‘We Need to Engage in Under Five Seconds’


Tourism Australia’s marketing and communications manager, Monica Armesto, says you need to grab an audience’s attention in an increasingly short amount of time.

How has destination marketing in the business events sector evolved?
There’s definitely a trend towards shorter, more visual communication and it’s only going to get more important to pitch your message quickly, effectively and with emotional impact.

As attention spans shorten and workloads get busier, delivering the ‘wow’ moment with content, branding, or experiences is no longer just about getting your audience to emotionally engage with your message — it now needs to happen within the first five seconds of your pitch.

At the same time there are an increasing number of destinations pitching their offer, so creating a point of difference for your destination and communicating that clearly has never been more crucial.

What strategies do you use to attract association business to Australia?
Tourism Australia’s job is to raise awareness and preference for Australia amongst key decision-makers for the association sector. We do this by focusing on our unique destinations, on demonstrating Australia’s events-delivery capabilities and showcasing our strengths in key knowledge sectors.

A big part of that is our content strategy, which brings this information to light through case studies, infographics, and dedicated publications such as Australia Innovates. We produce this magazine twice a year, and it’s a great way to demonstrate that Australia is not only a safe and beautiful country with incredible food and wine, friendly people, and a track record of event delivery, but it’s also a place where world-firsts such as the Bionic Ear, ultrasound, and Wi-Fi have been invented.

What industry issues keep you up at night?
As mentioned earlier, the fight for attention in a saturated market. As the need to deliver the essence of a message meets even shorter attention spans, we’ll need to keep refining our approach to deliver what the customer actually wants to hear, not what we think we need to say.

Additionally — I’m not sure it keeps me up at night — but I do ponder the practical use of big data. We’re all familiar with the scenario of being ‘stalked’ on the internet because we happened to search for a product out of curiosity. I think it’s very important to recognise the humanity in data. A future challenge will be turning data into real insight, and ensuring it’s used wisely to meet the actual needs of the customer.

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