Two top destinations have put noteworthy twists on their marketing campaigns aimed at meeting executives. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is using ads not only to promote itself, but to promote the value of meetings in general. And in Indianapolis, the convention bureau has enlisted the services of an NFL quarterback to help bring meetings to in the city.
The LVCVA’s “Vegas Means Business” campaign carries a different message than past advertising efforts, explains Chris Meyer, vice president of convention sales, LVCVA. “It was always a message of Las Vegas features this or Las Vegas has that, but I think we have reached the point with the business community where they know all of that,” says Meyer. Now, the marketing effort will focus on the business imperative of meetings. “We’re elevating that conversation about the importance of meetings and events,” he says. “The message is—face-to-face meetings are the most important business activity you can engage in to grow your business and meet your objectives. We want them to recognize that meetings are important, No. 1, and that Las Vegas does great meetings and events.”
With this campaign, the destination is looking to reach a different audience—executives. The ads will appear this summer in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Fast Company to reach chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and chief marketing officers—people making decisions about budgets.
While it’s self-serving, it’s a message that attempts to elevate the entire meetings industry, Meyer says. It’s also designed to change perceptions about Las Vegas, which has had a trying year. The city has been whacked by the economy, which has resulted in canceled meetings, and it has been knocked by the media and the government as a place for corporate junkets. If the campaign generates meetings business for Vegas, that’s obviously a win, says Meyer. But if it results in a CFO perceiving meetings and events as important business functions, that’s a win, too, he says.
The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association is hoping that a partnership with Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is a winner as well. Manning, who is donating his time, will represent the ICVA on its Web site, www.visitindy.org, and in targeted messages to meeting planners. It’s part of ICVA’s new marketing initiative called “Raising the Game.”
"This community has been tremendously supportive of me throughout my career with the Colts, so I am happy to do what I can to encourage others to experience the vibrant Indianapolis I have come to know and love," said Manning, in a press release.
The bureau plans to use Manning's voice and image in a variety of marketing activities, including: Web-based marketing efforts directed at leisure and convention visitors; an e-mail marketing campaign directed at meeting planners; a direct-mail campaign to meeting planners; and a print-advertising campaign in convention trade publications.
“We’re trying to have a little fun with the meeting planner who is either considering or has selected Indianapolis for a meeting,” says Don Welsh, president and CEO at the ICVA. “Hopefully, there’s going to be a Peyton Manning element to that communication.” They haven’t hammered out the details yet, but one idea might be a voicemail message from Manning to the planner. “We’re going to be very focused on meeting planners,” he adds.