This week, Chicago was named the Best Big City in the U.S. While we already knew that here at Envisionit, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler made it official by voting Chicago into the top spot for the fourth year in a row — the first large city to do so in the history of the awards.
More than 715,000 savvy travelers voted for their favorite destinations in the 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards. Condé Nast Traveler hailed Chicago’s “impressive architecture, first-rate museums, brilliant chefs, and massive brewing scene”, not to mention our 77 unique neighborhoods, vibrant downtown, and friendly locals.
We’re thrilled to congratulate the City of Chicago and our friends at Choose Chicago on earning this prestigious recognition. The team at Envisionit is proud to work with such a dedicated and talented group, whose work continues to establish Chicago as a world-class travel destination and support the city’s tourism industry during these difficult times.
We look forward to working together to welcome visitors back to Chicago and continue to show the world why we’re the nation’s best big city.
As COVID cases continue to rise, it’s clear that tourism won’t be going back to normal anytime soon. Travel as we know it has changed, which means destination marketing needs to change with it. Here’s how you can adjust your content strategy to evolve with this new reality.
The COVID-19 situation is wreaking havoc across a wide range of industries—but we all know that tourism and hospitality are being hit especially hard. And if your destination marketing organization is partner-based, you know that your members are feeling the effects as well.
During a crisis like this, partners will look to you for leadership and support. And it’s up to your organization to find ways to provide value and see your partners through these uncertain times. This is also an opportunity to support your tourism strategy while being mindful of local and national restrictions.
Here are four proactive ways your DMO can provide value to your partners during the current COVID pandemic.
Our campaign, “C U SOON, CHICAGO”, was our take on contemporary art, using deconstructed 21c Museum Hotel brand elements, a motion-forward mobile-friendly paid social strategy, and an OOH approach to introduce the brand to Chicago in a way that’s as memorable and thought-provoking as the museum hotel itself.
We are so proud of all the hard work and hours that went into creating this successful and eye-catching campaign. We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the ENV superstar team that brought this masterpiece to life:
Associate Creative Director: Chris Sorto Associate Media Director: Jenny Laverty Account Manager: Brooke Borkowski Copywriter: Owen O’Riordan Motion Director: Mike Lesniak Creative Director: Amber Davis
Our campaign C U SOON, CHICAGO takes on an even deeper meaning during these times, and even makes me a little emotional as a Chicagoan myself! Chicago’s thriving tourism scene will come back better than ever, and we can’t wait to see 21c Museum Hotels flourish when that happens.
It’s now open in Chicago—21c Museum Hotels, a contemporary art museum with a hospitable side. At Envisionit, we’re excited to partner with this Louisville-based hotel concept for a brand awareness campaign to launch their 9th and newest property right in our backyard.
So, how does a new museum hotel stand out in a city with a world-class art scene and nearly 200 hotels?
To connect with our social savvy, artistically minded target, we knew our campaign needed to capture attention, create curiosity and intrigue, and put the brand on display.
In other words, be bold, artistic, and disruptive.
Our campaign, “C U SOON, CHICAGO,” is our own take on contemporary art, using deconstructed 21c Museum Hotel brand elements, a motion-forward mobile-friendly paid social strategy, and an OOH approach with real stopping power to make the introduction of the brand as memorable and thought-provoking as the museum hotel itself.
Gadgets lose their luster. A trip can get lost in the day-to-day. But an experience? That can last a lifetime. For destination marketers, one of the greatest challenges they face is having to market a product they don’t control. From initial inspiration to post-visit advocacy, there are endless variables that impact the entire visitor engagement. However, by investing in experience development, not only does that give destination marketers a measure of control, but it creates a currency for your destination that your visitors can trade on time and again, and even at a multiple.
As a marketer and entrepreneur, I’m always looking for the ROI, and for Joe Veneto, experiences are where the money is at for destinations. Heck, they don’t call it “The Experience Economy” for nothing.
As the head of the Veneto Collaboratory, Joe has spent the last 30 years working across the tourism landscape, helping destinations and their partners realize the untapped potential of their visitor experience. And last month, Destination ENV proudly sponsored his 2019 Experience Lab.
With Madison, WI as a backdrop, marketers and experience managers from over 30 CVBs and DMOs gathered to workshop with Joe and immerse themselves in the various programs he developed with the Destination Madison team.
CHICAGO, IL /PRNewswire/ — Destination ENV, a full-service digital marketing agency announced the re-platforming and redesign of choosechicago.com, the website of Chicago’s official destination marketing organization. In partnership with Choose Chicago’s marketing department, executive leadership, and external partners, Destination ENV planned, developed, and executed a best-in-class digital destination to attract leisure and business travelers to the city, while helping the organization navigate long-standing roadblocks around accessibility, integration, and scalability.
The Choose Chicago website was migrated from a licensed content management system to an open source enterprise solution that offered greater agility with content management for internal team members, better integration for a myriad of external partners, and overall innovation as the organization’s needs for the website expand over time.
“Choose Chicago challenged us to use the latest advances in technology to provide a seamless consumer digital journey and an experience that allowed for greater control and flexibility, and expanded their ability to achieve more with the resources they have. This was the mantra that drove the entire redesign,” said David Silverstein, Destination ENV’s Chief Solutions Officer.
As this enterprise solution created greater flexibility for Choose Chicago’s internal team and partners, Destination ENV’s creative and UX experts worked to develop a more immersive experience for prospective visitors. The redesign dynamically and purposefully builds upon relevant information during the user’s journey through the site. At the center are rich stories and editorial style POVs reinforced by featured partners, events, and neighborhood content. This approach ultimately brings the information to users at the high point of their interest, as opposed to forcing them to dig through layers of information to find it.
This re-platforming initiative marks another milestone in the agency’s three-year relationship with Choose Chicago, while also representing a pivotal moment for Destination ENV. Destination marketers will continue to see the capabilities and intellectual property of the agency come to market as they meet the challenges of today’s DMOs.
With all the talk surrounding the need for great mobile experiences today, it’s pretty interesting that the execution of mobile-first practices still isn’t always done well, even by larger brands and organizations. A large part of this may be due to a misperception that responsive websites and mobile-first websites are one and the same. The reality is that being responsive isn’t enough to compete effectively in today’s search landscape. Perhaps more importantly, being responsive doesn’t mean you’re providing the best mobile experience. Why? Because responsive sites are built around a desktop experience first and then made to work on mobile devices. What often results is a website that, while “responsive,” isn’t meeting the needs of mobile visitors which means wasted opportunity, time, and well…money.
A couple of posts ago, we mentioned how Google’s roll-out of the Mobile First Index is (or should be) completely challenging how webmasters, creatives, UX specialists, technologists, and SEOs approach developing mobile experiences. And each one of these roles brings its own set of requirements for a web build. At Destination ENV, our website development process allows for these parties to have an equal voice to discuss the pros and cons of decisions ahead of development to ensure we’re considering multiple points of view, and ultimately, are landing on outcomes that promote the highest degree of mobile usability and adherence to search engine standards.
While a mobile-first approach should be employed for any website, it’s absolutely vital to the success of a DMO’s website as metrics such as visits, time on site, and actions taken are initial indicators of success.
So what exactly makes up a mobile-first approach to website development and how do you know if your destination’s website is truly mobile friendly? Here’s 5 major things to measure your current website against: