|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Helpful Hints for B&Bs participating in the "B&Bs for Vets" initiative.
Helpful Hints from the "Better Way to Stay" campaign staff. They have compiled a list of suggestions to assist you in operating this promotion, please review the list below and pick and choose those that would assist you in making this a fun and successful event:
- Make sure you get all of the proper contact info, especially cell phone and email, and communicate to the vet with proper confirmation and reminders.
- Be sure to send a confirmation note explaining exactly what the inn is offering. Be specific about what is free and how additional nights are handled. Be very specific about the consequences of no-shows and cancellations.
- Keep a waiting list with contact information once rooms are filled up, as cancellations will occur. Additionally, consider confirming 24-hours in advance with those who have been given rooms, to ensure they are coming. At that time reiterate the no-show policy in a friendly way.
- Get the details about their service so that you can thank them publicly and privately.
- Communicate a couple of times to make sure they know how important they are and that if they can't make it that night, to let you know so that someone on the waitlist can take their place.
- Solicit additional giveaways and offers from local merchants to offer additional perks for those participating. Most innkeepers who did this found hearty participation from local merchants, attractions and restaurants.
- One innkeeper suggested inviting active duty military that were in the area to come for breakfast on Veteran's Day if their rooms are filled. This will extend the hospitality and good will for those unable to stay.
- Many innkeepers suggested offering discounted rooms for the nights before and after the free day and/or discounts offered throughout the month/year for active military on leave.
- Have a plan in place for how to handle requests after you're full and after the holiday. Create an additional offer you can make once your rooms are full and/or after the holiday so you won't have to feel you've disappointed those you can't accommodate. One innkeeper shared this important tip: "Be ready for lots of calls before and after Veteran's Day. I had people calling as much as a month after the holiday wanting a freebie. Make a decision as to just what you can afford.the number of free rooms you are willing to give to a Veteran. You just can't, as much as we would like be able to accommodate every Veteran that contacts you."
- This is a nice opportunity to get some PR for your inn/B&B. Many innkeepers' stories were highlighted on local and regional TV and newspapers last year. Be sure to reach out to the media to let them know what you're doing. PAII has created fill-in-the-blanks press releases for you to use to inform the media about your offer(s).
- Additionally, take lots of photos and/or video both for use in your own blog postings (which should precede and follow this promotion) and also to share with the Better Way To Stay campaign for next year's promotion.
- Work with other inns/B&Bs in your local area for referrals. Stay in close touch about who has rooms available and try to keep an up-to-date list, as you'll have many anxious military and vets looking for where they can find a room.
- Be prepared for unusual requests - active military on overseas duty may ask if their spouse can come in their place and other unusual requests may occur. Think about how to respond ahead of time."
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