The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) earned one "Henry Award," the highest award for imaginative destination marketing, along with one Silver Award, at the 45th annual Governor's Conference on Tourism Flagler Awards Competition presented Sept. 5-6 in Orlando.
The VCB has the distinction of acquiring 24 Henry Awards since the competition began in 2000.
Sponsored by Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing organization for the state, and the Florida Commission on Tourism, the Flagler Awards program is designed to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Annually, the Flagler Awards honor many individuals and organizations that help maintain and improve Florida's position as one of the world's most popular travel destinations. The awards are open to all individuals, private businesses and not-for-profit organizations offering a product or service that promotes tourism to or within Florida.
Working independently, a panel of five judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges' cumulative scores, awards were presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each of the 17 categories, the Henry Award.
The VCB was honored with a Henry Award for its Mobile Trigger Welcome Email in the "Direct Marketing" category and a Silver Award for its Journal Campaign in the "Print Advertising" category.
The top honor, the Henry Award, resulted from a campaign consisting of a creative welcome reply to consumers who opted-in to receive emails from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. The strategy was to provide new subscribers with a confirmation that they successfully signed up for these emails, while immediately providing them with the best content to entice visitation and setting their expectations for future email communication.
Based on research findings, the best content focused on the top reasons for consumers to book a vacation to the destination: beaches, shelling, wildlife, historical sites, dining, and more. Links were imbedded in this content to drive traffic to the consumer website. Also included was a call-to-action to request a Visitor's Guide, along with the capability to view the Visitor's Guide online, or download the iphone app of the Guide. Co-op ads with special deals to incentivize vacation bookings were also featured.
"We are thankful to be acknowledged by Visit Florida and the tourism industry for our bureau's marketing efforts over the years," said VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott. "The outstanding work of our staff and the VCB's agency, MMGY Global, is to be commended."