IBTM Survey Highlights Changes in Destination Marketing Mix

Event Africa Contributor 11/05/2021 Uncategorized

Many destinations that were forced into hibernation over the COVID-19 period have now awoken and are actively looking to the future.

This according to an ibtm survey amongst city, regional and national convention bureaux and destination marketing organisations, which revealed that some 89% of destinations remained actively engaged with their buyers and stakeholders, despite the devastating impact of the pandemic on the tourism and hospitality sector.

The report, created and published in partnership between IBTM Events and davies tanner, revealed that destinations would fully and proactively resume their communication activities, but noted that the marketing channels have changed drastically.

“As you might expect, those channels have been predominately digital, although looking forward, our respondents see live and face-to-face marketing activity returning relatively quickly, although perhaps not at pre-pandemic levels,” says Claude Blanc, Portfolio Director WTM & IBTM Events.

Not surprisingly, the more traditional marcomms channels have been displaced during this period and replaced by predominately digital solutions, or at least those that do not require a level of face-to-face engagement.

As you would expect, given a return to face-to-face activity is likely to be gradual, social media ranked highest at 93%. PR and media relations were second at 68%, highlighting the importance of securing trusted news and content via earned media and third-party sources.

Digital Advertising (65%) and Virtual Events (65%) were further key platforms highlighted.

However, not all activity has been digital during the period, although much of this probably took place in the early part of the year, outside of full lockdown or during periods where local restrictions were at their lowest.

One area that was surprising, said Blanc, was the need to get back quickly to attending trade shows. Some 51% of respondents said that trade shows and exhibitions would still be an important part of their marketing mix.

“This was not purely a desire to simply get back to a sales setting, but to use the trade show environment to conduct real-time market research in an effort to develop longer-term strategies, and also to rebuild a network and pipeline that has been severely disrupted during the past 12 months,” added Blanc.

What is apparent, according to the ibtm Report, is that business events will play an important role in what will continue to be a very fast-moving and highly complex environment, and one where the function of destinations in delivering those events, will undoubtably need to evolve and continue to be ever more critical.

Click here to read the full ibtm Report.

IBTM World,the leading global event for the meetings and events industry, is the must-attend three-day event for the worldwide meeting, incentives, conference and events industry. Thousands of meetings and events buyers, suppliers and international trade media visit Fira Barcelona every December for IBTM’s flagship show, with over 74,000 business meetings taking place. Next event: Tuesday 30 November to Thursday 2 December 2021 at Fira Barcelona www.ibtmevents.com    

IBTM Africa is the leading conference for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry in Africa and aims to inspire the business events world to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers. Targeting inbound business, IBTM Africa is the platform for African and Indian Ocean suppliers and international buyers to meet, network and transact business in a highly targeted and interactive environment. Find out more on www.atwconnect.com/ibtm-africa