In an economy that continues to present some challenges for event planners, by thinking outside the box, event venues and destinations have been role modeling short, informal, and interactive marketing events that fit into the busy schedules of prospective and existing clients. This approach can also work for event planners.
Here are some tips to design effective informal marketing events with high impact.
1. Leverage Existing Trade Shows and Conferences
When attendees are scheduled for trade shows and conferences, it's easier to grab their attention for marketing events.
2. Pool Resources and Team up with Alliance Partners
3. Replace Formal Presentations with Informal Events
and Creative Approaches that Build Relationships.
Short Luncheon or Dinner
In conjunction with Half Moon Resort, the Jewel and Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Jamaica Tourist Board hosted an informal luncheon in Toronto to provide an update about what's hot and new in the destination. The timeframe made it easy for attendees to fit the event into their schedules. There was a brief presentation covering new attractions, upcoming hotel openings, and new ownerships. Participants and venue representatives mingled informally.
Earlier in the year, Indus Travel held 2 separate dinner events, one with Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the other with and Brazil's Ministry of Tourism.
Hold a club night.
At IMEX America, Ovation Global DMC held a club night for suppliers and clients at 1 Oak Nightclub that included dancing and an idol inspired talent contest. Mr Holland, representing Netherlands Bureau of Tourism and Conventions, was one of the contestants.
Interactive Cooking Events
We have previously discussed the use of interactive cooking events to showcase a destination or event services.
Floral Arrangement Demos and Workshops
The night before Incentiveworks, a group of invited guests gathered for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the terrace of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in fashionable Yorkville district. There were opportunities to tour guest rooms and meeting venues.
The group walked to nearby Teatro Verde where Michael Pellegrino, the owner of the floral shoppe, demonstrated the techniques he uses to create the floral masterpieces that are displayed throughout the hotel. He provided tips to help attendees design their own floral arrangements.
4. Host a Mini Showcase
Consistently demonstrating creative marketing approaches, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau teamed up with Templar Boutique Hotel a few evenings ago just before SITE held its Education Day in Toronto. After a brief presentation and video, the group was divided into 3 teams. In just 2-1/2 hours they rotated and explored various aspects of Swiss culture.
John Wee Tom, co-owner of Templar Boutique Hotel, made a brief presentation about Swiss architecture. Guests toured the hotel and viewed how Swiss architectural elements are reflected in the hotel's design.
At cooking demos, guests learned how to make cheese fondue, rosti potatoes and risotto that substituted potatoes for rice. Guests sampled these culinary delights. Bruno Duarte of Fresh Floral Creations demonstrated how to use leaves and twigs to spruce up centerpieces and floral arrangements. (Pictured above.) Guests had a chance to get close to an Alphorn.
Pooling resources and engaging at a deeper level with prospective clients through small, informal events can be a highly effective marketing strategy as these DMCs, venues and Tourist Boards have demonstrated.
For more inspiration to design your own marketing events, also consult 9 Creative Marketing Events and Destination Marketing: Marvellous Marketing Ideas from Tourist Boards.
Photo Credits: Corporate Event Planning, Executive Oasis International