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Experiential Marketing Trends for Hotels

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Experiential Marketing Trends for Hotels

Connecting with potential guests using immersive, experiential advertising can build a hotel’s brand recognition and customer base. An accomplished experiential marketing agency knows how to push the boundaries of traditional advertising to generate brand awareness and customer loyalty using creative, innovative services. Millennials now outnumber everyone else; this crowd loves to travel, and they place a high value on experiences. If you haven’t considered fine-tuning your marketing tactics to include interactive, inventive campaigns and experience-based branding, you could be missing out on worthwhile leads.

Follow along as we show you what experiential marketing is and explain how these campaigns draw in new visitors, retain loyal guests, and help your hotel stand out from the rest.

What Is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential marketing for hotels involves using branding events, pop-up displays, or other interactions on and off the property to connect with customers and give the audience new ways to engage with the brand. 

This marketing style is known as event, engagement, on-ground, and live marketing. Though it goes by many names, the idea behind it is still the same: Create an interactive experience that customers will remember, share, and connect with. 

Experiential Marketing Campaigns for Hotels

The purpose of most experiential events is to engage customers offline, but today’s digital world allows hotels to entice guests with and without in-person interactions, in whichever medium resonates best. Reviews are essential for attracting younger hotel guests, and the emotional connection experiential branding enables often leads to high ratings and valuable reviews. 

The best experiential marketing events and campaigns offer value to guests that goes beyond typical amenities to help the hotel become a preferred brand. Consult this list of experiential ideas to get your campaign planning started:

Digital Concierge

While a digital concierge—an AI-based assistant that answers guest questions or makes dining reservations—can help a hotel streamline manual processes, it is also useful for experiential branding. Offer personalized recommendations directly to guest rooms highlighting the amenities and services or showcasing property features to provide a catered experience guests won’t soon forget.

Bonus: Use insights learned from the AI interactions to target your traditional marketing efforts toward guest interests and travel preferences. 

Destination Tours and VR Experiences

Many vacationers head online to plan getaways, and hotels that provide immersive virtual reality tours of the property and nearby attractions can attract guests looking for specific experiences or adventures. These experiential advertising campaigns should go beyond highlighting basic tourist traps to include hidden gems or local lore about the area. Offering a photo gallery, virtual tours, and an itinerary makes it easy for guests to envision—and book—the perfect vacation. 

Hotel Features and Installations

Experiential branding can include an on-site installation, such as a statue, pop-up artwork, or photo booth at the hotel for photo ops. Whether the feature is in the lobby or out by the pool, the snapshots become part of guests’ memories and help them feel connected to your brand. These share-worthy photos do double duty, spreading the word about your hotel and providing your marketing team valuable user-generated content that can encourage repeat visits. 

Pop-Up Displays at Area Events

Research suggests that half of the people attending live experiential events capture and share between two and five photos or videos while there. Social, word-of-mouth marketing that uses a branded hashtag can continue getting likes and shares long after the event, keeping your hotel or resort brand top-of-mind to people making travel plans. Hoteliers can initiate these campaigns by placing pop-up photo ops or displays near events known to draw out-of-town crowds like marathons, festivals, or conventions.

Interactive Email Campaigns

Some of the top email marketing trends for 2024 include experienced-based tactics to garner better engagement. Because experiential campaigns are less about a hard sell and more focused on providing user enjoyment, marketers can feature games, quizzes, live polls, or interactive images in the body of the email to grab potential guests’ attention (and gain customer insights). 

Collaborative Campaigns

Expand experiential marketing efforts by collaborating with fellow brands to host events or curate themed spaces within your hotel. These experiential campaigns can feature distillers, wineries, musicians, facial products, linen companies—you name it. Whether you host a bourbon night or create a spa treatment centered around a skincare brand, current and future guests will take note of these special offerings. These tactics can increase a hotel’s reach to find a broader market.

Live Experiential Events

Marketing a hotel as a destination by offering experiential events can increase bookings and set independent hotels apart from the crowd. Hosting yoga retreats or workshops is an example of an experiential marketing service that delivers more than typical amenities. If the property is new or renovated, experiential branding through a grand opening can reconnect former guests with the property and reintroduce the brand. Every experiential event for a hotel does not need to be an over-the-top occasion to be effective—host an author’s book signing, welcome a band to play a gig in the lobby coffee shop, or invite a well-known food truck to park in your courtyard—all of these offer a new experience for guests that will be deciding factors on rebooking.

Top Experiential Marketing Companies

Experiential marketers do a lot more than plan events, and the idea that “anyone can do it” is a common hotel marketing myth. The best experiential marketing agencies should offer various services, including event advertising and guest outreach to create a well-rounded approach. Plus, selecting a digital marketing company that can balance traditional campaigns and experiential advertising means you won’t need to hire two agencies to accomplish your goals. 

Discover a great experiential marketing agency partner in TravelBoom. This team’s toolbox includes marketing strategies, digital solutions, and powerful tech to make any campaign a success. Take a look at some of the ways TravelBoom can help hotels attract new guests and retain loyal customers:

Connect with us at TravelBoom to see how we can help give your experiential advertising efforts the attention and support they need. Whether you’re running an independent hotel or a boutique resort, our experiential marketing services can introduce your brand to new guests and lock in loyal visitors.

About TravelBoom

TravelBoom specializes in developing and executing customized data – driven marketingsolutions that drive direct bookings and growth for its clients. With over 25 years of experience in digital marketing for travel and hotels, TravelBoom leverages advanced data science and analytics to uncover insights and develop strategies that greatly enhance client results and reduce reliance on third – party channels. TravelBoom is also the host of the world’s #1 ranked Hotel Marketing Podcast and its quarterly Traveler Sentiment Study, both of which can be found at

Posted by on March 20, 2024.

Categories: Sales and Marketing

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