Destination Marketing Strategy
A well thought out and clearly articulated strategy is an essential component of any business planning activity.
Leading global convention & meetings cities have a clearly articulated strategy. A clear strategy acknowledging the transformative economic opportunities of the destination also provides an essential business case for the appropriate investment in destination marketing.
We have consulted on development of destination strategy for around 50 destinations across Australasia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The GainingEdge team brings considerable experience, world’s best practice and strategic acumen in this specialised segment of the tourism industry.
Exclusively focused on the conventions & meetings industry we work with our clients to define appropriate goals and the strategies to achieve them, while also providing full seamless support through planning and execution. We believe we provide the most comprehensive vertically integrated services in this space.
- Destination Strategy – overall market strategy or segment strategy
- Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) organisational strategy
- Convention centre development advisory
- Business case for government and private sector funding
Project Brief: Tweaking Tokyo’s incentive products for the international market
Business Events Tokyo, the convention arm of the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, approached GainingEdge to assist in the city’s development of innovative incentive products and experiences for its international incentive clients. One of Japan’s greatest assets is its tremendous pool of artisans and its cultural authenticity. The bureau wanted to ensure that ‘authentic’ rather than ‘touristic’ experiences will be on offer to international incentive buyers.
At the end of this 5-month project, the transformation was evident. The city’s incentive suppliers have developed stronger incentive products, have gained more incentive market knowledge, have improved their product presentation skills and have gained invaluable experience in hosting client sites.
There was clear refinement in the products and activities. The highly rated activities incorporated a successful combination of uniqueness, education, authenticity and client engagement. In short, the participating destination management companies (DMCs) were effectively depicting Japanese culture and delivering an experience above the client’s expectation (the surprise element). The programme also opened the door on new product potential that will broaden Tokyo’s incentive offerings.
Project Brief: Development Strategy Proposal for Hangzhou
In 2011, GainingEdge was engaged by UNWTO and Hangzhou Tourism Commission to conduct a study on global trends in the business events industry, and to provide advice on their approach to the development of the industry. GainingEdge conducted meetings and discussions with Hangzhou’s stakeholders who are market facing and who acted as focus groups to provide on-ground information on market demands, supplies, competition and source markets as well as the destination SWOT. Through engagement with these focus groups, the consulting team also learnt about the capabilities and capacities of Hangzhou’s supplier community. The team carried out site inspections and briefings on infrastructure capacities and first-hand experience on Hangzhou’s tourism products with incentive elements. Working with two local experts in the business events industry, primary research included market hotel surveys and market leads research. Secondary research included data from Chinese tourism offices, Hangzhou Tourism Promotion Center, Hangzhou Tourism Commission and West Lake Expo Office. The student team from Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic were coached on how to mine for additional data through their various research and survey activities.
In addition to the market report, GainingEdge outlined the requirements for the further development of Hangzhou’s business events industry and provided recommendations on how to make Hangzhou a preferred destination in China. The report also provided advice on the role of the local government and its agencies in supporting the growth of Hangzhou’s business events industry.
Hangzhou has consistently maintained its rankings within the Top 3 leaderboard, after Beijing and Shanghai, in ICCA’s annual rankings for the number of international association meetings hosted. As a result of hosting the 2016 G20 Summit, the city’s meetings infrastructure was vastly enhanced.
Gary Grimmer - CEO
Gary has over 30 years’ experience in the convention industry. He has consulted Houston, Vancouver, Yokohama, Tokyo, Macau, and the countries of South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Serbia on development of convention and meetings industries. He was a member of Beijing Dongcheng's International Meetings Advisory Council and currently serves on Destination DC's (Washington) Client Advisory Board.
His convention centre consulting experience includes market feasibility, demand analysis, facility scoping, design review, site review, and operational consultation for convention centre developments in Nigeria, Oman, Malaysia, Mexico and Australia. He also served on the London International Convention Centre Commission which developed recommendations on a proposed new convention centre for London, United Kingdom.
While he is both Australian and American, he is originally from the United States where he was CEO at bureaus in Portland, Oregon and Albuquerque, New Mexico and Vice President of the Boston, Massachusetts bureau. Gary is a former Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau [now Destinations International and formerly known as DMAI)] and former Chairman of the Business Events Council of Australia. In 2014 he was one of the first six inductees into the inaugural Destinations International (fka DMAI) Hall of Fame in 2014.
Earlier, in 2007, he received the IMEX Academy for Asia Pacific Award.Email Gary Grimmer
Mike Williams - Senior Partner
Mike is a destination and convention bureau specialist with 30 years’ experience in the industry. He has consulted in Australia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Serbia and South Africa. Mike was the lead consultant for establishment and capability strengthening for the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau. He has also been the Lead Consultant for proposed new convention facilities in 3 Australian cities.
Mike served as General Manager Sales for the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau. He also worked in senior marketing roles with Tourism Australia helping establish their presence in the Asia market and overseeing travel trade development in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He was also instrumental in the development of the AIME tradeshow and the world’s first BestCities Global Alliance. Mike is also a past National President of Meetings and Events of Australia and was ranked as one of the most influential people in the Australian business events industry by mice.net.Email Mike Williams
Jane Vong Holmes - Senior Manager – Asia
Jane joined GainingEdge in 2009 and consults across the Asia region on a range of challenges and opportunities facing the conventions and meetings industry. Jane has been part of the consulting team for projects in China, Japan, Malaysia, Macao, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. Jane also managed the very successful BestCities Global Alliance on behalf of GainingEdge for 6 years.
Jane was previously the Regional Director for ICCA based in Malaysia and in 2013 was honoured with the IMEX Academy Award for outstanding contribution to the industry.Email Jane Vong Holmes
Jane Vong Holmes
Senior Manager – Asia