Best Idea Program Awards

Four DMOs received achievement awards in a recent competition with their colleagues from the West. Sponsored by DMA West, the annual Best Idea Program showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies as submitted by DMA West members. This year’s Best Idea Program awards were presented during the 2016 DMA West Education Summit, September 21-23, in Mesa, Arizona.

DMA West congratulates the Flagstaff CVB, Travel Lane County, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism and Ventura VCB for receiving outstanding achievement awards for their organizations in the 2016 Best Idea Program. Representatives presented their best ideas during the recent September Education Summit.

The 2016 Best Idea Booklet—including all project submissions—is available to members in DMA West’s online Resource Library. Thanks to all member DMOs that submitted their ideas.

Several representatives were honored with Best Idea Program Achievement Awards for their respective DMOs at the 2016 DMA West Education Summit. (Left to right) Kim Sidoriak, CDME, Chief Marketing Officer, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism; Lori Pappas, Marketing & Media Relations Manager, Flagstaff CVB; Fiorella Calderoni, Communications Manager, Ventura VCB; and Kari Westlund, President & CEO, and Sally McAleer, Vice President of Integrated Marketing, Travel Lane County/Eugene, Cascades & Coast. Congratulations!

Achievement Award Winners

Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau (AZ)
Project Title:
90th Anniversary Route 66 - 66 Kicks on Route 66

The Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with its stakeholders and partners, created and implemented year-long strategic marketing activity supporting the most historic and celebrated road in America – Route 66, The Mother Road – in preparation of its 90th anniversary. Route 66 runs through Flagstaff and continues to serve as the town’s major corridor. Capitalizing on the adventure seeker and historian, the program’s objective was to provide a time-sensitive “need to travel” and authentic reason to visit Flagstaff. Sixty-six (66) partners offered visitors kicks on or near Route 66 including adventurous once-in-a-lifetime and hands-on experiences such as renting a Harley and touring Route 66, to novelty eating and drinking a Route 66 mocha or Mother Road draft beer, to being in a place in time with accommodations on the Mother Road. Each 66 Kicks partner displayed a window cling year-round to promote the campaign and to signify their establishment as a featured location.

Travel Lane County (OR)
Project Title:
GO Campaign

The goal was to create a campaign that would inspire visits to Eugene, Cascades & Coast region from nearby markets with an emphasis on Portland, Oregon’s largest population center. In order to stand out from the crowd, Travel Lane County staff identified four travel motivators that are strong enough to pull people 160+ miles from Portland for an overnight stay: dune buggy rides on the Oregon Coast; cycling in the Mountain Bike Capital of the Northwest; hiking uncrowded trails to magnificent waterfalls and riding the popular Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. Each motivator stands on its own as a destination visit and has its own set of ad assets and web page. The campaign is held together with a consistent look and tone. The primary call to action leads a potential visitor to a single landing page ( The landing page shows a tile for each of the four motivators for ease of messaging, but also to inspire people to consider additional activities. For some of the digital ads, it links directly from the motivational commercial to the relevant web page. The campaign launched with a broad range of placements to help increase brand awareness - bus and train ads; Comcast cable commercials with a digital buy; digital radio spots played through Pandora; digital ads placed through Facebook; digital Pay-Per-Click targeted by demographic and behavioral attributes for each motivator; and stories told on the campaign web pages.

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (CA)
Project Title:
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Partners with Witchery to Promote Santa Monica as the Ultimate Escape Destination

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) engaged in an opportunity to partner with Witchery, one of Australia’s leading fashion labels, lifestyle brands and retailers within Australia and New Zealand. The focus of this project was to promote Santa Monica as a stylish and aspirational travel destination to reach Australian and New Zealand consumers - one of Santa Monica’s top international feeder markets - through the use of an integrated consumer and trade marketing campaign that ran within a three-week period during Summer 2015. Through this campaign, SMTT also aimed to emphasize its key message points of Santa Monica as the beachfront of LA and that it is the ideal base for a vacation to Los Angeles. Witchery is one of Australia’s leading fashion labels with 180 retail stores across Australia and New Zealand and more than one million highly engaged loyalty subscribers. To highlight Santa Monica as a top travel destination to Witchery loyalists, the clothing brand hosted a three-week competition on where online visitors entered for a chance to win the ultimate escape to “Summer’s Hottest Destination” - Santa Monica. This competition was part of an overarching campaign that consisted of a multi-layered approach to ensure that the partnership was leveraged to its fullest potential.

Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau (CA)
Project Title:
Celebrity Dogs of Instagram Familiarization (FAM) Trip

In the world of Instagram influencers, the Ventura VCB/Visit Ventura sought to stand out from the crowd by hosting influencers of the four-legged type. Ventura VCB invited six (6) doggies for a familiarization (FAM) trip targeting furry friends who have become Instagram celebrities. Together, the dogs have more than 300,000 followers. They came to Ventura and enjoyed lunch from The Parlor’s special PAWlor doggie menu, an ice cream stop at Coastal Cone, a ride on Ventura’s Downtown Harbor Trolley, a downtown stroll along Main Street, play time on the beach, and a cockTAIL hour at The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood. While asked for only two Instagram posts per dog, the group posted 26 photos of their time in Ventura tagging Visit Ventura and the local businesses that hosted them, and praising Ventura as the most pet-friendly destination they knew. Together, the posts earned more than 40,000 likes on Instagram and Visit Ventura earned exposure to thousands of new followers. The Ventura VCB team also acquired 84 new pet-friendly images to add to their image library. The FAM was a great way to promote Ventura as a fun and very pet-friendly destination.