Yes I love my job!Â We are just wrapping up a great week in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first annual Online Revealed Caribbean conference.Â I just had to rub it in with a picture of my Caribbean office!Â Did I mention I love my job?
Some highlights of the event for those of you who could not make it to Puerto Rico…
A very lively panel of bloggers yesterday (Don Dees and Gil SchmidtÂ and moi) Â talked about the need for authenticity in a Blog â€“ or any other communication vehicle on the web including testimonial websites that allow you to â€œspeakâ€ directly with your customers.Â The â€œreviewousphereâ€ is active on the web so donâ€™t ignore it, embrace it and use it as a focus group for listening to what your customers are saying about your brand.
Travelzooâ€™s Mandy Gresh gave us some tips on push marketing tactics such as email blasts â€“ she said â€œkeep it simple, from price to book-ability. (like have the offer actually available for your customers to book!), Price point is important â€“ advertise a good rate with the right kind of packaging and available options above and beyond your special, and your average rate will be higher than the low price point offered.Â She also pointed out that urgency is important â€“ add a book by date and encourage an immediate conversion.
Cal Simmons of Adcision Luxury media made some great observations about the new online consumer saying simply that â€œrecommendations really do matterâ€ â€“ more than the brand advertising message.Â Mark Charlinksi with VFM Interactive, added that the mix of user reviews, the right price point, the right positioning in all distribution channels â€“ and of course beautiful imagery of the hotel or destination is what will close the deal.Â Â
Also William Bakker of B.C. Tourism was not physically here with us in person â€“ Richard Kunz of T4G Limited did bring him to us via video feed with the message that consumers are looking for authentic content, the kind of content that only locals can provide to visitors of a destination.Â William discussed B.C. Tourismâ€™s 3 pronged approach to reaching and engaging consumer eyeballs which includes a rich website of images and planning tools, a Consumer Blog forum that allows visitors to post their experiences, AND a place for locals from all communities to recommend â€œlocal picksâ€ â€“ giving tourists the inside scoop about where to eat and what to see.Â
The conclusions?Â It is not all about the website anymore it seems!Â The website is the point of transaction, and the bottom line is that you need to show your customers how to get to it and why they should stay once they get there.Â Â Thanks to all the attendees, speakers and sponsors that have made our first Online Revealed Caribbean show a great success!
[tags]internet marketing, caribbean online marketing conference, tourism marketing, Travelzoo, VFM Interactive, internet marketing, blogging, online revealed[/tags]