Once again, the official tourism organization for Montgomery County, Pa., is a first-adopter of an emerging technology to attract visitors.
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Back in 2015, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB), the destination marketing organization for Montgomery County, Pa., pioneered the use of Google StreetView to present 360-views of its most eye-catching tourism sites.
In 2016, it grabbed hold of the Pokémon Go phenomenon, setting its blogger loose in the county to hunt monsters. The initiative was branded, what else?, PokéMontco. And earlier this year, it used website geo-targeting protocols to provide location-specific content to attendees of the NFL Draft.
Now, the VFTCB is stepping up again to use an emerging technology in the tourism market. Its spring-summer marketing push is making full use of Snapchat Spectacles, the high-tech eyewear that enables post-worthy, first-person views from its wearer’s perspective.
“It’s like a GoPro for your face,” describes Edward Harris, VFTCB Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
The campaign, contest and content will live on Snapchat, with the VFTCB website serving as secondary support. Users will be incentivized to add VisitVF on Snapchat and send a snap of their favorite in-county spot. A panel of internal judges will reward the best snappers with their own pair of spectacles.
The winner will be announced the first day of summer, June 21.
Harris continues, “At the VFTCB, we feel it’s important to utilize existing and new technologies that millions of people are using every day. Social media has changed the way we experience travel and how we share those experiences.
“We’re excited to introduce our ‘Snap Montco’ Spectacles campaign and highlight incredible new attractions like LEGOLAND Discovery Center and the indoor skydiving at iFly. We want to stay at the forefront and continue to actively look for ways to incorporate these new technologies.”
Harris also cites the undeniable popularity of the Snapchat platform in key demographics using data compiled by CNBC:
- Millennials are more than four times more likely to open a push notification from Snapchat than those from Facebook
- Most Snapchat users are aged 18-to-34 years old, and on average, these users visit the app 18 times a day for a combined 25 to 30 minutes
- 33 million U.S. users over the age of 35 used Snapchat in the last quarter of 2016, compared with only 10 million the year before – growth of 224 percent.
- 60 percent of all Smartphone users are now using Snapchat
This Snapchat marketing leverages the organization’s great success over the past year. Its membership numbers (500 as of April 2017) are at an all-time high; its staff is recognized by high-profile industry experts (including a 40 Under 40 award for Harris from the Philadelphia Business Journal); its marketing, video, online, blog and collateral content has been lauded by third-party organizations like the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals in Dallas, TX; and its overall success and benefit to the overall community earned the organization distinction as Nonprofit of the Year by three local Chambers of Commerce.
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The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 500-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board’s award-winning website, valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosts The Pursuit, a nationally recognized blog. The VFTCB oversees a portfolio of brands that include Valley Forge Sports, Montco 360, Destination Montco Weddings, Patriot Trails and Destination Montco Golf. It is also the publisher of the new dining magazine Crave, issued twice yearly.