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Post Online Caribbean take-aways: Authenticity in the message, Participate in the Dialogue and join the online communities

So I am not blogging from the beach any longer, but still just as excited about last weeks’ Online Revealed Caribbean event in Puerto Rico.  To sum it up (as quickly as is possible for a chick that is not ever short on words!) the effort paid off in bringing the tourism e-marketing event to the Caribbean community.  We met great people, created an amazing network of people and had many laughs. (of course we did!)
 

Special thanks to our partners and supporters POWERi (thanks Marvin for keeping us on track!), Marketwire’s Melinda Van Patter, Missouri Meeting & Events Joe (what a great surprise to have you in Puerto Rico!), Cal Simmons from Five-Star Alliance.  My co-Bloggers Don Dees and of course Gil the jenius (love the hat and the recap of the event on your Blog!), Mandy Gresh from the zoo (Travelzoo), The Idea Market boys from Canada’s West Coast Carson and Steve, Travel Alberta Trevor (the winner of our Calgary Red Paper Clip contest to attend Online Revealed Caribbean!), Ed from RadonicRodgers design+marketing, and of course our co-Chair extraordinaire Edward Perry from WorldHotels, who I am excited to announce will also be the co-chair for the 4th annual Online Revealed Canada Conference to be held this April 13-15th in Niagara Falls!  I know I have missed many…but the event truly was a success because of the community of people that contributed to making it happen.
 

So the major takeaways from all of the speakers, workshops and conversations that ensued over the 2 day event?
1.      Authenticity in your message.  Make sure that your website, email marketing, Blogs, social media pages, listings on destination sites and everything you do to promote your products and services online are authentic and not simply a canned advertising message.
2.      Encourage the Dialogue.  Reviews are not necessarily a bad thing!  Consumers online are looking to be engaged, and they are used to interacting online – with you and with other likeminded individuals.  It is good old fashion word of mouth – don’t be afraid of it.  Monitor, respond and join the conversation.
3.      The importance of Community.  The overall message coming out of the conference is that billions of people are participating or “being” online (great quote Cal!) and not simply going online.  Consumers are actively posting images, updates, testimonials and having conversations online.  Be in tune with your audience and join the conversation. 
 

If anything was ever an example of the power of community – it would be Online Revealed.  Thanks to all who made this first event in the Caribbean such a great success!
 

[tags]internet marketing conference, online marketing, tourism marketing, e-marketing, hospitality industry, Caribbean tourism, blog marketing, social media marketing [/tags]

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