With 2015 just around the corner, now’s the time to plan how to take advantage of tourism marketing opportunities from the Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development. Here’s how to get a jump on 2015 and stay on top of the latest in Connecticut tourism activities:
• 2015 Advertising Co-op Programs:
o Getaway Guide – Free-standing Inserts & Digital Enhancements – Deadline: 2/20/15 for Spring/Summer edition
o NEW – Amplified Storytelling Co-op
o Digital Banner Co-op
o Out of Home Co-op
• Tourism Marketing Challenge Grant Application Now Available – Deadline: 1/12/15
• Domestic Direct Sales and International Outreach – Update/Leads Available
• Short & Long Lead PR Opportunities
• Holiday Happenings
• Recent Media Coverage
Advertising Co-op Programs
The Connecticut Office of Tourism is offering several exciting cooperative advertising opportunities for 2015:
• Getaway Guide: Free-standing Insert & Digital Enhancements
Be part of this high-impact, 100% Connecticut-branded piece loaded with information and inspirational ideas. It’s hyper-targeted, with a focus on markets with the highest propensity to drive inquiry and conversion. Distributed via key Tri-State Area, Western MA and RI newspapers (exact newspaper list TBD) and digital efforts. Managed and produced by Madden Media.
• NEW CT Content/Amplified Storytelling Co-op
The new Amplified Storytelling Co-op, managed by Madden Media, offers custom-written experiential long-form, engaging stories to drive visitor traffic to your website. Unlike a voiceless, broad overview of a particular area, Madden Media’s Amplified Storytelling creates pieces that focus on a visitor’s experience. Along with these custom stories, Madden Media’s audience development platform will drive thousands of new visitors to these stories on your website.
• Digital Banner Co-op
Participate in the Digital Banner Co-op program, managed by Media Storm. Features flash banners in a variety of standard sizes, to run across multiple sites. Site and media vendor selection will be based on prior performance for the still revolutionary campaign. Timing, target and geographic parameters to be fully aligned with COT brand program.
• Out of Home Co-op
Out of Home Co-op, managed by Out of Home America and Media Storm, provides an opportunity for your destination to have a presence through static bulletins on major highways and in transportation centers in and around Connecticut (I-84, I-87, I-95, I-91), or on train station posters on the New Haven and Harlem lines (Metro North) and/or Long Island Rail Road.
For more information on these co-op programs, click here.
Tourism Marketing Challenge Grant Application Now Available
The Tourism Marketing Challenge Grant Program application and guidelines for FY15 are now available online. The grants assist non-profit tourism entities in their efforts to promote attractions and events open to visitors. The competitive grant program is a creative partnership between DECD’s Connecticut Office of Tourism and industry partners to increase high-value visitation and to extend the State’s strategic marketing efforts.
Grant funding ranges from $7,500 to $50,000. A one-to-one match is required. The deadline to submit applications is January 12, 2015.
Check www.cultureandtourism.org for grant guidelines and applications. Please contact Rena Calcaterra, 860-256-2744 or (firstname.lastname@example.org); or Jennifer Haag, 860-256-2765 or (Jennifer.email@example.com ) with questions.
Domestic Direct Sales and International Outreach – Update/Leads Available
The Connecticut Office of Tourism has been busy with recent domestic and international sales efforts!
• We’re glad to report that the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Marketplace attracted approximately 750 attendees and eight tour companies. Attendees expressed a strong interest in Connecticut’s offerings.
• More than 3,000 attendees from the U.S. and Canada are expected at the ABA’s (American Bus Association) Annual Marketplace, scheduled for January 10-13. Connecticut Office of Tourism will be well represented with a trade show booth near other New England states (to leverage Discover New England partnership) and many scheduled appointments with tour operators interested in bringing groups to Connecticut.
• Connecticut Office of Tourism welcomed tour operators from Ireland this past October, when they visited Hartford and Southeastern Connecticut.
• Connecticut also welcomed Lori Harnois, Discover New England’s new executive director. She recently toured New Haven, Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills to become more familiar with Connecticut’s product. DNE is a consortium of the six New England state’s tourism offices to market to the international travel industry.
• Connecticut met with more than 40 international tour operators at the World Travel Market in London. Highlights and findings include:
o Increased interest and visitation in New England
o Several requests for upscale properties
o International tour operators’ clients are becoming younger
o Brand USA announced a spring 2015 New England FAM which will include Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts
o Increased interest in Connecticut with several requests for training and FAMs
Sales leads are available upon request by contacting, Al Strong, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short & Long Lead PR Opportunities
The Connecticut Office of Tourism is already receiving media requests for holidays such as Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, 2015! We are always looking for exciting news or events you have happening this winter and in the New Year. Please send your news to the Connecticut Office of Tourism to the attention of Emily Weber, Emily.Weber@fleishman.com and copy Jean Hebert, email@example.com.
On social media this winter, the Connecticut Office of Tourism created a list of fun Connecticut Holiday Happenings that showcases the unique and different seasonal attractions, experiences and destinations around the State in mini itineraries for residents and visitors to enjoy. There’s a map on our Pinterest and daily postings on our Facebook page. Check it out and feel free to share!