Saturday, January 27, 2007
January 27, Saturday (Ku wa gatandatu)
Traditional huts at Symphrose's BBQ restaurant.
hotel website and marketing materials.
While Sabra and Lee stole away for a visit to the National Museum of Rwanda, Marla and Anne staged photo shots for the hotel’s website (to be prepared by her mentors, Matt and Mary in Australia), brochures and other marketing materials. And, they prepared a customer survey and strategized for business development, marketing and branding. Bpeacers in the New York area will have the opportunity to meet Symphrose at a Bpeace Rwanda Team meeting in April when she will be visiting New York.
Although the hotel is open for business, it’s not completely finished. A second restaurant – BBQ and bar – is not yet finished. It will be a very nice attraction when complete. There is space for a gift shop and business center. Symphrose is waiting for 10 computers to be delivered – four for the hotel and six for the business center. She will be getting wireless connection, a big competitive advantage considering that none of the other hotels in Butare offer wireless service. We advised Symphrose to hire a good IT technician for the inevitable problems.
We spent significant amount of time talking about the hotel’s brand identity. We discussed changing or modifying the name of the hotel – Le Petit Prince – to get rid of the French identity and create a brand image around having an authentic Rwanda experience. We recommended using local crafts to decorate the hotel and naming the hotel restaurants using local names. Symphrose welcomed this idea and relayed a local folktale about the area, which could be useful for the rebranding. We will provide Symphrose with three options for a new name and brand identity from which she can choose. We all agreed it’s important to decide soon before designing marketing materials. We recommended that Symphrose start developing relationships with hotels at the nearby game park as well as hotels and tourist board in Kigali. She asked for help in this area. Later this week, Anne and Richard will accompany Symphrose to a meeting with the tourist board. Once Symphrose sees a sample sales call, she will be better prepared to make sales calls on her own.
Symphrose’s biggest need right now is help in staff training and marketing. For the marketing materials, we collected pictures and information for development of brochures and a website. We would like to find another volunteer hotel consultant interested in helping Symphrose in these two areas
B2P down to the wire
I've just caught up on the blog -- I missed 2 days and so much happened! I love reading about the B2P discussions. How exciting to facilitate this kind of conversation. And the insights and wisdom the women shared was really beautiful. I'm happy that we are making connections between Rwanda and Afghanistan. One day these women will meet.
Fantastic photo of the gorilla Barb. I can't wait to hear all about your experience at the park.
You are all doing important work there and I know the associates feel supported by you.
I am envious. Little gorilla is adorable but rather close, no? Symprose's hotel looks incredible. The progress she has made is unbelievable. It was not much more than a shell in May 2006. Sabra, I hope that you took Lee to the picnic site. Great views and great adventure. Finally, I am so glad Wendy and Emerita had a chance to meet each other. Meeting Emerita is an inspirational experience. She has alot to share and is such a role model for everyone.
And one more comment. Lying down on the job--I dont know. It looks as though you are about to do start jumping on the bed. Continue the progress. Loretta (the only thing you are missing here is the cold and some pretty good tennis)
Sorry for being late in commenting - all I've done the past week is hunt for my bed by day's end here at the CHA trade show in Anaheim - but will have lots of good news to tell you about Rwanda Knits when you return. Keep up the great work and be sure to smell the Rwandan roses! - Cari