Seasite.com, an online portal dedicated to business cruise events, has just released their latest version which allows planners added functionality. Like hotel sourcing portals Cvent and Starcite, Seasite aims to help planners course ship charters.
With cruise ships more and more resembling hotels in style, but more importantly function, the business world will ever increasingly find utility in booking events on of a seaworthy nature. According to PhoCusWright, the numbers of planners utilizing cruises as event platforms increased last year by more than 30 percent. In total, the overall cruise event market increased from 6 to 8 percent overall.
As a universal access point, Seasite enables organizers great flexibility and economy as well. And the site’s user growth reflects this, with some 55 percent more visitors in June as compared with January of this year (according to their press). Compete reflects this gain nicely, even though the aggregate numbers of visitors is not impressive.
Seasite is a fairly simple way for event planners to evaluate and select cruises by looking into group oriented ship data. Lori Cassidy, Director, Corporate, Incentive & Charter Sales at Royal Caribbean International, had this to say about Seasite:
“We believe Seasite.com will expand our access to all the meeting and event planners we wish we could call on in person. We are ‘built for business’ with a fleet of 22 innovative ships cruising worldwide, so we’re thrilled to partner with Seasite. They continue to lead the way for group buyers everywhere to connect more efficiently with the cruise industry.”
In short, Seasite (from a technical point of view) is not disruptive technological innovation, but rather the proper execution of digital technology. As you can see in the screenshot below, Seasite offers effective ways in which to make the right venue decisions. The graphic below shows where I have filtered venues (ships) by the total number of conference seats.
As I said, Seasite is not the razor’s edge of digital engaging tools at the moment, but with some added refinements (like SM, branding, rate, and other intelligences) their market advantage could be striking. Those in the cruise game should keep an eye on this company, if for no other reason than to evaluate how well business cruising is doing. My guess is, as the platform is more readily adopted, their traffic numbers will reveal effectiveness and reach too. And then there are the social channels.
The image below shows me drilling down into the platform, selecting the top vessel via filtering. As you can see, Seasite may not be as pretty as it could be, but it is an effective tool to help planners. Josephine Kling, CEO of Seasite, and her team, have at the least made a significant niche market entry tool. The platform is not up there with Cvent and Starcite refinement and reach wise, but it is where the business cruising niche is concerned. All that’s left if execution and marketing.
Evaluating this news, I can only find fault with Seasite along several lines of development and marketing. First, it appears the “business” has moved forward a bit more rapidly than the development – or the portal at least. What I mean is, the site is not nearly as “21st Century” as it should be. This is common where the business people behind a development prioritize technology second or down the line from the paper clips and phone calls. Secondly, Seasite has a very nice social media aspect, unfortunately it is underutilized (and done a bit wrong). Anyone in marketing and PR knows your digital footprint is crucial online. Facebook should not have hints of mediocrity – etc.
Also, their blog is also a fantastic resource, which is sadly unseen. Aside these issues, their marketing is not extensive enough. A last recommendation too, would be for Seasite to emulate more the companies they mention in their own press, namely Starcite – a truly enterprise class solution. These errors may seem minor, but if I can point out some problems, then? A bit more integration is needed, but still Seasite has become a player in the business cruise arena. As an example, the top SEO’d competitors for Seasite; CruiseWeb, Cruise Planners, and the others, have noting like this platform.
For more information on how your business can utilize Seasite, or any of the other ideas mentioned, please consult the original Businesswire press here, or visit the links provided. Alternatively, you can contact Seasite directly via their PR Schwartz Communications via Anne Lundregan at: 781-684-0770.
We leave you with a video from Voyages to Antiquity, the world’s premier historically focused cruises.