Every year I use the ‘quite time’ around the holidays to have a look at what other DMO’s around the world are doing. I love poking around to see what I can learn. I’m thinking of creating a giant presentation with my findings (let me know if you’re interested).
One of the things I’m looking at is what DMO’s are doing to incorporate real time information. This is a trend DMO’s can’t ignore. Brochureware websites are no longer acceptable and consumers expect content that is timely as well.
Florida has created a Florida Live section on their website. The page includes their Twitter feed, Flickr photo’s, YouTube videos etc. It also includes a Google Map with the Twitter feeds from local DMO’s, live webcams, YouTube videos and Fishing Reports.
The fishing reports are very cool. Every day the captains call in from their boats to give an update of the fishing conditions of their area. Users can listen to each captain reporting on the conditions.
Incorporating expert content from industry members or residents is something I’ve been pitching for a long time now. Most DMO’s do this with expert bloggers (some better than others). This is a very creative idea to make it timely, relevant and credible.
Great idea, good content, good execution. I love it.
Do you have examples of ‘live information’ incorporated into DMO or other tourism websites?
When somebody is interested and inspired in British Columbia as a result of the games, we’d like to the person to start the planning process. And in the planning process, content is King, and details matter.
Over the last few years, our product management and content teams have done an incredible job of turning HelloBC.com into an in-depth travel planning resource. HelloBC contains information for over 100 different activity categories in 6 regions. But that wasn’t enough. Our website users told us they need more information at the community level in order to make the decision to visit.
The 139 communities with in-depth content
Over the last 18 months, our content team, lead by our content Queen Mikala (also part-time indie rock groupie guru) has completed a monumental task by creating in-depth information for 139 communities across the province before the start of the games. In strong collaboration with of our regional and community partners, our writers visited 139 communities across the province, meeting with local stakeholders, touring the community and creating in depth information for HelloBC.com.
Long tail content: dining in Klemtu
The result is unprecedented. Thousands of pages of content; whether you’re interested in Cat-Skiing near Kaslo, Kermode Bear-Watching in Klemtu, mining tours in Trail, Aboriginal & Cultural experiences in Kamloops or visiting farms & Orchards near Harrison Hot Springs, the information is all there on HelloBC.
Anybody interested in BC as a result of the games will have all the information to create their BC vacation.
The main benefit of the 2010 games from an overall marketing perspective is exposure. The TV broadcasts are (still) the priority and the travel media teams from Tourism BC and our tourism partners work with broadcasters around the world to ensure the destination message is covered to it’s maximum potential. They even have staff ’embedded’ with priority markets; an Olympic first.
There are also many people around the globe who stay connected with the games through online channels. Some call it the ‘biggest screen’ principle. When somebody doesn’t have access to a large TV screen, they’ll watch it online (at work?) or when that’s not available, on their cellphone. People also stay connected with the events by visiting the official Olympic website, a broadcaster website or their favourite news site. We want to maximize these opportunities as well.
Leveraging the exposure is core for our online activities. We’ve worked for years to build the right relationships and create win-win situations. It took me to New York to meet with the NBC Olympics team for example. By building relationships and creating win-win situations by offering ideas and support, we have maximized stories, photos and videos on the NBCOlympics website, the official 2010 games website and more.
A strong collective between city, province and country DMO’s is important. Media and sponsors don’t have time to deal with each individually and we’re pleased with the collaboration and results. Broadcasters and sponsors around the world use our B-Roll and websites contain our stories that highlight all of British Columbia and Canada.