It is no secret that hotel brochures have became less relevant as websites have got more sophisticated and interactive and emailings have played their part by providing potential customers with an electronic flow of marketing information. On-line videos and third-party agencies such as LateRooms have contributed by encouraging customers to shop around on-line, rather than going the traditional route of requesting a brochure.

But is the final ‘nail in the coffin’ Social Media Marketing, be it reviews on booking sites, recommendations from friends on Facebook or a stream of Tweets from past guests? Are brochures now a costly, time-consuming and unnecessary marketing tool, with no part to play in hotel marketing in 2013?

Speaking on behalf of the motion are:

SARAH DUNCAN, SLEEPING LION – Sarah set up Sleeping Lion in 2005 and specialises in advising and training companies in Social Media Marketing. She has a background in luxury hospitality brands, having worked in the Sales team at Claridges for 5 years & subsequently working for country clubs, health clubs and spas throughout the UK & Asia.

ROB WALK, DIGITAL INNOVATION GROUP – Rob did his first degree in Hospitality Management before moving into the emerging IT & digital space in the 1990’s. Since 2000 Rob has been bringing digital marketing teams together to innovate around newly emerging technologies. The Digital Innovation Group now consists of 12 specialist digital companies who have worked with most of the UK’s top brands including several high-end and luxury hotel and travel groups.

And against the motion:

MARTIN EVANS, THE TOURISM BUSINESS – Martin has been Managing Partner of The Tourism Business, based in York since 1997, from where he works on marketing strategies and campaigns for clients who have included The Chester Grosvenor, The Royal Horseguards, Rothay Garden hotel in Grasmere, Brooklands in Surrey and the 5-star Grand Jersey. Martin is also the organiser of the National Hotel Marketing Conference and other UK tourism and marketing conferences.

PETER HANCOCK, PRIDE OF BRITAIN HOTELS – Peter is Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, a consortium of 44 privately owned luxury hotels and the official hotel partner to the National Trust. He spent 12 years with guide publishers Johansens and managed hotels in Sussex and Hampshire in his youth. Peter is a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, The Tourism Society and the Academy of Food & Wine Service.

The panel will debate… does a bride love the excitement of receiving a wedding pack and sitting around with her friends a family passing round photographs and brochures, or would she rather engage with Facebook pages of venues, florists etc?

Does a family planning a holiday prefer to shop around on their tablets and phones or would they like to sit together, and peruse a variety of brochures?

Will a discerning customer appreciate that the quality and feel of the paper reflect the quality of experience that she can expect, or prefer to read reviews from friends and strangers?

Date: 24th April 2013

6pm – Arrival for networking – refreshments

6.30pm – 8pm Debate

Venue: InterContinental London Westminster Hotel, 22-28 Broadway, London SW1H 9JS

Nearest Tube: St James Park

Price: HMA/CIM Members £25, Non-members £35 including refreshments



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