5th Conference on Strategic & Creative Marketing in Tourism
When we first got the invitation for the Travel Zoom conference this year and we saw that its title is ‘Become the icon’ it did not say anything to us. But after attending the first day of speeches, workshops and panel discussions it was clear – BECOME YOUR HERO OR ICON – we realized it said everything about strategic and creative marketing based on ‘storytelling’. We have already been aware of the importance of the ‘storytelling’ technique nowadays as one of the most important marketing tools especially when we speak about tourism.
Tourism is full of stories
We just have to discover our stories, write them and transform them into experiences. Easy to say, (not so) hard to do. When you have experts such as Damjan Obal (UX Crafter, hobby magician & chief storyteller, Edgar Slovenia) in front of you you have to create your story or as the workshop itself said ‘Find the story in you’. Of course we had to find the story in our companies or organizations we work for – travel agencies, hotel chains, tourist boards, tourist destinations…
As we mentioned Istra Inspirit it was clear we already have stories. Stories made of myths, legends, history facts – retold in an innovative and creative way. Our hero is our Inspirit goat with its mantle that goes around and with its super powers sees Istria that anybody else sees – sees the underground world of Raša with its coal mine, sees the fishermen world in Rovinj, sees the witches in Svetvinčenat and the Romans in Medulin (Vizula). Our goat sees all the time periods and not only present. That’s its super power.
So we solved the challenge at the first workshop and then continued the creative travel with other like-minded people we met at the conference.The following presentation was made by Andrej Pompe & Mateja Gruden (BrandBusinessSchool, Slovenia) who thaught us how to ‘Work different and play better’ on some examples of creating the innovative tourism products also based on stories – family, historical, local stories… Once again we realized we were on a right path. We are doing the right thing – we are translating stories into experiences. Neverthelless in the presentaion made by Andrej and Mateja we discovered so many interesting and useful details which we can implement to improve even more what we’re doing…. Putting even more emphasis on some key elements (and taking advantage of them) that are trending in tourism nowadays such as nature (photo safari, forest selfness, api wellness, survival weekend, stargazing), gastronomy (authentic and local), history & culture (experience of communism, etc.).
Somehow we realized some things that we already knew before but we were not aware of that – stories are important because they make us remember things better, we can find identifications with ourselves and we also like to share them with others… Beside that we all like heroes. Once again the emphasis is put on local stories – whether they are invented, adventorous, cultural, funny, history, family or fairytales… We are selling local and authentic experience.
Our afternoon was challenged with another interesting workshop in the marketing area called ‘Cultural tourists: It’s 2015’s fastest growing market that everyone wants.’ by Ericka Clegg (Co-founder and Executive Creative Director, Spring, UK). Ericka was so dynamic and straight forward, she reminded us of everything we should have already known about marketing in culture and at the same time made us think of some new marketing tools that we didn’t know they existed. Beside that she made us think about tourist packages – so important for the destinations. Our case was a city called ‘Storyville’ known for a literature festival but with no good image and a lack of local people involved in the festival story. So our group invented many tools to improve the image of the festival and also put government on our side. We will not say everything here because something has to be left at the conference.
We just wanted to share with you a good vibe we had with people there in Zagreb and also say thanks to the organizers – Gorazd Cad and his team to make such an intense and interesting workshop conference specialized in the area we are dedicated to – marketing communications in tourism that we want to improve every day.
You can find out more about the conference here.