Earlier this week the members of The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association met at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for their annual meeting and conference. The conference began with a special day of presentations for Aspiring Innkeepers. Sixteen future innkeepers learned about the profession from experts in business, financing, and insurance and received lots of advice from practicing innkeepers about marketing, policies, record keeping and websites. Tours of local B&B’s were enjoyed by many of the conference attendees. The keynote presentation was delived on Monday morning by Jay Karen of PAII. His message encouraged innkeepers to reach out to the next generation of guests by listening to their needs and desires. The rest of Monday and Tuesday were filled with interesting workshops, a trade show, and probably most importantly, time for the members of WBBA to share time with old friends and welcome some new ones into this family of innkeepers.
What does happen when innkeepers get together? Do they tell horror stories about bad guests? No, well maybe a little bit but innkeepers are really a positive group sharing the feeling that B&B guests are a very special group of people who make a conscious choice to be a guest at a B&B. So innkeepers time together is a time to share best practices, tidbits of vendor information, and recipes and breakfast menu plans. It really is a time to recharge and then go back to their B&B’s with a long, long list of ideas, projects, and concepts to explore during the slightly quieter months ahead.
So, a new year begins now before January even rolls around. There is blogging to do, facebook to do better, pictures to take (especially food pictures), rooms to refurbish or redecorate, a cookbook to create, new marketing techniques to master, and time management issues to resolve. You can share my journey on facebook, if you care to. It promises to be interesting.