My friends at the Alabama Gulf Coast CVB have added a cool tool to their website...and it's counter-intuitively retro.
While we all are racing to add more graphically interactive features to our sites to take advantage of the pervasive availability of broadband speed, these guys have developed a portion of their site that is completely devoid of photography and high-end graphics.
Makes no sense, you muse? Not unless you realize what Herb, Mike and the gang in Gulf Shores have...that one in five consumers plan their getaways within 48 hours of leaving home (if at all). And, 50% of those that bring laptops along do so with the express intent of searching for dining and recreation options once they've arrived!
The mobile web side of the site cuts to chase because it can. It assumes you're using your PDA or phone because you've already decided on the destination...thus, no need to fluff you with pretty pictures and lots of lucious copy. You need the facts...namely Hotel Availability, Dining Options, Attractions and Events.
And that's what they provide. Fast-downloading facts.
Time to jump back into the generation of Air Laws after a month of bloggin on other stuff that just seemed to cry out for attention. And this one finds its roots in so many flights over the past few months...but specifically that PIT-MKE hop last week:
AIR LAW 9: Passengers wishing to enter or exit their seat will use the arm rests for leverage...and NOT the seat in front of them.
Happens every time. I'm in my seat. The guy sitting behind me grabs my seat back to hoist or lower himself out of or into his seat. And when he lets go....fwapwapwap. It's like the feeling in your hand when you launch a pinball...only your whole body shakes.
Hey Sparky...hands off my seat! Use the arm rests!
With all due repect to Marshall McCluhan ("the Medium is the Message")...it's the other way around with the opportunities afforded advertisers on satellite radio.
While the music channels are commercial free, the LMAO comedy channels boast commercials. So, if you're gonna advertise on satellite, why not take an extra couple minutes in production to do a separate version for a completely unique audience.
Case in point, the radio spot for the new horror flick "Bug." I'm not sure what terrestrial audiences heard...but the voice-over on the satellite spot said:
"The extreme will be when they put you on a scale and tell you what your fuel charge will be — I can see that happening at some point. The airlines are going to experiment with all options to gather revenue. If they think they can get away with it, they're going to do it."
Invasive, insensitive and incredibly stoopid for brand loyalty (as if there is any)...but, it would help them avoid shoving two big people next to each other.
Some airports expedite first class ticket holders with their own line, speeding them to their gate while the hoi polloi stew in endless, Disney-esque snake lines.
Which is what I was confronted with earlier this week checking into PIT.
My own internal estimate on clearing security: at LEAST 45 minutes. And, then a guy walked up and suggested to those of us in the back of the line that there was an "Alternate Security Checkpoint"...up the escalator, outside to the right and across the street.
The girl next to me was skeptical. The guy wasn't TSA...but his workshirt did say he was with maintenance. She opted to stay. I went for it...
And cleared security in less than 10. I'm guessing, four days later, she's still in line :)
Now, the gate agents tell me that this doesn't always work (and told me it would work less if word got out on this blog, even though the alternate checkpoint was apparently opened a year and a half ago)...but if you're going through PIT and facing a line of over 1000 in front of you?
You gotta produce these tools of the business anyway. Why not have some fun?
Now, some hotels put advertising on their keycards (offering 20% off at neighboring eateries, etc.)...which makes some sense, I guess, as there is some value there to the guest that wants to take you up on the offer.
Some Sheraton properties recently started issuing keycards with really purty, artistic photos of eggs and flowers and stuff. But, given the option of actually exuding a persona (like Embassy Suites has done) with room keys that say "When choosing beds, we went with comfy because uncomfy didn't do well in our surveys," why wouldn't you?
That's a two-fer. It makes me smile (which isn't easy after a long day on the road)...and it reaffirms the brand promise, increasing the likelihood that I'll return.
Funny post from Rob Carey on the Meeting Industry Soapbox last week in which he mused about the lack of a "Plan B" for an upcoming golf weekend in beautiful Ocean City MD.
Which got me to thinking. As much as we all like to portray our destinations as sporting perfect weather, the reality is that we all have days when the best laid plans of visitors will get washed out. Thus, it would seem smart for DMOs to create a Plan B section on their website, offering alternative indoor activities for those inclement days.
Sure would lessen the chance that the visitor goes home without a good story about your destination...
Couple of cool new technological tools being offered to those of us that love our music...
Having a free night in Myrtle Beach, I called up the House of Blues website to see who was playing that night...and found a free service to text me when tickets to shows of my favorite artists go on sale.
As if it isn't confusing enough that both Bill Geists are authors, speakers and TV personalities (I enjoyed a ten year run as a weekend events guru at WISC-TV in the '90s)...
Now the "other" Bill Geist has moved into "my territory" with his new book Way Off the Road...a travelogue of the unique places he's visited in his twenty years on CBS Sunday Morning.
But, maybe there's a marketing opportunity here. For State and Provincial Tourism Conference planners, there's now the opportunity to have two keynotes from Bill Geist (one from each of us). He could be the funny story guy and I could be the content guy.
And, if they can't afford both of us, ummm, they could just pick me :)