Over 45 product managers representing 28 leading European Cities recently met in Barcelona to exchange knowledge and best practices in one of the most important growth areas of city marketing: city cards! These cities are part of the 40 cities under the We Love City Cards branding campaign.
The City Cards Expert Meeting is a lunch-to-lunch meeting targeted to product managers who are looking to improve and share their knowledge, an initiative of European Cities Marketing, the only membership association strengthening city marketing in Europe with 100 cities onboard.
Olivier Occelli, City Cards Knowledge Group chairperson, explains: “City Cards are a key tool in city marketing. They can boost the visitors’ experience. The objective of this annual event is to create a network of experts working on this segment. Through knowledge exchange, ECM allows its members to fine-tune their product, their communication and marketing & sales strategy”.
Key presentation was made by Olivier Ponti, Manager Research at Amsterdam Marketing. In his eye-opener speech “Why is Big Data such a big deal?”, he explained how Destination Management Organisations could take advantage of Big Data and the “Internet of things” to continuously improve their products and services. “Even more than the explosion of data, it is maybe the ease with which we can make use of it that is truly remarkable”, noted Ponti, who also added: “in tourism like in any other economic sector, data science opened unprecedented possibilities to innovate, optimize the use of financial resources and enhance the visitor’s experience”.
Testimonials of destinations about the way they are handling their knowledge of clients and products were then delivered and followed by group discussions: Berlin’s presentation highlighted results of their latest client survey and London’s introduced their data analysis about the London Pass.
“It’s important to work together to optimise our products because when a client is satisfied with a city card, he will be more likely to buy a city card in another city. For example, 50% of the Berlin Pass clients that have taken part in the customer survey had already used a city card in another city” added Sabine Dubreuil, Director Tourist Services at Stockholm Visitors Board and moderator of this year’s City Cards Expert Meeting.
While last year’s Expert Meeting saw the premises of a common brand, We Love City Cards, this year’s event was the occasion to make a first assessment of the branding strategy launched in October 2014, with among others the first results of the City Cards Benchmarking survey, and some figures on the growing activity of the recently launched Weekends in Europe Facebook page. The ECM City Cards Benchmarking survey confirms the influence of the product with more than 4.2 million cards sold among the leading cities in Europe in 2014.
To close these two half-days, Brussels introduced their dematerialised city card while Oslo shared their experience with the mobile app city card. Presentations were followed by table discussions on mobile apps, on how to increase sales and on negotiations about pricing with partners.
Get to know the 40 leading city cards in Europe on www.welovecitycards.com and be a fan of the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/weekendsineurope where you can take part in a contest to win 2 pairs of City Cards every day!
European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries.
ECM Knowledge Groups are expert teams focusing on specific aspects of city marketing and urban tourism development. They discuss issues, share best practices, prepare reports, conduct surveys and, in certain cases, undertake joint marketing activities.
City Cards Knowledge Group aims at promoting and improving the City Card product in Europe. Promotion is made through a common brand We Love City Cards: www.welovecitycards.com. The Group also brings together experts working in the field to exchange on best practices within the City Cards Expert Meeting held once a year.
Flavie Baudot, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 380 56 02 00