Vancouver scoops two awards for conference marketing plan

Innovative, multiplatform marketing campaign recognized by Destination Canada and BCAMA

Vancouver has received two recognitions for outstanding marketing for a campaign created for the Professional Convention Management Association’s 2016 Convening Leaders Conference, held in January at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

In mid-October, Destination Canada’s Explore Canada Awards of Excellence honoured the campaign with the “Most Innovative PR Campaign” award. According to the judges, “PR for conferences is typically boring, with formulaic videos and social media that merely shares and retweets what attendees post. What made the PCMA Convening Leaders Vancouver campaign innovative is that they created an unusual (and adorable) video starring toddlers, and they used social media as a customer service tool, answering attendees’ questions and solving their problems.” On the same day, the B.C. chapter of the American Marketing Association (BCAMA) recognized Tourism Vancouver and the Vancouver Convention Centre with a Marketing Excellence Award for spearheading, planning and executing the campaign using minimal resources in a grassroots fashion.

The multidisciplinary strategy supported the overall objective of PCMA Headquarters to increase attendance to Convening Leaders, the association’s annual conference for meetings industry professionals from around the world. The entire Vancouver hospitality community rolled out the red carpet for 4,000-plus PCMA members while a select committee collaborated on public relations and marketing initiatives in the lead-up to, and during, the event. The committee implemented a number of tactics, including producing and distributing a fun video featuring children acting as meeting planners who inspected the destination pre-conference; using social media to post daily reasons PCMA members should travel to Vancouver for Convening Leaders; crafting VIP experiences across Vancouver for all attendees; hiring an agency to surprise and delight delegates using “social media listening” tools; and more. The campaign resulted in more than 53,000 views of the kids’ video; editorial coverage in top meetings industry publications; and 13,500 visits to the Convening Leaders microsite, among other successes.

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