Local Tourism and Businesses Promoted with a Digital Advent Calendar

Posted in: Success casesLast update: 10/02/21

Leavenworth is a popular tourist destination in Washington, United States, especially during the Christmas period. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the Bavarian-style town was unable to welcome thousands of visitors. To promote tourism and local businesses, The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce organized a digital Advent Calendar to reconnect with their audience and give them something to look forward to. Find out more about this successful digital Advent Calendar and how it converted thousands of users into leads.

The agency

Howell at the Moon Productions is a creative video and digital content production company based in Washington, United States. Since 1999 the agency has been providing full-spectrum content, offering professional print, radio, broadcast, and social media campaigns.

The client

Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce wished to promote the Bavarian-themed town nestled in the foothills of the Cascades. Leavenworth sees nearly 4 million visitors a year for its many festivals, including Oktoberfest and the annual Village of Lights lighting display, as well as its natural beauty and outdoor recreation. 

The challenge 

With the COVID-19 outbreak, the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce looked for a way to replicate the traditional Christmas feeling, something that is undoubtedly present in Leavenworth. To do so, they looked to create a virtual connection to Leavenworth during a time when travel was understandably discouraged. 

With the usual in-person holiday festivals canceled, the organizers turned to Howell at the Moon Productions to find a means of staying in touch with people around the country who might have, under other circumstances, been able to travel to Leavenworth. This is how the idea of an online Advent Calendar was born.

digital advent calendar from Leavonworth Chamber of commerce

The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce and Howell at the Moon Productions opted for an Easypromos Check-in Advent Calendar. Throughout the Advent period, users came back daily to open new Advent windows. Each day, entrants participated for a chance to win various gift cards to Leavenworth businesses, restaurants, and shops. “The Chamber supported its local businesses by purchasing all of the prizes, as opposed to asking for donations”, points out Jamie Howell. The Chamber of Commerce also encouraged delayed travel, especially during the often overcrowded holiday season. “The gift cards came with no expiration dates so that the winners could truly wait to visit until they feel it’s safe to travel again”, adds Howell.

digital advent calendar from Leavonworth Chamber of commerce. screenshots of the gift cards

Each day, the organizer gave away $100 worth of gift cards from two vendors. Additionally, for every participation, users earned an additional entry into the Grand Prize drawing on Christmas Day. Two lucky participants won Bavarian Village vacation packages that included hotel stays, dining packages, and local products and activities. 

Goals achieved with the digital Advent Calendar

The Leavenworth Chamber wanted to promote the health of the local economy and local businesses. The digital Advent Calendar also provided a virtual connection to the public and encouraged them to stay home and stay healthy. All that was done while giving the audience something to look forward to when traveling once again became safe. 
The Chamber turned to social media to promote their digital Advent Calendar. Every day, they shared a picture of a new Advent door, encouraging their online community to participate in the promotion. Additionally, they created a landing page on the official website of Leavenworth. Both actions highly helped in converting social media users and website visitors into qualified leads.

digital advent calendar from Leavonworth Chamber of commerce. screenshots of social media posts

A total of 4,962 participants registered in the digital Advent Calendar. They opened nearly 60,000 doors, averaging 11.7 participations per person. The organizers found the final result very pleasing. These numbers demonstrate the increased brand engagement that came as a result of the interactive campaign. Apart from exposing their audience to the traditional Village of Lights visuals, the organizers also promoted the local businesses and tourism. 

“The responses we heard from participants were overwhelmingly positive. Several hundred of them liked it enough to play every single day of the promotions.”, explains the Creative Director at Howell at the Moon Productions. The Advent Calendar not only engaged but also highly entertained the audience. 
The Leavenworth Chamber merged the newly obtained leads with their current mailing list, allowing them to make future connections with potential visitors. Jamie Howell adds that it was very useful to see where the participants come from. In this case, 73% of users were from Washington State, but there were participants from 47 states and even abroad.

Interactive marketing = new aspect of Leavenworth’s strategy 

The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce was so pleased with their digital Advent Calendar that “without question, they will be running a 2021 Village of Lights Advent Calendar come December again,” says Jamie Howell. Besides, they also launched a second “Love from Leavenworth” Calendar giveaway with a Valentine’s theme. Howell points out that there has been discussion about running even more digital calendars throughout the year.

digital valentines day calendar from leavonworth

The Easypromos platform

Howell at the Moon Productions came across Easypromos after exhaustive online research. After analyzing and comparing numerous websites that offer Advent Calendar solutions, Jamie Howell decided Easypromos seemed to be the most robust. “It helped immensely that we could begin building and testing the actual calendar without ever having to subscribe”, explains Howell. “This helped provide a high level of confidence with a very low level of risk as we tried this out for the first time,” he adds. 

Testimonial

Easypromos provides a robust infrastructure for online promotions; rapid, responsive technical support; and friendly customer care. The fact that you can build and test your promotion before ever having to pay a dime helped us know for sure that we had the promotion we wanted and that it would work when launch day came. Highly recommended!

-Jamie Howell-

Creative Director at Howell at the Moon Productions

Kamila Palka

She forms part of the Easypromos marketing team and holds a combined honors degree in Digital Media and Marketing, currently studying for a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing. Her tasks include everything that is content-related in English, including social media communications, new blog posts, product demos, and success cases. If she’s not working on a new content piece for Easypromos you will find her working out, skydiving, or starting a new series with her rescued cat.

Publication date: 2021-02-10