The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau recently was honored with an American Marketing Association Cincinnati Pinnacle Award for its Cincinnati Virtual Reality Experience.
The AMA’s “Best Use of Technology for SALES Enablement” award recognizes the innovative use of technology for driving sales initiatives, asset creation, relationship development, and conference and trade show participation.
Launched in 2016, the Cincinnati USA Virtual Reality Experience provides a motion-focused, guided tour through Cincinnati that showcases some of the city’s top entertainment districts, venues, restaurants and attractions.
Produced by Lightborne Communications, the three-minute narrated video is an immersive experience targeted toward meeting planners, attendees and visitors that aims to leave the audience with an emotional connection to The Queen City and its myriad offerings.
“In Cincinnati, and especially here at the CVB, we value innovation, hard work and civic pride,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of Cincinnati USA.
He continued, “Our marketing team has taken these qualities and has paired them with cutting-edge technology to create a product that we are truly proud of and that has helped drive meetings to our region.”
The CVB sales team uses the 360-degree experience at various trade shows and events to increase engagement, promote Cincinnati as a meetings and conventions destination, and give future attendees a glimpse of what to expect when visiting the destination.
By syncing monitors with a virtual reality headset, the CVB’s 360-degree video becomes more than a singular experience, allowing a large audience to follow along with what an individual viewer is viewing on the screen.
Cincinnati USA’s new trade show booth, also revealed in 2016, includes built-in screens to make the virtual reality experience suitable for group viewing.
At IMEX America 2016, the CVB used its new Virtual Reality Experience to showcase the city to hundreds of meeting planners, ultimately receiving 35 RFPs collectively worth 45,000 room nights and a potential economic impact of more than $13 million.
“Great marketing and sales initiatives happen when we’re able to evoke some sort of feeling or call to action from our audience,” explained Randie Adam, vice president of marketing and visitor services for Cincinnati USA.
She added, “We’re excited to see that our virtual reality experience is encouraging people to host their meetings in Cincinnati or to come for a visit and that it’s working.”
The AMA Cincinnati Pinnacle Award marks the most recent accolade for the CVB’s award-winning marketing team, which has been a repeat recipient of previous AMA Awards, Middy Awards from the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and Ruby Awards from the Ohio Travel Association.
To view the Cincinnati USA Virtual Reality Experience on a mobile device:
1. Install the YouTube application.
2. Once it’s installed, click here.
3. After opening the video, ensure that the quality is set to at least 1440s.
4. Hold your mobile device at arm’s length and move it around – the video will follow where it’s pointed.
5. The experience is meant to be immersive, so make sure to look up, down and behind you.