Friday 24 February 2012

Deeside Guest House Launches New Website

Sometimes things work out okay after all - in spite of our best efforts to screw them up!.

We were asked to present at a workshop in Boat of Garten in the autumn of last year about online reservations and increasing website conversion. Being a little smart, I thought we’d do something slightly different and use a linked image gallery to make the presentation instead of  a tried and trusted and frequently amended PowerPoint presentation.

Did it work? Did it hell!

The feedback reviews for our presentation were the lowest I think we’d ever received and lagged well behind the other speakers. Tail between our legs and lesson well learned.

However out of it did come a few very good follow ups and one of these lead finally to the launch of a new website for a fantastic Guest House in Braemar – Callater Lodge.

I say finally because when Andy at Callater Lodge called us we were just in final testing of the new Content Management System which we using to drive our new suite of Open Rooms MM12 website packages for accommodation providers.

“Final Testing” does cover a multitude of descriptions however and as a result the site did take a few week longer to complete than it should have done. However it is now live with what we think is a more contemporary slant on the Highland hospitality website featuring some great images and most importantly good content.

The site also utilises the functions of the Bookassist Booking Engine with fully integrated room reservations in the website (not linking out) and the same availability is also shown live in real time on the Guest House’s own Facebook page.

Ian McCaig of Plan B said, “We were a big bit frustrated that we didn’t get the site live when we said we would be but we are belatedly happy with the results. Being a small guest house in The Highlands shouldn’t mean that there should be any sacrifice in website functionality and the new site now combines Callater Lodge’s own social media activities with a full Content Management System and a highly specified booking engine that can offer promotional pricing, sell vouchers, utilise Discount Codes and a whole lot more. We look forward to helping Andy develop the site functionality and online presence as we progress.”

The Open Rooms MM12 packages were created and built around the needs of small hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and self-catering operations and are integrated fully with the award winning Bookassist Booking Engine.

Based on an ever expanding series of template strictures each site is then given a full make over which transforms the template into a bespoke designed fully content managed website with online booking from the start.

Andy Shore from Callater Lodge gave his view on the process, “I went to the meeting in Boat of Garten with a view to gaining knowledge about new technology, booking engines and mobile applications. Ian is right actually; his presentation wasn’t the best! But after chatting with him one to one it was clear his enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to help was all there. I had no hesitation in enlisting Plan B to design our new website and integrated booking system. As Ian has mentioned there have been a few hiccups along the way but as with any new system that was not unexpected. We now have what we think is a great working website and online booking system, which is already proving its worth.

We look forward to our continued relationship with Ian & Plan B to further develop our electronic media and hopefully keep one step ahead of our competitors!”

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