Emerging travel and lifestlye trends in digital publishing

Yesterday, we participated in a webinar with Nxtbook Media on the subject of Digital Publishing. Our founder, Frances Kiradjian, was interviewed by Nxtbook Media, a BLLA Sponsoring company!

Here is the announcement by Nxtbook Media  for more information on the topic of emerging travel and lifestyle trends in digital publishing:

Boutique, lifestyle, hotel and travel industry has emerged as a growing market, especially among travelers looking for a unique or themed experience. But in an increasingly digital world, how can hoteliers and boutique designers remain on the cutting edge and win new business?

Whether targeting travelers always on the go, inns with specialty amenities, or a greater audience with lifestyle living in mind, digital publishing can empower you to make a bigger and better impact. In a webinar presented live Tuesday, May 29th at 2:00 pm ET Nxtbook Media and the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) partner together to bring you the best ideas in using today’s technology to make your materials more compelling.

In this webinar you will discover how several businesses in the industry, including BLLA, have used digital catalogs, brochures and magazines to reach new audiences with their brand. Hear how mobile options fit into the future of the industry, and how you can ensure travelers can find your materials no matter where they are. Get a glimpse into how some businesses seamlessly integrate their current print materials with exciting rich media to inspire travelers to choose their resort, hotel, or lodging. 

Missed the webinar? Well, lucky for you, we have parts of the interview with Frances Kiradjian below. Happy reading!

Tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve been doing professionally.
I’ve spent most of my life in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.  Funny, but this last week I attended a specialized conference on rfp technology and you had the ability to add a ribbon to your badge.  I selected “Been There, Done That” as it really describes my career in this industry that I absolutely love.  It’s given me and my family a great life and it is chock-full of amazing people and the most interesting news and events in the world.  Who wouldn’t want to experience our globe through the eyes of hospitality?

Tell us a little about BLLA and the boutique/lifestyle hotel industry
BLLA is making big inroads into recognition for the association through worldwide conference participation, marketing and strategic partnership collaboration.  The industry morphs every week and things are in continual motion as far as development, emerging trends and consolidation.  The creative side of this hospitality sector keeps the buzz loud and interest high.

You have been publishing materials digitally for quite some time. What was your first experience with digital publishing, and how did that convince you digital was the way to go?
I first used Nxtbook digital publishing over 15 years ago when I wanted to cut costs on printing, mailing and labor for our monthly newsletters to over 25,000 locations. At the same time, I wanted our company to look cutting-edge on the side of marketing. It was a huge expense and this was an opportunity to make it more convenient and extremely cost effective for our company.  Plus, we actually had more time to work on it because printing, labor and mail time adds up.  So at the end of the day, the best decision we ever made.

What kinds of materials have you made digital? (ex: magazines, brochures, guides)
Newsletters
Hotel Directories
Training Instructions for Portal Use with demos/links
Postcards
Invitations

What were your goals or strategy in creating digital publications?
In addition to the above, our goal was to significantly increase our marketing reach while reducing cost.At the same time, it was a real plus too. 

Reduce waste and our carbon footprint. If you’ve ever been to a travel and tourism trade show, the amount of paper waste is quite disturbing!

Enhance the quality of our marketing turning it into a digital showpiece and include links to videos and images as well as auto-linking to our social media sites and websites.

Let’s talk about your newest digital endeavor, the BLLA Award book. You were previously providing readers a PDF version of this book. Why did you decide you wanted a digital version?
Digital allows your readers to better interact with a printed piece, including links as well as provides a higher quality and more professional image of your marketing brochures, thus elevating your company and brand to a much higher level.  Quite simple actually.

What kind of response have you had to the book?
We noticed an uptick in the open rate of our Nxtbook brochure vs. pdf.  Plus, the ability to click on links made it a piece that allowed users to be interactive in so many different ways, like increasing the size or decreasing to page view to glance through the piece before narrowing down what they wanted to focus on.

In a broader view, the boutique industry sets itself apart by offering differentiated product offerings, attention to customized amenities, and disrupting the feel of consistency set by some of the giants like Holiday Inn or the Marriott. How can digital play into that strength?
Digital brochures can engage customers much deeper than trying to click through a website.  Boutique & lifestyle hotels must pay attention to the top technologies in order to be seen as ‘edgy, customer focused, design and creative oriented.’  Digital publishing is one way to do this.

Let’s talk audience. Right now, your primary digital audience is for sponsors and other Boutique and Lifestyle hotels. In what ways do you see the use of digital in your industry expanding to including materials for consumers and guests?
Every hotel website should be thinking about including digital brochures for every area of the hotel as well as one with a general overview.  It should also link to experiential videos (which BLLA also offers members) and have the ability to forward to others.

Interested in learning more about emerging trends in the hospitality industry? Don’t forget to register for the upcoming International Boutique & Lifestyle Leadership Symposium on  October 22-24, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA, USA!

Love,
THE BLLA-ger

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