Having consulted on destination strategy for more than 50 destinations on all continents, the GainingEdge team brings experience, strategic acumen and best practices from around the world in the business events and tourism industry.
Services for Destinations and DMOs/CVBs
The world’s leading global business events and tourism destinations have a clearly articulated strategy that acknowledges the transformative economic opportunities of the destination, providing the essential business case for the appropriate investment in destination marketing.
GainingEdge’s team of experts provide the most comprehensive, vertically integrated services in this space, working with partners to define their goals and the strategies to achieve them. We also offer comprehensive and seamless support throughout planning and execution.
Bid Strategy Development and Support
GainingEdge has a proven track record in assisting clients find, evaluate and secure new international convention opportunities. Our experts will work with you to identify opportunities, define bid strategies and undertake crucial market intelligence and research activities.
For companies, destinations or venues looking to develop international markets, we provide a breadth of expertise and knowledge, starting with lead research, qualification and prioritisation. Our approach is collaborative, and ensuring that the knowledge, skills and abilities of your team grow is a key priority for us.
Behind every successful bid is a well-thought-out strategy supported by solid research, a structured bid management process and the right level of stakeholder engagement. We’ll work with you to develop bid strategies that consider all critical success factors and fully demonstrate, as well as build upon, an in-depth understanding of your client’s unique needs.
Ambassador & Local Host Development Programme
An ambassador programme engages local industry leaders and leverages their contacts and influence, serving as incubators for potential local hosts for international conventions. This method is used by cities to help anticipate future business prospects and enhance bid strategies to maximise success.
GainingEdge experts can help to develop a well-structured programme by carefully matching an organisation’s needs to suitable patrons and then facilitating a programme between both parties to achieve your desired outcome. In addition to their in-depth knowledge, proven experience and considerable international connections, an ambassador will be an influential advocate of your proposition.
Business Events Branding Advice
Most leading destinations have key elements of a sub-brand for business events, such as meetings, conventions, incentives and exhibitions. GainingEdge experts work with destinations to undertake a business events sub-branding process, in consultation with key stakeholders, to ensure that any brand extensions are broadly supported and thus more effective.
Throughout this process, we will work with you to develop a clearly defined sub-branding strategy, including elements often overlooked by destinations such as destination product positioning, differentiation, creative brand treatments, consistency in imaging and messaging.
Our approach will result in the following:
Development of Destination Business Events Strategy
Leading global business events cities and countries have clear long-term strategies guiding their direction and focus. Strategic business plans outline long-term goals and objectives based on a broad understanding of the economic impact, competitive landscape, stakeholder requirements, required investment and the associated realities of strategy execution.
GainingEdge experts work with cities, regions and countries across the globe to develop and continually refine their strategic business plans and ensure that the transformative economic opportunities that can be achieved through business events are fully explored, qualified and quantified.
Working in collaboration with our partners, the facilitation and development of strategic business plans will typically cover the following areas:
Subvention Programme (Financial & Non-Financial Subsidy)
Many cities and countries currently have a myriad of both financial and non-financial aid, in the form of on-site support, event marketing and delegate boosting, to attract local and international events against set criteria – and meeting organisers have come to expect this from any serious host cities. A subvention programme is almost mandatory to compete on a global level.
GainingEdge brings specialised knowledge in the development of new subvention policies and programmes, and in the review of existing ones. This includes consideration of:
Industry Partnership Programme
The adoption of a citywide approach to bids in securing large international meetings inevitably leads to a higher success rate. A strong industry partner programme will ensure a unified local industry and increase your global competitiveness.
Our experts will work with you to not only create a platform for your industry partners to support bids, but also the means to develop industry cohesion and education and, ultimately, an additional revenue source.
We can also assist in the development of an annual Industry partnership plan, consisting of an industry partnership-marketing prospectus to encourage participation through collective resources, a pricing model and a partnership strategy.
Destinations often have amazing product elements but fail to fully capitalise on them due to poor product definition and packaging—or a supplier community that is not sure how to effectively present the product. Furthermore, often meeting organisers expect brand-new products to be developed exclusively for their event to create a wow factor.
Our team of experts offer destination assessments to enable partners to deliver clear product definition and packaging, and innovative new product creation. This includes:
In-Market Sales Representation
Success in securing international conventions and meetings is highly influenced by relationships established in-market, in locations where it’s often not viable for most destinations to establish dedicated offices.
With a team of salespeople in all major markets around the world who represent clients across the globe, GainingEdge can help deliver a destination or CVB presence in key target markets on a scalable basis, from part-time or dedicated full-time sales to business development resources.
GainingEdge has provided in-market sales representation and support to convention bureaus and convention centres in China, Japan, South Korea, , Malaysia, South Africa, and Mexico as well as for BestCities Global Alliance through our global network of business development representatives. . We have also qualified buyers for industry trade shows.
Our representatives are sales-focussed with clearly defined targets, to assist with:
Tourism & Leisure
Strategic Market Planning
Successfully penetrating new and emerging markets, adapting to challenges and competitive pressures in existing markets, reducing investment risk, securing long-term competitive advantage, and building equity with partners are all benefits of strategic market planning.
GainingEdge experts help our clients maximise returns on marketing investments by synthesising research, identifying opportunities, and building strategic programs that will enhance and sustain your competitive advantage. Defining success measures, roles and responsibilities, short- and long-term goals, and opportunities to leverage your resources through partnerships are all means of building long-term equity in a target market. GainingEdge can assist with the development, management, and execution of your three-to-five-year strategic marketing plan.
Trade Development and Planning
Travel trade intermediaries including tour operators, wholesalers, retail travel agents, and on-line retailers are a critical distribution channel for any destination. Learn how to maximise their influence, grow sales revenue, and leverage their equity as ambassadors for your destination.
GainingEdge experts can help you maximise sales revenue through an effective trade program. From building product awareness through familiarisation tours and marketplace appointments, to sales training, product updates, and collaborative marketing campaigns, GainingEdge will help you build a long-term trade program with qualified intermediaries that will extend the reach and impact of your destination’s brand.
Destination Planning and Management
A thoughtful, well-designed destination plan is a beacon for the potential that can be realised with focus, investment, and long-term commitment. A broad sphere of ownership is key for that potential to be realised. It’s essential for a destination plan to not only articulate a compelling sense of what is possible, but it must have a strong and pragmatic approach to implementation that allows for wins in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
GainingEdge experts can help you build a destination plan that reflects your organisation’s values and priorities, while providing long-term focus for your tourism and community partners. The destination plan is an opportunity to go beyond the notion of increasing visitation to thinking about the quality of the overall visitor experience and the positive implications for your entire destination. GainingEdge can help you build a destination fit for purpose in the 21st century.
Air Route and Cruise Development Marketing
Airlines and cruise ship companies are valuable marketing partners that can leverage your investment and your destination’s brand appeal. They also influence travel intermediaries that can drive sales and extended stays in your destination.
GainingEdge experts can help you develop cooperative marketing relationships and campaigns with relevant cruise ship and airline companies. We can help negotiate memorandums of understanding with airports, port authorities, and other potential marketing partners that can add value to airline and cruise ship relationships. We can also assist with product orientation, training, and value-adds that will build long-term strategic equity with all stakeholders.
Strategic Planning for Tourism and the Film/Movie Sector
Film, television, and video production industries generate billions in revenues, and are often supported by regional and federal governments who recognize their importance to the local economy. But seldom do destinations take advantage of the extraordinary power of film to lever their destination brand to encourage visitation and extended stays.
GainingEdge experts can help you unlock the power of this sector and build successful, strategic relationships with the creative cultural organisations and studios that can be the conduit for future campaigns and enhanced destination awareness. GainingEdge can help negotiate a strategic relationship between the tourism and film communities, build campaigns that capitalise on locally inspired film and movie making, and create value-adds that build social media awareness and value for your destination.
Coaching and Team Development
Tourism and leisure destinations are complex entities that are responsible to numerous internal and external stakeholders. From time to time, sales and marketing teams may need assistance with obligations such as market planning, strategy development, portfolio analysis, trade relations and development, business planning, research synthesis, stakeholder communications, competitive analysis, and market entry/exit strategies.
GainingEdge experts have years of senior operational experience in multiple destinations at the community, regional and federal levels. They can work with your team on an individual or group basis to develop and implement a skills program that is unique to your destination and meets your needs. Assistance can take many forms from individual training, workshops, and coaching to regular check-ins and updates over time.
Building a Great Destination Brand
What makes your destination special? What differentiates it from other places? How do you distill that essence in a way that allows you to share it with others? Great brands are emotional. They add value to our lives, and we connect with them because they lift us up. Great brands are also authentic—they speak to the values of residents and tourism stakeholders in ways that are relevant and compelling. They transform consumers into evangelists and have the power to cut through the clutter of the messages we see each day with something powerful and impactful. Let GainingEdge help you build a great destination brand.
GainingEdge experts can audit your destination brand by reaching out to travel influencers in your key tourism and meetings markets. Through a combination of in-market surveys and focus groups they can review your destination in the context of key competitors and assess attributes and strengths that truly sets your destination apart. Resident outreach and interviews with key industry stakeholders is an important means of gauging authenticity and support for destination positioning. The recommended brand architecture becomes the cornerstone for competitive positioning, creative development, and future marketing campaigns.
Research and Analytics – Building an Insights-Driven Culture
An effective research and business intelligence program is critical to destination success. It is the means for a destination to demonstrate that it is meeting its mandate of delivering value to stakeholders, building a strong brand, driving visitor demand, improving the visitor experience—and ultimately, impacting long term destination success. The synthesis and dissemination of information contributes to higher quality decision making by the destination and its industry stakeholders. It builds ownership and solidarity. Baseline information provides a measurement framework for monitoring visitor experience and satisfaction, economic performance, and marketing success.
GainingEdge experts are advocates for using research and business intelligence to drive smart marketing and investment decisions. They have extensive experience in survey design and implementation, interpreting and applying primary and secondary data, building marketing and performance scorecards, and digital analytics for business decision making. They also understand the importance of synthesising research in ways that can be shared and acted upon by the broader community. GainingEdge can help you build an insights-driven culture.
Do you work with or for a DMO or CVB?
Enhance your career or build organisational capabilities with relevant company learning through GainingEdge’s professional development courses, including Brand Development, Bureau Funding and Modelling, Social Media Strategy, Lead Sourcing and Qualification and more.