Tag Archives: #eTS14

eTourism Summit 2014 Takeaways

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The “fire hose of information” delivered at #eTS14 is not meant to put fires out, but rather to start more fires burning. Stoke your at-home fires with these top takeaways curated from 22.7K Twitter impressions across the cyberspace that was #eTS14.

Thunderous themes:

  • Be human, not corporate
  • Interact with people
  • Be a story instigator; content is still king
  • Mobile, mobile, mobile
  • China, China, China
  • Music videos: the next frontier for DMOs
  • Free FB lunch is over; use pay-to-play wisely
  • Empower the under-35s 
  • Re-visit and prioritize your SMART KPIs
  • Steal good ideas and scale them to suit

More Key Learning Points

Social Media Platforms

Facebook: Reachpocalypse is real and can only be fought with a compelling content strategy directed at sharing by a committed fan base. Be conversational, use other people’s good content, feature outstanding visuals of food and scenery. Watch for organic to drop to zero and a buy button to appear.

Twitter: is growing up fast. It’s fundamentally changed how we watch TV to make it interactive in real time, explains Brian Carr. One billion conversations are happening every 48 hours; 280M users will likely peak at 300M and 78% use on mobile will rise to 81%. Promoted tweets by keyword and tailored audiences mean it’s time to strategize on a clever campaign. Use Twitter analytics and experiment with Twitter Cards to drive traffic to your website, Lead Generation Cards to capture user interest and emails, App Cards to prompt a download. 

Pinterest: resonates as a visual bookmark which has key impact during dreaming stage. Different to other channels, it’s not about past or present, but future. Works best when you think of your content as actionable, creating travel tips, itineraries, must-dos, free things, etc. It’s OK for a business to start with 24 boards, populated with 20 vertical images on rich pins. Enid Hwang’s tip: omit hashtags, they may penalize you. 

YouTube: 71% of travel searches on YouTube are for specific destinations, trumping search at 58%. Seeing Y-o-Y growth at 179%. Destinations and attractions account for 40% of all travel video views. Talk to your visitor centers, address what people want to know when developing video content. Google’s Shaun Aukland says, “Video is the next frontier.”

Google: Importance of search through the five stages of travel: Inspiration/Planning/Booking/Experiencing/Sharing. Note that if all advertising were to move to mobile-only, that’s OK, since 50% of all travel-related searches are now on mobile. “The importance of mobile is the single most important thing you can take away from this conference,” suggests Shaun Aukland. He emphasizes that the  “under-35s understand this stuff naturally,” and management from the governor’s office right on down should “listen to them, give them budgets and let them lead.” 


  • Best-practice example: Memphis video kills it in one minute with poetry and a voice over that rivals Richard Burton. – (filmmaker Peter Bragiel, In Transit)
  • Audio is 50% of your presentation. Use music to convey desired mood of video. – (Marla Johnson, Aristotle)
  • The story must be the foreground, the destination is the background. There’s nothing unique about eating out, a nice glass of wine, a swimming pool. Golfers already know where the golf courses are.
  • Remember that Vimeo is where Millennials are hanging out. “Subscribers are currency. Forget views. It’s about how many people have relationships with you.” – (Peter Bragiel, InTransit)

      *  “What are your top 10 Google and YouTube searches? Are you answering those questions with video? Start.”  – (Shaun Aukland, Google) 

  • You can even do it in-house. Too many ideas? Break up the topics into short, separate videos.
  • “Must. Do. More. Video.” – (Melia Dicker, Visit Mississippi)
  • “Like a home video?” Fly the producer over!” – (Peter Bragiel, InTransit)

Social Media & Advanced Social Media Marketing

  • Create a social media culture in your organization. Your chief storyteller and best brand ambassador may be sitting right next to you. – (Gathan Borden, Visit Louisville)
  • Get to your community’s bloggers. You don’t have to be first to the punchline, but do pass the good stories along.
  • Join the Instagram conversation. Among Millennials with smartphones, 43% are using it. Thursday is the biggest day. – (Katie Cook, Visit Austin)
  • “What’s even better than targeting your customer? Finding other ones just like them.” – (David Fluegge, Colorado Tourism)
  • Keep your Facebook and personal pages separate. Business Manager is the solution. – (Josh Collins, Visit Williamson County)
  • Start “thinking like a publisher.” Facebook is. – (Mo Sherifdeen, Travel Oregon)
  • Advanced analytics, custom audiences, lookalike, tracking pixels, using your own mailing list: tools are your friends. “Spray & Pray approach won’t work.” – (David Fluegge, Colorado Tourism)
  • “Native beats banner.” – (Jessica Cox, MMGY Global).  Native advertising is here to stay, so join the crowd, use it wisely. – (TJ Salo, DreamPlanGo)
  • Focus on one KPI at a time or you’ll end up achieving nothing. – (Tess McBride, Sparkloft Media)
  • Consider targeting email unsubscribers to continue conversation elsewhere on social. – (David Fluegge, Tourism Colorado)

       *  “A sense of place is the filter I put every piece of content through. How strongly does it evoke a destination?” – (Talia Salem,  Brand USA)     

Attractions Social Marketing

  • Change happens. “Be tolerant of chaos.  Let the ground move under your feet every single day.” – (Geoff Drake, Monterey Bay Aquarium)
  • Make your organizational chart flat. Employees such as mountain climbers and aquarium explainers are hearing fabulous comments from the public every day. Use compelling, appealing assets from the top of the world to the bottom of the ocean. “Cute baby otters works, too.” – (Geoff Drake and Theresa Ho, Yosemite DNC)
  • Attractions now have the upper hand with flash sale sites. – (Bob Schwartz, Boston Duck Tours)

       *  Vary your content, tone of voice, even grammar and punctuation for each social media platform according to user demographics. It works. – (Amie Wong, California Academy of Sciences)     

  • Mobile bookings means massive opportunities in the tours and activities space, even a storefront within the app. – (Michael Berman, Peek and Alex Bainbridge, TourCMS)

Small Budgets, Limited Resources

  • Maximize Twitter hashtags, Instagram and Pinterest when there’s no money. – (Leslie McLellan, San Jacinto Valley CVB)
  • Video need not be expensive. Maintain the rights and use contest entries.
  • Q: If you could have only one staffer on social media, what skill set? Designer? Photographer? Writer? A: “Don’t overlook a sense of humor.” – (Marla Johnson, Aristotle)  Tip: Check out graduate school of journalism students to find all 4-in-1.
  • Prioritize your channels, prioritize mobile.
  • Develop a tone of voice. (Tucson got 824% FB organic reach with “Advice From a Cactus” post.) Use other people’s content. (ScenicWA got 2500% organic reach with one-a-day image feeds.)

MICE Marketing

  • Look in the right place. You’ll find this audience on LinkedIn. – (Mandy Volpe, UniqueVenues)
  • Use website landing pages for specific types of meetings.
  • Push notifications will be the email marketing of tomorrow.

Experiential Travel

  • The sharing economy is here to stay. Embrace it, work with it.
  • Restaurateurs see EatWith.com as complimentary (appreciation of good food and company), not competitive. – (Guy Michlin, EatWith.com)
  • International visitors wanted to “live like a local.” Now they want to “meet the locals.”
  • The physical distribution of Airbnb changes a visitor’s experience with a destination, since they primarily live an average of 5 days where hotels are not found. – (Andrea La Mesa, Airbnb)

Out-of-the-(Tool) Box Thinking

  • We have street view. We have satellite view. Why not drones? Drones are the something in-between. 
  • Not perfect is the new perfect on Snapchat. You don’t have to maintain the image of a perfection to get engagement. Watch developments: Snapchat Stories, Our Stories and Snapchat geotags…not to mention ads. – (Martin Stoll, Sparkloft Media)
  • Bitcoins have a higher and more steady demand than Expedia anticipated, and “none of us should be ignoring this innovation.” – (Michael Gulmann, Expedia Media Solutions)
  • Google CEO recommends Googlers to work one day/week out of mobile exclusively. Grounds the consumer experience, invites innovation. – (Shaun Aukland, Google)

Media Buying

  • “Data and creativity are the Montagues and Capulets of advertising. They’ll start working together with formidable results.” – (John Durham, Catalyst S+F)
  • “Mobile advertising is in its infancy,” at currently only 2% of all ads. – (Scott Swanson, Opera MediaWorks)
  • Fasten your seat belts, but you don’t have to drive your data as crazily as the big box retailers do. – (Chris Smuthy, Sojern)
  • “The real purchasing strategy lies in the why and the how – not the where and the who.” – (Sabrina Wilson, Ad+Genuity)
  • Evaluate ROI during campaign, not just at completion.
  • Use call to action words appropriately; different ones apply to awareness, inspiration, consideration, activation, re-living.
  • “Invest in storytellers. In Louisiana’s best content, you can just smell the food.”- (John Durham, Catalyst S+F)

“There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.”Nicholas Butler Murray (1862 – 1947) educator, former president of Columbia University

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Filed under Attractions marketing, Digital Tourism Marketing Trends 2015, DMOs, eTourism Summit San Francisco, Facebook, Google, Instagram, KPIs, Native Advertising, Pinterest, Snapchat, Social Media Platforms, Storytelling, TripAdvisor, Twitter, YouTube

Prepare to Drink From a Fire Hose at #eTS14











We’re all very excited about seeing everybody at #eTS14 next week in San Francisco.

Drinking in the knowledge

We’ve designed the program to reflect the fast-paced ways online marketing has evolved.  Prepare to drink from a fire hose as 79 presenters offer a stream of information in 15-minute (or shorter) segments built around your pain points and our commitment to provide attendees with a comprehensive view of what’s available. Of these 79 presenters, 23 are your peers: DMOs and attractions sharing insights from their experiences and initiatives.

In our attempt to show you the breadth of information, our content will not provide great depth, so we’ve added rotating round tables, a networking reception and lunch as well as DigMe media marketplace where 60 of you can follow up one-to-one.

Walking through the meadow

In our 15th year, we’ve identified several overarching trends reflected in the program that’s crafted to help us all understand the vast array of new media tools sprouting like wildflowers in a meadow.

First, with Facebook at less than 2 percent organic reach while the cost of their paid programs are increasing 24 percent, there has been a shift to identifying other pay-to-play options.

Second, the redefinition of content marketing and how it has driven organic engagement — which also raises questions about who’s going to carry the bricks to get all that content loaded. This issue has created what the New York Times called the “Personal Video Industrial Complex” complete with influencers who also, in many cases, are also being paid.

Third, there’s the fact that now it is not only possible to measure branding, but with the right targeting tools, highly specific audiences can be reached at various stages of the sales funnel.

 Appreciating the intimacy

Please join me in showing our appreciation to eTourism Summit sponsors, as their support allows us to limit attendance so that you have easy access to thought leaders and experts across multiple platforms.

Since ‘networking’ is our middle name, we’re introducing DigMe, a two-hour beta event followed by a reception where you can pick the brains of  27 vendors, agencies and experts to learn more about new digital products after having your questions answered in 10-minute speed dating sessions. We’ll look forward to your feedback to see if we should dedicate a full day to the event next year.


Looking forward to meeting you at #eTS14.  Maybe we should call it The Knowledge Factory.


Jake and the eTourism Summit Team


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How to Develop Your Internal Social Media Team

Gathan D Borden_headshot

By Gathan D. Borden, CHDM

Social media is no longer a function that solely lives in the marketing communications departments. And social media is no longer an afterthought in the travel cycle. Throughout their travels, social media fills a potential traveler’s void by offering before-market inspiration with photos and stories, in-market conversations with advice and tips and after-market distribution by sharing the traveler’s experience.

As destination marketing organizations, we are being asked to do more with less, and while sometimes that can be viewed as a negative, I view it as an opportunity to showcase how creative and flexible our organizations can be, to adapt to the ever-changing traveler who is now mobile. Social media allows us to connect with travelers in a myriad of ways, and we all should be using different channels for different purposes. Trying to stay abreast of the changes within both the travel industry and social media space can be a daunting task, and we cannot do it alone. Some of us opt to try and do it ourselves, some of us work in teams and others utilize an outside agency. In Louisville, we have opted to use all internal staff for our social media functions, and I am a strong believer that using in-house staff is not only a great way to market your destination via social media, but also a key way to gain organizational buy-in. I have organized a team of 11 people from various roles within the CVB to handle our social media efforts. Our team consists of people from sales, services, tourism development, partnership and marketing communications – and we all come together to do one thing and that is to promote Louisville.

I am in no way telling destination marketing organizations that they should not use agencies to help them create and administer their destination pages on social media. However, I am providing you with an alternative, in the case where you either (a) can’t handle the social media all by yourself along with your other destination duties or (b) you don’t have the budget to hire and retain an agency. So, without further ado, here are my ten steps to help you develop your internal social media team:

Teamwork in Louisville

Teamwork in Louisville

  1. Find someone to carry the torch.  To organize cross-functional team within your organization, you need one person who takes on the leadership role of organizing, setting strategy, developing tactics and measuring performance.
  2. Develop a social media policy. Before anyone jumps into the world of social media, you need to develop a social media policy that will protect the organization, protect the employees and provide direction on how to communicate effectively on social media.
  3. Find people who love social, regardless of their organizational role. You can teach people how to use social media, if they love it. But you can’t teach people to love social media if they are not active on it. Finding people who love it, brings synergy to the team.
  4. Use social networks from a personal perspective before developing a brand presence. Never sign up for a brand account until you play around with it personally. We oftentimes get excited with new technologies and dive into them without setting a strategy to see where it fits in the overall social media plan.
  5. Divide workload amongst the team’s strengths. Cross-functional teams work because everyone brings their strengths to the table. Find out what networks people are good at and love, then empower them to grow it.
  6. Set aside time for face-to-face meetings. At a minimum, quarterly meetings will allow you to get re-energized with the team, address issues and have conversations about ideas that can’t be done over email. These meetings are ideal for content planning sessions.
  7. Provide updates and milestones to the organization. Social media is sometimes seen as an invisible task, so make every effort to keep the organization aware of the progress and successes you are making. Recognizing the team in front of the organization creates goodwill amongst the team.
  8. Report on key metrics and performance to management. All management is different, so find out what they are looking for, and in your reporting make those areas stand out so that they can see your progress.
  9. Set goals to expand your social presence. Every year, you should set goals to become better at a network or to add one more network to your social media portfolio.
  10. Always keep your mobile device handy. You never know when you will run across good content, so always keep your mobile device handy. Just because you take a photo or video doesn’t mean you have to use it at that exact moment. As a marketer, you should already know what your destination story is, so when you see stuff, capture it and save it for a rainy day.

Organizing an internal social media team can be difficult, as you will deal with different levels of education and differing personalities, but once you get everyone on the same page, it will prove to be one of the most valuable communication teams and tools that your organization will ever use. Do you think you will try to organize your own team now?

Our guest blog comes from the desk of Gathan D. Borden, Director of Brand Marketing and Advertising for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this role, he is responsible for the overall advertising, branding, marketing and social media strategies for the city of Louisville’s travel and tourism promotion. Borden is a past and current speaker at eTourism Summit.

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Countdown to #eTS14: Can we talk?


We’re excited as the days unfold in the run-up to the 15th eTourism Summit. Here’s this week’s summary of thought-provoking, cutting-edge ideas we’re going to be hearing more about. Let us know whenever you’ve got something compelling to share and visit on Facebook for daily updates.

38 Days To Go: How can we keep up?

It’s algorithm anarchy with changes coming fast and furious. Google & Facebook made 300+ in just 4 months! SEO experts Laszlo Horvath and Sandee Jordan will help us stay up-to-the-minute.

37 Days To Go: Can we talk?

Meeting planners are jaded. They’ve been everywhere and seen it all from the front row and from the back of the house. So, how do you get them to engage on social media? Mandy Volpe knows, and she’s sharing her success stories.

36 Days To Go: Can we simplify matters?

KISS. Enduring advice — keep it simple — from Destination Analysts, who have done usability studies for hundreds of DMO and attraction websites. Get yours critiqued by the pros.

35 Days To Go: Can we create the best ads?

Twitter has knocked off Topps to create a ‘baseball card concept’ that does double duty as paid ads for travel clients.

34 Days To Go: Can we surprise and delight?

Sprinkle your content with photos, videos, humorous items, human interest. Content marketing is no longer about optimizing and refreshing words, but also generating engagement that will be shared and surface in searches.

33 Days To Go: Can we do something that’s free?

What are the best ways to build followers on Instagram? Katie Cook, Director of Digital Marketing, Austin C&VB shares some great tips.

32 Days To Go: Can’t we just be happy?

Shouldn’t every company have a Director of Client Happiness Enforcement Officer?  Richard Beeson of AgoraPulse is happy to share the good word. 

31 Days To Go: May we help?

DigMe 14 is introduced in Beta, an eTS digital marketplace.

Spend the last two hours of the 2014 eTourism Summit over cocktails with a series of fast paced 10-minute meetings connecting the most savvy group of digital tourism buyers with the most innovative digital media companies.

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Online Reputation Management Got You Overwhelmed?

socmediaA guest post by Jim Brody

Here are some solutions





For DMOs and the travel industry alike, the world of digital marketing is exciting, but all too often it is overwhelming.  During the Reputation Management Master Classes I conduct, DMOs frequently mention that the delights of engagement can be steam-rolled by the sheer scope what can realistically be done with limited resources. It’s a convergence of several factors:

  • Every business must engage in online conversation, whether they like it or not
  • A fear of negative comments and its potential impact on the business
  • Content is spread out across too many platforms to effectively monitor
  • Giving the impression that a conversation about you, but without you, means that you don’t control your own marketing
  • Risks associated with engaging in conversation

That’s a lot to digest. Here’s a start to helping you navigate the world of third-party content and put you squarely on the path of effectively managing your reputation:

1. You can’t do everything and be everywhere, but that’s OK.  Different types of content and content websites work well for different types of businesses. The chart below can help you prioritize and focus. This lists the most used platforms for each type of content (i.e. YouTube for video).


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2. Actively recruit online advocates.  You’ll need a strategy to make this work for thenature of your business.  For example, lodgings can email following a stay, while DMOs can launch an online promotion to encourage and collect content.

3. Register for Google Alerts for your business to get regular updates of user-generated content as it surfaces across the Internet.

4. Engage with content creators.  Respond politely to bad reviews, comment and thank people for beautiful videos, feature photos on your website, or reach out to bloggers. People respect businesses that get involved in the conversation, honestly and fairly.

5. Make sure you take immediate action to respond to and refute any content you feel is fraudulent.  Most platforms have policies regarding this. Avoid an online debate with the content creator.

6. Be authentic, open and honest about your business or organization.  Someone (or a group of someones) will almost surely make your mistake into an online conversation…and that could go viral (and it would be all your fault).  So don’t lie.  Period.

Jim Brody has 15 years of digital marketing experience including his role helping DMOs manage their reputations on TripAdvisor. He is now collaborating with eTourism Summit to deliver a series of Reputation Management Master Classes for DMOs to educate their stakeholders and partners.



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Filed under eTourism Summit San Francisco, Internet Reputation Management

E-Tourism Summit teams up with former TripAdvisor executive to create turnkey Reputation Master Classes

jim pic 4










The eTourism Summit has announced a partnership with Jim Brody, president of Sense of Place, to create a series of Reputation Management Master Classes specifically designed as a turnkey process through which DMOs can educate their hotel stakeholders on ways they can use online tools to better control their brand.

Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of NAJ Group, which produces the Summit said, “Jim Brody has been one of the highest rated presenters at eTourism Summit for the past six years. He can leverage his 15 years of digital marketing experience, seven of which were on the inside at TripAdvisor developing and selling its destination marketing products, to equip DMOs with tools to help their independent hotels and attractions learn how to manage their reputations.”

Over the past decade, Jim has worked with 700-plus DMOs worldwide, and given over 200 presentations on reputation management, third party content, digital marketing and related topics.  He currently serves on Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Partnership Group in North America and is a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s marketing committee.

Brody’s intensive workshops cover the following topics:

  • How to handle “bad” content and “worse” advocate behavior
  • “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of incentivizing guests/customers to post reviews
  •  What to do in the event of a reputation crisis
  • Aligning 3rd party content with brand and promotional messaging
  • Choosing which platforms to focus on with limited time and resources
  • Working with bloggers and blog/news sites
  •  Specific practices for social network sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
  • Specific practices for online photo and video content (Instagram, YouTube)
  • Online behavior and why this all works
  • Maximizing the content on review sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp)
  • Working with “SNO” – Social Network Optimization

Here’s Jim’s schedule for the next three months:

September 22:   Africa Travel Association President’s Forum in New York City

September 24:   Reputation Management Webinar for Tourism Ireland

September 27:   Reputation Management Master Class in Toronto, ON

October 6:          Reputation Management Master Class in Nantucket, MA

October 8 – 9:   ETourism Summit in San Francisco, CA

October 28:      Reputation Management Master Class in Ontario Highlands, ON

November 6:     Reputation Management Master Class in Melbourne, VIC, Australia

November 7:     Reputation Management Master Class in Hobart, TAS, Australia

November 10:   Reputation Management Master Class in Bendigo, VIC, Australia

November 11:   Reputation Management Master Class in Victoria’s High Country, VIC, Australia

Now in its 15th year, the e-Tourism Summit has grown to be the world’s most helpful event for supporting DMOs and attractions as they navigate the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.  On his new role with NAJ, Brody said, “I’m excited and honored to be working with the eTourism Summit team to support DMOs and the industries in their destinations as they all look to digital third-party content to help grow visitation.”

For those interested in more information, contact Jim Brody at jbsenseofplace@gmail.com. The 15th annual eTourism Summit takes place Oct. 8-9 at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. For information, visit www.etourismsummit.com. Jim Brody, who has been with TripAdvisor for seven years, is collaborating with eTourism Summit to bring Reputation Master Classes to destinations around the world.

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Contribute to the Countdown: eTourism Summit 2014


We’re adding daily updates to our digital pointers list called “60 Ideas and Tips for the 60-Day Countdown,” leading up to the 15th Annual eTourism Summit, October 8-9, 2014.

In case you’ve missed any of the latest tidbits…or, even better, if you’ve got one to share, get in touch on our Facebook page.

53 Days To Go: Forget About Free Lunch

Facebook executives state it succinctly: “Think of us as a publisher.” That’s pretty darn clear.

52 Days To Go: Always Live in Beta

Shifting sands. Just when you think you get it, they’ll change it. As Lee McCabe, head of travel at Facebook said, “If it works, it’s obsolete.” Clearly applies to Google and the other platforms.

51 Days To Go: Manage Masterfully

This stuff is not for interns. “Social media coordinators need the skill set of a Harvard MBA grad…who can juggle, too,” according to Martin Stoll, Sparkloft Media.

50 Days To Go: Stake Out Your Space

Are you joining our Attractions Track? Make sure you do these 3 things: “Claim your free real estate on: 1) Google Places with photos, 2) video for 360º Google Maps Business View and 3) optimized mobile.” – Shaun Aukland, Google Account Executive.

49 Days To Go: Play it Again

Destinations can rock by attracting viewers through music videos. Marla Johnson at Aristotle Inc. works with DMOs and a Grammy-winning songwriter to develop great original tunes.

48 Days To GoSharpen Your Pencil

Content Marketing in 2014 is as different from Content Marketing in 2013 as day is from night.

47 Days To Go: Rope Them In

Visit Tucson generated a remarkable 400% organic reach via Facebook using a post featuring dude ranches. We’re going to find out how.

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See Tomorrow: 21 Changes in 12 Months

Photo: Geoff Wong

Photo: Geoff Wong

How 21 Digital Marketing Areas Have Changed in the Past Year

Q: How is Digital Marketing like placing your finger on a drop of mercury?

A: Just when you have it figured out, it moves…again!

eTourism Summit is the only industry venue that brings together DMOs and attractions to learn about the changes in all 21 areas of digital marketing that they must master AND meet the experts (and peers)  to explore and see what’s next.


How 21 Components of Digital Marketing Have Changed in the Last Year: 2013 vs 2014

Digital Area





 Hummingbird/Conversational search 


Keyword targeting

 Behavioral re-targeting/PPC Video


Necessary for SEO

 Ghost town -useful mostly for Hangouts

Facebook (organic)

Collecting followers

 Posts with Share-ability

Facebook       (paid) 

Boosted posts

 Social CRM


Should I spend    time on this

 Access to Millennials

Snack-able Video



ROI Metrics 

Conversion to hotel  sales

 Measure Branding

Website design

Responsive Design

 Becoming a Destination’s Concierge 


For DIYers

 Targeted Pinning

Digital Dept. Required Skills

Internet savviness


Mobile Marketing

 Apps v Responsive  Design 

 Mobile Optimization for everything



 True Vue (pay/view in excess of .30  sec.)


Wanderers in  residence

 Paid Influencer Marketing


Creating a viral  video

 Multiple videos for different niches

Big Data

Understanding it

  Shrinking it to work for you

Content Marketing


  Images and Video

Email         Marketing

List segmentation

  Mobile optimization+ Gmail and  Canadian  deliverability


Finding your voice

   Targeting tweets to conversations about  your destination

Native Advertising

How to define it

   Syndicated targeting to those most  likely to  visit your website


Website traffic

   ROI vs KPIs


Click here to register for #eTS14.  

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Announcing a Facebook ‘Post with the Most’ Competition







Enter the search for the Facebook post with the best organic reach

(Photo: Gunnar Richter)

(Photo: Gunnar Richter)

SAUSALITO, CA — The 15th Annual eTourism Summit held in San Francisco on Oct. 8-9, 2014 is launching a competition among its delegates to find the Facebook post with the highest percentage of organic reach. 

The prize winner receives a complimentary registration to eTourism Summit.*

Since Facebook’s latest algorithm changes, reports abound that organic engagement has plummeted.  However, several organizations are reporting that they have been able to sustain, even to grow beyond pre-2014 levels.

“Many marketers have the wrong followers for the algorithm changes, or the wrong content or both,” stated Jake Steinman, CEO of NAJ Group, which produces eTourism Summit. The contest invitation to delegates is now open.! We’re looking forward to your entry.

Competition Guidelines:

1. All entries must include a PDF screen capture of the Facebook post as well as the Facebook insights results.  

2. Reach must be purely organic and cannot include paid boosts.

3. Eligible entries must include posts that were uploaded after April 1, 2014.

4. Must be a destination, hotel, or attraction with a minimum of 3,000 Facebook followers. 

5. Winner determined by percentage of total followers reached per entered post.

Email one entry per organization to: jake@visitnaj.com by July 31, 2014.

 *In the event that the winner is already registered for eTourism Summit 2014, a credit for the same value toward a future registration or the option to bring a colleague to #eTS14 will be extended.





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Filed under All Things F, eTourism Summit San Francisco, Facebook

eTourism Summit 2014 Expands its Attractions Track

At eTourism Summit, we’re continually staging a full-blown “Listening Tour” to stay a beat ahead of whatever’s coming down the pike before it reaches the junction of DIGITAL MARKETING and TOURISM. Our delegate feedback from last October signals a green light on expanding the Attractions Track at #eTS14.


The Magnetic Attraction of Attractions and Q&A with Viator

 Over the course of our lifetimes, the world’s greatest attractions have come to realize that simply unlocking the doors in the morning is no replacement for a marketing strategy.             

 In other words, they used to think that if people cared about the treasures of the Louvre, the depths of the Grand Canyon or the mystery of Stonehenge, they’d just show up. 

These days, attractions marketing is a great deal more sophisticated than printing a brochure and running a gift shop. However, one thing hasn’t changed: Attractions attract. 

With a Finger on the Digital “GO” sign

We spoke with Kelly Gillease, Vice President Marketing at Viator to learn more about the latest.


We’re pleased to begin by recognizing and thanking Viator for their sponsorship of the Attractions Track at the upcoming 15th annual eTourism Summit.

eTS:  Kelly, tell us about how you came to Viator. 

KG:  It was a sequence of internet startups, from Hotwire to Expedia through its acquisition of Hotwire, then to Yahoo that led me to Viator, which was funded and poised for expansion in 2005. 

eTS: What are the top three trends attractions should be most aware of in their marketing?Screen shot 2014-06-20 at 12.19.05 PM

KG: There are currently two topics that outrank any others. 

First, in the decision and buying process, the shift to mobile is absolutely essential of as yesterday. Since travelers have a guide and a booking engine in their pocket, finding things to do has moved away from the desktop. 

Second, attractions should harness the power that mobile provides once visitors arrive. While I have seen some attractions do a good job of this, I’ve never seen one who has done an excellent job. Attractions should start with free Wi-Fi, and then be really smart about the possibilities of helping visitors to share their experiences online in the moment.     

eTS: What are the top challenges that attractions need to confront?

KG:  The quality of experience on mobile websites means attractions must think through the operational aspects, too. For example, printing and ticketing requirements need to be optimized and simplified.   

eTS: How can attractions better partner with hotels, activities, tours to sell more product?

KG:  We talk to lots of smaller attractions and non-profits that lack the immediate resources required for developing an app, producing multi-lingual landing sites, micro-sites and other opportunities that present as weaknesses. In partnering with Viator, for example, we can help them achieve better global distribution and get a slice of the big pie, which in turn creates sales and allows them to scale up over time.   

eTS: What’s new inside Viator in 2014-15 that you’ll be sharing with us in greater detail at the eTourism Summit in October? 

KG:  We’re looking forward to sharing details about better tech solutions for consumers to buy deals, sales and last minute tickets from the attractions we work with.  


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Filed under Attractions marketing, eTourism Summit San Francisco