A little recognition can go a long way. Working in the hospitality business, most travel and meeting professionals don’t expect a trophy after each successful conference or event. The role is about meeting the needs of others and silently guaranteeing everything runs smoothly.
A job well done usually involves smiling faces and positive feedback, not much more. But meeting and travel planners are some of the most important business drivers for the hotel industry, and Hilton believes it’s time they got their due. To do so, the company started WowMakers, a B2B marketing initiative meant to boost the morale of travel and meeting counselors, motivate them to keep innovating in their respective fields, and show that they not only care about their customers, but also their employees. And from now on, these professionals will be known to Hilton as WowMakers, acknowledging their mission to truly “wow” clients and event attendees.
Andrew Flack, vice president of marketing and ecommerce Americas at Hilton Worldwide, believes the WowMakers initiative is a way “to think about these individuals so that we can recognize and support them better, in particularly two things: Help them deliver more unique experiences and recognize the meeting and travel professional role in the process.”
To spotlight meeting professionals who are embracing the WowMakers attitudte, Hilton is conducting audio interviews, asking individuals to share their stories of how they got involved in the travel or meeting counselor business, how they tackle their projects, and why their work is important to them. The stories are then turned into an animated video depiction of that WowMaker. The WowMaker website Hilton created also includes a quiz to determine “Which WowMaker Are You?”, and infographics that give viewers a comedic peek into what not to do as a travel or meeting counselor, with ending statements like “Don’t be a Lame Larry. Book like a WowMaker.”
The program is also reaching out over social media. “We’re launching a Twitter competitio for travel counselors to submit their own great client experiences and win prizes by doing so. This gives people access to more and more great examples of what are doing, and as a tool to spur ourselves to keep innovating,” Says Flack. Using the #WowMakersContest, the Twitter competition will attempt to branch out to a wider audience and get more people involved to increase awareness for the initiative.
The first promotion for the WowMakers program took place yesterday at Hilton’s annual customer event at IMEX in Las Vegas. Here, the hotel brand introduced its first set of WowMakers stories in a “Museum of Wow,” using audio-visual displays of artifacts, including a nautical map of the Turkish coastline, a figurine of Marie Antionette from the Versailles gift shop, and a World War II helmet, among many others.