Workshop Schedule

Sample Schedule - Subject to Change 

Saturday, January 25

8:00 – 8:30 am                 Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 am                 Introduction and Welcome
Karen Lynch, Lynch Hospitality Consulting & Former Owner of Inn on Randolph
Get Inn-spired! We launch the best conference yet with our Inn-spire vision, an overview of the conference and introductions of attendees and speakers.

8:459:45 am                 What You Need to Know to Find the Right Inn
Dick Lopez, CHB, Broker Associate, Lodging Brokers Network
Acquiring an inn starts with knowing what property is a good match. Our professional lodging broker will explain how to analyze the pros/cons of a purchase decision and the steps for a successful transaction. Participants will learn about market valuation, financing and operation of inns, and valuable real-world insights into the process. The session also focuses on matching the inn to your lifestyle and, of course, your business acumen.

9:4510:00 am                Break

10:0011:00 am             The Business Plan
Rick Wolf, Consultant, The B&B Team
To prosper as an innkeeper, it’s best to have goals and a plan to achieve success. This session explores how to build your inn’s business plan - a working document that calendars specific, measurable, attainable benchmarks. Participants are encouraged to ask questions.  

11:00amNoon              Getting your Inn Up and Running … Understanding Due Diligence
David Browning, Owner, Eden Vale Inn (Aspiring Innkeeper Alumni, Class of 2017)
Innkeepers need to ask for permission rather than forgiveness with laws and regulations. Learn what laws apply to your inn, what forms you need for your town/county and what type of insurance you should carry. We’ll discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act and other critical compliance issues, such as business licenses, retail licenses, ABC updates and more. Participants will learn what they need to do to get their inns up and running – legally!

Noon – 1:00 pm                Lunch and Networking with Saturday Speakers  

1:15 – 2:15 pm                  A Day in the Life of an Innkeeper
Rhiannon Eddy, Owner, Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa and Stephanie McCaffrey, Owner/Innkeeper, McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast
What does a day in the life of an innkeeper looks like, from the daily chores to the unusual tasks? How do you fit it all in? What are the emotional demands? What does it take to be a good innkeeper? What is it like to work with your spouse/partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week? How will being an innkeeper affect your lifestyle? This is your chance to ask the people who have first-hand experience.

2:15 – 3:15 pm                 Money & Financing
Kathryn Seo, President, Lodging Brokers Network
Financing your inn can be challenging, complicated and easily misunderstood. We’ll explain and explore common options of financing, such as through conventional banks, with the Small Business Administration and by sellers. Participants will learn how to match the right investment with their property purchase. We’ll explain commonly used terms in clear and concise language.      

3:15 – 3:30 pm                  Break                   

3:30 – 4:00 pm                  Events & Weddings - Pros & Cons
Rhiannon Eddy, Owner, Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa
Before you decide if you are going to host weddings and events, you’ll need to take a look at the big picture. Join Rhiannon Eddy as she goes over the pros and cons of onsite events and shares her experience running a popular wedding venue in Livermore, California.

4:00 – 5:00 pm                  Setting Your Business Up for Success
Marc Kassouf, Group General Manager, Stay Idyllwild Group of Inns
A successful business entails having successful systems that can seamlessly work together.  This seminar will focus on the essential tools of setting your business up for short- and long-term success. Find out what you need to know about websites, property management systems, reservation systems and other systems. 

5:15 – 6:15 pm                  Cocktail Hour
Come join our speakers and innkeepers for an informal get together with drinks and appetizers. Ask your burning questions and get a chance to hear more of their stories about innkeeping.

Dinner on your Own


Sunday, January 27

8:00 – 8:30 am                  Breakfast            

8:30 – 9:30 am                 To Brand or rebrand?
Rick Wolf, Consultant, The B&B Team
What are you really offering today’s traveler?  Are you looking at your brand and keeping it in the same A-1 condition as your building?  Are you focusing on the guest experience of staying at your inn? What is your ‘USP’ and how are you implementing it into the marketing of your brand?  You will take away a fistful of real, functional, and implementable ideas for your inn.

9:30 – 10:30 am                The Dos and Don'ts of B&B Marketing
Lisa Kolb, President & Co-founder, Acorn Marketing
This session will share what our presenter has seen work (and not work) when it comes to marketing properties, based on an extensive base of client data. Popular questions like “what type of marketing should I invest in?”, “what’s not worth spending money on?” or “how do I know if I’m getting an appropriate return on my marketing dollars invested?” will all be addressed. As a bonus, you will receive a complimentary copy of the "New Inn Owners Handbook" to guide you regarding all the virtual and access data you will need to document once you purchase your property.  You’ll walk away with plenty of effective strategies to ensure a successful first year as a new owner!

10:30 – 10:45 am              Break

10:45 – 11:45 am             Cutting to the Chase: What Really Wows Today’s Traveler
John Spear, General Manager, Hotel Drisco
Your guests walk in the door and you have just moments to win them over. Learn how to turn them into lifelong fans from that first impression until the moment they leave your inn. Over his years of experience, John has mastered the art of anticipating needs and always leaving guests wanting to come back for more.

11:45 am – 12:45 pm     Lunch and Networking with Sunday Speakers

12:45 – 1:45 pm               Staffing your Inn
Christine Stein, Owner, HRServed
Ask almost any innkeeper what is one of the hardest parts of being any innkeeper and they will say employees! California’s economy and strict hiring laws can make staffing your inn difficult. Come find out what you need to know and do before, during and after you hire your first employee.

1:45 – 2:45 pm                  Success Stories – Past IAP Attendees Share Their Experience Making it Happen!
We’ve invited a few of our Innkeeping as a Profession success stories to come talk to you about the steps they took since their time as aspiring innkeepers, and what they learned along the way.
Moderated by Karen Lynch, Former Owner of Inn on Randolph and Aspiring Innkeeper Alumni, Class of 2010-11
Connie & Dean Thayer, Owners, Inn at Lockhouse and Aspiring Innkeepers Class of 2018
Shangwen & Mike Kennedy, Owners, Inn at Moonlight Beach, Aspiring Innkeepers Class of 2018
Christy Kidwell, Owner, Collette’s Bed & Breakfast, Aspiring Innkeeper Class of 2017

2:45 – 3:00 pm                  Innkeeping as a Profession Wrap-Up & Evaluations
Facilitator Karen Lynch, Lynch Hospitality Consulting & Former Owner of Inn on Randolph

3:00 – 4:15 pm                  InnSpire Opening General Session

4:30 – 5:30 pm                  InnSpire Concurrent Sessions

5:30 – 7:00 pm                  InnSpire Opening Reception in the Marketplace


Monday, January 27 - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The InnSpire Conference & Marketplace

Everyone is welcome to stay for the full 4-day event. Join new innkeepers, veteran innkeepers, retired innkeepers, and everyone in between for three days of learning, networking, shopping and fun. Click here to see the full InnSpire Conference & Marketplace schedule and register for the 4-day event to get the most out of this once-a-year opportunity.

Schedule subject to change.

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