A year ago this week, myself and the amazing Antonia Lallement started a campaign that took the hospitality industry by storm.

It got more exposure than we could ever have hoped for – and to be honest, we had an absolute ball. A truly organic set up (created on a pub napkin) that led to 12 million twitter impressions, a national billboard campaign and press coverage that any PR would dream of – all on a shoestring budget. I can’t speak for Antonia, but I certainly crave for a time when I can feel like I’m truly making a difference once more.

So, here we are a year on. What do I think about no-shows, industry campaigning and the impact we had? Well, here are a few of my thoughts. Firstly…

Did we have an impact? We certainly did! CGA Insights reported an impact on No Shows in the weeks following the campaign.

Did we have long term impact? I don’t know. It breaks my heart to see people still struggling with the issue and customers still misbehaving. We were vocal last year about deposits not necessarily being the answer for all –  for multiple reasons, yet this process has become commonplace.

Did we raise awareness? Without a doubt. But I’m not naïve enough to think that no-shows are no longer a challenge. I certainly believe that since the campaign the behaviour of our beloved customer has been under the microscope. Cancelling, not tipping, Karen memes, unfounded complaints, aggy requests. I agree with the late, great Anthony Bourdain’s view on customer behaviour – hospitality work is “thankless and fun and messy, and the world would be a kinder place if more people tried it”. Yes to National Hospitality Service!

Another thing I learnt on this wonderful journey – finding your pack is  key. On this project, Antonia was mine. I think we would both agree that neither of us would have been able to achieve what we did as a solo campaigner. The sum was truly greater than its parts. Our confidence to take risks and ‘go for it’ was 100% a result of our magical little partnership. Thank you Antonia – you absolute star!

 What would I advise any campaigners of the future? Aside from its clean design (all thanks to the amazing local LIT Marketing gang), simple messaging and timely release, this campaign was from the heart. Not for greed, not for exposure, not trying to push recruitment services. It was unbranded, and purposefully so. This allowed every operator to jump on board, without feeling that they were pushing specific companies. We felt the pain of our clients and wanted to help.

Our learning is that hospitality campaigns risk falling flat if messaging is branded, or seen to be a way for people to gain exposure. It certainly limits the number of people who will be willing to support it.

A huge THANK YOU again to everyone who got behind No More No Shows last year, and in 2021! It all began in Manchester, and ultimately it’s the Manchester hospitality ‘scene’ who must be applauded for their efforts.

Hopefully, I will be back soon with a campaign I’m working on for talent attraction into the industry. Watch this space. 

Abi xx