The average corporate event marketer spends $1,200 – $1,700 per attendee on the event marketing alone in North America. Attract more event planners and book out your hotel spaces with creative hotel ideas that will help prove their investment is worthwhile.
Explore the ideas below to see examples of strategies used by leading brands. Then, learn how to tailor each of these creative hotel ideas to your unique audience. Afterward, learn more about how to make your hotel stand out and what you can learn from the most popular hotel in the world.
How do you attract event planners to your hotel?
Attract event planners to your hotel with creative marketing, convenient solutions to their most common problems, and expert-level staff.
Explore creative hotel ideas that increase group business
Check out these real examples of hotel marketing strategies you can use to attract event planners to your property and fully book out your spaces. Explore featured examples from Hotel Marketing Association and Magellan award-winners along with suggestions for how to customize each of their tactics to suit your unique hotel brand.
1. Personalize booking inquiries with video.
Respond to emails from event planners with a personalized video message. Introduce your onsite events coordinator, detail the answers to their questions, and offer them any add-ons you think would be great for their event.
Record a quick two or three-minute video and send it along with your message to capture their attention and connect on a new level. Do not worry about editing it – social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook have made authentic, uncut content a popular way to connect with leads and customers alike.
Why it works: Event planners are accustomed to receiving email communications from hotels that feel transactional. Videos help bring a uniquely human element to the sales experience that will make your brand stand out.
Award-winning example: Hintlesham Hall successfully used this strategy alongside a Google ad marketing funnel to land four wedding bookings in four months, increasing its revenue by £32,000 (a 729% ROI). They sent interested event planners a custom URL with a video message from their onsite wedding coordinator and a strong call to action.
Tailor it to your hotel: Streamline response videos through a simple FAQ landing page with hot topics about each of your event spaces. For example, a hotel with many different meeting rooms can list available tech tools in each space if their customers typically use presentation equipment.
2. Highlight expert team members.
Showcase your best employees and their areas of expertise in your hotel marketing to attract event planners. Explain what they’re best at, their qualifications, and how they can help event planners achieve their goals.
Think outside the box when it comes to related staff members to feature. Consider the value your parking valets, room attendants, and concierge can directly or indirectly provide for event planners too.
Why it works: Event planners have lots of beautiful venues to choose from but they also need help bringing their vision to life. Quality onsite assistance is a valuable perk that could be the tipping point in their decision-making process.
Award-winning example: The Elvetham Hotel profiles their amazing staff on their Experts in Events page. Their question and answer style bios include personal anecdotes plus some pro tips for event planners.
Tailor it to your hotel: Emphasize team members whose roles best support the needs of your target event planner audience. For instance, if your hotel targets gala planners, share interviews with your onsite catering team with advice on how to plan the best fundraiser dinner menu.
3. Offer an a la carte venue menu.
Skip premade packages and opt for customizable experiences instead. Offer a menu of services within each major event category and let planners choose what best suits their needs. Advertise tools that make the process convenient and easy for them.
Why it works: Event planners are often stuck choosing between strict hotel packages that don’t quite work with all of their client’s requests or limitations. Give them a sense of freedom with your own a la carte style menu they can pick and choose from.
Award-winning example: The Meetings Made at Marriott campaign emphasizes digital bookings experiences that allow event planners to choose from many delicious menus, exciting add-ons, and a dedicated team of onsite coordinators.
Tailor it to your hotel: Break down your most in-demand event space packages. Determine which elements are the main selling points event planners and curate a greatest hits list. Then, help guide event planners through which catering and service options pair well with each space to give them more options without adding anything extra on your end.
4. Host a themed pop-up party.
Show event planners how great your venue is with an event of your own. Create a fun social gathering, document the planning process, and market the total experience to planners who may want to host similar events at your space.
Bonus points if you include your own event attendee goals along with KPI’s and a post-event report containing details on how your space helps support your achievements.
Why it works: Event planners often do not get to “try before they buy” when they make big financial investments in hotel spaces and rooms. Demonstrate exactly what an event in your ballroom, meeting room or multipurpose space looks like. Be transparent about the process and results so event planners can get a clear picture of what to expect.
Award-winning example: The Montague Hotel transformed their rustic ski lodge and party venue into a winter wonderland with themed decor, custom cocktails, and cozy lounge areas. The event became another revenue source for the hotel and gave event planners some concrete ideas for how to use the unique space.
Tailor it to your hotel: Consider which event types your hotel would most like to book and find ways to showcase what they look like in your space. If your hotel would prefer to book corporate events over private ones, host VIP customer lunches in your meeting rooms or sponsor a mini-convention for relevant local vendors.
5. Spell it out through a specialized campaign.
If your hotel has a completely unique brand, marketing angle, or space, don’t be afraid to spell it out for event planners through a campaign built around education. Or, create a definitive throughline for all of your properties if it isn’t already clear how they connect.
Communicate this information through content marketing and sales copy. Show that your hotel is a leader in this space and can be available to guide event planners through this new concept.
Why it works: Event planners want to think of outside-the-box solutions for their projects but don’t have time to research every new trend available on the market. Spell out the benefits and potential of your unique hotel offering and others like it to help them quickly apply your fresh ideas to their own strategy.
Award-winning example: Roomzzz is a hybrid apartment hotel chain that needed to explain their often misunderstood venue concept to customers. They also needed to clear up confusion around the inherent benefits of an aparthotel. To do this, they combined enticingly visual posters with one to two sentence descriptors that perfectly encapsulated what they do plus why it’s great for their target audience.
Tailor it to your hotel: First, consider the best type of media for your audience of event planners. For example, Roomzzz knows that edgy graphics with surreal imagery will capture the attention of their target audience: Millennials. Second, pinpoint what – if anything – confuses event planners about your hotel then summarize your explanation. Third, create a campaign based on this simple message to attract even more event planners to your hotel rooms and spaces.
How can I make my hotel stand out?
Make your hotel stand out through custom marketing such as personalized video emails, segmented landing pages for various types of event planners, or campaigns based on highly detailed client profiles. Increase business from event planners with tailor-made package options and professional on-site staff that can help them accomplish their goals.
What is the most famous hotel in the world?
The most famous hotel in the world is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai because of its unique architecture and opulent accommodations. Use their “seven-star” hotel practices as inspiration for how to attract more event planners with simple strategies such as fresh snacks for visitors, lush interior decor, and personalized service.
Put these creative hotel ideas to work
You now know the secrets behind some of the best, award-winning creative hotel ideas that have proven results. You also know why these particular ideas work for attracting event planners. And you are aware of how to tailor it to fit your unique hotel brand and property. Next up: advertise your new hotel ideas to event planners with essential hotel marketing collateral. Or, check out our complete guide to hotel marketing for even more tips and ideas for attracting event planners.