To create a conversation around travel rewards for Scotiabank, Narrative PR created the blogger meet-up to end all blogger meet-ups.
On Oct. 23, the Bensimon Byrne-owned PR agency hosted the Massive Meet-up, billed as Canada’s first coast-to-coast blogger meet-up. The event, which promoted the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, took place in six cities: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. Around 100 bloggers and influences across travel, lifestyle, entertainment and personal finance attended the meet-up. The audiences were all connected simultaneously through online video live-streaming.
“We’ve been calling it a blogger event on steroids,” said Lindsay Mattick Davidson, VP of strategy and creative at Narrative PR. “When we think about how we’re going to reach bloggers, we [want to do something] that isn’t just the standard of what everyone else is doing. We’re looking for different ways to do things.”
When the Scotiabank Gold American Express card launched last year, Narrative PR put on a blogger event at Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport. The idea was to introduce the card and “bring to life the key message of the campaign—that you can earn travel rewards up to four times faster with this card,” said Amanda Burgess, Scotiabank business lead at Bensimon Byrne.
At the Massive Meet-up, the idea was to have a develop a deeper relationship with the bloggers and have a conversation about their travel habits, travel reward habits and what they like to see in a travel rewards card. At the six events, attendees were given a hand-held device and asked a series of questions about travel rewards. The results were broadcast in real-time and bloggers were also invited to share their personal stories about travel rewards.
The meet-up also included a guest speaker: Patrick Sojka, president and founder of Rewards Canada. In addition, each of the six events included social media challenges designed to get the bloggers interacting with one another and generate some buzz on Twitter. For example, one challenge asked attendees to tweet a photo of their favourite appetizer from the evening and ask their followers where in the world it inspires them to travel. Another challenge asked bloggers to find their “travel twin” (identified by their “travel personality” on their name tags) and tweet out a photo.
Narrative PR said the event generated seven million impressions on Twitter from just over 1,600 tweets. It also hit “trending topic” status in each of the cities and Canada-wide.
Burgess said the standard of entry for blogger events used to be “provide food and drink and a good experience.” But with these events now a dime a dozen, it was necessary to take it to the next level.
“In larger markets like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, different events are happening on every night of the week,” said Burgess. “[Food and drink] is not going to necessarily get them out. We had to think of ways to outdo what we did before and provide a unique experience that’s also relevant to what you’re talking to them about. If you can really connect those two points, bloggers will speak about the event and walk away feeling like they had a good time and carry your message too.”