Partnering with Business Events Australia: An Advance Program case study
Through an Advance Program partnership, Business Events Geelong launched a social media awareness campaign to promote Geelong as a business events destination to Chinese business events agents and visitors.
Mark Day, Convention Bureau Manager at Business Events Geelong, sheds light on how the partnership benefitted Geelong’s Asian business events strategy and activities.
What did you hope to get out of an Advance partnership with Business Events Australia?
We hoped to gain wider support in our efforts as a regional city to engage a lucrative international market, and with Business Events Australia’s (BEA) support we were able to do just that.
We knew that our aspirations to promote our small city to such a large market may have seemed to some that we were ‘biting off more than we could chew’. But BEA believed in our strategy and were able to support us in two ways: with financial backing and an open-door approach which invited us to leverage BEA’s international marketing expertise to produce content that both moved and inspired an international audience.
What were the results of the partnership?
The results of the partnership have been positive. Prior to the COVID-19 travel pause, we were getting upwards of 500 views on each of our blog posts which is pretty good considering we are considered a new destination for that market and had to build our following from scratch.
As a result of the partnership, we were also able to engage Chin Communications, an Australian headquartered Chinese marketing agency with a wealth of experience in traversing the competitive Chinese landscape, to help us with our branding, our translation and the posting of our blogs.
How did you benefit from or leverage BEA’s knowledge of the China market when executing the partnership activities?
BEA really helped us to build a strong foundation when we first partnered with them. They assisted us with everything from content ideas, frequency of posts, how often we should be engaging with the market and gave us examples of the type of content that has landed well with the Chinese market. We were also given the opportunity to leverage BEA’s China channels to further amplify our messaging to Chinese incentive planners.
How has the partnership helped to build your team’s understanding of how to engage with the China market? Will it influence your future approach?
We started with limited knowledge on how to communicate successfully to such a massive international market. There were so many challenges to consider; language barriers being one of them. But we were confident in our region’s incentive product and wanted to remain at the forefront of incentive travel trends, and our partnership with BEA saw us really stretching the limitations of what was possible for a region like ours.
It led to us developing an incentive guide (which will be translated to simplified Chinese), an international strategy focused on product development to educate our local industry on servicing the Chinese visitor, and has changed the way we think about delivering content abroad.
Applications for the 2020/21 Advance Program are currently open, closing 1 June 2020. For full details and to apply, see the Advance Program Prospectus.