Why Every Innkeeper Needs to Know About the AIHP Conference

February 24, 2017

Do you want to be on the cutting edge of the independent hospitality industry? Is your bed and breakfast or boutique hotel keeping up with current trends and technology? Would you like to meet innkeepers from across the country to build relationships and find new ways to improve your own business? If so, you need to attend the annual AIHP Conference.

AIHP Conference expert panelWe went to the inaugural AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace in 2016 and then again in 2017. This exciting event has quickly become a highlight for us each year because it allows us to visit with our bed and breakfast customers who attend and form new connections with other innkeepers that we meet.

But, time out. Let us back up. You might be thinking:

  • “What is AIHP again?”
  • “Why I haven’t I heard of that conference?”
  • “Should I be attending the next one?”

If so, we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. Let us properly introduce you to the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP). This fantastic organization is an outstanding resource that current, and aspiring, innkeepers need to know.

What Is the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals?

If you haven’t ever heard of AIHP, that’s okay. The non-profit trade group is still pretty new. In 2015, a group of experienced professionals in the hospitality industry teamed up to form a new organization. We were proud to be a Founding Member and Platinum Level Supporter of AIHP and continue to support their efforts for innkeepers through:

  • Networking
  • Advocacy
  • Professional development
  • Progressive business practice

AIHP is a champion for the independent hospitality industry and is committed to enhancing the innkeeping community. AIHP encourages the exchange of knowledge between members and company partners at the conference and through ongoing initiatives throughout the year.

The 2017 AIHP Conference was held in Long Beach, CA, on the Queen Mary.
The 2017 AIHP Conference was held in Long Beach, CA, on the Queen Mary.

Why Should Innkeepers Join AIHP?

You’ll find plenty of reasons to join AIHP online, but the main reason we are such advocates is our mutual belief that it’s important to share industry knowledge, which is one of our 12 Core Values.

As an innkeeper, you can gain a wealth of knowledge about the industry by joining AIHP. In addition, AIHP membership is an excellent way to boost your hospitality professional resume, connect with industry leaders, and to stay informed about the latest trends. You’ll also join a strong community of like-minded business owners who will provide support and encouragement throughout your innkeeping journey.

Past AIHP Conferences 

In 2016, AIHP held its first conference, the AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace, which we attended as an allied partner. Everything was top-notch, and the energy level was contagious. As its name suggests, the conference was a great place for hospitality industry professionals and innkeepers to get together, build relationships, share information, and to learn new things. There were networking opportunities, workshops and educational opportunities, think tanks, learning labs, and more.

In 2017, AIHP joined forces with Select Registry and the California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns (CABBI) to form a fantastic partnership. The three groups hosted their first joint event in February. The InnSpire Conference and Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace was held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

We always enjoy catching up with our customers, like Susan and Don from the Farmers Guest House, at AIHP Conferences!
Visiting with customers like Susan and Don from the Farmers Guest House is always a conference highlight!

This incredible conference was an exciting time for us to engage with innkeepers. We always love meeting new people who are passionate about what they do and looking for ways to grow, such as the innkeepers at Oak Lodge and Captain Farris House. We also look forward having some fun and seeing familiar faces during our customer dinner. Visiting one-on-one with clients and industry partners is always a highlight for us.

Why AIHP Conferences Are a Big Deal

As we mentioned earlier, the AIHP Conference is an important event for bed and breakfast owners to attend because it’s where the movers and shakers in the industry make big announcements. Being at the conference is the best way for you to stay on the cutting edge. You’ll be the first to know about new and exciting industry trends, products, and more!

For example, the 2017 AIHP Conference introduced us to other new technologies and solutions within the industry. ThinkReservations unveiled a new Marketplace that allows users to add in third-party apps to enhance their booking engine. One app that got a lot of attention was a program called CartStack, which will enable automatic “abandoned cart” emails to go out to people who start the booking process but don’t complete it.

We also enjoyed an excellent presentation from Tim Piper at InnPartners about the value of having packages on your website. He pointed out that not only are they a way to upsell, but they’re also a way to re-market to existing customers. The idea is that after someone has booked, they may want to add more/improve their stay by adding a package.

For us, announcing our responsive, stand-alone boutique hotel or bed and breakfast website solution to the industry was another exciting moment of the 2017 conference. Now, in addition to our destination marketing services, Q4Launch is proud to offer premier website design services without a marketing contract.

We love our customers (like Buzz and Mark from Topside Inn) and are glad they love us, too!

Attend the Next AIHP Conference

It’s time to start making plans to attend the next AIHP conference yourself! If you are interested in starting an independent bed and breakfast or boutique hotel, you’ll learn useful information about the industry. You’ll find an informative aspiring innkeepers seminar and can learn from other innkeepers you will meet at the conference.

Are you already a bed and breakfast or boutique hotel owner? You’ll benefit from the AIHP conference, too! Sign up now and prepare to learn about new trends in the industry, tap into resources that can help make your business successful, and more.

Other Great Conferences and Resources for Innkeepers

Did you miss the AIHP conference this year? If so, not to worry! There are plenty of other hospitality professional associations, conferences and educational opportunities available. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) is another organization with over 25 years in the industry. The annual PAII conference, America’s Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show, is a gathering of industry experts and influencers.

In addition, there are a variety of workshops, programs, and resources at your disposal online. You can advance your knowledge of the hospitality industry with help from:

Q4Launch and AIHP: A Perfect Match

As AIHP founding contributors, we have been dedicated to the success of the organization since it began in 2015. Then, in 2017, we became a Platinum Level Supporter for AIHP. We strengthened our partnership because AIHP wholeheartedly supports our customers, a majority of which are bed and breakfast owners. We also applaud AIHP’s efforts to help enhance the lives of their members, which is in line with another one of our core values.

In a press release announcing this partnership, our founder Matt Bare says, “We’re excited to announce our Platinum Level Partnership with AIHP as we continue to align our organizations further and work together for mutually beneficial growth that benefits us both and most importantly innkeepers we serve!”

The press release also quotes Rob Fulton, CEO of Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals. Fulton said, “This partnership will also provide us an opportunity to showcase Q4Launch’s team, talent, and expertise to our innkeeping members. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.”

We can’t wait to see what is next for AIHP! In the meantime, consider joining the organization and attending the next AIHP conference. We’ll see you there!

Now, Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves!

We’ve been so busy singing AIHP’s praises that we haven’t had the chance to tell you very much about Q4Launch! Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are an inbound marketing company that helps businesses get found online and convert online traffic into leads and sales.

Look for us at the next AIHP conference or check us out online. Either way, you can learn more about the website design and destination marketing services we provide to bed and breakfast owners across the country! If you’d like more info, get in touch. We’d love to provide you with a complimentary 30-minute marketing consultation, answer your questions, and help you build your business’s online presence!

Photo credit: Getty Images- monkeybusinessimageslittleny | Matt Bare

Lauren Balmer | Customer Experience Manager
Learn More About Me and Q4Launch on LinkedIn today!