The fast pace and competitive environment of the travel industry forces internal marketing departments in the tourism and destination bureaus’ to compete for the attention of the same travel agent market. Travel Agents are already hosted by and invited to multiple engagements throughout the year, so when South African Tourism wanted an event with a difference – we knew we had to create one that stood out from all other events in the travel industry.
How we made it happen
Even with budget limitations, we found creative (yet cost effective) ways to ensure the true essence of South Africa was present. We created an experiential series of events that would spread across Australia and New Zealand travelling to 5 cities, highlighting the magnificent atmosphere and the experiences of South Africa. Each location showcased the sights, sounds, smells, flavours and textures to give each attendee a taste of what it is like to travel to South Africa.
We included elements such as:
- The MC’s costumes included a South African flag inspired sequined dress and jacket and a leopard print gown
- The couch style stage set was surrounded by South African native plants and flowers
- Celebrity guests included George Gregan and Frankie J Holden who have both visited South Africa and are advocates
- South African born musician Barry Southgate (Australian Idol finalist) for entertainment
- South African food and wines were also infused into the menu with guests sampling traditional items such as
Biltong and peri peri sauce
A strong MC is critical and can often make or break an event. We needed to engage a unique MC to host the event, one that was as colourful as the destination and appealed to the target audience: predominantly females aged between 25-45. We came up with vibrant and daring transgender Verushka Darling. The outlandish character of Verushka was an incentive that had never been incorporated before, however it tied together the roadshows colourful and energetic personality.
South African Tourism have been conducting their travel agent roadshow for 6 years. The previous events’ have included concepts such as a custom movie night and a night at the Zoo. South African Tourism challenged us to come up with something new, exciting and novel…something not yet experienced before in the travel industry in Australia. We came up with a live talk show style concept with Verushka who provided each travel vendor an opportunity to showcase their products, in a way that directly engaged guests about travel options in South Africa throughout the evening, much more entertaining than the average PowerPoint presentation!
The South African Tourism team is an organisation of less than five employees with a multitude of marketing activity that occurs throughout the year so internal resourcing is stretched. There were a number of key stakeholders involved in the event including 10 South African operators, two celebrity ambassadors and a Fair Trade representative who were critical to the overall execution of the event. We collaborated with South African Tourism and acted as an extension of their marketing team to ensure that clear and consistent messaging was delivered. We interviewed each of the 10 South African operators who were participating in the live show to obtain their points of difference. We created a script for the two hour evening production, conducted full day rehearsals with the MC and operators and executed the live event with our national network of alliances across the five cities.
What was involved?
- Event management
- Event marketing and registration portal
- Entertainment management, speaker rehearsals and production management
- Theming and event styling
- Audiovisual management
“I was just amazed on how you truly transformed the space into something more South African than South Africa! You truly brought the rainbow nation alive”
Deborah Binder – Marketing Manager, South African Tourism
“One of the finest events the industry has seen in a long time. For Africareps all 5 events were incrediblyvaluable and I know my South African principals will reap the benefits of our exposure. The positive profile which the shows created for South Africa will unquestionably generate incremental traffic to the country.”
Herbie Rosenberg – Africareps