SITUATION: El Conquistador, once the Atlantis of meeting destinations in the Caribbean, had become tired due to neglect and lack of re-investment. Property amenities, accommodations, culinary quality and service diminished, and viability as a group destination waned. In time, new destinations emerged and the El Conquistador was sold, repurchased and restored.
PROBLEM: To once again compete for top-rated meeting and incentive groups, meeting planners would have to willingly become familiar with the scale of renovations, and interested in giving it another [site visit] chance. However, this very important audience had become so jaded by bad experiences and service, that they were no longer interested in solicitations from the resort.
AUDIENCE INSIGHT: The professional meetings industry is largely composed of female planners. Audience insight indicated an affinity for fantasy, romance and, in particular, mystery novels.
STRATEGY: Induce planners into falling in love with a [visually] romantic storyline and paradise setting before they become aware that the location is the El Conquistador resort.
ACTION: “Rendezvous at El Conquistador” was teased as a world premier movie coming in the fall. A series of movie trailers were released to the audiences of the leading meetings industry trade publications. Publicity events, appearances and inserts further drove awareness and traffic to a movie trailer microsite, where planners could submit contact info to receive a commemorative movie poster and be kept informed of future announcements. The movie trailers were shot on location, and the storyline led viewers throughout the resort as they awaited ‘reveal’ of the plot’s mystery man.
RESULTS: Registrations on the microsite exceeded the goal of 8,500 [qualified] professional planners (provided to sales team for prospect solicitation). Planners indicated that they remained engaged and watched all six of the movie trailers [at least once], as they attempted to uncover the storyline mystery.