This week I was working in the Bahamas, The Atlantis, Cove Resort to be exact. I am so fortunate to do what I love, get compensated and be in place where the word paradise associated with a destination is an extreme understatement.

Atlantis Bahamas

The experience was one of my best ever. The accommodations were incredible, service divine and even the beach cats were over the top gracious and welcoming. This beach cat parked next to me as  I was chilling in the sand, sipping on a nice glass of wine, while writing this blog. Didn’t beg for anything, just hung out with me.

Beach cat who greeted me at the Bahamas

I addressed SITEglobal (Society of international travel executives). This conference was their foundation event where they mix fundraising, (which this even raised over $80,000 for research) education and power networking. SITE enables organizations to achieve optimum performance through inspirational experiences and productivity incentives.

My roll was the keynote speaker, as their event theme was “A Brand New Day”.

Karen Post speaking at SITE conference

The incentive travel industry has been hit hard these past few years not only by the recession but, from the negative perceptions of high-profile industry bailouts and economic woes. And to make matters even rougher, the media reports about the increase in crime from pirates to drug cartels to terrorism have had a grueling impact on corporate incentive travel sector.

As I told them, no business is ever immune to these uncontrollable circumstances. However, when things get tough, the tough Brand-up! And that was my message.

The audience was a balance of independent destination companies, visitor and convention bureaus to multi-national travel and destination service brands. All faced challenges ranging from more demanding price-conscious buyers, learning and leveraging new technologies and social media, to how to best stand out in a competitive environment of many excellent choices.

Highlights from my program included:

  • Branding is the art and science of being an offering of choice.
  • This is accomplished by accumulating positive impression in the minds of your market.
  • Anything (product, person, company, service, team, destination etc.) that competes is an opportunity to brand.
  • As soon as you start doing business you have a brand.
  • Marketing is the process. The brand is the end result.
  • Strategic moves and smart tactical actions can make your brand more desirable.
  • No risk. No brand.
  • Requirements for successful brand.

-New mindset about selling, loyalty, social media and control
-Metaphors (in story, names and processes) are huge opportunities to differentiate
-Frequency in messaging (all touch points) is as important as the message

For a copy of the SITE BRAND-UP!! download here.

To listen to the song BRAND-UP! or share click below.

Have a question? Post it here or go to Oddpodz Linkedin group and post it there.

I want to personally thank Neal Shiller from International Speakers Bureau for bringing me this opportunity, Carol Girouard of  Pinnacle meetings, events and incentives who was the education chair and all of the wonderful sponsors and members of SITE.

Over heard –
At the Sea bar in the Atlantis, Cove Resort
“Traveling with my family, I’ll have two shots of Patron”

At one of the evening dinners
“Bahamas hospitality is so genuine, every one smiles, they connect and look into your eyes and sincerely are grateful that you selected their beautiful island for your business or pleasure”

After my presentation
“My brand is a nightmare and your talk was a wake up call to changing that, thanks!”

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