Frank & Ralph have just returned from the annual PAII conference in Little Rock, Arkansas and we are still trying to sort through all the information and ideas that we brought back. PAII is the educational organization of our B&B industry and many of the experts in travel and tourism industry are represented at the annual conference. We attended lectures on everything from creative breakfast preparation to social media aspects of our business. (Add us now to your Google+ circle!)
We have discovered that the best way to apply what we have learned to our business is to identify three improvements/changes that we will put into effect at our Asheville B&B in the next 30 days. Otherwise it is easy to be overwhelmed by everything that is presented. We feel this has really helped us stay ahead of the game in the competitive Asheville market.
We became hooked on conferences when we attended our first one in Providence, RI, seven years ago. We have not missed a conference since then and have attended other conferences in Phoenix, Anaheim, Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Austin, and Charleston. We love connecting with innkeeper friends and vendors from all over the country and in fact learn a lot from just talking to other innkeepers informally about how they run their businesses. Innkeepers, by their nature, love to talk and share ideas with each other.
Another part of our annual conference is the Select Registry annual meeting, which involves a whole day of seminars. SR is a group of about 350 B&Bs and Inns from across the country and Canada. There are roughly 22,000 B&Bs in the country and we are proud that our bed and breakfast in Asheville is a member of this “select” group. Frank has served on the membership committee for several years and participated in a panel discussion on marketing at this years meeting.
After sitting in classes for three days, we had our closing night banquet at the Clinton Library, so everyone was able to unwind and enjoy a fun evening in a “must see” for anyone visiting Little Rock.
Everyone said their goodbyes at the awards luncheon the next day where the raffle winners were announced and a live auction was held to raise more money for the ”Better Way to Stay“ campaign. And of course, the last presenter was Frank who channeled Carmen Miranda, in spirit and costume, as he announced the location of next January’s PAII meeting at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas!