Seven examples of hotel content marketing campaigns

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When it comes to planning a holiday – it’s no longer enough to flick through a brochure or browse a hotel website.

Now, with so many people heading online to search and discover travel inspiration (long before they even think about booking), it’s up to hospitality brands to stand out from the crowd.

Content marketing remains a key way for hotels to do this, typically being used to grab attention and engage users throughout their online journey. Here are some good examples and the reasons why they work. – Read

J D Wetherspoon just quit social media. Should you?

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There was a bit of a brouhaha on the social web last week when a major restaurant chain in the UK announced it had quit social media.

J D Wetherspoon is a pub company in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Founded in 1979, the company owns about 1,000 outlets, including bars and hotels. – Read

6 examples of how personalisation can enhance the customer experience

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Personalised marketing means more than just addressing the customer by name. For brands in the travel and hospitality industry, effective personalisation can range from interactive content to targeted banners and customised travel itineraries. – Read

British Breweries To Follow On Twitter

Beer Brewing is one of Britains most established crafts, and is massively on the rise in 2017 – with over 1,700 breweries now in the UK! Great brewers have helped soldiers win wars, have created entire working communities and have inspired generations to keep developing new combinations and flavours.

With entrepreneurial microbreweries and craft beer venues popping up across the country, competition for more established breweries has never been higher! Below are five of our favourite brewing companies succeeding in 2017, that you need to be following on Twitter;

Wychwood – Hobgoblin
6,755 Tweets | 15.7k Followers

@Hobgoblin_beer

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“Afraid you might taste something?!”

Wychwood Brewery based in Oxfordshire are famous for fantasy myths and legends-style artwork, and their flagship ‘Hobgoblin’ beer which is the 3rd best selling bottled ale in the UK. Their Twitter account does well to continue this branding as-well-as promote events & causes they’re involved with.

Hall & Woodhouse – Badger Ales
3,488 Tweets | 8,758 Followers

@Badgerales

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“Award-winning beers brewed in the heart of Dorset since 1777 by an independent family brewer Hall & Woodhouse.”

With a long history, Hall & Woodhouse are one of the UK’s most established breweries, under the ‘Badger’ brand. Whilst known for superb flagship beers like ‘Tangle Foot’ and ‘Fursty Ferret’, they are also innovators and always ahead of trends in the industry. Stretching across the country, H&W have over 200 UK pub venues and a modern brewery in Blandford, Dorset.

St Austell Brewery
11.8k Tweets | 25.4k Followers

@StAustellBrew

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“Cornwall’s independent regional family brewer. We run 170 lovely pubs, brew award-winning beer and serve 3,000 free trade businesses”

St Austell dominate pub venues across the UK’s West Country, appearing in 179 hotels & inns. Flagship ales include ‘Proper Job’ a 4.5% India pale and the multi-award winning ‘Tribute’ a 4.2% pale ale. Their social media focuses on promoting real world goings-on with their ales and pubs.

Marston’s | 3,405 Tweets
5,706 Followers

@MarstonsBrewery

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“Proud Burton brewers creating great beers and experimenting with flavours”

Marston’s PLC has been running pub venues and brewing beer for well over 180 years, and own a huge portion of all pubs across the UK. They are behind many leading brands including ‘Marston’s’, ‘Ringwood Brewery’ and ‘Banks’s Beer’, producing over 60 of the top ales in the country today! They have various Twitter accounts but we’re highlighting the core Marston’s brewery page.

Brewhouse & Kitchen
991 Tweets | 1,283 Followers

@BrewhouseUK

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“Having dinner with friends, or learning how to brew beer on our legendary Brewery ‘Experience Days’, we want you to have a great experience.”

Breweries come in all shapes and sizes, from the commercial giants to small independents. Brewhouse & Kitchen have taken the microbrewery idea one step further by incorporating brewing into their actual venues. With 17 pubs across the country, the variety of brews is massive and always being refreshed! They also stock fantastic local beers from across the country, the perfect venue for any craft beer fan!

 


For more insights into the UK Hospitality industry & Digital Marketing Subscribe to the LeadDigital Blog or find us on Twitter @deluxevenues

 

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Best UK Wedding Venues On Instagram 2017

Instagram is home to stunning photography and social networking through a photographic medium. To-date over 40 billion photos & videos have been shared on Instagram! [1]

Wedding venues have a unique ability to take advantage of Instagram due to the very nature of their businesses.

Everyday 1,000’s of weddings take place across the UK, resulting in millions of photos that wedding venues can harness. With each wedding comes a unique new take on the location, providing an endless supply of ever-changing photographic content for venues to publish.

Below you’ll find 10 of the top wedding venues to follow on Instagram in 2017!

Aynhoe Park
1,024 Posts | 11,300+ Followers

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“A private family home embodying British eccentricity, just one hour from London.”

Got to be honest, I was won over by the silver tray croc, and that was before I saw the other incredible photos from this curious English wedding venue.

@AynhoePark

Calcot Manor
677 Posts | 2,400+ Followers

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“Celebrated country house hotel with world-class spa, restaurant, pub and meeting rooms set in 220 acres of Cotswolds meadowland.”

Calcot Manor are very active on social media, with beautiful promotional and ‘behind the scenes’ published posts.

@Calcot_Manor

Limewood Hotel
1,304 Posts | 19,500+ Followers

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“5 star luxury country house hotel and spa in the New Forest.”

Limewood Hotel is a fantastic country escape wedding venue that loves to celebrate their incredible culinary expertise. Lots of mouth watering imagery used in their posts.

@LimewoodHotel

Hedsor House
642 Posts | 8,700+ Followers

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“Tatler & Vogue’s dream wedding venue, filming & corporate retreat location.”

Weddings at Hedsor House are magnificent. With spectacular spaces both indoors and out, it’s easy to understand why it’s a dream wedding venue for so many brides.

@Hedsor

Woods’ Silver Fleet
695 Posts | 880+ Followers

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“Luxe river cruisers Silver Sturgeon, Silver Barracuda & Silver Darling.”

Ultimate luxury British wedding venue, a private yacht charter on the River Thames, Laurent-Perrier champagne in hand!

@Woods_Silver_Fleet

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
1,505 Posts | 10,100+ Followers

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“Steeped in history, it’s one of London’s most romantic wedding venues.”

This hotel venue is an icon for London luxury. Instagram posts are elegant and artistic, but still with a sense of fun and excitement for this historic wedding venue.

@StPancrasRen

Hotel Café Royal
1,392 Posts | 23,700+ Followers

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“A British institution in the heart of London.”

Continuing the London luxury venue theme, Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street presents Instagram followers with images of high-end luxury, quality, fine food and British elegance.

@HotelCafeRoyal

Tunnels Beaches
72 Posts | 347+ Followers

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“A uniquely designed coastal wedding venue – accessed via a hand carved tunnel through the cliff”

Whilst not the most followed Instagram wedding venue, Tunnels Beaches makes our list simply due to its awe-inspiring location and photographic content.

@TunnelsBeaches

Great Fosters
602 Posts | 2,400+ Followers

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“A luxury hotel with 2 restaurants in a Grade One listed building set in 50 acres of stunning gardens.”

Hugely romanticised, this historic wedding venue gardens provide an idyllic backdrop for Brides & Grooms, even including a Japanese bridge.

@GreatFosters

Blenheim Palace
326 Posts | 35,400+ Followers

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“The Palace is surrounded by over 90 acres of Formal Gardens including the Water Terraces, Rose Garden and the Duke’s Italian Garden, which provide a romantic and charming backdrop for your special occasion.”

Who wouldn’t want to get married in a palace! Much of this wedding venue’s Instagram posts depict the stunning grounds upon which Blenheim Palace is found.

@BlenheimPalace

This is just a handful of the fantastic UK wedding venues using Instagram in 2017. For information on more locations take a look at Instagram accounts like:

TheWeddingVenueGroupRusticBarnWeddingWedding_VenuesUKWeddingVenues & ElegantWeddingVenues – or search #WeddingVenueon Instagram (618,000+ public posts, May 2017).


Does your Wedding venue use Instagram or other social media platforms to engage with potential Brides? If not, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to be seen by young Brides & Grooms who are making their wedding location decisions online!

LeadDigital support wedding venues and hospitality brands with their digital marketing, across social and paid channels. We can help you devise the perfect strategy and support its implementation for maximum results!

 

Need Help Increasing Your Wedding Venue Bookings?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/139-facts-and-stats-about-instagram-you-should-be-aware-2017-infographic

Top 5 Landing Page Software 2017

What is a landing page? Any page on a website is technically a landing page in the literal sense, as it’s a page visitors ‘land’ on when arriving at your venue or hotels website. However, more commonly the phrase ‘landing page’ correlates with standalone web pages used for online marketing and advertising.

Landing pages give hospitality marketers the ability to remove distractions and tightly control the message presented to the visitor. For example, a person looking to book a winter event is more likely to make an enquiry when shown a webpage only about winter events, rather than having to review your whole website.

In 2017, online software platforms enable us to quickly create fantastic, highly custom and bespoke landing pages – perfect for long term marketing aims, as-well-as limited run promotions, such as for a ticketed event or seasonal booking special offer. Below LeadDigital review five of the top landing page software tools available today:-

Pagewiz | pagewiz.com

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Pagewiz is a platform created for marketers and business owners who want to get landing pages built and live fast. The WYSIWYG style drag and drop software means you don’t need to be a web designer to create basic landing pages, and there’s even a collection of pre-designed templates available. You won’t win any awards for incredible web design using Pagewiz, but it’s great for quick production.

Pros: Drag & drop designing, integrations with popular software like Salesforce and MailChimp, quick for everyone to get ‘up and running’.

Cons: Template designs aren’t overly inspiring, limit on number of page visitors and domains, simplified builder compared to alternatives.

Cost: Free 30 day trial, then from $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually. Four plans available, structured on the number of page visitors and custom domains.

Lander | landerapp.com

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Along the same lines as Pagewiz, Lander is another drag & drop, non-technical landing page builder, ideal for beginners. The editor is modern and easy to use, you are able to create great pages fast and A/B testing features help you test up to three different versions of your landing page at any time. You can also integrate closely with Facebook, adding tabs to your new landing pages in just four steps. Other integrations are available, but most are premium features.

Pros: No technical knowledge required, superb collection of integrations with other tools, templates built by designers to achieve conversions, powerful analytics included. Well rounded.

Cons: Some integrations only available as premium features, technical support only available on ‘Pro Plus’ package, limits on custom domains.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $16 (£12) per month for the basic package when paying annually. ‘Professional’ package required to use integrations and for more than 3 custom domains.

Instapage | instapage.com

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Instapage are ranked highly, not just because of the software but also the customer support they provide. Whilst offering a simple and easy to use landing page builder similar to other, Instapage also have a huge collection of resources available to help optimize landing page results. They are also one of the only companies to give unlimited pages, visitors and domains on a basic price plan.

Pros: One of the only companies offering unlimited pages, visitors and domains on their basic package. User friendly interface, high quality selection of conversion tested templates.

Cons: No A/B testing on basic package and limits on integrations.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $29 (£22) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Leadpages | Leadpages.net

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Leadpages takes landing page creation to the next level. Built specifically with conversions in mind, everything about this platform is focused on converting traffic into buyers. You have next level landing page design tools, all the integrations you could want and an incredible collection of templates – plus lead capture forms and subscriber tools, powerful analytics and AB Testing features. All of this and the basic package offers unlimited traffic, leads and responsive pages!

Pros: All of the above, plus a huge library of resources including guides, certifications, tutorials and an active community of users.

Cons: This is a more complex, feature-rich software platform so may be overkill for some companies. A/B testing and advanced integrations only available on ‘Pro’ and ‘Advanced’ plans.

Cost: 30 day money back guarantee. From $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Unbounce | Unbounce.com

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Last but not least is Unbounce. As with Leadpages this is an advanced landing page development tool, and whilst you don’t need to be a qualified designer to use it, the features are more complex. Yes they have all the landing page building abilities you’d expect, but Unbounce’s true strengths lie in the testing and optimization of each page to achieve industry leading conversion results. This is the most expensive of the software tools we’ve reviewed, however its next level features help make the investment worthwhile.

Pros: Advanced features but still easily usable without a technical background. Powerful optimization and testing capacities. Always releasing new services, including ‘Unbounce Convertables’, targeted overlays for any web page.

Cons: An expensive investment and less integrations than some alternatives.

Cost: 30 free trial. Then from $79 (£61) per month for the basic ‘Essentials’ package when paying annually.

Conclusion

As with any new software purchase your primary concern should be ‘what do I actually need’, rather than simply buying from the industry leaders. The landing page software tools reviewed above are just a handful of whats available today, but all provide those core functionalities needed to create web pages that look good and convert sales.

If you’re still not sure which landing page software best fits your venue or hotels needs then have a chat with us anytime. LeadDigital have over 20 years experience in hospitality marketing and have designed hundreds of landing pages, so can advise on the best fit for your hospitality business.

 

Interested in Landing Page Software for Your Company?

Contact Us Today

 

Why are Venues Using Survey Software?

It’s 7am Monday morning. You wake up, grab a coffee and read an email from your senior events planner telling you how Saturday’s event at your venue was an incredible success.

At this point it would be very easy to think “job done” and go about the rest of your day. Instead you pause and ask yourself – how does my team actually know the event was successful?

In our experience, most venues get event feedback from just one source, the event organiser. Of course they’re going to give good feedback, it was their event, they planned it and unless something went dramatically wrong, it was always going to be how they wanted it. However, let’s say this was a corporate event for 300 people, what did the other 299 guests think of the experience?

For all you know, the food could have been cold for half the guests and one of your waitresses could have been incredibly rude – but if this isn’t being fed back, it won’t be corrected.

So what’s the solution? Our recommendation is the use of online survey software, and our preferred solution is SurveyMonkey. Below I’ll explain why, and how it can benefit your venue.

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Guest feedback is vitally important. It’s the key to understanding your target market, their wants, needs and expectations, and it can provide insights that shape future business and marketing plans.

Typically for venues there are three stages of event survey: Planning, Real-Time & Post Event

Stage 1 – Event Planning

Survey software helps decision making become quick and (reasonably) painless. Rather than lots of back and forth questioning over email or phone, you can obtain all the event information you need in a single form. This can be as simple or complex as required, from just confirming headcount to gathering info on dietary restrictions or individual requests.

Event planning surveys give you a head start on guest expectations. Used as a research tool, surveys provide insights that enable you to plan the perfect occasion. Collected data can also be saved for future sales and marketing efforts, such as finding out where they originally saw your venue.

Stage 2 – Real-Time Surveys

Also known as “mid-event” or “during-event” surveys, this stage is about two things, encouraging engagement and gaining immediate feedback. Here are a few examples:

  • An event includes a meal. Between the starter and main course, have servers use a tablet to conduct a short and sweet survey. This way, you can immediately make corrections there and then before the meal’s second half begins.
  • You’re running a corporate conference. Between speakers, ask attendees to quickly complete a live survey on their mobiles about the event so-far. This feedback can then be shared with upcoming speakers who can adapt their talk accordingly.
  • Guests want to access your free wifi during an event. When they try to connect ask them first to complete a poll including their email address. This way you’ll get live feedback and a possible future sales lead!

More often than not, venues only ever have contact details for the event planner. We 100% recommend obtaining contact details for all attendees whenever possible, and real-time surveys provide the perfect opportunity to collect this info.

Stage 3 – Post Event Surveys

Of all the stages, post event surveys are the most important to action. This is because, using a well considered email strategy you can reach event goers just a day or two after the occasion, and get fresh feedback on their overall experience.

If you only did one survey, we’d recommend this option, as information collected will encompass the entire event from start to finish. It is also the perfect opportunity to build a relationship with each event guest individually, which if incentivised, could lead to future bookings.

Why SurveyMonkey?

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SurveyMonkey report over 25+ million business customers worldwide, with 99% of the Fortune 500 using this survey platform and over 3 million survey responses collected every day [1]. Their mission states:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get at the knowledge you need to make smart, informed choices” [2]

There are five dominant reasons we love SurveyMonkey:

  1. Ease of use. SurveyMonkey is a very accessible and user friendly platform. Whilst it can be made more complex, it’s not overly complicated to get up and running with a new survey. Their survey builder is logically laid out and offers many design features, although you need a paid plan to take advantage of all options available.
  2. Templates. They provide over 200 expertly written surveys covering pretty much every subject you could imagine. So whether time is limited or imagination is lacking, there’s probably a template available to help get you started.
  3. Tips & Advice. SurveyMonkey offer a massive amount of online support, with tips and best practices on everything from the dos and don’ts of question writing, to help analysing survey results and next best steps.
  4. Integrations. In this digital world it’s becoming vital that software can talk to other platforms, and SurveyMonkey does this brilliantly. For example: Integrate with MailChimp for your email marketing, Eventbrite to contact event attendees, SalesForce for enriched CRM data or select one of the many other integrations available.
  5. Reporting. SurveyMonkey provide advanced but understandable analytics data for every survey you create; meaning that not only can you share stunning surveys, you can also discover exactly how to use data gathered wisely.

Conclusion

So why are venues using survey software? It’s because they can collect vital information about their venue and organised events otherwise unavailable, that can assist in decision making across all areas of a hospitality business. It also enables greater greater levels of guest satisfaction, which can lead to retention, referrals and brand loyalty.

At LeadDigital we can help with all your venues survey requirements. Starting with an initial consultation to develop a strategy plan, we support survey designs, implementation, integrations with other platforms and results reporting.

 

Want to Speak to us About Survey Software?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/event-planning-surveys/?ut_source=header
[2] https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/mp/aboutus/

Top Hospitality News Resources 2017

It’s not hard in 2017 to find information online about the hospitality industry. In fact, with content blogging sites such as WordPress quoting 84.3 million new content posts each month [1], we’re now entering an age of information overload!

With this being the case, finding reliable resources online that can provide the latest news related to hotels, restaurants, events venues and hospitality in general, can be difficult.

To help, LeadDigital have complied a list of eight news and learning resources that hospitality professionals should be using in 2017. Let us know your thoughts on these and any other resources in the comments section below.

BigHospitality

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“BigHospitality is an on-line resource for those working in, and interested in, the hospitality industry.” [2]

A great ‘all rounder’ website for UK hospitality news, they feature sector specific news, expert advice articles, interviews and much more. Check the website regularly, or sign up to their free newsletter.

www.bighospitality.co.uk

Event Magazine

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“Event is the UK’s leading brand for the event industry, focusing on brand experiences and the channel of experiential.” [3]

Event is a fantastic website for brand marketers and event professionals. It does provide news articles, but also has a large knowledge data base to help inspire memorable events and experiences for venues.

www.eventmagazine.co.uk

Event Industry News

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“Event Industry News (EIN) is an online event magazine that provides the latest news to the events industry.” [4]

With 49,000 unique readers viewing 683,000 pages each month, it’s no surprise EIN is considered a leader in news for the event industry. With guest blogs, Podcasts and even TV video pages, this is a website you could easily spend many hours exploring!

www.eventindustrynews.com

Event Manager Blog

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EventMB has become the go-to online resource for Trends, Technology, Innovation and Education for the event industry.” [5]

Compared to the above websites, EventMB is a much simpler, easy to navigate resource specifically for trends and technology. A great site for hospitality professionals interested in the rise of AI, virtual reality, drone videos and similar technological changes in the industry.

www.eventmanagerblog.com

Hospitality Net

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It’s massive. As resources go, Hospitality Net is huge and if you can’t find the information you need here, good luck finding it anywhere else. However, keep in mind it’s a global resource, and although you can do some filtering, finding information purely for the UK market is difficult. Londoners, check out their ‘London Hot Spot’ page here.

www.hospitalitynet.org

The Hotel Marketing Association

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“The Hotel Marketing Association is the leading professional body for hotel marketers and advocates for best marketing practices within the hospitality sector.” [6]

If you are a hotel owner or marketer, you’ve probably come across the HMA in your travels. Whilst their news section is normally only about HMA specific stories, their blog pages are particularly good sources of information for those interested in hotel marketing best practices.

www.hotelmarketingassociation.com

HotelMarketing.Com

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Where Hospitality Net mentioned above can be somewhat overwhelming, HotelMarketing.com is the polar opposite. Simple, clean, easily digestible news articles designed for hoteliers and marketing professionals. If this sounds like you, join 45,000+ subscribers in receiving their daily news roundup.

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The Caterer

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“We offer the most valuable content, the best jobs and the most sophisticated digital platform available to hotel, restaurant, foodservice and pub and bar operators across the country.” [7]

As you can probably guess from a name like ‘The Caterer’, whilst they discuss news from the whole hospitality industry, there is certainly a focus towards food and drink. This is most obvious when viewing the ‘Chef’ pages, with articles like “Best Chef of March 2017”, “Menuwatch” and “Chef Revelations”.

www.thecaterer.com


LeadDigital are a passionate team of digital marketing experts, specialising in best practices and marketing technologies for UK hotels, venues, restaurants and hospitality businesses. We help brands attract, convert and retain customers, looking to blur lines between the physical and digital worlds!

 

Ready to See What LeadDigital Can Do for You?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] https://wordpress.com/activity/
[2] http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Info/About-us
[3] http://www.eventmagazine.co.uk/about-event
[4] https://www.eventindustrynews.com/event-magazine-event-management/
[5] http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/about-me
[6] http://www.hotelmarketingassociation.com/what-is-the-hma.html
[7] https://www.thecaterer.com/s/aboutus