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Morticia

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Hard to believe, I know. Tipsy and others will understand this...I went to Mardens today. Their motto is 'I should have bought it when I saw it at Mardens.' So, rather than come home and 'think' about it, I bought 2 'comfy' chairs. They have upholstered seats and backs but wood arms that are bowed outward (good for the 'wide loads'). They are small enough for me to fit 2 in my tiny car. (Not as tiny as JBJ's car, but small nonetheless.)
I sat in the chairs for about 5 minutes thinking. They were just as comfy when I stood up as when I sat down. They are a tone on tone navy so they will go in the 2 blue rooms that now have rockers. I will drag one into another room to see how it fits as they had other colors besides the navy. If it works there, too, I can only hope I don't get bit by the motto...
I also went to my first chamber meeting today. I am very impressed with this group. They have 2100 business members. We are 'spotlight' business in March and I need to prepare materials for 200 guests. Holy cow! Any suggestions on what other businesses would want to know about my business are welcome.
 

seashanty

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that.
 

gillumhouse

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I have mini swatters with Swat the Blues at XYZ that I hand out. Can you get cedar chips? a few cedar shingles you can cut up? Hand them out with a label on them - bring this chip and we will chip in $X on your stay - send your guests and we will give them a Chamber rate.
 

Morticia

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that..
Very similar to what I was planning! Before I knew how many! I thought I would print up one of our best recipes on my notecards and hand those out. BUT, I realized this is my opportunity to let them all know what we offer, from the kind of overnight getaway you mentioned to a place to stay for folks coming for work-related reasons.
So, what you said sounds great. I'll make my cookies, provide the recipe and have an additional 1-page handout with what we offer. What I don't know is if I HAVE 200 notecards or 200 rack cards!
They did say they have about 20 doorprizes they hand out at the breakfast, so I will be sure at least one of those is a free night!
 

Morticia

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I have mini swatters with Swat the Blues at XYZ that I hand out. Can you get cedar chips? a few cedar shingles you can cut up? Hand them out with a label on them - bring this chip and we will chip in $X on your stay - send your guests and we will give them a Chamber rate..
This may be the time to buy the pens I wanted. I can't afford to give everyone a mug. Altho, I noticed today they have a 'mug board' at the chamber office. Apparently, they do not have styro coffee cups, everyone uses one of the ceramic cups provided by a local business. I'll bring one up there next time I'm in the area!
I like the 'chip in' idea! I have already listed on the B2B portion of the site (and it's in the handout) that any member can get a discount just by calling the rez in themselves, even for family.
Good to call it a 'chamber rate'.
 

Morticia

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that..
seashanty said:
wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
A lot like Renys. Maybe larger, tho. I've only been to this one Mardens, but the Renys in Camden, Dexter and Wells. Renys didn't have the furniture items Mardens had. (They had a ginormous mattress section.)
 

seashanty

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ooohh - a giveaway for a nite's stay attached to a mug (or two) of yours sitting in a basket with a couple munchie goodies. can you imagine how fun it would be to get that doorprize? and something written on a cedar shingle sticking out of the basket.
make sure you use your signature colors of white and green ....
brand yourself ... definitely use this opportunity.
oh, and if your budget is tight, you can get inexpensive post cards from vistaprint, using a stock photo that works for your area or your place, and put your own message .... chamber rate good for xx% off ... black print on the reverse side of the picture won't cost extra.
gosh, i love this stuff!!!
when i was on the board for habitat for humanity, we had people 'buy' shingles ... a donation really, they signed them or even drew pictures with markers on one side, and we nailed them on the house with the blank side out. shingles were required in the area by the historic commission.
the christmas doorprize i donated was, of course, a ginerbread house
in the spring it was a habitat birdhouse that i painted up
and .... okay, i'll stop now ....
 

Copperhead

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No it was the right thread, just not the main topic...

Regarding the Chamber...
Just like the average Joe, most do not really know what a B&B is, so start there. Tell them what type of guest you currently get, what they are coming to your town to do. Then sell them on your place for their out of town business clients, potential new hires, etc. Also, if you do have a place where meetings can be held, let them know. Companies like to have something 'different' sometimes for a meeting.
I have hosted 'fireside' chats where they just sat in the living area and chatted. They said they got so much more accomplished because of the different set up. They also were not bothered every 10 minutes by need to take a call or knock on the door of the conference room.
As for potential new hires, you serve as a 'welcome to town' host, just like you do with your other guests but these may ask more about living in the area. This leaves the company more time to talk about the job. We host a lot of prospective hew hires especially Dr.s and scientists. They ususally come back 1-2 more times to do house hunting etc. Then you also get their business when out of town company comes in.
You may also want to bring up the fact that you do like to partner with other businesses from time to time.
And do not forget to take the opportunity to tell them about any specials you have OR the fact that many guests are locals just wanting a little get away without getting away..
Now that I have said all this for you, I am now kicking my self to get out the door and get to the Chamber myself. (Been a member for years, just not as active as I once was.)
 

gillumhouse

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Copperhead got me thinking that this is also an opportunity for you to educate the Chamber members about the people who are coming in to town - what they are looking for (besides LL that is). Not everyone is there for shopping - something they probably are totally unaware of. They probably think the only reason people come to your town is to shop. Au contraire. Way back when, I stopped there as an overnight on the way to the schooner in Rockport (now berthed in Camden). Tell them about the lighthouse hunters that can be drawn into your town with a bit of effort. Etc.
 

gillumhouse

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that..
Very similar to what I was planning! Before I knew how many! I thought I would print up one of our best recipes on my notecards and hand those out. BUT, I realized this is my opportunity to let them all know what we offer, from the kind of overnight getaway you mentioned to a place to stay for folks coming for work-related reasons.
So, what you said sounds great. I'll make my cookies, provide the recipe and have an additional 1-page handout with what we offer. What I don't know is if I HAVE 200 notecards or 200 rack cards!
They did say they have about 20 doorprizes they hand out at the breakfast, so I will be sure at least one of those is a free night!
.
Do your recipe on a Vista Print postcard. I get offers almost daily. Do one recipe one day and a second recipe the next. That way you have 2 recipes to intrigue people. 200 postcards for $10 (shipping) is not too bad. I had some printed and often get requests for that recipe (Walnut Oatmeal Pancakes) so I can just give them the postcard.
 

Samster

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that..
Very similar to what I was planning! Before I knew how many! I thought I would print up one of our best recipes on my notecards and hand those out. BUT, I realized this is my opportunity to let them all know what we offer, from the kind of overnight getaway you mentioned to a place to stay for folks coming for work-related reasons.
So, what you said sounds great. I'll make my cookies, provide the recipe and have an additional 1-page handout with what we offer. What I don't know is if I HAVE 200 notecards or 200 rack cards!
They did say they have about 20 doorprizes they hand out at the breakfast, so I will be sure at least one of those is a free night!
.
Do your recipe on a Vista Print postcard. I get offers almost daily. Do one recipe one day and a second recipe the next. That way you have 2 recipes to intrigue people. 200 postcards for $10 (shipping) is not too bad. I had some printed and often get requests for that recipe (Walnut Oatmeal Pancakes) so I can just give them the postcard.
.
For the free postcards, you can't upload a photo, right? So, do you just use one of their templates? That is a great idea, since they're free!! I'm going to get some to put in the room books for the guests to take & use for these things, too. Great idea!!
 

Samster

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Waiting for pictures of the chairs :) Congrats on finding them!
Pier 1 is having a BIG sale & there were beautiful chairs in there. I loved one, but couldn't figure out where to put it. Also, they had very nice folding screens for under $100 or right around $100. You might re-consider getting one for your kitchen situation.....
 

EmptyNest

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Well if it is an after hours like our..most come for the food and drink and that is it...No mention on business etc. However, if yours is different, you might put together some sort of a handout that shows just how much business your B & B and guests contrribute to the town. Not exact figures, but how many guests you host, how much you then have to pay in sales tax, lodging taxes etc, then how about the av. number of dinners guests eat out contributing to the economy of the town, roses, candy etc that you buy from other vendors for special packages, how much you spend locally..ie your new carpeting, paying the folks who did your kitchen over, flooring, wallpapering etc etc.
Show them just how much big bucks you contribute to the town!!!! They will be impressed I am sure!!! CHA - CHING!!!
 

happyjacks

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If you do a postcard or info sheet to hand out, you may wish gear it to the people who have no clue, who maybe have old-fashioned ideas about what a B&B is (and isn't). For example, you could word it:
Did you know that the Blue Spruce Inn provides these complimentary amenities...
• wireless internet
• consierge services for dinner reservations, shopping destinations
• off-street parking
• full, hot breakfast
• ensuite and private bathrooms
Does your business offer coupons, deals or special events? Let us know and we'll put them in the hands of our guests.
Do you have a product or service which would make a great component to a getaway package? Call or email Bree to talk about cross-promotional opportunities.
Basically, bust the myths and misconceptions some people might have, inform them your place is a good choice to send their business colleagues, highlight the fact that you influence where your guests spend their money. Most local chamber members probably won't be your future guests, but you can mine them for partnerships as well as for referrals.
 

EmptyNest

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If you do a postcard or info sheet to hand out, you may wish gear it to the people who have no clue, who maybe have old-fashioned ideas about what a B&B is (and isn't). For example, you could word it:
Did you know that the Blue Spruce Inn provides these complimentary amenities...
• wireless internet
• consierge services for dinner reservations, shopping destinations
• off-street parking
• full, hot breakfast
• ensuite and private bathrooms
Does your business offer coupons, deals or special events? Let us know and we'll put them in the hands of our guests.
Do you have a product or service which would make a great component to a getaway package? Call or email Bree to talk about cross-promotional opportunities.
Basically, bust the myths and misconceptions some people might have, inform them your place is a good choice to send their business colleagues, highlight the fact that you influence where your guests spend their money. Most local chamber members probably won't be your future guests, but you can mine them for partnerships as well as for referrals..
GREAT suggestions!!!
 

Morticia

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Well if it is an after hours like our..most come for the food and drink and that is it...No mention on business etc. However, if yours is different, you might put together some sort of a handout that shows just how much business your B & B and guests contrribute to the town. Not exact figures, but how many guests you host, how much you then have to pay in sales tax, lodging taxes etc, then how about the av. number of dinners guests eat out contributing to the economy of the town, roses, candy etc that you buy from other vendors for special packages, how much you spend locally..ie your new carpeting, paying the folks who did your kitchen over, flooring, wallpapering etc etc.
Show them just how much big bucks you contribute to the town!!!! They will be impressed I am sure!!! CHA - CHING!!!
.
Not an after hours. This is a breakfast they put on every month to spotlight new members. They have 2-3 new members per breakfast, never the same business type. When you are the 'spotlight business' you are allowed to hand out your marketing materials for free, otherwise there is a paid 'table' to put your materials on.
That's why I want to get this right. One shot at the freebie!
 

Morticia

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Thanks all! I have copied these suggestions into a word document to look over later (I'm always losing the thread I want when I need it!)
 

seashanty

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which is your chamber, bree? i see two chambers up your way, one is the xxx area chamber, one is the xxx chamber
the one that is the xxx chamber has a pretty website but is not being updated in a timely manner, a lot of coming soon ..
maybe it has been taken over by the other chamber?
i keep thinking of the challenges you mention ... that groups holding seminars in the area don't contact you ... yet you offer what the big boys offer (except maybe exercise equipment and a pool) but you offer a homey place and breakfast. when travelling alone, i SO prefer staying in a b&b to a hotel. anyway, highlighting that you've got best of both worlds is important.
i remember faxing some things for someone and getting faxes for someone else. they asked how much and i had no idea of a fee schedule for that.
 

gillumhouse

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wowowowowow
love the description of the chairs (never got to mardens)
as for being spotlighted with your chamber, that is excellent! it is a great opportunity for you. since you just joined, i would ask the chamber for suggestions. are you to do a presentation? a slide show? a power point thing? or just hand-outs and info?
very very popular with our area chamber was the giveaway for a night's stay (i know some folks don't want to do a giveaway)
i offered discount stays for chamber members. i thought, well who in the area will want to stay here? it's not a big area .... but guess what? there were folks who just wanted/needed a little time away and they came and stayed using the discount of course. and then they sent business my way. it was a total win/win
200 folks is a lot ... and i only did this for about 75 people ... but i made loaves of my banana bread, sliced it small, set it in a basket, put a BIG tag tied with a ribbon that said 'compliments of xyz inn ... our banana bread, very popular with guests.' or something like that..
Very similar to what I was planning! Before I knew how many! I thought I would print up one of our best recipes on my notecards and hand those out. BUT, I realized this is my opportunity to let them all know what we offer, from the kind of overnight getaway you mentioned to a place to stay for folks coming for work-related reasons.
So, what you said sounds great. I'll make my cookies, provide the recipe and have an additional 1-page handout with what we offer. What I don't know is if I HAVE 200 notecards or 200 rack cards!
They did say they have about 20 doorprizes they hand out at the breakfast, so I will be sure at least one of those is a free night!
.
Do your recipe on a Vista Print postcard. I get offers almost daily. Do one recipe one day and a second recipe the next. That way you have 2 recipes to intrigue people. 200 postcards for $10 (shipping) is not too bad. I had some printed and often get requests for that recipe (Walnut Oatmeal Pancakes) so I can just give them the postcard.
.
For the free postcards, you can't upload a photo, right? So, do you just use one of their templates? That is a great idea, since they're free!! I'm going to get some to put in the room books for the guests to take & use for these things, too. Great idea!!
.
For the free postcards, you can't upload a photo, right?
Correct, but it only costs $5 to upload your photo. Other than that, they do have a LOT of templates to choose from for the free post cards.
 
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