Recently Cat and myself met for the very first time in person – after 3 years in business together. There were no shortage of places to meet, but we decided to go to a conference in sunny Flordia. Brandcation is kind of an un-conference. There are no sessions or workshops. Rather, the small group of 25 bloggers experience local offering of the host city while networking. In our case, the host city was Destin, Flordia.
At Brandcation, I did learn a few new tips about working with tourist destinations as a blogger. I wanted to share these tips with you.
Tips For Working With Tourist Destinations As A Blogger
Speak About The Property The Way The Client Does – Uncle Bucks Fishbowl and Grill
At Uncle Bucks Fishbowl and Grill, the General Manager was very entertaining. He told us the history of Uncle Bucks and what makes his location unique (it is the largest and also a solo restaurant not attached to a store). When working with tourist destinations, listen to the way the representative talks about the property. When describing the property, the Manager never said the words bowling alley. There are bowling lanes at Uncle Bucks (see what I did there); however, the idea of a bowling alley brings back memories of a dirty, 80’s bowling alleys. Not at all the Uncle Buck’s experience.
Know Your Location – Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
Being from Southern Ontario, Canada I am not at all familiar with the geography of Flordia. While at Brandcation we were traveling between Destin and Fort Walton Beach. If you are in a similar situation, ensure you have a map with you or make sure you ask a local where you are. When promoting a destination you do not want to misquote a location. For example, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is located in Fort Walton Beach despite being only 5 minutes from our hotel in Destin.
Find What Makes The Location Unique – LuLu’s Destin
If you take any location and strip it down to its bones there is really nothing special about it. I mean, a restaurant is a restaurant. It is the little details that make the location you are covering unique. It could be the view, the dishes served or the decor. At LuLu’s one of the unique differentiators is their Fish Trax dishes. Fish Trax lets you track your fish from the boat to the table. While Fish Trax is not only available at Lulu’s combining Fish Trax with the amazing views and friendly staff makes the restaurant truly unique.
Talk To The Locals To Get The Real Scoop – Emerald Grande
While at a tourist destination make sure you talk to the locals. The staff working at the hotel or the local shops will know all of the hidden gems that can elevate your coverage of the area. At the Emerald Grande (the hotel we stayed at) the staff wore name tags which also showed their hometowns. Some of the staff were originally from Africa and Europe. Do not be afraid to ask what made someone choose to come to the region or what most surprised them about the area.
When covering a tourist destination make sure you pay attention to the little details. They are what will differentiate you from anyone else covering the event. Most importantly have fun. Enjoy the area so you can tell others how much fun they will have there.