ICCA once again awarded its Best Marketing Award to the plucky little guys doing marvellous work on a shoestring budget, with the Estonia Convention Bureau picking up the 2019, 22nd edition BMA at the Closing Ceremony of the 58th ICCA Congress in Houston, Texas.
The ECB’s ‘Go Wild, Choose Estonia!’ won hearts at the congress, with a creative storytelling destination marketing campaign.
The main challenge Estonia had to solve is that, as a country, they are still relatively unfamiliar to international audiences. Estonia was also faced with not having a relevant national brand image with to work. The bureau communicated authentic and unique experiences that can be enjoyed in Estonia and used humour and even Estonian grannies to deliver a delightful video in support of the campaign.
The bar was certainly high this year, with the other two finalistsInternational Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) presenting their ‘It’s Showtime!’ campaign, and Convention Bureau Italia their ‘Italy at Hand’ campaign.
No matter what your scale or metrics, however, it’s the hearts that clearly matter most and the ECB were popular winners in the hall and with the judges, with votes being split between the two.
Chairman of the BMA judging panel Patrick Delaney of SoolNua, said: “We had more submissions this year than ever, each year the quality goes up and up, and the BMA session at this year’s ICCA Congress was one of the best attended. The unique nature of the BMA competition and recognition and exposure amongst peers makes this one of the most sought-after awards in our industry.”
“I truly believe the BMA Award is at the heart of what the global ICCA family is all about. It is about sharing real tangible solutions to real problems. All three campaigns showed in different creative ways how destinations and venues can create awareness, increase motivation and trust amongst their internal teams and customers, and deliver a real increase in business.”
“Estonia Convention Bureau demonstrated the power of storytelling told in a passionate and personal and committed way. It shows that a great marketing campaign is not restricted by the amount of budget, but thrives on creativity, passion and commitment, and clever execution.”
Riine Tiigi and Kadri Karu of the Estonian Convention Bureau said: “We have really worked hard for this. For our destination it gives huge visibility. It really puts us on the map. Estonia is such a small destination and our team is only three people, so it is hard to get noticed. I think we got noticed now.”
BMA is open to all ICCA members, regardless of sector or campaign size. Entries can range from full-scale campaigns to single events and promotions, as long as the message broke through the noise in an innovative and creative way, had tremendous return on investment, and succeeded in meeting its objectives.
Shortlisted finalists win a free registration to the ICCA Congress, where they will compete live on stage during a plenary session for the chance to be recognised by their peers as the winner.