Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Re-capturing our mojo!

Sheryl Cole has apparently re-captured her mojo following her split from Ashley - apparently some dance instructor may have helped this turnaround!

Blenheim Palace needs to re-kindle it's mojo after some mixed results over the 4 day Easter holiday. Overall customers were broadly flat year-on-year but the mix was heavily skewed towards annual pass holders with a worrying year-on-year drop in paying customers. The buzz that existed a year ago around the annual pass product - and the very positive word of mouth recommendation - seems to have faded and we need to take steps to understand what is going on and what we can do about it.

Easter falls early in the season and thus it is an early opportunity to test performance - with plenty of the season ahead of us if action needs to be taken.

We are going to quickly survey those annual pass holders who visited us over the Easter weekend (nearly 7k in total) and find out everything we can about their visit and their feelings; and we are also going to reach out to those annual pass holders from February and March 2009 who have not as yet sought to renew for 2010 - in order to understand their feelings and their motivations with the summer months ahead. Armed with feedback from these quick surveys (hopefully as early as next week) we can then look at some tactical steps to make sure that we pick up the pace through April and into the key summer months.

We are not dispirited - but we are very determined to understand what we can control., what we can influence and what we can drive forward.

We want our mojo back and we will go out to get it!

The Easter Egg hunt was very popular and the egg supply just lasted until around 4.30pm on Easter Monday - excellent planning or just plain lucky! My girls enjoyed searching for the clues and managed to find them all with hardly any help from Daddy - who was secretly armed with the answers in case of a crisis!

Annabelle came back from her Choir Tour to Portugal last Wednesday evening in excellent spirits and clearly enjoyed the trip - very excited though to be home and it was good to see her.

We had a good day out on Sunday and took my mother out to lunch at the Sheene Mill Restaurant in Melbourn - great for her to see the girls and good to see that she is recovering well from her recent operation. Tracy then spent a couple of days with the girls at her parents in Abbots Langley and came back yesterday - I came back on Sunday so that I could do some work on Easter Monday; look after the cat and keep an eye on the builders - such responsibility!

So finally the suspense is over and Thursday 6 May 2010 has been confirmed for the General Election - no doubt the country will go into meltdown for 4 weeks which is never good for tourism but at least the phoney campaigning can now stop and they can get down to some serious stuff - including the Leaders TV debates (on Thursday 15 April at 8.30pm on ITV; on Thursday 22 April at 8pm on Sky; and on Thursday 29 April at 8.30pm on BBC) which should make compelling viewing. Cameron goes into them with everyone expecting him to score heavily (so he has everything to lose) whilst Brown goes into them with everyone expecting him to hit the floor (so anything positive will be hailed as a triumph) whilst Clegg will come across well but will that really influence voters away from the main two parties - fascinating stuff.

And so we will hunt for answers regarding "our mojo" - if you are a current annual pass holder, or even more relevant if you are a lapsed annual pass holder, then let us know what you think as you are vital to our success and vital to the future health and stability of Blenheim Palace.

Watch this space and watch the bounce back!

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