Aspiring Innkeepers Hotel Reservations Conference Schedule

InnSpire 2011 - Celebrating 20 Years


The 2011 InnSpire Conference & Trade Show hosted by the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) was recently held at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego, CA. Conference attendees experienced two days of intense educational workshops and a trade show packed with attendee-exclusive discount offers. This year marked CABBI's 20th anniversary and innkeepers enjoyed a special anniversary celebration, joining together to honor CABBI's founding members and past presidents.

Here's what InnSpire 2011 attendees are saying:

"Wonderful conference -- well-organized, friendly and knowledgeable staff, great innkeepers!"

"Loved the conference, love CABBI, look forward to going to Sacramento next year."

"I look forward to CABBI every year. It's great to see other owners facing the same problems as we do, and gives us a chance to flesh out our ideas to make everything better for the guests."

"All the speakers and roundtable people I heard were knowledgeable, engaging. I came away with a great deal of useful information."

"I learned a lot!"

Conference Highlights

The 20th annual California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) InnSpire Conference and Trade Show in San Diego ran January 30 - February 1, 2011 at the San Diego Mission Valley Marriott. The 100-plus attendees of this year's InnSpire helped celebrate CABBI's 20th anniversary and honor CABBI's founding members and past presidents.

On Sunday afternoon, attendees enjoyed some exclusive time in the trade show with exhibitors. "We've been attending the InnSpire Conference for the past 6 years and we absolutely love it." said Robie LaPort of WowiZowi Productions. "Every year we learn something new and bring home a new idea or two… especially from 'Tool Time' Rick Anderson. It's such an amazing group of people. We love to see all our old friends and meet new ones."

Monday night's 20th anniversary reception and dinner fiesta were a big hit among those eager to celebrate 20 amazing years of CABBI. Founding member and CABBI's first president, Don Martine of the Martine Inn in Pacific Grove, provided dinner guests with a look back at the history of CABBI as he helped honor founding members and past presidents in attendance. Special guest Cassandra Hazen joined him on stage to recap the early days of CABBI and how it came to be the nation's most successful bed & breakfast association.

At this year's conference, half of the seminars were devoted to topics such as mobile marketing strategies, search engine optimization, blogging, and Internet and social media tools. Unlike other segments of the hospitality industry where staffing is large enough to permit employees to focus on individual areas of expertise, bed and breakfast innkeepers wear dozens of hats, ranging from chef to gardener to housekeeper to online marketing strategist. Workshops included "Demystifying Search Engine Optimization," "Blogging for Success," "Find it, Claim it and be Seen in Google Places," and "Mobile Marketing Strategies for California B&Bs." Other popular workshops at this year's InnSpire Conference included our quick-fire Q&A session titled "Ask and Innkeeper" and "The Yin and Yang of Rate and Occupancy: Revenue Management for B&B Owners."

This year's InnSpire Trade Show featured many new and repeat exhibitors, both with a variety of exciting new products. In attendance were more than 40 vendors who supply innkeepers with the products and services that are essential to running their business. Conference attendees could see, smell and touch the amenities offered. There were opportunities to talk one-on-one with Internet marketing companies, insurance providers, amenity suppliers and more.

During the CABBI Update and Luncheon on Tuesday, the Inspiring Ideas Winners were announced. Paul Bullock of the Eagle Inn won for his inspiring idea about participating in LivingSocial coupons to encourage bookings during the slow season. Lani Eklund of the Inn at Locke House shared her inspiring idea to invite people to "Weed. Feed. And Stay." And Peggy Mosley of the Groveland Hotel presented her inspiring idea about marketing her resident ghost Lyle with a Ghost Hunter Package including a t-shirt.

Read the press release about this year's event: CABBI InnSpire Conference Keeps B&B Innkeepers on the Cutting Edge of Online Marketing Innovations

Innkeeping as a Profession (IAP) Workshop

Before the main conference, 8 aspiring innkeepers, including San Diego State University hospitality two students, attended the two-day Innkeeping As a Profession (IAP) workshop to learn about the industry and what it takes to run a bed and breakfast on a day-to-day basis. Here's what IAP attendees had to say:

"We got some great insights into the bed and breakfast industry."

"Overall a great view of the innkeeping world!"

A Special Thank You

A special thank you to Christine Gustafson of InnLight Marketing for helping to capture the memories of the InnSpire Conference through her photography. InnLight is a full-service marketing and publicity program designed by Christine Gustafson. To learn more visit

Thank you to Hacienda de las Rosas for donating wine for the Trade Show Opening Reception and to HammerSky Vineyards for donating wine for the CABBI 20th anniversary reception.
Thank you the following companies for donating items to the InnSpire Silent Auction: Comphy Company, Hillcrest House Bed and Breakfast, Lanier Publishing International, BookingCenter, Captain's Inn at Moss Landing, Groveland Hotel, Martine Inn, Private Quarters, Hotel Drisco and Monarch Robes.

An extra special thank you to the members of the 2011 InnSpire Conference Committee. Thank you for all your feedback and efforts towards making the conference a success. InnSpire Conference Committee members include: Bruce Abney of the El Morocco Inn & Spa, Jim and Carol Beazley of the Beazley House Bed and Breakfast, Ann Callahan of Hillcrest House Bed and Breakfast, Doug Cook of Brannan Cottage Inn, Lani Eklund of Inn at Locke House, Margo Graham of the Goodman House, Dick Lopez of Lodging Property Brokers, Stephanie McCaffrey of the McCaffrey House Bed and Breakfast and Marjorie Woodbridge of Casa Tropicana Beachfront Inn.

Thank you to everyone who attended InnSpire 2011 and to those that helped make it a success!

We look forward to seeing all of you at InnSpire 2012 in Sacramento at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza from January 22 - January 24, 2012.

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