Planning Los Angeles'Comeback for Meetings

See how a true understanding of Tier 1 destination meetings marketing and applying a layered digital strategy drove group business interest in LA as the city moved out of the pandemic.

Author: Kerrie Yancey

THE CHALLENGES

For a destination known as being risky, daring and fun, how was LA Tourism (LAT) going to relay their commitment to LA being one of the safest and best options for meetings:

  1. during the time of the pandemic and while planner sentiment and health and safety guidelines were constantly changing?
  2. without neglecting their brand identity?
  3. while being leaders in the industry?
  4. and seamlessly evolve into their new position post-pandemic?

THE SOLUTIONS

We leveraged our understanding of Tier 1 destination meetings marketing and our layered digital strategy approach to develop solutions that drove group business interest in Los Angeles moving out of the pandemic – seamlessly integrating those strategies with LA’s brand strategies.

A True Partnership Along the Way

  • We gathered real-time sentiment and intel from LAT’s partners and stakeholders. In addition, we engaged with the bureau’s marketing team to fully understand the new brand and develop a strategy adapted to a planner’s needs.
  • We engaged with LAT’s sales team and internal branding task force to offer creative and content input from a meetings-industry perspective and help guide messaging for the reopening.

Specifically, we…

  • Devoted time and attention to developing a meetings website strategy and a strategic content marketing approach to complement the meetings advertising campaign
  • Leveraged LAT’s database to drive marketing opportunities for key vertical markets
  • Tapped into our knowledge of the meetings trade media and cost-effective performance strategies to fully leverage the team’s media investment
  • Utilized Digital Edge’s in-house digital media team to run an omni-channel, always-on campaign to target planners and drive site engagement

"We were looking to really make the most of our advertising dollars and for a creative partner who understood the meetings industry. We were spending too much time and energy having to educate agencies who didn’t have sufficient knowledge of the meeting planner audience and the meetings media landscape. A colleague recommended Digital Edge and we were excited to finally meet an agency that got it right away."

- Darren Green, Senior VP of Sales

Managing and optimizing the DMO’s overall meetings marketing program during this time allowed the LA team to gain steady footing and agility in their group efforts during one of our industry’s shakiest periods.

Marketing LA’s ‘Comeback’ for Meetings & Conventions:

In 2021, LA Tourism rolled out their “Start Your Comeback” communication and campaign to distinctively position themselves in the crowded, recovery-message-dense market.

Digital Edge’s companion message and campaign, “Plan Your Comeback,” was a cohesive effort that paralleled LA’s consumer marketing timeline but resonated with meeting and event professionals.

We evaluated and ran digital marketing campaigns for LAT with our internal targeting KPIs.

Creating Marketing Assets Like…

  • A meetings website audit & strategy
  • A mobile-optimized landing page with a citywide conventions focus to communicate the convention campus offerings clearly
  • Supplementary website content
  • Paid social marketing strategies and distribution
  • Programmatic media – HTML5  & static digital ads
  • Hype videos from existing footage – integrating the destination’s videos of large, world-class venues and citywide-relevant assets to leverage the influence of spacious, open-air options for meetings in Los Angeles

Key Metrics

4.5 Million

Media Campaign Impressions

14,900+

Campaign Landing Page Views

20.7%

Avg. Email Open Rate

2.8%

Avg. Email CTR

151.83%

Increase in MeetLA Website Pageviews (YoY)

185.21%

Increase in MeetLA Sessions (YoY)(48,515 vs 17,010)

"While we have a strong internal team with a lot of great ideas, we needed some creative and bandwidth support to execute on those ideas. Digital Edge has acted as a natural extension of our team on that front. They have been able to pick up the ball and run with it so we’ve been able to move a lot of long-time wish list items across the finish line."

- Paige Cram, Senior Director of Marketing

Cut To: After the Comeback…

With the Comeback in full motion, it was time to “Flip the Script.” Here’s how “Plan Your Comeback” evolved into LA’s new messaging.

Supporting Campaigns for LA’s Growth-Potential Sectors

LA CSR + DEI Campaign

An awareness campaign around the opportunities for planners’ corporate social responsibility programs through LA’s community experiences that enrich diversity, equity and inclusion

LA Tech Campaign

Drives in-house group business and develops customer loyalty as these tech companies grow to develop opportunities for the citywide conventions

LA Medical Campaign

An awareness campaign that educates medical meeting professionals on LA’s medical community and develops tools for the LA sales team to utilize

"We really wanted some dedicated attention to our digital campaign strategy--to ensure that all of our placements and ad buys were working efficiently for us and achieving our goals. When we had worked with traditional agencies, we never seemed to get enough rationale or reporting to make our placements seem strategic. With Digital Edge, they look at our goals and needs holistically, help select placements that align with our strategy and then really follow up to see where we can tweak and improve things."

- Paige Cram, Senior Director of Marketing

Let's Chat

To learn more about how we’re helping destination marketing organizations with their convention center expansions/renovations or new meetings product, reach out to see how we can work with you.