If you really want to set your guesthouse apart from every other in the area, then a great way to do so is to start organising some fun events to really wow your potential guests. These are likely to be an ‘opt-in’ type deal, whereby guests still very much have the option to simply come and enjoy an uninterrupted stay in their own peace and quiet. By having these events it will still give them the option to take part in something that will surely make their stay that extra bit special. It may also be the reason they choose you over the local competition.
You can arrange anything you like or suspect your guests will love, from wine tasting to hiking trips, but be sure to put some research into what’s in the local area so you know what you feasibly can and can’t do. For example, if you would like to do an afternoon’s wine tasting, is there an expert situated locally that you could bring in to run the afternoon for you?
1. Forming a plan
First and foremost, you’ll need to decide what kind of events you’d like to put on. Here are some ideas to help you get the ball rolling:
- Wine tasting
- Hiking groups, complete with packed lunches and coach trips
- Murder mystery weekend
- Guided tour around the local town, castle or stately home
The extent of what you can do is largely dictated by what’s in the local area, though be sure to also look into the possibility of arranging coach trips to and from some attractions that might be a little further away.
Depending on the size of your property, you may be able to host larger type events, however, for things like wine tasting, you don’t need much room – just a picnic table perhaps and a dose of Mediterranean weather. You could even choose to do it inside if you have a cosy communal sofa area. Make sure you check whether you need a permit or licence or if there are specific regulations you need to comply with beforehand. You can start by asking your local council or try the B&B Association if you are UK based.
2. Getting everyone to sign up & gauging interest
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that all positions are filled when organising such an event, especially if you’ve arranged for something expensive. The best plan of action is to get a good idea of how many people want to come along beforehand.
The first method you could use is to have a look at your bookings calendar and make a note of when you’re going to be pretty much filled to the rafters. These are probably your best dates to try to arrange a big event. Once you have these dates noted, you could then contact the guests who have arranged to stay at that time and see if you can get enough interest to be able to put on a show!
However, if you’re struggling to book up a few weekends in your calendar, then hosting an event at that time could really entice people away from their own front rooms, and through your door. Advertise it through your website and social media channels as a great way to encourage enough bookings for the event to go ahead.
3. Getting the manpower
It’s also important to consider what you’ll need to be able to pull off such an event. Taking the example of a hiking trip, here are a few things which you might need to consider:
- Will you need a guide?
- Will you need to hire a coach and driver to get there and back?
- Do you intend to have a group evening meal in a pub while you’re out?
- Will you need to provide packed lunches?
While these things may bump up the price per person a little, it also gives you the opportunity to form some valuable relationships with local businesses – pubs and coach companies for example. In the future, these partnerships can be used to promote each other’s businesses, which means more customers for everyone involved!
4. The point of it all
Aside from the benefit of working with local businesses to promote each other, there are other benefits to staging a little day trip or event every once in a while. They can also help you fill rooms at difficult times of the year, or even fully take advantage of the busier weekdays and weekends.
You could also entice more group bookings through this method too. For example, advertising a guided hiking trip may encourage walking groups to come and stay with you – therefore you’ve got more of your rooms filled up, which will pay off.
Putting on these kinds of events could also have passed by your competitors. So if you’re doing something that they’ve missed, it simply adds another incentive for guests to choose to stay at your place rather than anywhere else.
Want to discover more tips on how to beat your competitors? Simply read our article here!
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