Whether we think of tourism as being relevant to a destination or region, or a specific hotel or resort, there’s no denying that hosting events can be a winning strategy in attracting new guests and visitors. If you’re prepared to put the time and effort into event management, from initial planning through to final execution, then the marketing results can be hugely beneficial.
At the highest level, true global events such as the Olympics and the football World Cup deliver tremendous returns for tourism to host countries and cities. It’s one of the key reasons why governments will spend billions of dollars to open their doors to the world. Of course, we’re not saying you have to host anything close to this scale, but the marketing principles are the same.
In the lead-up to an event, there’s the buzz and excitement generated by announcements, the anticipation of guest involvement, and the associated stories created around these elements. During the event itself, we have, of course, guests taking photos and videos and then sharing them around the world to friends and family, all the while, tagging your destination. Just think of all those free clicks and views you could be getting.
Post-event, that word-of-mouth social communication continues, but now with increased opportunities for your destination, business, or organisation to ride the feelgood factor of the memories and good times. It should go without saying but, now that you’ve had all these visitors and guests experience your offering, you’re in the perfect position to win their repeat business. Meaning, you can use your marketing budget more wisely to make your money work harder for you.
Events can also play an integral part in developing a destination’s brand. Austin, Texas, in the USA, has been so successful in hosting an annual music festival that the city is now a global icon of the music scene. Think of Cannes in France; what comes to mind? Pamplona in Spain is another example of a destination that would attract far fewer visitors were it not for an event that effectively serves as its brand.
Here in Vietnam, sporting events such as triathlons and ultra-marathons are giving tangible positive returns to local tourism, bringing domestic and international travellers to destinations for first-time visits. These competitors are often travelling with family or partners and staying beyond the event itself, thus boosting the local economy while also creating a bond to warrant repeat visits.
On a micro level, one-off events at a resort or hotel ensure not just a large group of guests over several days – with all the additional revenue this brings – but the spin-off of repeat business from those guests, and their priceless word-of-mouth recommendations. One hundred guests each telling ten friends or co-workers about your resort? That’s 1000 potential new guests!
So, we can see that well delivered events – be it conferences, festivals, sporting competitions, or even just weddings – can be a winner for your marketing strategy, bringing your brand and communications together to generate a narrative that will ultimately increase your number of visitors.
Check out the event we organized for Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers.
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