Whist working at Dartington Hall as Marketing Manager it became very obvious that a new website was needed in order to make the most of online bookings as possible.
After some research into what was needed and a quote from a Hotel Webdesign specialist of £14000 (before optional extras and with me still needing to provide copy and photography), I decided to make the site myself, including copy and photography. This decision in many ways, has lead me to where I am now as a self employed web designer and digital consultant.
The Dartington Hall website needed to be quite a large site, four in one really, with sections of the 50 Bed & Breakfast Rooms, The Restaurant, as a Wedding Venue and as a Conference Centre.
It is a real challenge for Hotels and Bed and Breakfast’s to compete with the marketing power and spend of the dot coms e.g. Bookings.com , Lastminute.com etc. But with 15% of every booking made going to these large companies, a good responsive website and search engine optimisation is a must. Over the first 6 months, the site saw an increase in nearly 30% in visitor numbers.
Whilst at Dartington I also established a strong monthly e-newsletter, which became the main focus for a cheap way to distribute the latest offers and increase customer engagement.
Dartington Hall now manage the website for themselves, but I still have close links with many of my ex colleagues and still do the occasional bit of print design for them.