You've Got Mail!
Want mail? Register for Destinations Showcase and watch the solicitations
for your future meetings along with offers for prizes and free gifts fill
your mailbox. How does a destination really acquire one's business? Is it
location, location, location, booth personnel, or creative marketing? Or
is it that free gift or door prize?
As a creative marketing consultant, I am cognizant that some
destinations are much more adept than others in creativity, writing
dynamic copy, stating attention-getting benefits up front, using color;
all to entice a meeting planner to stop by its booth and share some
I received 84 pieces of mail for the Washington, DC Destinations
Showcase and decided to compute some statistics and bestow some awards of
my own. There's the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Tonys. It's time to give
out the Trendys. The statuette is made out of cheap plastic and is called
the "Elliott." Hey, it's my awards show, so I can call it whatever I want!
Of the 84 pieces, 52% included a toll-free phone number and 54%
included a web site address. Prizes were offered by 63%, and free gifts by
14%. Three destinations offered a planners guide; 3 inquired of one's
interest in a fam trip; 2 included a postage-paid reply card; and only 1
offered a video.
Now for the awards; the envelopes please.
Best mailing container: Northern Kentucky - a colorful can
containing a stress ball.|
Most creative insert: Tempe - miniature paint kit and postcard to
Best in-your-face benefit: both Bloomington (its real location) and
St. Paul - the Mall of America for those who like to shop 'til they
Best colors: Tampa, Duluth (mauve), Juneau (teal), Saratoga Springs
(both mauve and teal).
Most practical door prize: Akron - a set of tires.
Most cosmopolitan prize: Ontario, CA - $250 Macy's gift
Tastiest prize: New Haven and Coastal Fairfield County, CT
(lobsters) and Omaha (12 steaks).
Most valuable prize: Lufthansa - 2 tickets to Germany.
Best booth giveaway: San Jose - their infamous shorts.
Cutest and most politically correct mailer: Chattanooga - 2
adorable babies, a white male and black female.
Request for most information: Knoxville. I've seen shorter credit
Busiest and most cluttered post card: Toledo.
Brightest envelope: Pittsburgh - neon lemon yellow.
Most postage and materials: Binghamton - $1.43 followed by Augusta,
GA, whose same 3 mailings arrived on the same day - 99¢.
Most suitable for framing: Mystic - red leaves.
Longest: Long Beach, of course - 17 inches.
Most consumer and meeting-friendly offer: Fayetteville - free
parking at the convention complex.
Most thought provoking set of questions asked: Boise - If Boise
were a music group, WHO would it be and WHY? The Who, of course, because
"I Can See for Miles and Miles."
Most unappealing: Billings - photos of Lewis and Clark like anyone
cares what they look like and Baton Rouge - a picture of the old state
capitol or is that the state prison?
Still using that last century word "millennium": Niagara Falls and
Next week I talk about how booth personnel responded to the question,
"What's the two best reasons to hold a meeting in...?"