Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Best Destination Videos

by By the Editors of Convene | Aug 06, 2013


“What do you know about Holland?” the narrator asks, then name-checks everything classically Dutch under the Van Gogh-inflected sun: “flowers, windmills, picturesque canals, cheese, wooden shoes, master paintings from the golden age.” From there we’re off on a whirlwind tour of cool, contemporary Amsterdam and its environs, from dining and shopping to bicycling. It’s a fun, bright, and cheeky look at a country that’s secure enough in its past to fit it seamlessly into its present and future. Said Kristin M. Mirabal, CMP, director of global programs for The Optical Society. “It is a creative and edgy look at what us non- Dutch view as Holland!”


The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) goes big with a whole series on the ATL — a preview trailer followed by four episodes that look at Atlanta’s accessibility, walkability, dining, and nightlife. The tone is strictly mockbuster, following the exploits of two sharp-suited, dark-sunglassed agents who have been “hired to find out why one city has risen above the rest.” “What a cool take on how to show off your city!” said Shannon Burke, CMP, associate director of conference and meetings for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “By making a city’s promo into an adventurous and intriguing vignette, they’ve definitely caught my interest and made a memorable impact.” Which was the whole point. “The ‘ATL Files’ was created as an attendance-driving tool for ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition, which will be held in Atlanta [this month], but it has grown to encompass much more,” said ACVB President and CEO William Pate. “We are able to use the ‘ATL Files’ to show meeting planners and attendees alike what has changed since they were last in Atlanta, and do so in a creative, entertaining medium that holds the viewer’s attention.”


That’s a bold statement, and to back it up, Boston draws on the full breadth of its hometown resources, with testimonials from Mayor Thomas M. Menino; Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops; Doc Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics; Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University; and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Together they paint a nuanced portrait of a city with brains, beauty, heart and soul. The video was “developed to promote Boston as the host of PCMA Convening Leaders 2014,” said Caryn Izhar, director of convention center marketing for the Boston Convention Marketing Center. “Home to innovators and revolutionary thinkers, Boston has a long track record of making history — from the beginnings of the American Revolution to the beginnings of the Internet and Facebook — and our conventions are no different."


How do you let the world know that your city is full of young, infectiously creative talent? You let the talent speak — or sing — for itself. Calgary’s entire destination video is scored to “Right Here,” a song by local duo Jocelyn & Lisa, whose voices flutter and soar above beautifully shot scenes of the city, the countryside around it, and the people who live, work, and play in both. Said Jenna McLeod, manager of marketing and communication for the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre: “From our perspective, the video is an excellent collaboration which allows us to have a united message and stronger voice when we promote Calgary anywhere in the world. We want to tell more people in more places that Calgary is a vibrant and energetic city to visit, meet, and work.”


There’s nothing like the truth. To dispel some of the misperceptions that visitors might have, Phoenix follows an uninformed traveler as he lands at the airport, takes a cab downtown, and wanders around the city. Along the way, he shares his negative assumptions about the city — and each time he does, he’s corrected by “Pop-Up Video”-style facts. When he says, “Welcome to Phoenix, where it is always hot,” we learn this: “Phoenix average yearly temperature: 73°.” In response to the observation that “Downtown Phoenix is just a brown, dusty, concrete jungle of buildings,” we get this: “Wrong again. Civic Space Park opened 2008.” And on and on, playfully refuting stereotypes about Phoenix’s food, culture, walkability, and more. "Humor was the best approach, given that most of the obstacles in the selling process originate from misperceptions about heat and sprawl," said Melissa Gogel, marketing director for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Once the myths are dispelled — and we agreed to hit them head on — it’s much easier to get to the task of booking business.”

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