Earlier this week, Sarah and I attended eTourism Labs, a travel & tourism conference focusing on the digital world. There are so many takeaways I’m excited about and lots of great ideas I want to implement in my day-to-day work. Here are the top 4 trendiest trends I heard about over and over from presenters this year.
Lazlo Horvath, President of ActiveMedia, said it best. “If your website isn’t responsive, it doesn’t exist.” Another presenter commented that “mobile has been a trend for the past few years” and it’s true. Google is even starting to reward sites for being mobile responsive, and punish sites that aren’t. Everything is done on mobile, and the more you consider how mobile users find information differently and that what they’re looking for may be different, the better poised you are for a positive mobile visitor experience. Because of mobile, many standards are flipping on their heads – like putting a call to action at the front of a video, rather than its end.
Just like mobile, this trend isn’t new, but it is still trendy. The interwebs are a visual space now and people are more and more text-averse. Presentations covered everything from having visually strong websites to representing data visually. Travelers are looking for inspiration, authenticity and for fun. Photos, videos and other visuals make a destination come alive, and make decisions easy. They can even reduce bounce rate.
This trend ranges from including someone’s name in the subject line or body of an email (surprising fact: first & last name together outperform just first or last name!), to differentiating your message to hyper-targeted advertising audiences. The ideal, it is said, is to have technology help us have 1-on-1 conversations with travelers every step of the way on their path to purchase.
Is ROI really that valuable? Not according to several presenters at eTourism Labs 2017, like Gray Lawry, VP of Strategy and Insights at Miles Partnership. Lawry says the financial formula doesn’t translate well to the tourism industry. Instead, attribution and economic impact are the strongest measures and the most critical to proving what you do. What’s recommended? Tools like Adara, Arrivalist and Sojern coupled with a research partner can point you toward real impact numbers. Many case studies also used surveys, Google Tag Manager and heat mapping tools to collect data that points to real travel.
Are you being trendy? If you had to pick one trend to focus on for 2017, what would it be?