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Thomas Hinderks
05-06-2008, 03:25 PM
Who do we want to attract as tourists?

How can we reach them as a C2E team?

In my mind from personal experience I would like to concentrate on the European market....

Extremely interested in history, passionate to experience new things, really like Western Canada.

We have a great series of historical features in Edmonton...Fort Edmonton Park, Alberta Aviation Museum, Ukranian Village and a few more.

Close to the Mountains and much more.

Your thoughts????

moahunter
05-06-2008, 04:25 PM
I think we should aim close to home. All across the Prairies. Weekend in the big smoke, with all our attractions in the downtown (plus, downtown arena, LRT to WEM for the shopping trip, etc.). A related thought, is to piggy back off NHL a little more. In places like Toronto, it is impossible to get tickets now. That can be "packaged" up too I think (again, ties into downtown arena idea).

I think it is a tough sell for Edmonton internationally against, say, Calgary. We can probably piggy back a bit, but I see the market nearby at those little prairie towns where we are seen a big smoke.

One way we may be able to go international though, is to work to a theme / niche market, like this being a "gay friendly" city - this could be quite a smart one, as often big spenders per demographic research (not as many kids). Maybe there is a Brokeback mountain tie in?

RichardS
05-06-2008, 05:13 PM
I think it is a tough sell for Edmonton internationally against, say, Calgary.

I read this and I immediately go....


GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR :smt076 :smt021 :smt092 :smt075

What is with this silly inferiority complex? Edmonton is what you make it. Mountains are mountains. Calgary is Calgary. You can get mountains and a heck of a lot more diverse, cosmopolitan, and unique cities in Europe and Asia that have mountains.

Time to STOP comparing ourselves to ourselves. Calgary and Edmonton are brothers in this world.

So...

back to Tom's question. What do we DO?



GET ACTIVITIES IN OUR GOSH DARN RIVER VALLEY OTHER THAN WALKING!!!! cough Rossdale cough.

Lobby for and start working towards our "Kananaskis North" - whatever that may be.
Get off our butts and start submitting public art. Companies, start buying a piece or two.
Stop littering.
555 - Hello. It is 2008.
Expand a few more events/races. Skulls, hydroplanes, Red Bull Air race, That crazy Red Bull nut race with skates, etc
Make the 6 weeks post Stampede so event packed that this sity won't know what to do with itself.
Make the last 2 weeks of Jan or first 2 week of Feb full of winterfest fun.
Get VIA better rates and packages to Jasper and Vancouver. If mountains and water is so #$^*#(&$*(#$& crucial, give our tourists all of in with a cruise on land.
Architecture. Self explanatory.

Thomas Hinderks
05-06-2008, 05:16 PM
Way to go Richard S

Now we are cooking with gas!!!!!!

Tom

moahunter
05-06-2008, 05:16 PM
I think it is a tough sell for Edmonton internationally against, say, Calgary.

I read this and I immediately go....

[COLOR=Red][I][B]
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR :smt076 :smt021 :smt092 :smt075

Having grown up overseas, I can assure you, that if you run an advertising campaign in a foreign country outside North America, and say "Edmonton", you will spend longer explaining what Edmonton is, than you will advertising. Like it or not, people know Calgary, but they don't know Edmonton (and it's all thanks to that Olympics, and Stampede).

It's fine to think we have an inferiority complex, but I think we need to face reality too. We don't have an image overseas, and creating one, is unbelievably expensive. By contrast, we do have an image in Canada, and parts of the US, that we can gain synergy from, and make money from. We have great attractions, but enhancing them like you suggest, won't do anything, if no-body knows about it. To me - that is a sign of inferiority, that we aren't already good enough. I don't think that's the case, we have the attractions now. The key though, is we have to be very smart about where we spend our advertising money. We need packages, and targeted ones, not broad brush campaigns. If we can tag onto a Calgary campaign, then great, but it is a tag on. By contrast, when we go local, we don't have to tag on, we can lead.

Let's put together a campaign that offers NHL tickets and downtown hotels, and WEM passes - a weekend away from home. Or, a theater weekend (which may actually appeal a lot to people who live where there is no theater). Or a music weekend (with the Symphony orchestra), or... there are lots and lots of opportunities, but we need to make it easy for people to fly or drive in, stay downtown (this is key), and spend their money here. A spur of the moment thing if you will - "lets pop in to Edmonton next weekend for a quick and easy getaway to see...." - now, "here's a package to do it". No different from how in the UK you pick up a weekend package to Paris, or even Brighton. No stress - no hassles, let them know we want them to come, tell them about why they should come, how easy it is to come, and they will come. And once people start coming and staying in our downtown, don't worry, our already good attractions will improve even more.

RichardS
05-06-2008, 06:28 PM
I think it is a tough sell for Edmonton internationally against, say, Calgary.

I read this and I immediately go....

[color=Red][i][b]
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR :smt076 :smt021 :smt092 :smt075

Having grown up overseas, I can assure you, that if you run an advertising campaign in a foreign country outside North America, and say "Edmonton", you will spend longer explaining what Edmonton is, than you will advertising. Like it or not, people know Calgary, but they don't know Edmonton (and it's all thanks to that Olympics, and Stampede).

.

Anecdotally, since that is where we are, I too have traveled. Mentioning Alberta draws blank stares, while Edmonton gets more play when I mention the Mall and Gretzky than the Stu-pede or the small-ish Olympics are mentioned.

So, sorry, but the argument you put forth holds little water. Really, Calgary gets some play, and Edmonton gets some play. I highly doubt that overall there is a significant margin of recognition advantage to our sisters to the south....

Brentk
05-06-2008, 06:31 PM
I agree, Edmonton needs to move away trying to explain itself and actually do something. My advise would be to move everything to focus around the river valley. Make it world class ( and I mean actually world class like nothing else in Canada). Then move the festivals to the river valley.

Comparing to Calgary, Edmonton can't because Edmonton is like an ADHD individual that hasn't been on its pill for years, and is just coming to grasp with the potential. Calgary has taken events such as the Stampede and brought them to maturity.

Thomas Hinderks
05-06-2008, 06:41 PM
Problem defined.....

Solution:

1) Short term regionally marketed advantages to get fastest response from immediate market area.

2) Longer term TARGETED programs to select international audience where we have special advantages.

Suggestions???

Tom

ralph60
05-06-2008, 07:32 PM
Richards is absolutely right, as is Moahunter. We need to stop comparing ourselves to Cowgary, Edmonton stands on it's own.
I think what we need to do immediately is a better job at picking the low hanging fruit, I travel Northern Alberta and B.C. extensively. There should be weekend packages promoted to stimulate more visits from our natural market. Edmonton is the nearest big city to nearly half a million people. This would give us the best and quickest return for our buck.
Internationally we should continue and expand on the tactics we are already using. Things like the Masters games and other sports tournaments, the fringe and other festivals are key to developing our reputation.
Finally bidding on and hosting a unique and successful World's Fair would help us immeasurably.

Sonic Death Monkey
05-06-2008, 07:38 PM
Here's my old idea for a promotion: "Different Collars, Different Colors"

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=1019&

I'm still waiting for the marketing wizards to run with this.

newfangled
05-06-2008, 07:59 PM
1) Short term regionally marketed advantages to get fastest response from immediate market area.

That seems to be the current target of the EEDC.

All of their press releases recently have been about how well the "It's cooler here" campaign has played in Ft. St. John, Peace River and Lloyd. Northlands says the same thing about Capital Ex.

To which I say...meh.

newfangled
05-06-2008, 08:02 PM
And while we're dredging up old stuff:

Edmonton: Northern Light (http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=5497)

We can decide who we want to market to.
And we can catalog all of our amazing amenities.

But if we can't communicate that message effectively, coherently and concisely then it's all for naught.

Thomas Hinderks
05-06-2008, 08:05 PM
This is really great positive stuff

Lets keep it going

Tom

moahunter
05-06-2008, 08:06 PM
1) Short term regionally marketed advantages to get fastest response from immediate market area.

How about we pick a town like Red Deer - and think about what people there might enjoy in Edmonton. The same plans could then be rolled out in other cities. For example, maybe for Red Deer:

Hockey/Eskimos Package - NHL/Eskimos game. downtown hotel, restruant/sports bar (perhaps WEM)
Theater/Music Package - downtown hotel, top restruant, citadel/winspear tickets, then perhaps, next day, Gallery of Alberta or RAM
Family Package - Downtown hotel (near legislature / baseball perhaps), resturant (may be in hotel), Fort Edmonton Park, WEM

We could have billboards in Red Deer - with outlines of packages, and phone number / internet to contact. Even some tv / radio spots there.
Just rough thoughts, I'm sure something much better than this can be designed. But if you put a few things together, it should be possible to make a very reasonably priced package. And once people are here, they will spend money here.

On the international one - what do people think about my Brokeback idea? Maybe try that in Germany (big population base), targeting magazines etc.? It would highlight perhaps a festival, or similar.

Thomas Hinderks
05-06-2008, 08:09 PM
Solid constructive idea!!!

Tom

booster
05-06-2008, 10:53 PM
My comment on this thread is instead of trying to always attract outsiders, is you build for and market to Edmontonians first. The example I will use is the castles in Europe. They weren't built for the tourists. They were built for the local noble and for the local population sometimes as protection or as a trading post. Then over time their attraction spread to others outside their regions and now are tourist destinations.

Our festivals, the Indy, Capital Ex, local theatre, sports is supported by Edmontonians first because they are first rate, desirable and of course we have great taste. Nothing should ever by marketed first to an outsider. Get buy in from the local population and you will have success. Why do most visitors come to Edmonton. I would say a vast majority are here to see family and friends. Then when they are here, hopefully they like what they see or experience and when they go back home whether it be Grande Prairie, Moose Jaw, Argentia, or Melbourne they tell friends who would then come visit us.

We have many wonderful attractions and events and yet they seem to market themselves in a bubble instead of together. There are instances where that is changing like the Eddie Bus that I am involved in. It connects directly the RAM, Fort Edmonton, TWOS, Muttart, the Leg, Old Strathcona, High Street, and Churchill Square. How many of you took the opportunity last year to use the bus. How many plan on taking in the Bodyworld exhibit at TWOS.

There are gaps in our events. We do need a winter festival so Edmontonians can have a great time in the shortest, coldest days. And if it is good enough for Edmontonians it will be good enough for the world. I want to see more live music venues, I want to see a downtown arena that has built in restaurants and bars that face the outside. I want to see the World Fair showing that Edmonton rocks! We have the main building blocks in this city. I want the Edmonton clinic to thrive. I want people to know that Cooking Lake Blackfoot Provincial Recreation area is the best place to run in this area anywhere in the province. I want Tix on the Square to push 1/2 price tickets the day of performances. Why should there be any empty seats in any theatre or performance in the city. I want the downtown to be swept all year round.

If we love our city, live in our city, invest in our city. Others will notice and then big advertising campaigns actually begin to work a little. My two cents!

Thomas Hinderks
06-06-2008, 08:22 AM
Booster

I actually agree with you

Which is why I asked that the content be the things we already have!

Everything you have said is accurate, we need to share our successes with the world and use what we have created to attract them to come to Edmonton.

Notice on the list...all are here and now

Tom

RichardS
06-06-2008, 10:24 AM
What made me get together with others to form PROMOTE-Edmonton was the negative blah blah Edmontonians put out on their city when they traveled. I agree with Booster, promotion comes from within.

Thomas Hinderks
06-06-2008, 11:09 AM
Vass is dis PROMOTE-Edmonton of vich I not be familiar?

Schultzzzzz.......ok poor humor but it is friday

Tom

Edmontonfan
06-06-2008, 11:14 AM
To a large degree it is up to all of us to promote the city. Not blind boosterism, but not the negativity that I hear so much of the time. It's just as easy to say how bright it is during those cold winter days as it is to say it is -30 for weeks on end! And in fact it is really bright and we really don't get too many -30c days.

We tend to take a perverse pleasure in knocking the city and surrounding areas without even knowing what it is we are talking about. Just look at the threads in this forum; rants get post after post whereas raves are lucky if the get more than a few entries, and by and large I would say we are a positive group on here.

We have to take more pride in our city and be prepared to share that pride and defend the city against the un-informed naysayers! All cities have good and bad, so lets work harder in our own circles to promote the good and that will help change our image to outsiders and locals alike.

Thomas Hinderks
08-06-2008, 08:28 PM
I agree Edmontonfan

In this day and age when so many con artists are marketing products that don't exist we seem to have a hard time marketing a product..."Edmonton" that is actually a pretty attractive place, Regionally, Provincially, Nationally and could be Internationally.

Who should we focus our positive energy on?

Tom