Prevue May-June 2014 - (Page 14)

bureau buzz Puerto Rico is 'In the Caribbean' Modern facilities and authentic experiences combine for memorable meetings Puerto Rico Convention Center Y ou know that game when you're reading fortune cookies and you add the words "in bed" to the end of the sentence? Meet Puerto Rico launched a comprehensive, integrated branding campaign revolving around the same idea for meeting and convention planners. Except the add-on phrase, and the name of the campaign is: "On a Tropical Island. In the Caribbean." The idea is that Puerto Rico has all of the same modern meeting infrastructure, volume of airlift, luxury hotel product and convention center facilities on par with most mainland cities. The Meet Puerto Rico DMO has been touting all of that hardware for a few decades, promoting the idea that the destination is just as serious about delivering business-oriented programs as the other U.S. gateways. Now it's time to bring back the message to promote professional meetings and conventions that also happen to be on a tropical island. In the Caribbean. "Meeting planners are looking to provide an authentic experience. And Puerto Rico answers that call." 14 | prevue magazine "Today's meeting planners are seeking destinations that offer not just the top accommodations, airlift ease, state-of-the art technology and mobile offerings-areas that we excel in," says Milton Segarra, president/CEO of Meet Puerto Rico. "They are also looking to provide an authentic experience in a location that offers heritage, a strong local culture, great food, extraordinary outdoor experiences and CSR opportunities. And Puerto Rico answers that call." Segarra explains that Puerto Rico needed to find a way to communicate the destination differentiators in a more impactful way. Planners know how well Puerto Rico can put together meetings and conventions. They know about the no passport requirement and the close proximity. But sometimes planners forget the power of tropical beauty and drama to propel attendee engagement and create a more memorable program. "Our campaign shows our commitment to ensure that the meeting experience in Puerto Rico escapes the conventional," says Segarra. "We are supporting the campaign using strong visual imagery of Puerto Rico's natural beauty of the destination's beaches, rainforests, undersea life and golf courses. Ads also include overlaid copy that underscores Puerto Rico's ability to accommodate a group's needs. We needed to really differentiate from the ordinary. " Planners will also start to see how the campaign is fully integrated. All advertising, sales, marketing, social media and public relations are supporting these messages to reach planners and their attendees in the most consistent manner. In the first half of its 2013-2014 fiscal, Meet Puerto Rico secured 163 groups with 89,532 room night bookings. Started in April, the DMO launched the "Escape the Meeting Blah! Campaign," with added incentives to encourage group bookings. "Our goal for this fiscal year is to book 187,500 room nights and we are," says Segarra. "But we know that the true benefit lay in the distinctive, memorable experiences that meeting attendees will enjoy when they come to Puerto Rico as a result of this campaign." While the campaign is fully integrated, so is the Meet Puerto Rico organization. The DMO has hired new sales representatives in key markets and they are all fully committed and educated in the messages being shared through the media and directly with planners. Segarra sums up, "We have made some significant changes to the organization and we're seeing the outcomes of a great team effort. We've begun implementing a new approach to succeed in this ever-evolving, highly-competitive industry."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May-June 2014

Planner’s Pick: Tucson
Fresh Meets: Trump Hotel Collection
Bureau Buzz: Meet Puerto Rico
Good Business: InterContinental Hotels
Sea Shores: Cruise Shipping Miami
The Changing Face of Luxury
On Location: Toronto
On Location: Jamaica
On Location: Cancun Marriotts
On Location: Santa Barbara Curaçao
Checkout: SLS at Beverly Hills

Prevue May-June 2014