Destination on the Left Virtual Summit Recap: Day 2, with Nicole Mahoney

Episode 162

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With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester. In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast. As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success. In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we look at the highlights from day two of our Destination on the Left Virtual Summit.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The highlights from day two of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit
  • How you can use live video and video to increase exposure and attendance at events and destinations
  • How to improve your communication strategy through demographic research
  • How to employ traditional branding tactics as a DMO
  • Why DMOs can benefit from the dramatic change in Chinese travel trends
  • How you can leverage influencer marketing to generate awareness and drive visitation at their destinations

Destination on the Left Virtual Summit: Day 2

On day one of the virtual summit, we were graced with some amazing speakers. If you missed our recap of their presentations and want to revisit them, make sure to check out “Destination on the Left Virtual Summit Recap: Day 1, with Nicole Mahoney.” This episode will follow suit with a recap of day two and all of the fabulous presentations that came with it. We dive into the talking points presented by marketing gurus Reagan Burns, Susan Baier, Matt Stiker, Humphrey Ho, and Stacy Jones. We cover a wide variety of topics based on current industry trends and marketing best practices, including: Using Live Videos at Events and Tourism Destinations: Reagan Burns of Lime Creative provided valuable insights into creating live video, and explained how video can increase exposure and attendance at events and destinations. Going Beyond Demographics and Finding the Visitors’ ‘Why?’: Susan Baier of Audience Audit shares a new perspective on targeting. She explore how destinations can move beyond the typical demographic categorization of audiences and market in a way that answers the visitor’s question of “why”. What Destination Marketers Can Learn From Non-Destination Marketers: Matt Stiker of Garrand Moehlenkamp looks at destination marketing through a wide-angle lens and discusses the fundamental components of powerful branding. Changing Chinese Traveler and Travel Trends: Humphrey Ho of Hylink Digital discusses the shift from group travel to FIT (free, independent travelers) and how smaller destinations can take advantage of prospective Chinese visitors doing their own research online. Using Pop Culture to Market Your Brand: Stacy Jones of Hollywood Branded talks about how destination marketers can use celebrities and influencers to generate awareness and drive visitation at their destinations. If you weren’t able to take part in the amazing Destination on the Left Virtual Summit, don’t fret! You can still watch all of the presentations on our website. Just purchase an all-access pass by visiting and enjoy! Otherwise, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement for our next summit in Spring 2020. We hope you can join us.


Nicole Mahoney: 00:24 Hello listeners, this is Nicole Mahoney, host of destination on the left. I hope your 2020 is off to a great start in today’s solo cast episode. I am recapping day two of our virtual summit that was held over three days in December. The theme of the virtual summit focused on tourism marketing effectiveness, proving value, relevancy and ROI. I invited previous podcast guests to be presenters at the summit and their content did not disappoint. They brought new ideas, thought provoking concepts and tactical suggestions to help marketers move the needle in 2020 here’s what I took away from day two with references to previous podcast interviews that relate to the summit topics for further exploration. So get your pencils ready as you may want to take notes if some of our past episodes to go back and listen to you later. And Reagan burns presentation using live videos at events and tourism destinations. She shared great insights into creating live video and how video can help improve exposure and attendance at events and destinations.

Nicole Mahoney: 01:24 Some of Reagan’s pro tips included a framework of preparation, recording, editing, posting, and engaging. In particular, what stood out to me was the tips that engaging, which included online comments, tagging participants and sponsors, adding captions to your videos, creating unique tracking links so that you can measure and repurpose it. The video, many of our past podcast guests have shared their successes with video. One that comes to mind is a recent interview that I did with Ben hand fell catch Des Moines in episode one 57 when we talked about the humorous video content that they developed under the new catch Demoine. The S’s are silent brand campaign and then effort to draw more visitors. In addition, break the ice media used live video for a virtual toast to celebrate our 10th year in business last October, and I go into detail about how we celebrated. So one [inaudible] [inaudible] five I encourage you to check out both episodes, the spark, the creativity for you as you think using video in 2020 in Susan Bayer’s presentation on going beyond demographics and finding the visitors why we heard a different way to think about visitor research.

Nicole Mahoney: 02:37 Focusing on the problems you solve for the prospective visitor is a great way to think about how you target in a different way. For example, you may be an outdoor destination and one of the problems you solve is to help busy professionals slow down and experience the simplicity of the outdoors. In this case, your target audience is a busy professional and you may have a lot of demographic data on who they are in terms of where they live, [inaudible] income levels and so on. Understanding that the problem they have here is slowing down changes how you communicate with them, the messages that you send, the content you develop, the creative that you use and so on. This concept reminded me of my conversation on episode one 40 with Gina NACY from adventure creative when we talked about Minnesota’s find your true North campaign. I encourage you to relisten to that episode to hear how Gina and her team the next creative with strategy to connect emotionally with a target audience.

Nicole Mahoney: 03:39 That’s episode one 40 with Gina NACY and Matt stickers presentation on what destination marketers can learn from non destination marketers. Matt took us through many examples of breakthrough creative campaigns from destination brands and non destination brands. Illustrate how brands can really stand out in the crowd. You know that is a favorite question that I like to ask on this show. There are so many choices out there. How can you break through the noise and the clutter to really stand out? I love the ideas that Matt shared and appreciated his encouragement to look outside our industry for creative inspiration. This session reminded me of a conversation I had with Adam Johnson from visit st Paul and the chance they took when they created an Adele parody, hello. Minneapolis loves st Paul, which played on Adele’s hit hello from the other side and was used as a way to remind folks in Minneapolis, which is just across the Mississippi river.

Nicole Mahoney: 04:38 There is a lot to do in st Paul. The parody took off and Adam shares his experience in creating it. Here’s the results of it. On episode 98 I encourage you to listen and find out more breakthrough creative doesn’t have to be at a high cost, is looking at something with fresh eyes and thinking outside of the box can help you create something that really stands out. The presentation on changing Chinese traveler and travel trends was presented by Humphrey ho. We have explored this topic in depth with Humphrey on the podcast and episodes one 51 and one 58 this is an important international market for the U S and will continue to grow. What I found exciting about the changes that Humphrey shared with us is the shift in the types of travelers that are coming to the U S from China. Historically, Chinese travelers came to the U S in large groups.

Nicole Mahoney: 05:33 Sometimes multiple motor coaches would tour them around to the top U S sites including destinations such as New York city, Las Vegas, LA, and others. Humphrey shared that 60% of Chinese travelers are now considered fit free independent travelers and they are increasingly booking through online travel agents and doing research on their own versus relying on large tour operators. This provides an opportunity for smaller destinations and attractions to capture this lucrative travel audience as they do not have to be the largest destination or have capacity for multiple motor coaches all at once. I see this as a tremendous opportunity for beyond the gateway destinations. In episode one 18 I talked to Sally Berry about the China market and how she has helped smaller destinations attract the Chinese traveler. We focused a lot on how she grew the international marketing program at the Corning museum of glass in the finger lakes of New York state.

Nicole Mahoney: 06:31 A great example of a smaller destination getting a share of this market. I encourage you to listen to episode one 18 for additional insights and CC Jones presentation on using pop culture to market your brand. He went into detail about how destinations can use celebrities and influencers, elevate awareness and drive visitation. Influencer marketing grew immensely in 2019 and we expect it to continue to be an important part of the marketing mix in 2020 we have covered this topic a lot over the past few years. I’m this podcast and there are so many episodes that can help you learn more. One of my favorite episodes that provided so much insight was episode 83 with Dalian heck travel influencer who has built her career around travel, helping brands work with influencers and helping influencers be better partners. On this episode I get to ask Dailene questions, give us marketers insight into how influencers operate, how to find the right ones, any other useful tips?

Nicole Mahoney: 07:31 Another great conversation that I had on this podcast was with Colleen Kelly and Katie Kio from family travel with Colleen Kelly and the trip sisters series. I love talking directly with media celebrities and influencers to learn how we can work best with them and in this episode it did not disappoint. Go back and listen to episodes 83 and 84 for insights into how influencers are. That was day two of the summit. I’ll be back next week with a summary of the final day of the summit. If you are enjoying these summaries and wish you would have attended the summit, you can still access all of the destination on the left virtual summit content on our website by purchasing our all access pass, which gives you lifetime access to all of the presentations and the downloads. Check it forward slash summit thank you for listening all the way to the end. I love sharing this podcast with you. If you enjoy the podcast too, I would greatly appreciate you providing a rating and review. It helps others find our content. We have a goal of 100 reviews by the end of 2020 we are getting close and could use your help. Click the iTunes or Stitcher link and the destination on the left website and leave a rating and review or go to your favorite podcast app and leave your review directly there. It only takes a minute and your support means a lot. Thank you

Speaker 1: 08:56 and we’ll see you next week. It’s time to hit the road again. Visit destination on the during your travels for more podcasts, show notes and fresh ideas.

Speaker 3: 09:43 [inaudible].

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