event marketing

Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit: A Trade Show Marketing Case Study

The Louisiana Travel Summit draws in the biggest names in our state’s tourism industry. As always, we enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about what everyone has been up to, and catch up on travel trends between mimosa toasts and bloody mary breaks. 

Leading up to the event, we were well aware that Summit’s “Partner Showcase” brings out some pretty creative ideas. From cookies adorned with stingrays to an actual working typewriter, this year was no different. As a boutique agency known for creative ideas, we knew we had to step up our game. 


tourism promotion



Through launch of the #SouthwestSelfie Sweepstakes, we were able to make a pretty big impact, establish great brand recognition, and above all – get folks to come see us at our booth. Many folks. Amazing folks. Like-minded tourism folks who may have passed us over otherwise.

So how did we do it? How did we make such an impact at Summit that we splashed through industry feeds and had competitors telling us that they’d steal our idea “but for other markets”?

Simple! Science and creativity.

Check out our outline below for the run-through.


louisiana summit partner showcase


The Von Mack “Southwest Selfie” Campaign: The Basics


We knew we had to do something big in order to stand out. And not just an extravagant prize. We wanted to get people talking about Von Mack Agency before, during, and after the trade show weekend.

Enter, the Southwest Selfies social activation. 

Our campaign logistics included three basic components:

  1. We handed out tourism pins at the convention. 
  2. We asked everyone who took a pin to post a selfie with it, follow @vonmackagency on Facebook and Instagram, and tag us in their selfie post
  3. The following week, we chose one winner out of all those selfies to win our grand prize: a $500 Southwest gift card.

This campaign did exactly what we intended. It gave attendees a reason to look for Von Mack, find out who we are, and share our brand. Here are a few of the key features that made this campaign such a success for Von Mack. 


Pick a hand-out people actually want. 


We’ve all gotten those red, plastic sunglasses handed to us at events. How many times have you actually worn them in public? Yeah. We never do, either. (Although we do appreciate a good pair.)

Our giveaway was a simple, little “Tourism” heart pin. It’s not gaudy. It doesn’t have a big Von Mack logo on it. It’s something that any one of us (or our clients) would happily pin on a blazer or tote bag. 

Within the first two hours, we were thrilled to see our stash of giveaways nearly disappear. We actually had to ration them. Throughout the rest of the trade show, we saw people flaunting their pins. Step one, done!


Von Mack Selfie Social Media Promo


Build up the suspense. 


We had a huge prize to give away. Naturally, we didn’t want to wait until the actual trade show to share the news. 

We built up some intrigue with social media posts before, during, and after the event. We even used hyper-specific Facebook ad targeting to make sure attendees knew about Von Mack before the doors even opened. The targeting itself is our secret sauce, but we will tell you that it’s found through A-B testing.


Tie it all into one awesome grand prize.

We chose a grand prize that ties into the travel theme. A flight gift card promotes tourism, and also speaks to our audience: a bunch of people who live and breathe travel. (It doesn’t hurt that Southwest’s heart logo ties right in to our heart pins for consistent imagery.) 

And it goes without saying that a $500 gift card is appealing to anyone. A round trip to pretty much anywhere, with two free checked bags for all your Louisiana hot sauce? Yes, please. This is something that could be used for business or pleasure. A stand alone item, just like the pin.


Summing it up.

All of these campaign features add up to that one prize
all of us want: actual brand engagement and recognition.

The results of our campaign can be summed up by the number of pins we gave out or the amount of requests and social call outs we had from industry veterans who were not even at Summit, but wanted a pin for themselves. But the real success was the buzz it created overall.

Buzz leads to business.

Plus, it was fun. We got to meet so many dedicated, Louisiana-lovin’ people, hear about your vacation dreams, and scroll through some creative selfies.

Thank you again to everyone who stopped by, said hi, and snapped a selfie. 

Note: We’ll take every opportunity to spread the word about Louisiana tourism, so this will not be our last industry campaign. 

And, since we can never say it enough: we are so proud to be a part of the travel community. Cheers.