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The Strategy Room

Meet Melissa: Why Hospitality is Key to Hosting an Influencer

By: Melissa DiMercurio

Growing up in an off-the-boat Sicilian household was my first ever lesson in the importance of hospitality and how to authentically execute it. Nothing would prepare me for my future career more than when family would visit America from the old country.

I would watch as my parents and grandparents meticulously plan food menus, activities and itineraries galore to make sure that we would show the cousins the best that our home had to offer. And when we would visit Sicily, the same respect was bestowed on us.

It’s easy to see why I gravitated toward the people-centric world of the public relations and communications industry. It’s been a successful decade-long career that allowed me to follow the passion I had for hospitality as a core niche with the clients that I work with.

One of my expertise includes influencer marketing, a service that can have a remarkable impact when done right.  Here are a few key tips in hosting an influencer with a hospitable flair that will create a win-win experience for all involved:

Plan a Warm Welcome like Nonno Would

The importance of a first impression is something we learn early on in life, but often forget to apply. Don’t be afraid to have an open dialogue with your influencer about travel times and anticipate the best possible way to greet them.  For example, if your influencer is staying for a long weekend and won’t be arriving until late Friday evening – then plan to meet up with them in the morning to allow them time to settle in. You could also arrange for a welcome package to be waiting in their room with brochures, goodies and a printed itinerary for them as a simple, yet detailed, touch point for their first night.

Execute Authenticity as Much as Possible to Tell Your Story

Obviously, you’ll want the influencer to see everything that makes your destination unique, but the key is to also make them feel like a VIP insider. This will allow them to capture your story in a way that you can’t tell yourself. Lead with authenticity to provide unforgettable experiences that they will want to capture or write about for their target audience. Click To Tweet This is also a perfect opportunity to pull in partners or local businesses to help round out their trip.

Schedule Multiple Opportunities to Check in With Your Guest

I often see clients struggle with control when hosting an influencer. That tension can easily be felt in the way of jam-packed itineraries and zero wiggle room for exploring, which can lead to a negative experience overall.

The goal is always to show them the best time possible, because in the end they are still your guest. Click To Tweet You can easily avoid any issues by taking the time to talk through expectations with your influencer before their visit and schedule multiple touchpoints during their trip to make sure they are happy, but also covering the content you need.




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