Over the years we have developed an eye for what is working, and what is not. For effective branding, positive media, and marketing plans that will set the world on fire, and those that will fizzle and die. Using the latest intelligence software we can scan the media world for good comments, and bad, for competitors, and developing scenarios that can derail a project, especially an international project.
We have one of the most technologically advanced computer engines to understand tourism and hospitality trends, perceptions and how effective the brand, and media message. Behind the technology are years of experience:
Alan J Simpson
Many years ago when I caught to train from Wakefield to Leeds, in Yorkshire, England, I would look at the fading posters about holiday destinations such as Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough and Skegness, all a train ride away. These were my introduction to Branding for Tourism. The majority of working people settled for a train or bus trip, and thousands throughout the summer went just to sit on the Beach, walk the promenade and enjoy the sea air.
Few had the money, opportunity, or desire to be crammed in an airplane for hours to see distant places which today cost less than visiting those local holiday destinations from long ago. Filey had nothing except a beach, and that theme successfully drew workers, one beach being like any other.
Thanks to the Royal Air Force I saw the world in the 1970's and eagerly embraced the diverse cultures, cuisines and customs in a changing world. The end of the Colonial Era, with the fading memories of "Grand Tours" and genteel luxury in former Colonies. Seeing a new world developing I gladly assisted local tourism businesses look beyond their faded business plans and embrace new ideas. The first was a request for help with a Bed and Breakfast project in the Spey Valley, outside of Aviemore, Scotland, and many more followed. Five years in the Highlands of Scotland taught me a lot about dealing with local traditions, and officials with set ideas. Moving on, the knowledge based was honed in Yorkshire, then off to the Norfolk Broads. From 1984 the world travels went into high gear and I was very fortunate to work, and manage projects in over 80 countries. This exposure to thousands of hotels, restaurants and bars gave a unique perspective on the global tourism and hospitality business, and what is successful, and what is not.
Moving to Dallas, Texas then to Orlando, Florida brought me into contact with the big players in global tourism and hospitality, Six Flags, Disney, Universal, Sea World and lots of pretenders that came and went, all which I wrote about for the US and European media. Being the media contact with European connections meant an invite to every opening, travel trade party, reception and FAM trip, in Florida and the Caribbean. Many thousand interviews and conversations were undertaken from Michael Eisner, Robert Earl, Richard Branson, to the staff that created the Magic of Orlando. Television and Film Studios became a second home. Attractions in Orlando live or die on a successful brand, and a well thought out marketing plan, and many had neither.
From there to outside of New York, and the world of finance, television, exclusive restaurants, film premieres and travel news. Finally to Washington, DC monitoring politics, including tourism and travel legislation, and dealing with hundreds of Trade Associations from my offices in the National Press Building, near the White House. A unique understanding of global tourism, hospitality, branding and of course the media.
Linda Schnabl Simpson
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy the experience of traveling in fine style on the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, QE2, Franconia, United States, and many of the famous cruise lines before joining the Advance Team at the White House, managing Presidential visits. This gave a unique grounding in what was expected, and required for high level entertaining, and the right image.
The opportunity came in Washington, DC to be Deputy Director of Logistics at the Reagan Inaugural, with such guests as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and many other celebrities from Hollywood. Few can comprehend the detailed planning that goes into a massive international event such as the Presidential Inaugural, with thousands of the world's media watching every event and parade.
From Washington to the Cayman Islands, and seven years managing the Tourism and Aviation PR of this exclusive Island Paradise. Working with television networks, and their temperamental stars, hosting 250 journalists a year, between planning and managing society weddings, and Royal Visits made life interesting. To effectively manage the many media tours and visits by celebrities satellites office were created in Miami, New York, and San Diego. Later a new Event Planning consultancy was created in Orlando, Florida with the client list including Fortune 100 clients, major Charities and convention hotels. Each with a different set of requirements.
The Pharmaceutical Meetings industry was at it's height, and required assistance with the rapidly expanding requirement to plan and manage multiple meetings daily. Over the next 11 years I managed tens of thousands of meetings, with a large staff of Meeting Planners spread around the United States. These computer based bookings became the mainstay of many restaurant chains. Awarded the Chairman's Award for Excellence by the Fortune 50 healthcare giant, Cardinal Health was a welcome accolade for a unique opportunity to manage more meetings per month than most meeting planners achieve in a lifetime.
This wide spectrum of meeting experience has provided a knowledge base that provides clients with the training, consultancy and answers they are seeking, from small groups in a professional setting, to televised Inaugurations attended by millions.