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Build It and they Will Come...Won't They?

Welcome to the Savagely Creative Blog, which looks at all aspects of creating Memorable Experiences.

 Build it and They Will Come

It is not unheard of for a tourism visitor experience to be developed, all of the details thoughts of, and the fittings put in place without a single moment being spent on how to get visitors there.  Like Kevin Costner in the classic film “Field of Dreams” they work on that tried and tested philosophy – “Build it and they will come.”

Most people who have used this particular marketing strategy have found that whilst it was very successful in the film somehow in the roughty toughty real world of tourism somehow it is not quite so effective.  At this point I do have to state that sometimes it does work but usually only when you are the only attraction on a major travel route and you get visitors by default:  a case of luck rather than design.

The Invitation

This week we’re looking at the first step in creating a memorable tourism experience – the invitation.  This is everything that happens from the moment your visitor makes the decision to do something to when they arrive in your car park.  The invitation lets your visitor know what to expect when they get to you.

Branded Promotions

Your invitation is contained in all of the information and promotional materials that you have out in the world.  Do all of the public materials you have developed convey your experience to the visitor?  Do they know what to expect or do you have a whole range of messages out in the public domain that don’t match?

First Contact

The invitation includes what happens when people try and contact you – can they find you easily or when they call do they get sucked into the vortex of your voicemail system?  If you are a small operation is everyone who answers the phone trained in what to say?  Do you answer the phone with a smile or can they tell that you are having a terrible day?

Finding You

Once they have made the decision and committed to spending their precious time and hard earned money with you can they find you?  What are the street signs like?  Is your entrance well marked and easy to find?  Is your car park easy to negotiate or are your visitors in danger of crashing into pillars, poles and other cars?  If you share a car park are there time restrictions?  High costs? Roving gangs of youths?  All of these factors will affect the decision to make that final commitment to you and also can determine how long they will stay.  Also very important is whether they can find their car again when they are ready to leave?

A Great Invitation

Your visitor will know when you have created a great invitation and will come flocking.  They will know what to expect, they will be able to find you, they will feel safe and excited when they arrive.

What is your invitation like?  

If you want to find out how to create a memorable experience come along to one of the EVE forums.  Find out more.

Reader Comments (1)

This rings very true Claire - so often we see proponents 'building' their grandiose idea without conducting adequate research first. In addition, large capital outlays are made on physical infrastructure with little investment in the 'soft' infrastructure, the people, the culture, the interpretation, the branding and marketing.
On the odd occasion the proponents pull it off - more through good luck than good planning, many others spend years trying to then turn something around - to make it work. If only they had started by thinking about the visitor experience first! I haven't made it to one of the EVE forums but it sounds like a well-worthwhile project!

August 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

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