The London 2012 Olympic Games are just over 100 days away and final preparations are taking place to host ‘the greatest show on earth’. Approximately 4 million visitors from across the globe are expected to descend on the capital during the Games.
There is no doubt that this is a much-needed boost to the UK economy, and more importantly, a chance to shine and leave a legacy for the future.
Hospitality businesses have an incredibly important role to play during the games as they will act as the ‘host’ to the multitude of guests. It is not only the record breakers that will be remembered by the visitors, it will also be the hospitality received in airports, hotels and restaurants. There are a number of areas that Hospitality businesses should consider in preparation for the Olympics.
1. Spreading the Word
Marketing will be important for Hospitality businesses who wish to thrive from the games. Promotions, advertising and even dedicating a page on your website are all options. Is the touch relay passing through your town? Is the marathon passing your property? What venues and events are in your area? How can your business play a part in the build up to the games? These are just a few questions which should be considered in a marketing campaign
2. Building Robust Relationships
The success of Hospitality businesses often relies on building robust and sustainable relationships. This will be as important, and if not more important during the Olympic Games. Businesses should consider building relationships that will enhance the service offered to customers and ultimately build an experience to remember. Potential options for building relationships include:
- Pooling your resources to allow for increased efficiency and higher margins
- Joint marketing activities to share costs and increase awareness through multiple outlets (e.g. advertising on each others websites)
- Building experiences through cooperation such as hotel and meal or attraction packages. This creates a sense of value for money and improves the overall experience for your customers.
3. Creating Positive Experiences
Many people will visit the games for a once in a life time experience. It is important that this experience is managed by Hospitality businesses. Experiences can be broken down into a three stages:
- The pre-experience which involves marketing activities, initial communication with potential customers, website design and interactions such as a reservation call. The pre-experience provides an opportunity for businesses to manage the expectations of potential customers and set the scene.
- The live-experience which is when the customer is actually on site. This allows businesses to deliver the experience to a customer.
- The post-experience which is after the customer has left. This allows businesses to carry out further marketing, offer promotions, gather feedback and create a sense of loyalty to ensure that the customer returns.
All three areas should be considered carefully and aligned to one common goal – unique and memorable experiences.
4. People are Key
It is a known fact that the people employed on the front line and in direct contact with the customer are vital for Hospitality businesses. In preparation for the games, businesses should consider a detailed labour plan. This should include; if any additional skills needed for your business during the games, where your labour will come from and how those people will travel to the place of work. This should be organised sooner rather than later as it is likely that ‘skilled’ labour will be scarce during the games.
5. Not in London?
10 major venues around the UK will give plenty of opportunities for Hospitality businesses outside of London. Consider how your business can benefit from events in your area and what part it can play in the wider success of the games.
6. Keeping the Flame Alight
There has been much talk about the legacy of the Olympics and how London and the UK will benefit in the future. The Hospitality industry must also consider its own legacy as a result of the games. Businesses must take advantage of the many opportunities to create memorable experiences to the abundance of visitors that will visit London and the UK during the games. Keeping the flame alight will be vital to the recovery of the economy and future growth of the Hospitality industry.