Re-Branding a Venue during a Pandemic
We love working closely with our suppliers, throughout lockdown we have made sure we are keeping in touch with all our clients and our suppliers. At IAE we pride ourselves in our communication and building relationships that will benefit our clients and our team’s knowledge.
We were due to visit the Hilton Bath in April to view the new property after a complete re-design. Due to the current circumstances we weren’t able to and the whole project has been paused. I felt this was a great opportunity to find out more about the plans for the property and how a worldwide pandemic has dictated how and when things will happen.
I have worked with Amanda Jones, Director of Sales at DoubleTree by Hilton Bath City for many, many years (don’t want to state how many, will make me feel old!) so felt this was a great opportunity to ask a few questions and find out more about this exciting project!
What is being re-branded and what is the vision?
The Hilton Bath Hotel is positioned in a fantastic city central location since
How has lockdown affected this?
When the government announced lockdown the construction team had to leave the building site mid-construction.
What is like trying to launch a venue amongst these difficult times?
It is challenging to arrange the launch of the hotel due to these difficult times for various reasons. We are awaiting more news from the government with regards the construction re-commencing, the building works being completed, being able to get the operational staff back on site etc. is all a physical challenge.
The more complex matter is the uncertainty of these unprecedented times, how we, not only as a nation but globally, recover and what will the new life look like. The CVOID pandemic has effected personal, leisure and corporate lives and moving forward all has to be handled with great care and sensitivity.
How has your marketing approach had to change?
Our marketing strategy will be to provide as much information as possible through multiple mediums to inform our various client bases about the changes and improvements to the hotel. This news and information is eagerly anticipated by our clients to understand the extent of the changes.
The marketing approach further to the pandemic will be to offer as much support to our customers as possible with enhanced understanding and flexibility. We feel that appropriate communication will be to inform rather than direct selling. It is essential to include not only product information but also information on our health and safety commitment and strategy.
A unique selling point for us is that we are situated in the wonderful city of Bath. Important to inform our customers on the destination, the various activities, points of interest that can be unique in a leisure trip as well as included in event and incentive travel too. Education is key for not only the now but also the future.
Looking to the future when are you hoping to launch?
Much depends on construction but we are currently aiming towards a soft opening of the hotel mid to late July with hotel completion in September; hopefully a cutting of a red ribbon of sorts at this stage!!
What do you see business will look like for the rest of the year and how have you had to adapt?
Business for the remainder of the year is unpredictable and certainly is an interesting time to be launching a new hotel into the market.
Much will depend on government guidance with travel, guidance on group gatherings etc.
Much if not all of the summer overseas in-bound leisure has cancelled and it remains to be seen when traveller safety and confidence will resume. We hope that there will be a relaxation and an encouragement for domestic UK people to travel over the summer period. Bath has always had a healthy demand for leisure and hope that this will continue when people are allowed to travel.
With regards meeting, conferences and special events. We are just waiting for the government to provide guidance on group gatherings and how best these should be conducted. We have a wonderful new conference suite with state of the art AV technology, natural daylight, a dedicated attached private bar so we are very much look forward to sharing this with our guests. I am sure that there will be a need for people to gather in some capacity during 2020 and we will conduct this with the utmost sensitivity, flexibility and adherence to health and safety.
The safety and health of all our staff and guests is of the utmost importance. We are researching and investing in the implementation of best safety procedures.
As a team, IAE can not wait to visit the finished property when the time is right and look forward to working with both the DoubleTree Hilton Bath and Kew Green hotels in the near future! Thank you Amanda for your time and the information!