Martin Kubler from SPS:Affinity did a really good piece on “How to alienate guest digitally” recently – click here to have a read of it. It was directed to the hotels, on what not to do, in the social media world.
I am, ‘that person’ on the other side – the “event organiser” (who absolutely loves her “job”), the person who’s always flipping through magazines and scrolling through my Facebook feed to see where to plan the next gathering, then contacting the restaurants, bars, hotels (through all mediums, where necessary). I relate to most of the content in the article, because, it is so… common, here in Dubai. And in case you didn’t already know, that is one of the reason why I blog (no, it’s not just for the invites, surprise!) – so that hopefully the restaurant/hotel would read it and then use it to become better.
So here you go, a few things that annoys me the most when it comes to event organising – things I wish hotels wouldn’t do (on social media, and more), and what I really hope they do do…and yes, this is all from past experience.
- When you don’t reply to queries. I find that some hotels and restaurants have pages on facebook, but they don’t actually use it as a medium for communication. That, or they have stopped using it. If you no longer want to use it, please shut the page (instagram/twitter/facebook) down. I may quickly drop by your facebook page and send you a message, and then a quick scan at your wall shows that the last time you posted something was in May (true story, happened when I was planning a ladies night just two weeks ago). So I have to send you an email…. which leads to
- Make sure that your social media page, has all the alternative contact information. So there I am on your facebook page, and you have decided to no longer use it. Fine. Please make sure you put your a) email or b) phone number. What frustrates me the most is having to go to so many places to find a contact! At the same lounge that I was trying to organise a ladies night at, I clicked on their ‘Contact Us’ button on their Facebook Page, which then opens up to their page on their master website. Cool. So I have to scroll again to find another ‘Contact Us’ there….
- When the information on your website is incorrect/mis-matching. Some hotels and restaurants – they are all savvy with social media, but the information on their website is out-dated (or vice versa). If you wish to present information on 5 different platforms, make sure they are correct. If you don’t plan to update one or the other, shut it down – or let us know so – put a note to say “Please refer to facebook..” Nothing annoys me more than seeing that ladies night is 8-10pm on Facebook but 9-11pm on their website, then I have to call (and then this goes back to Point 2). Worst still, if the promotion is already cancelled, and you don’t update it on all your media platforms (or inform your PR!) – I’ve brought a guest from overseas to a ladies night before and it was already cancelled, so ended up walking to another hotel. I told the PR about this and never got a response. Moving on.
- If I sent you an email with my blog, at least read it. Referring to Item 3, I always write about this (where information was incorrect) in my review afterwards – and then I’ll send an email afterwards to the hotels/restaurants afterwards which describes the whole experience (good and bad). A lot of the times, the restaurants/hotels (and PRs) don’t realise what I have written…. they think “Oh, another blogger, another nice beautiful blog” – they send a generic “Thank you for writing about your lovely experience, blah blah blah” and I’m sitting there going.. You obviously didn’t bother reading my blog. Oh well, moving on.
- When you have links/emails that don’t work. Just a few days ago I wanted to find some information (the menu!) on a new restaurant that has just opened up at The Palm. So I found their website (yay) and clicked on ‘menu’ and out popped a white page with the words “This is a dummy PDF.” Seriously. If you’re new and your website is not ready, don’t launch it yet. It just annoys the hell out of people of us trying to find information. So I tried to email them, from the email on their website and then back came the “Mail Delivery System” email telling me that the email doesn’t actually work. Oh my goodness. They must be trying to test my patience. I didn’t give up, I found them on instagram and noticed they were very active – posting nice fancy photos of their food. So I messaged them, but didn’t get a response for ages. So I went back to their website again and found the ‘fill form’ thing as an alternative way of contacting them and finally got a response. You must be wondering why didn’t I just pick up the phone and call – note that if this was at a normal hour of the day I would have done so – I do a lot of event organising in early hours of the day (I have a 5-month old, he he!)… plus in a lot of restaurants, no one answers the phone until much later on (if they only open for dinner…)
- Don’t get muppets to deal with your emails. So there is yet another new restaurant at The Palm that was having a 50% off their menu for their soft launch period. No menu to be found on their website, so I emailed them asking them to send me their menu, and to confirm that the promotion was on. I got a response to just one of my query. C’mon guys. If I ask you two questions, answer me to both my questions. I hate repeating myself. So I repeated myself, and then I got a response, that their menu was ‘to be finalised’, and ‘as soon as it was finalised they will send it to me’. I was fed up, the conversation went ‘Right, thanks. So if there is no menu what do we order when we go there for lunch?’ Anyways, long story short I finally got their menu (through whatsapp)..better than nothing!
I’ll stop there.
So here’s my contribution, to Martin’s post. Quote “Keep it social”, and for me to add on to hotels and restaurants – “Get the information right!” It just makes the lives of us event organisers so much easier, and it gets us – to your restaurant or hotel, quicker. To be honest a lot of hotels and restaurants are pretty good with this – it’s just a handful that spoils it for me 🙂 Maybe I’ll do another post ..” What gets me back to the same hotel, again and again? “
Thoughts? Do you organise get-togethers for your friends as well? What else annoys you the most?