Activating Your In-Destination Digital Network

We’re often asked to step in on one of two types of projects – destinations that want to reimagine the visitor experience at their Welcome Centers from the ground up – like Alabama, or destinations that want to connect their existing visitor experiences to their digital programs. Both present unique challenges and opportunities. A new trend is taking shape to think outside the visitor center to extend brand, digital interactive, and advertising throughout the destination.

Now – we’re seeing digital activations in airports, shopping centers, host properties like hotels, downtown corridors, and more, providing new ways to build partnerships and open up revenue channels. The next evolution is to connect the dots between all of these assets to build an OOH (out-of-home) and in-market media strategy that drives data and revenue for the organization. Not only do visitor centers need to be reimagined, but we need to be thinking outside the box for opportunities to connect throughout the destination in high-traffic areas. Below are some great activations and creative ideas as you look to build partner value and visitor experience. 

Mobile Visitor Centers

What we’ve seen: Destinations have been exploring mobile visitor centers for some time – from the BOB bicycle visitor center project to vans, airstreams, etc. The advantage to this type of activation is flexibility – you can connect your brand with visitors at events, seasonal attractions, downtown, and more. We’ve seen a few destinations like Visit Detroit connect video screens, along with portal kiosks with organizations like Salt Lake.  This allows them to utilize imagery, video and provide ways to capture data even reduce the amount of paper needed, by utilizing digital brochures and more, ensure stakeholders get better engagements.

What’s next: Connecting mobile or concierge kiosk units with your full partner and content offerings does more than your website can – you can activate interactive features like mobile photo booth kiosks that incentivize visitors to share information on their identity, connect views to visit, and curate content specifically for in-market. Even better – the visitor services team has direct control to do this. Also, I was very impressed by an idea that came out of Milwaukee to borrow from the events industry to use a Guerilla Cube as a mobile VIC. This idea is going to continue to evolve to meet post-pandemic needs and outdoor content for destinations.

Airports

What we’ve seen: Salt Lake City has built a marquee experience at the point of arrival and departure for visitors, creating a unique destination experience in a high traffic, high impression location. They extended their existing investment in digital at their visitor center and convention center to do this in a scalable, phased approach. Long Island will be coming next as they await their airport reopening. There are many established activations using large-scale print and vinyl graphic installations – these are costly and difficult to update. 

What’s next: Whether you have a footprint in an existing kiosk or information booth space, or build out a full store-front as SLC did, there is a real opportunity to provide a valuable asset to your airport stakeholders, and exposure for your larger tourism industry community. Before you run forward with installing costly vinyl graphics – compare prices to see just how much you can do with a video wall instead. Most importantly, presenting dynamic and integrated brand content at your point of arrival is a valuable asset in your media network. 

Downtown Corridors & Partnerships With Host Properties

What We’ve Seen: Programs like the IKE downtown kiosk solution have been popping up in destinations – but many DMO’s are discovering their purpose is more tactical, providing wayfinding and advertising delivery. To work towards the goal of building a media network in-market, DMO’s can’t afford to be side-lined and have their city implement touchpoints that aren’t content driven.  Organizations like Pensacola and Sanibel Captiva are looking toward building outdoor connection points they control and ensure brand and engagement data. In Sanibel Captiva, the chamber of commerce worked with their VIC and host hotel properties like Marriott, Sanibel Beach Resorts, and more to extend their brand and impact throughout the destination, and paid for their investment within the first year with a strong revenue strategy.

What’s Next: Destinations that have already invested in their brick and mortar visitor centers have a great opportunity to add additional touch points throughout the destination to build a true media network, all at a very scalable price point. Some destinations are starting in their high-traffic partner locations, with plans to update their owned locations like visitor centers over time. Ultimately, you want to build your media network over time by creating foundational touchpoints; refining and optimizing your conversion approach as you expand to build new value points for your stakeholders. 

For more information, or to learn new options for improvising visitor experience while growing marketing and revenue programs contact us through a call at 833-300-6664 or email us at info@trueomni.com to set up a free evaluation and demo.

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