Frank And Ralph are heading to Austin, Texas Sunday for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) Conference. We went to our first conference 8 years ago in Providence RI. and have been hooked ever since. We haven’t missed one in 8 years (Pheonix, Myrtle Beach, Anaheim, and Atlanta), and are already looking forward to Charleston, SC in 2011 and have picked out a room in our favorite Charleston Inn, the Two Meeting Street Inn, on the Battery. We can’t wait to meet up with our old friends (innkeepers, vendors, and hospitality consultants) many whom we have gotten to know since Providence in 2002.
The conference schedule has an amazing list of speakers (Frank will be speaking again), and we often find it hard to choose. Many times Frank will attend one session while Ralph attends another. Frank will also be attending the annual meeting of Select Registry , an organization that we are very proud to be a member of over the last 4 years.
We are starting our 12th year in March as owners of the 1889 WhiteGate Inn in Asheville and we feel a large part of our ability to survive and thrive, even in this difficult economy, is due to what we have learned at the PAII Conferences.
We attended lectures on internet web design and marketing and heard Scott Crumpton (White Stone Marketing) talk. Scott and Allison have done our web site design and internet marketing services for almost 4 years now and are always on the cutting edge of what needs to be done to excel in a very competitive market (Asheville has over 35 B&Bs). We also met Mark and Matthew of (Jumping Rocks) who did all new photography of our Inn and who without a doubt are the best Inn photographers in the country. None of this would have happened had we not gone to PAII Conferences.
Now we are all talking about Social Media and what part this plays in our B&B. Facebook and Twitter are the new players on the block in our marketing program and Ralph is now a certified “Facebook Junky” and a relentless blogger. He should have “Become a fan of the WhiteGate” stamped on his forehead. We are looking for validation of our efforts at the conference as several presentaions revolve around Social Media.
All in all we have realized after 11 years in this business that there is always room for improvement and you can never stop learning. Our business is constantly changing and these PAII conferences will keep us at the cutting edge of our profession and our guests will continue to benefit as well.
We also look forward to enjoying the city of Austin, where Frank will be able to get his fill of Country Music and Ralph, BBQ snob that he is (having grown up in Salisbury, NC) looks forward to some serious Texas BBQ before returning to Asheville.
Frank & Ralph