Do you have female appeal?

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Alison Griffin, head of sales and marketing, Harrogate International Centre, argues that equality is dead and looks at how destinations appeal differently to men and women…

In professional terms and beyond, a talk about the difference between men and women is considered dull and out of sync with the modern world. However, gender issues are not always about rights, they are also about taste, choices and preferences. Feminism today is not overtly a sexist term; rather it defines a space, both real and subliminal, that gives women a sense of security, joy and the scope to indulge in pleasures that characteristically define womanhood.

In professional life, women, like their male counterparts, may have to travel to events, meetings, exhibitions and seminars. But it’s a challenge to find a destination that balances the key requirements of a female delegate – safety, hospitality and recreational options that don’t revolve around golf, football and beer. Of course everyone is on-site for business reasons, but they are far more likely to show up in the first place if the destination appeals.

We all know that the best forms of marketing appeal directly to a target group, the same is true of destinations. By focusing on the specific benefits of a location you can make sure it appeals to specific people. You could focus on the obvious, tried and tested methods of marketing… and in many cases this will work for certain delegate types. However, it is highly likely that there is more to what you offer and if it is women you are trying to reach then perhaps it is great shopping, safe streets and stylish dinning locations that you should push.

There has and always will be a difference between the needs of men and women, it is rarely now about equality but that doesn’t mean event organisers should assume that what works for one will work for another. And if you don’t believe me, ask a mixed group of your delegates.