Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick Graphics Job for Golf Tourism Scotland

Over the past seven, maybe eight years no we've been working with trade body Golf Tourism Scotland in a number of areas from strategic planning through to online marketing marketing workshops. (We're currently redesigning their website for an Easter laucnh to make it more consumer facing.)

The body were attending the PGA merchandise show in Orlando and we were delighted to step in to help finish of their stand display for the show.

Not a big part of the stand we have to say but we quickly turned around the graphics required for each of the participating members to ensure that the stand's branding was continuous.

The overall stand was we think put toegther by VisitScotland in conjucntion with the GTS team and it certainly gives a very positive impression.

Speaking at the event, GTS chairman Lee Derrick said, “The PGA Show is one of the main golf industry events of the year and an important showcase for Scottish golf tourism businesses. This year we took more stand space than ever before and created a presence that truly reflected the quality ofScotland’s golf offering. The feedback from our stand partners has been positive and this week could generate thousands of pounds’ worth of business for the sector."

GTS was joined by 10 partner organisations representing a broad spectrum of Scotland’s golf industry, including golf resorts, tour operators, hotels and industry groups. The consortium was the largest ever assembled to representScotlandat the annual PGA Show.

“The commitment shown by everyone who attended has been very impressive and gives us a real platform to build on,” noted Derrick. “As a starting point for an exciting and busy year for Scottish golf, we could not have asked for anything more.”

As well as manning the prominent exhibition stand, delegates also attended a Scottish golf day prior to the show which attracted around 70 leading industry figures and golf journalists. The Scottish contingent included Andy Burgess, head of operations and development at Meldrum House, who picked up the 2011 GTS Gold Standard award for Country House Hotel of the Year.

“The PGA show is where a lot of decisions are made concerning the golf travel industry, so being there is an absolute must,” Burgess said. “Partnering with so many other businesses meant we could boostScotland’s presence and get our message across to more buyers. It was simply great to be there.”

You can find out more about Golf Tourism Scotland on their current website - new one due out April 2012!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Website for Braemar Guest House

Sometimes things work out okay after all - in spite of our best efforts to screw them up!.

We were asked to present at a workshop in Boat of Garten in the autumn of last year about online reservations and increasing website conversion. Being a little smart, I thought we’d do something slightly different and use a linked image gallery to make the presentation instead of  a tried and trusted and frequently amended PowerPoint presentation.

Did it work? Did it hell!

The feedback reviews for our presentation were the lowest I think we’d ever received and lagged well behind the other speakers. Tail between our legs and lesson well learned.

However out of it did come a few very good follow ups and one of these lead finally to the launch of a new website for a fantastic Guest House in Braemar – Callater Lodge.

I say finally because when Andy at Callater Lodge called us we were just in final testing of the new Content Management System which we using to drive our new suite of Open Rooms MM12 website packages for accommodation providers.

“Final Testing” does cover a multitude of descriptions however and as a result the site did take a few week longer to complete than it should have done. However it is now live with what we think is a more contemporary slant on the Highland hospitality website featuring some great images and most importantly good content.

The site also utilises the functions of the Bookassist Booking Engine with fully integrated room reservations in the website (not linking out) and the same availability is also shown live in real time on the Guest House’s own Facebook page.

Ian McCaig of Plan B said, “We were a big bit frustrated that we didn’t get the site live when we said we would be but we are belatedly happy with the results. Being a small guest house in The Highlands shouldn’t mean that there should be any sacrifice in website functionality and the new site now combines Callater Lodge’s own social media activities with a full Content Management System and a highly specified booking engine that can offer promotional pricing, sell vouchers, utilise Discount Codes and a whole lot more. We look forward to helping Andy develop the site functionality and online presence as we progress.”

The Open Rooms MM12 packages were created and built around the needs of small hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and self-catering operations and are integrated fully with the award winning Bookassist Booking Engine.

Based on an ever expanding series of template strictures each site is then given a full make over which transforms the template into a bespoke designed fully content managed website with online booking from the start.

Andy Shore from Callater Lodge gave his view on the process, “I went to the meeting in Boat of Garten with a view to gaining knowledge about new technology, booking engines and mobile applications. Ian is right actually; his presentation wasn’t the best! But after chatting with him one to one it was clear his enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to help was all there. I had no hesitation in enlisting Plan B to design our new website and integrated booking system. As Ian has mentioned there have been a few hiccups along the way but as with any new system that was not unexpected. We now have what we think is a great working website and online booking system, which is already proving its worth.

We look forward to our continued relationship with Ian & Plan B to further develop our electronic media and hopefully keep one step ahead of our competitors!”

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