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Ramada Jarvis entices clients with value-added packages


Mar 09, 2010 | Editors

After a tough 2009, this is the year of enticing clients back to the events industry.

That is certainly the case for Ramada Jarvis Hotels, which is looking to attract custom with a series of incentives and value-added packages.

Joanna Fisher, director of conference and events development at Ramada Jarvis, echoed the comments of many other events industry professionals when she said that the challenge for 2009 was securing business from companies who felt they could not be seen to spend money on events that were not absolutely necessary.

"That had a huge impact on demand for hotels dropping and also us responding to that with packages that met their needs or value-added options to encourage a change," she explained.

This year will see the hotel group continually developing and enhancing the products and services it has on offer for both corporate customers and private individuals.

The latter have become particularly important for Ramada in recent months. The hotel will be looking to build on the success of its Winter Wonderland-themed weddings which is launched last year. In 2010, it will extend its offering to include a Red Tie and Tiara package.

"That's proving very popular already," Mrs Fisher said. "It's about offering customers the things that they're looking for in a transparent package where they know they're getting good value for money but also getting the wedding day of their dreams that they can build on with added extras."

As for the corporate side of the business, the aim is to encourage delegates to stay overnight in the hotel after conferences, as this is an area that was particularly affected last year.

"It's really trying to think of ways to encourage corporates to extend that meeting and stay, and make it the right choice from a value-added package point of view, as well as being able to deliver great service that's going to help them achieve their objective of their meetings," Mrs Fisher explained.

The hotel is offering a couple of different packages to persuade corporate clients to make that extra commitment. One of the new offerings focuses on "elevating the organiser and also giving them VIP status on the day". They will get a badge meaning everyone in the hotel can recognise them as the event organiser and offer them assistance as needed.

Also included in the package is a free place for every ten delegates booked, free food and beverages for the event organiser on the day, plus in the evening if they are staying over, and the guarantee of an invoice within three days.

In addition there will be a special offer available through the year for those that book a 24-hour rate, corporate clients who book a meeting and then stay overnight get the second day free.

As well as focusing on value-added packages and incentives, Ramada Jarvis is also aiming to enhance its online presence, using its own website and its online partners "to make sure our shop window is out there".

"We're finding more and more that customers are shopping around," Mrs Fisher explained.

"They have so much more choice because there's so much more availability in the market and therefore they're shopping around a lot more and they're choosing to shop on the web," she said.

"There's a lot of focus on our own website and making sure that we have all of those packages with good content on there that are bespoke to the different type of customers we have in the business," she explained.

"In the past sometimes hotels or venues have been a little generic with things they've put on their websites and put customers into certain boxes but now we're looking at being really specific."

Ramada will be aiming to tailor information on the website to a variety of different clients, from associations to charities and non-profit organisations to training providers.

"So when they're searching for a small meeting or a charity event or a venue for a training course they're getting bespoke information coming back to them that is relevant to what the objectives of their event are," Mrs Fisher commented.

The company will also be focusing on working with partners like Venues.org.uk to enhance this online presence, she said.

"And the most important thing is reacting quickly to the enquiries that we get in, so we have a two-hour turnaround time for any enquiries that we get online as well as by phone," Mrs Fisher added.
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