Saturday, 7 October 2017

As seen in Boutique Hotelier, Sara Tye on ‘Networking’

How can networking really benefit a hotel business? 
Firstly, hotels are perfect venues for networking, whether that’s at business meetings, conferences, parties or weddings. Face-to-face activity at your own hotel is drawing in people who may themselves choose it as the location for their own party, wedding or regular business meetings. We have a hotel client and a key objective of our work with them is to get as many businesses familiar with it so that the hotel becomes the meeting location of habit. 

Secondly, getting known among the general public by inviting them in for evenings to meet the hotel staff helps them understand the facilities available and the experience they’ll have. They may not venture in from an advert or social media post. And, of course, everyone wants to be friends with a great bar mixologist. It’s great to take friends to a hotel where you know the bartenders as it helps build confidence for the visitor and their guests.

Lastly, it’s good for a hotel manager and staff to be out and about in the community it serves.  Being seen and becoming familiar will help you become well connected.   

What are some of your top tips for success networking?
My top six tips are:

  • make time to go out to networking events or host your own - once you get chatting, the time will fly by 

  • think about your 60-second introduction and rehearse it. Then, when someone asks you what you do, you’ll have your response ready. This will give you the confidence to speak with other people. 

  • think about how you’ll enter the room and who you want to approach. I rehearse this regularly, especially before large functions

  • if you’ve been able to see the guest list beforehand, target key people. Even better, introduce yourself before the event. This breaks the ice in advance of your first meeting. LinkedIn and social media sites are great for this.

  • join successful networking groups. I’m a director consultant at BNI and it’s a great way to get to know other businesses. I’m sure it would help you get referrals to your hotel

  • Use a PR agency and get them to help. They can create a programme of networking events of your own or get you involved with others

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