Archive for the ‘Nebraska’ Category

Some Guidelines for Staying in a Bed and Brekfast or Inn

Monday, June 13th, 2016

by Linda Burchell Ard

Although staying in a bed or breakfast while traveling in Europe is pretty common, many American have never stayed in this type of lodging facility. During breakfast recently, I asked some guests from England and Germany what they would want to tell Americans about staying in a Bed & Breakfast or Inn.
They said B&Bs are a great way to travel and really learn about areas. The locals always know, among other things, the best places to eat, and the cheapest places to buy gas, and the highway construction areas to avoid. They can also recommend interesting local activities, historic sites and even fun shopping. The properties are well loved and so clean—and the breakfasts are freshly made and delicious. The innkeepers are usually very friendly and welcoming so it is like staying with family.
Then I asked, “How is this different from staying in hotels or motels?”
They said that sometimes, when you are in a hurry and are just looking for a convenient bed for the night, a motel might work better. But many hotel rooms look just the same and some are noisy or brightly lighted. The guestrooms are not relaxing and lack charm.
Feeling on a roll, I continued with, “Some people who haven’t stayed in Bed and Breakfasts are concerned that they might not know the right way to act in a B&B.”
The couple laughed at this question and the wife explained that her husband still didn’t know the right way to act. He just shook his head and agreed. Then, combining their wealth of experience, they clicked off a few simple suggestions:
• Remember that you are staying in someone’s home so you’ll want to be respectful.
• Ring the doorbell, unless directed otherwise, before walking in.
• If you arrived before check-in (usually 4 to 6 p.m.), your room might not be ready. Also, if you are going to be later than you had planned, just contact the innkeeper in case she/he has made plans for the evening or needs to run to the store.
• Every Bed and Breakfast is unique and has different policies so ask the innkeeper. There are often rules about children, pets, parking, smoking, use of alcohol, forms of payment, or cancellation.
• In most Bed and Breakfasts, there are “common areas” for the guests to use and enjoy as well as private areas reserved for the innkeepers, their staff and families. Such areas may be used for storage, office work, meal preparation or just relaxing. It is important to respect the innkeepers’ need for privacy.
I thought their advice might be helpful for other folks who have always thought it would be fun to stay in a Bed and Breakfast but never had the experience.
As I cleaned up the breakfast table, they were getting ready to pack up and hit the road again. Before they left, I got hugs from both of them and I wished them safe travels. They stopped to pat Buster, our friendly farm dog, and take a picture of the Inn. I bet that departing ritual doesn’t happen often at most motels or hotels!
Linda Burchell Ard and her husband Bob are Innkeepers and owners of at Burchell’s White Hill Farmhouse Inn, historical bed and breakfast located in the middle of a family owned working farm in Minden, NE. To learn more, visit “http://www.burchellfarmhouseinn.com” or Burchell’s White Hill Farmhouse Inn on Facebook or email blard@gtmc.net. You can also check out wonderful Nebraska B&B locations at www.nebraskabb.com and enjoy the better way to stay.

Facebook takes on the #hashtag

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Facebook is constantly updating and adding new tools, for users and advertisers.  The newest tool: the hashtag.  If you use twitter, you know the general purpose of the hashtag.  But how does it work on Facebook, and how can we use it to advertise and find people interested in our type of business?  If you’re looking for a way to connect with potential guests and customers outside your current “sphere of influence” on facebook, hashtags can help.

Check out this article for more information:

http://gigaom.com/2013/06/23/facebooks-hashtags-will-be-great-for-marketers-users-not-so-much/

 

Small Business Week: June 17- June 21

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

June 17th- June 21st is the nationwide Small Business Week!

Constant Contact is offering great online educational tools, including Marketing Minute articles, weekly Webinars, and Seminars near you.  Check out their great tips on managing your small business’ Facebook page, Using YouTube and Video marketing, and learn how to register for great conferences near you!  These marketing tips and other resources are perfect for Bed and Breakfast owners and innkeepers.

Marketing Minute Below: 

 

Webinars Every Week:

This Week’s WebinarRev Up Your Results with YouYube or Video Marketing

-June 6th

-Free

-Time: 9am-10am

Register Today & View Details

you must register to view webinar

Evening WebinarGetting Started with Constant Contact Email Marketing

– June 11th

-Free

-Time: EVENING 8:00pm- 9:00 pm

Register Today & View Details

you must register to view webinar

 

 

Upcoming WebinarGetting Started with Constant Contact Email Marketing

– June 20th

-Free

-Time: 9:00am- 10:00 am

Register Today & View Details

you must register to view webinar

 

Seminars in Nebraska

OmahaDon’t Miss Out on:

2013 MarkeTech Conference
in Omaha.  The conference is focused on Connecting Marketing and Technology.

Speakers Fat Brain Toys, Yahoo, Constant Contact, and More!  

June 12th

Time: 8am-4pm

Cost: $50 per person Select the Constant Contact Price Option.

See Agenda and Register Today! 

 

Papillion

10 Tips to Creating a Successful Email Campaign That Will Get You Results

June13th

Cost: 1 Business Card

Learn More & Register Today

Bellevue

10 Tips to Go and Grow Your Social Media Marketing

June14th-Limited Seating 

Cost: 1 Business Card

Learn More & Register Today

 

Lincoln 

See How to Create an Email Campaign That Will Drive Results

June 11th

Cost: 1 Business Card

Learn More & Register Today 

  

 

 

Adding a Facebook Username to Make Searching Simpler

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Facebook now has the feature of adding a Username to your Bed and Breakfasts Facebook page, or any page really.  This makes it much easier for potential guests and people searching the internet to find your page.  Here at the Nebraska Association of Bed and Breakfast, we chose to set our username to nebraskabb.  This means that you can now find us on Facebook by simply going to https://www.facebook.com/nebraskabb.  Before our Facebook web address was much longer and more complicated.   The great thing about a shorter Facebook web address is that it is easier to remember and also looks better on promotional material like flyers and business cards!

To set your new Facebook username go to https://www.facebook.com/username.

TripAdvisor is “Rolling out the green carpet”

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Recently, TripAdvisor hosted a free webinar to educate people on their new GreenLeaders program.   TripAdvisor created this program for two main purposes: to help lodging properties get recognized for their environmentally sustainable efforts and to make it easier for travelers to plan and book green trips. There is currently a big movement in environmental practices in hotels but unfortunately over 75% of hotels don’t communicate their green practices to guests outside their hotel premises.

The GreenLeaders program was launched on April 22, 2013, which was also Earth Day.  The program highlights hotels and B&Bs with green practices by determining their “GreenLeader level” and then advertising that directly on their TripAdvisor listing.  GreenLeader levels include bronze, silver, gold and platinum.  Each level requires different elements of green practices and a hotel or B&B can list all of their green practices for travelers to view.  A traveler can also search on the TripAdvisor website specifically for green hotels and B&Bs and hotels with specific green practices.

If you would like to view the entire webinar, please visit our NABB Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nebraska-Association-of-Bed-and-Breakfast/156291571100557?fref=ts

Or go to http://green.tripadvisor.com/ to find out more about the program, take a survey, or apply!

Multigenerational vacations a growing travel trend

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I found this interesting article on a Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) Weekly News email.  Large family groups on vacations may need multiple rooms and even living spaces, which a Bed and Breakfast can offer.  At a B&B you can even eat breakfast together in a nice homey  environment before starting your day of adventure.  Many NABB member inns can accommodate families looking for a place to gather.

 

Multigenerational vacations a growing travel trend

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

FARGO – The family vacation has taken on a whole new meaning for several Fargo-Moorhead area families.

They not only travel with the members of their own household, but with parents, siblings and their families as well.

More families are taking multigenerational vacations by bringing grandma and grandpa along. Preferred Hotel Group, which represents independent luxury hotels and resorts, calls it one of the hottest trends in travel and hospitality.

A few months ago, Shauna Vistad of West Fargo took a weeklong Caribbean cruise with her husband, kids, brother and parents.

She said it was an important trip because her dad had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the previous March and given three to six months to live.

“To give him something to look forward to, we planned this cruise outside of that six-month time period,” Vistad said. “It was an opportunity for him to take his grandkids on a special trip. He wanted to take his grandkids swimming with dolphins.”

Vistad said it was essential for her kids to have that time with their grandpa, who is still fighting his disease. One of her favorite memories is of her dad swimming with dolphins. When he flew out of the water, perched on the dolphins’ noses, he had the same joyful expression on his face that her children had, she said.

“You have the opportunity to create memories together,” Vistad said. “Rather than just coming back and telling people about that experience, you get to share it with the ones you love the most.”

According to a Preferred Hotel Group poll, 40 percent of families went on a multigenerational vacation in the past year. About 77 percent planned it around a milestone event like a birthday, anniversary, family reunion or wedding.

Michael Gustafson of Moorhead went to Disney World with his family of five, his sister’s family of four and his parents for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in the fall of 2011.

“It’s just something we’ve done for years,” he said. “We find it’s a very nice way to do things. My parents might not go on some of these trips if they wouldn’t do it with us to help them get around.”

Taking a multigenerational trip also gave Gustafson, his wife, his sister and her husband a chance to go out on their own while their kids stayed with their grandparents, Gustafson said.

Holly Leistikow of Fargo said almost all of their family vacations include at least one set of their kids’ grandparents.

“We all love to travel and it’s sometimes a little easier to have a set of grandparents along to help entertain or let them watch the kids for a night while we go out,” Leistikow said.

Planning is more difficult with more people, but Grandma and Grandpa can help alleviate children’s tantrums and help parents put the situation into perspective, Leistikow said.

“It’s good for our kids to have those extra sets of influences in their lives,” she said.

There are several reasons multigenerational vacations have become so popular in recent years, according to the study:

• Evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for escape through travel.

• Baby boomers are “trading briefcases for roller bags” and want to take their kids and grandkids with them.

• Families are living farther apart than at any time in history and a multigenerational trip is often the best way for them to gather in one place.

Heather Johnson of Fargo and her brother don’t talk frequently, but a recent multigenerational family vacation gave them bonding time and helped her get to know his kids better, she said.

They took a trip to Mount Rushmore with their families and their parents last summer for their parents’ 45th wedding anniversary. All 13 people shared a large log house for a week, she said.

“This was the best vacation we had been on as a family and I would absolutely want to do it again,” Johnson said.

Though the trip included things like waterslides, goldmine tours, museums, and of course, visiting Mount Rushmore, Johnson said the best part was bonding over family games at the rental house.

“It really builds a relationship,” she said.

With seven children, ages 8 to 16, they worried there would be bickering and drama, but it went much better than expected, she said.

“That was our biggest worry,” she said.

She said the key was planning days where families could go do their own thing in between the days where everyone stayed together.

“It gave us and the kids a break,” Johnson said. “That really cut down on the frustration level that could happen.”

Communication is key to making multigenerational vacations work.

Family members need to be clear about their expectations, both scheduling and financial, Vistad said. It’s also crucial to understand you can’t please everyone and you’re going to have to make compromises, she said.

Vistad recommends letting one person organize the trip.

“I’m like a cowboy trying to heard water,” she said. “It gets to be a bit of a challenge.”

Nebraska tourism director to help promote newly recognized Underground Railroad sites

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Nebraska tourism director to help promote newly recognized Underground Railroad sites

 

LINCOLN, NEB. (May 2, 2012)—Three Nebraska City sites and one program will be recognized Thursday for their inclusion in the National Park Service’s national Underground Railroad program.

 

Kathy McKillip, director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Travel and Tourism Division, will be on hand for a 12:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony at the Old Freighters Museum, 407 N. 14th St., Nebraska City.

 

The ceremony, sponsored by the Nebraska City Tourism & Commerce office, will commemorate the new Network to Freedom listings in Nebraska. The National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program coordinates preservation and education efforts of Underground Railroad sites nationwide.

 

Last year, Arlington High School teacher Barry Jurgensen and his students conducted research on sites related to the Underground Railroad. Three of the Nebraska City sites, along with one program, Dr. Sara Crook’s portrayal of Barbara Mayhew, were added to the Network to Freedom program last August. The sites are:

 

  • The Nuckolls Residence, where two slaves, Eliza Grayson and Celia, owned by Stephen F. Nuckolls escaped on Nov. 26, 1958.
  • The Majors Residence, the site of the escape of six slaves, owned by Alexander Majors, in 1860.
  • Camp Creek Cemetery, where Barbara (Kagy) Mahew Bradway is buried. She and her husband lived in Mayhew Cabin when it was part of the Underground Railroad.

 

The new listings will complement the Mayhew Cabin, which is already part of the Network to Freedom.

 

The Mayhew Cabin Foundation recently received funding from the Nelson Family Foundation of Nebraska City to install outdoor markers recognizing the history of the new Network to Freedom sites and creating a driving tour.

NABB Member Writes Articles About B&B Industry

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Cher Maybee is co-owner with her husband of Barn Anew Bed and Breakfast in Mitchell, Nebraska–near Scottsbluff and Gering. Please add her first and last name to the end of this link in order to read these articles. There are about 5 so far…

http://www.geringcitizen.com/articles.php?ID=894&Member_ID&l&First_Name&Last_Name

How to Use Foursquare to Get Reviews for Your Local Business

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

How to Use Foursquare to Get Reviews for Your Local Business

April 17, 2012 By

Obtaining positive reviews and testimonials is an essential component of a customer acquisition and retention strategy. According to the most recent Local Consumer Review Survey, 76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use, and 52% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations (Source: HubSpot). From an SEO perspective, the good folks over at Bizible have found that having an average Google review of one star or less significantly hurts your business’ ranking in the local listings (Source: Search Engine Land).

Clearly reviews are important, but actually getting existing customers to leave them is easier said than done.

That’s where Foursquare comes in. Although the free check-in app is itself a great promotional and loyalty-building tool for brick-and-mortar businesses, for our purposes, it has two distinct benefits. First, because it’s integrated with Twitter, it gives you direct access to your customers. Second, by nature of who’s most likely to actually check in, it more specifically gives you access to your most loyal brand advocates. After all, if a customer goes as far as to publicly announce that he or she’s visiting your storefront, it’s pretty safe to assume that they had a positive experience. These are the people you want to leave reviews!

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. When a user checks in via Foursquare, they also have the option of announcing the check-in via their personal Facebook and/or Twitter profile. Most Facebook profiles are set to private, so let’s focus on Twitter. Here’s what the typical check-in looks like in a Twitter stream:

Ideally, we want to get a notification every time a customer check ins to your business using Foursquare and publishes the check-in on his or her Twitter account. That way, you can follow up with the customer to thank them for their visit and to ask them to leave a review while the experience’s still fresh in their mind.

There are quite a few ways to set this up. If you can afford to monitor real-time notifications, consider signing up for a free HootSuite account and set up keyword monitoring for your business name. For optimal results, don’t actually listen for exact matches. As an example, although the name of our company is St. Pete Bagel Co., very few people actually include the “Co.”, hence we monitor for mentions of “Pete Bagel”.

If you’re a small business owner with limited time, daily email notifications may be a more realistic option. Again, lot of options here, but my personal favorite is Twilert. The setup is simple, and takes only a few seconds to configure – connect with your Twitter profile, enter your keyword(s), and designate when you’d like to receive notifications.

Apple to Launch App Tools for Non-Geeks

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Apple to Launch App Tools for Non-Geeks

If Apple lives up to its promise, you’ll be able to build apps yourself–no coding required.

Computer Code

Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t terribly technical–present company included. I may know my way around a computer and an iPhone, but coding? I’ve met people who can code better with one hand than I can with two.

Good thing one need not hold a degree in computer science to do some pretty cool and “techie” things. The power of user-friendly tools to create websites, original content, and apps is only growing. And Apple is about to launch a tool that may only increase it.

Let’s talk about apps.

App Evolution

Early app development required at least some degree of technical sophistication. While useful, the average Joe Six-Pack could not effectively use software development kits (SDKs) provided by Apple and Google. In 2010 when I launched an app for my third book, The New Small, I had plenty of help. (I worked with Marisa Smith of The Whole Brain Group.) In the words of William Hurley, co-founder of mobile development company Chaotic Moon:

SDKs have come a long way in general. For example in the early days of app development, there was no SDK for the iPhone. Apple simply said that “no software developer kit is required for the iPhone.” As a developer, you were limited to developing Web applications. The lack of an SDK not only made it hard to develop for the iPhone, it also severely limited what could be done in general; leaving many to say that the iPhone would never be a killer device. Apple however soon saw the error of its ways and started to make SDKs that gave the company a tremendous market advantage in the app game.

It should be no surprise that Apple is continuing to push the envelope here. According to recent reports, it’s working on “a new digital content authoring tool [that] could make it simple for people without a background in programming to build their own iOS applications for the iPhone and iPad.”

For the “non-techie” small business owner, this could be huge. Strike the app development costs from the budget!

It turns out that Google has already beaten Apple to the punch here by releasing a similar “non-developer” toolkit. Google App Inventor (originally released in 2010 and now maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) “allows anyone, including people unfamiliar with computer programming, to create software applications for the Android operating system (OS).”

Surprising? Hardly. The search giant has for years been diversifying its platform to include different planks: Think YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Android, etc.

Parallels to Previous Times

There are a few interesting parallels here. First, back in the mid-1990s, one essentially needed to be a programmer to create reports and databases. Tools like Microsoft Access changed all that with more visually oriented programs that obviated the need to properly code. The notion of WYSIWYG allowed many people to do things previously not possible without months of studying.

Ten years ago, website design was much more arduous and not for the faint of heart. That has changed. For years, robust content management systems like WordPress allow non-Web designers to create relatively inexpensive, powerful, and visually compelling websites.

And a similar shift is taking place in the app world. While not quite the same as Web design (yet), there are already apps and services that let you create your own apps (metaapps, if you will). Case in point: AppCooker claims on its website that it lets you create you own iOS app “whether you are a pro or an amateur.”

Ultimately, whether Apple’s DIY app tools will have similar impacts to database development and Web design is anyone’s guess. Perhaps Apple will democratize and facilitate app development for the masses. It might take a few tries to get it right, but Apple’s track record these days is hard to bet against.

Phil Simon is the author of four management books. His fourth, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business, is his most ambitious yet. @philsimon



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