of 5 persons are the rule.

The Team Leader for each sales team has years of marketplace experience with conducting sales calls & presentations, ensuring professionalism and networking beyond the expectation.

Catered Presentations are included with the big accounts during meal times.

Director -Jody Flowers

Sponsorships and Exhibitors – Chris Willard

Accounting – Mary Ann Selvaggio

Telephone: (323) 664-4472


BLLAJanuary 28, 2015 
Los Angeles downtown – Travel Industry Executive Women’s Conference

June 3, 2015
New York City – Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

September 7-11, 2015 –
Los Angeles (Hollywood) – Boutique Lifestyle Hospitality Leadership Symposium

To be added to the list for BLLA Conference updates email: info@blla.org and indicate which conference or conferences you are interested in.

Click here for more information on how BLLA services the boutique and lifestyle hospitality industry

Invaluable Tweets on LeadershipInvaluable Tweets on Leadership

Good leaders drive, amazing leaders inspire –  @tsitovich

Great leadership comes from the right mix of heart & mind…neither is good enough on its own to earn both trust and respect –@eileen1651

People prefer their leaders with flaws, because it makes leadership attainable for the rest of us – @IntuitBrad

The best leaders make you believe you can achieve anything, and coach you to make it happen – @divinecassie

Genre Hotels – New Hotels

Genre Hotels

Hotels recently added to the Genre Hotels portfolio:

Nothing to add this month.
Learn more about Genre Hotels…click here 

Pillow Talk

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