AudioConexus Unveils New Brand Identity

AudioConexus, the leading provider of multilingual, multi-topical hardware, software and creative solutions for sightseeing operators, unveiled its new brand identity and logo across all media to coincide with its plans to launch innovative products later in 2017.

“Our visual identity represents a new era in our development and growth,” says Jonathan Stanley, President & CEO of AudioConexus Inc. “We’re launching new products inspired by a human-centered design approach to creative problem solving and innovation, embarking on a journey that will transform our industry and drive greater value for our customers. Our new logo better reflects who we are today and the company we’re aiming to be tomorrow.”

This strategic branding is an initiative to highlight the company’s core principles of customer-focused solutions, accountability, and creativity that drives a relationship-first, collaborative model for creating premium tours and passenger experiences. Unlike traditional tour systems, AudioConexus provides a unique combination of authentic experience and extraordinary adaptability, giving ambitious, growth-orientated tour operators in local communities worldwide a distinctive edge.

The unique Brandmark consists of the AudioConexus “A” emerging in positive space as an icon. Covering and augmenting the letter, in negative space, is a nexus — a web indicative of a series of sound waves linking multiple points of interest. The Wordmark also received a makeover with a new sans-serif typeface optimized for legibility across mediums and the font weights reversed to bring emphasis to Conexus. Finally, the colours were enhanced, coupling dark and neutral blues to represent stability, professionalism, integrity and trust, with the light blue that pays delicate homage to the company’s creativity, life and passion without crossing into whimsy.

The resulting visual identity is primed to carry the company into the future.

In collaboration with Whiterock Reid, a branding and user experience agency, AudioConexus reviewed its vision, mission, core values and brand fingerprint, the guiding principles of their new brand identity.

This strategic branding is much more than a logo change. It represents the company’s forward outlook and corporate values. The new visual identity is the first in a series of important milestones that will strengthen the company’s position as a leader in multi-language, multi-topical sightseeing user experiences.

Using Video to Increase Sales: What Every Tourism Marketer Needs to Know

Did you know that 65% of sightseeing and tour businesses say that finding new passengers is their top challenge? While the goal of your business is to sell tickets, companies hit a roadblock, at times with their online marketing, which results in minimal conversions and lost business. In this post, we’ll show you why you should join other businesses by adopting a commonly used tactic that grows revenue 49% faster: videos.

Recently, one of our customers shared their success with this strategy, and how they’re reaping great results with huge increases in sales. They’re approaching marketing differently by posting sightseeing and destination videos, placed beside “Book This Tour” buttons. By making this simple change, they’ve seen a significant increase of 300% in online sales conversions.

We’ve given you some information that is especially helpful for sightseeing businesses looking to find new customers. Below, we’ve given you statistics about the reach and benefits that videos can provide your business, in addition to statements on why you should incorporate videos in your online marketing campaigns. Lastly, we’ve given you some valuable tips from Distribution Center Magazine and Inc.com that we’ve adjusted to help you implement your video content. We believe that using videos in your marketing efforts can be incredibly beneficial, allowing you to show your customers multiple sides of your business.  If you want to increase sales, keep reading to see how businesses have found success using videos, and how you can too.

Statistics

  • 69% of marketers claim their budget is switching towards digital marketing (Syndacast, July 2014)
  • Globally, total Internet video traffic (business and consumer, combined) will be 79% of all internet traffic in 2020, up from 63% in 2015. Additionally, consumer Internet video traffic alone will be 82% of consumer internet traffic in 2020, up from 68% in 2015 (Cisco, 2016)
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (Aberdeen, 2015)
  • YouTube has over a billion users – almost one-third of all people on the Internet – and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours, generating billions of views (YouTube, May 2017)
  • A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research (Forrester, January 2009)
  • With proper optimization, videos increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53x (Forrester, January 2010) and video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search result listings (Internet Retailer, March 2014)
  • After surveying 1,014 US online-video watching adults, 96% of all respondents say they find watching a video helps them make an online purchase decision and 74% say they are more likely to purchase after watching a video that explains the products they are looking at online (Animoto, December 2013)
  • 68% of YouTube users watched YouTube to help make a purchase decision (Tubular Insights, January 2017)
  • 65% of marketers say digital video is growing in importance for driving offline sales, and more than half see it as a superior tool for building brand awareness and favorability, telling their brand’s story, and connecting with consumers emotionally (MarketingProf, June 2017)
  • Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not, based on OnlineGolf.com results (Internet Retailer, April 2010)
  • com found that viewers who chose to view video converted at a 400% increase over those who did not. Ice.com also credits video with decreasing merchandise returns by 25% (Internet Retailer, December 2009)
  • 87% of marketers are seeing a positive ROI when using videos to drive sales (MarketingProf, June 2017)

Why Incorporate Videos

  • “Video as an emotional connector accelerates the consumer experience. Video is such a great differentiator for us and has provided tremendous momentum to our digital marketing strategy.” – Erich Gail, Chief Operating Officer of the Cardinale-Group of Companies
  • “Video enables you to keep the audience engaged to the extent that it can dismiss the information that is conveyed through text.” – Chris Bowser, Chief Executive Officer of Online Auction Learning Center
  • “Users are more likely to share and re-share video than other forms of content. It is a great tool for businesses and professionals to showcase their vision, expertise, products, services, company news and announcements for maximum outreach.” – Swatl Johsl, Huffington Post
  • “Video marketing works as an accessible and digestible form of content that is eye-catching, engaging and shareable.” – Syndacast

What You Should Do

If you’re including videos in your online marketing strategy, we cannot emphasize the importance of quality over quantity. While they can make a huge difference for your company, don’t rush content in an aim to increase your conversions. You’ll see a greater payoff if you take your time in preparation and creation of your video than if you just throw something together. Do some research, invest in professionals to produce and film your videos and work collaboratively to come up with topics, ideas and scripts.

A great way to introduce videos into your marketing efforts is by creating video customer testimonials. If you want to make an impression on potential customers, ask some of your current and returning customers if they’ll share their thoughts of your company on video. It’s more valuable for potential customers to hear your praises from others rather than a sales pitch.

Once you’ve started incorporating videos, a fantastic addition would be offering your potential customers a brief video showcasing aspects of the tour and locations to give them a preview of what to expect. You can take this concept a step further by having a staff member lead the video to give the customer a more personal experience

Lastly, videos can be a fantastic resource when building awareness. Are you coming out with a new and exciting tour for your customers? We recommend filming snippets or hints about what the new tour will include and share it via social media with special offers or discounts for those who watch.

Conclusion

While we’ve shed some light on why (and how) you should include videos in your online marketing strategy, we know that taking this step forward will only improve your business and sales. Remember that what matters is setting yourself apart from your competition, increasing ticket sales, and providing an unforgettable experience to your customers.

Putting the Service in Customer Service

Sometimes customer service is not only for our customers.

While waiting in line, after normal working hours our Inside Sales Representative, had a phone call forwarded to her cell phone.  When receiving a sales call, it is important to clearly understand the potential customers actual need. This call was a little different. An elderly woman was wanting to set-up a tour for her ladies’ club at the Harley-Davidson Factory, in Kansas City Mo. Our representative explained that AudioConexus is a provider of tour and tour guide systems. It became clear that the caller was a bit confused, when she then asked if the tour was on motorcycles or a walking tour.  The lady was relieved to learn that factory tours were, indeed walking tours, and was now convinced that this is exactly what she and her group would want to do. Or representative stepped out of line, and explained how most factory tours work, while looking up the reservation number for Harley Davidson tours. She provided the lady with the Harley-Davidson Factory Tour contact number, and then addressed her concerns about calling an “877” area code.

In today’s absence of telephone books, and the proliferation of devices that can search anything, it is easy to see how technology can replace the need for human interactions. Technology can also add a layer of confusion to generations that grew up without knowing the word “google” as a verb. While the call to our representative was out-of-the-ordinary, her handling of the situation demonstrates the level of expertise that we are proud to be known for.

When you call AudioConexus you get a human. When you get our sales department, you get a person interested in solving your problem. Even if that problem happens to be where to take your group on a factory walking tour in Kansas City, MO.

We do hope that they had a great time!

What to Expect on an AudioConexus Onsite Installation

To produce the high quality services AudioConexus is known for, our projects undergo a number of crucial steps. The final key milestone with our clients is the onsite installation of our systems. Our technicians travel to the client’s destination with prior planning and preparation for a seamless installation.

Once our technicians arrive onsite the first thing our clients should expect is an onsite installation meeting. This meeting covers lots of important areas prior to an installation. Some of which include the installation responsibilities and scope of work, a review of the installation plan and the checking of the shipped equipment and tools. The onsite meeting covers fine details such as safety rules and special considerations of both the workplace and the workers. Once the client and our technicians cover all this vital information the installation can begin!

Through many projects at AudioConexus we have found working hand in hand with the client during installations has many valuable rewards. Throughout installation, the client works closely to learn the important aspects of our hardware. Our clients also know their vehicles intimately; therefore, working together provides clear passage of information to provide an easy and flawless installation.

When the installation is complete, we ensure no questions remain about installation or maintenance of their new system. Our goal is to train and work closely with our clients so that one trip transforms our system into their system. Our installation team has experience working on all different types of vehicles and vessels all over the world. We learn everywhere we go, and bring that knowledge with us.

*Photo is of Dave Mains from Technical (left) on one of our most recent installations.

The Great Platte River Road Archway Tells the Stories of Nebraska Using their New RFID Audio Guide System

The Great Platte River Road Archway is a museum and monument located in Kearney, Nebraska dedicated to telling the stories surrounding the history of central Nebraska.

The archway was constructed in the late 90s to commemorate the pioneer spirit and the people that came through Nebraska close to 170 years ago.

The museum focuses on the westward migration and the important historical references of the overland trail system, including the California Mormon and Oregon trails, the transcontinental railroad, the Lincoln highway, the interstate system and the telegraph – all of which came through this part of central Nebraska.

Modernizing Kearney’s History

In the spring of 2016, Eric Hellriegel, the Assistant Park & Recreation Director, reached out to AudioConexus to aid them in upgrading their current infrared audio system. The museum has three floors, each of which have a different story to tell.

“One challenge is that everything was being fed by IR technology and it was interfering with a lot of things we were doing within the facility. Due to that, we had areas of static as you moved from one end of the facility to the other and some stories would begin mid-stream. We really wanted to clean that up and improve the guest experience so, we could tell each story from start to finish,” explains Eric.

In addition to their problematic system, Eric and his team also felt they needed to revamp their current commentary. They wanted to modernize it without taking away the local perspective from it.

“While working on our script and rewriting, we found a way to not only incorporate a modern-day narration of the stories from a local perspective but how that local importance comes into play in our facility.”

Keeping a Local Perspective 

AudioConexus Inc. worked with Eric and his team to install an Audio Guide System for their museum. Their new system allows for close range triggering using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This type of system is excellent for venues that have multiple points of interest that are close together.

“The headset system we had prior that was a part of our self-guided tour, was starting to become very outdated and it became hard to keep the quality up to what was the 2016/2017 standards would be. Folks comment how clear and how well the audio production is to tell the story,” explains Eric.

To keep with the original local perspective, our Creative Team worked with the Archway’s original script to create a newly upgraded commentary. This allowed for more content and more details.

“AudioConexus’ Creative team was very easy to work with, they were very responsive to things that we wanted in our production. I felt like that part could’ve been a very difficult task for anyone, but because of the talent on the AudioConexus team and their Creative process, we got it right. I felt that AudioConexus’ approach was a very good fit for our organization.

The Archway has a lot of history to tell its visitors, and Eric felt as though originally, there were some gaps in their stories.

It also allowed us to take certain areas or artifacts and expand on providing additional information to the guests through the tag system [..] to allow people to ‘chose your own adventure’ if you will. Virtually every one of our exhibit rooms has different information to dig into more detail and information on.”

An Adaptive System for a Dynamic City

The Great Platte River Road Archway is a large museum with many artifacts and stories that keep growing as the history of Nebraska becomes richer. Thanks to the included AudioConexus Content Software, the addition of new exhibits, artifacts, and tours is easy!

“The Great Platte River Road Archway is a large museum with many artifacts and stories that keep growing as the history of Nebraska is enriched. Thanks to AudioConexus, adding new exhibits, artifacts, and tours is easy! We’ve been very happy with the flexibility we have with this solution. That’s a real positive, that literally we can make changes on the fly very easily to how we’re triggering content and in what order. And we’re regularly getting great comments about our experience. A lot of it is because of the high-quality of the production, it’s so good and so clear and easy to listen to. It’s the best and clearest audio I’ve heard with this type of device in this type of setting.”

Everyone’s Favorite Stop!

Since working with AudioConexus, Eric has reported lots of positive comments from both new and old visitors to the monument!

“We’d like to believe that having a new audio system and rebranding how we’re telling our stories has had an impact on folks that previously had gone through, because we’ve gotten new content, it’s easier for them to make the reinvestment to come back and see us again just because of some of things we’ve added to our exhibit. […]

‘You know I was here 5 years ago, or I was here last year.’ We are regularly getting comments like that. Again, a lot of it is because of the audio quality of the production is so clear and easy to listen to that it really catches people off guard because it’s probably some of the clearest audio I’ve heard with this type of device and this type of setting.”

The Great Platte River Road Archway is located directly over Interstate 80 just 3 miles from the city Kearney. If you’re ever driving by be sure to visit as it’ll be the best detour you ever took.

AudioConexus Inc. is very proud of this project with the City of Kearney. We hope to work with them in the future!

If you want to be featured in our next story or would like more information, please fill out our contact form HERE.

Be Immersed in Savannah Georgia with The Best Savannah Tour Company

The Best Savannah Tour Company is a family owned and operated walking tour company that blossomed from the Michaels’ love for their beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia.

The Michaels live in an 1850s historic townhouse in downtown Savannah, and love to show visitors how truly amazing their city is.

T.C. Michaels – a classically trained actor, historical storyteller, and radio personality in Savannah for a number of years – guides visitors on their walking tour experience. His wife Brenna – a novelist – is responsible for marketing, managing the website, and guest services. She also accompanies her husband on tours and makes sure everyone enjoys their experience.

“It’s not just a tour, it’s an experience in storytelling and sharing. It’s personal. So, it’s not just someone pointing something out to you, we’re a company that is submerging you into the history,” explained T.C.

Together, T.C. and his wife Brenna take visitors on a journey through history, while showcasing the city’s stunning and distinguished scenery. Visitors may even have the opportunity to meet a few of Savannah’s oldest locals, and by that we mean ghosts!

From a Colorful Past to a Brilliant Future

The City of Savannah’s story began in 1733, shaping not only the state of Georgia, but the world at large. As the oldest city in Georgia, and the most haunted in the United States, it originally began as a debtors’ prison – for those in the 18th century who were unable to pay their debts and were sentenced to work them off.

While Savannah began as a prison, it has transformed into historic squares, beautiful gardens, and big city park. Today, the city sees approximately 13.7 million visitors a year.

T.C. identified the need for tours with a differentiator.

“All the incredible stories here have really affected people’s lives. I saw that there was something missing from the walking tours. And now we’re proud to be the only walking company that utilizes audio devices to support our storytelling,”  T.C. explained.

[Other tour groups] were walking from location to location with nothing was going on in between. So, I took my radio background and when I found AudioConexus and the products they offered, it was perfect, and exactly what I wanted the experience to be for my guests.”

Differentiation by Immersion

In the late summer of 2016, the Michaels purchased a HearMe Tour Guide System to enhance their walking tour experience and distinguish themselves in the market.

“Taking the museum experience outside is what I wanted to do. When you walk around a museum, you have those earbuds in, and there’s narration. I wanted to bring that live radio show style to the walking tour.”

The HearMe Tour Guide System enables the Best Savannah Tour Company to transmit live narration and pre-recorded audio to their tour groups. This allowed T.C. to bring his unique radio show background to the storytelling experience, by portraying the life and events of historic Savannah in fun and engaging ways.

“We utilized the auxiliary input feature of the tour guide system where I can share actor’s voiceover letters, speeches, and journals – so that when we’re standing in front of a location, I’m playing what actually took place inside that house or location. It really took our tour to a whole new level. For instance, there’s a home called the Green-Meldrim House, and it’s where General William Sherman stayed during the civil war. That house is where Field Order #15 took action, giving 40 acres of land to freed slave families. We’re able to play audio of actual letters from that time. And that’s really amazing.”

The HearMe transmitter has an auxiliary input designed to support an additional tour guide. It’s also used for playing pre-recorded audio like music, excerpts, and character re-enactments. T.C. especially utilizes this feature to enhance his storytelling, creating walking tours his guest rave about and keep coming back for!

“I play excerpts of letters between General Sherman and President Abraham Lincoln of what he wrote when he was in that house. Its not just me talking, it’s a narration, a story, it’s sharing, it’s personal with our guests. Mixing live and pre-recorded stories for guests using HearMe means our customers get value for their money.”

Not only has HearMe enabled the Best Savannah Tour Company to stand out, the tour guide system has also allowed for a more relaxed tour environment.

“With our night tour, we’re doing some investigations of ghosts – because Savannah’s the most haunted city in the United States – but I’ll have people around the location taking pictures or investigating. They have the HearMe so they don’t have to be right next to me to hear a story. They can breathe a little bit, and that’s the best thing about it. Also, with both our day and night tours, parents love the audio equipment and earbuds. If they have a child whose crying, they can go to the other side of the square or street, and they can still hear me more than 200 feet away. That means they can listen in and not miss anything. So, parents of young ones really love this. Of course, older guests love it too because it’s hard to hear tour guides in bigger groups – but not with our tours. They hear every word.”

In addition to parents, Savannah sees many foreign language visitors from around the world, many of them choosing Best Savannah Tour Company as their guide.

For me it’s a city, there’s noises. We’re the number one tour for guests from out of the country because English is their second language. The earbuds help them cut through the noise and distractions.”

The Philosophy behind The Best Savannah Tour Company…

For T.C. and Brenna, their passion for their work and for their city is apparent. It’s not just about showing guests their hometown, it’s about creating emotional connections and cherished memories.

“For us, I really like the live aspect because I get to know my guests personally. Its not just me talking to strangers. I get to ask them questions about where they’re from. Then I’ll connect stories to their lives so they can have some personalization with Savannah.”

T.C. recounted one instance when two men really connected with his tour:

“I never thought one of my stories would make someone cry, but the other day these two men got emotional when I was talking about our history. If it’s the difference between me saying something fact-based, and using the equipment to tell a story in a theatrical way. It brings people closer to the message. My background is classical theater. I’m not just a guide, I’m a professional storyteller.

Currently, the Best Savannah Tour Company is growing, increasing business by consistently achieving five-star ratings on TripAdvisor and Yelp. They hope to expand their tours to include options such as boutique shopping and plantation tours.

“We’re family owned and operated. We don’t have the overhead of larger businesses – its just us. So, if anyone wants to start a business, it takes passion, perseverance, and commitment to do it. Our philosophy is simple. We treat every guest as our best friend. Treat everyone as your best friend, they’re going to love it.”

AudioConexus is proud to have them as a part of our family and we’re excited to see what success the future holds for them!

*The Best Savannah Tour Company is now known as Genteel & Bard Fine Savannah Tours.

If you want to be featured in our next story or would like more information, please fill out our contact form HERE.

Creating an Out-Of-This-World Visitor’s Experience for Kennedy Space Center

AudioConexus has been excitedly working on a major project over the past year and a half, alongside other industry leaders to create an unforgettable visitor’s experience for the Kennedy Space Center located in Titusville, Florida.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s handheld SmartGuide brings together the latest technologies to provide an out-of-this-world customized tour experience. Visitors can view stunning photographs, multi-lingual audio, historic videos and map information customized to each attraction or location via location awareness.

Q Media Productions led the project, assembling a team of unique vendors to deliver multilingual context-sensitive content, Augmented Reality, audio sync for video screens, and a host of other functions in a unified manner throughout a vast complex that includes a 45-minute bus tour!

AudioConexus provided mobile content, triggering expertise, and systems integration.

Stasha Boyd, Project Manager and Creative Director for Q Media observes, “AudioConexus was essential to the success of this large and complex project: buses, theaters, outdoor and indoor exhibits, BlueTooth, GPS, RF and more. Their technical expertise, combined with personal integrity and a commitment to creative problem solving, was essential to integrate so many varied platforms. Without a wide base of technical knowledge, this installation would not have been possible.”

The project was a year and a half in the making.  Jess Davis, Technical Manager at AudioConexus, reflects on her time with the team, “We all kept the client’s needs foremost in our minds and it helped us all reach the finish line together.  I’m grateful to have been part of such a fantastic team for such a unique project.”

It was a complex, challenging and rewarding project that resulted in the most technologically advanced mobile media visitor experience in North America.  AudioConexus is very honored and proud to have been a part of this project.

 

Project credits:

Client: Delaware North Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Project management and creative direction: Q Media Productions, Inc.
Content production: Q Media Productions, Inc.
App development (Smart Guides and Space Chase!): Fluxguide
Equipment: Imagineear MPti™ players, headphones and charging racks
Technical installation and integration: Audio Conexus, Inc.
AR programming: 5dLabs
AR content production: Nth Degree
360º photography: Dennis Biela Photography

 

Collaboration: Key to a Great Script

When AudioConexus writes a script for a tour, the rules of mathematics don’t apply: for us, 1 + 1 = 3! A successful audio script is more than the sum of its parts. The synergy of a client’s expertise with ours produces something greater, a surefire tour that engages, entertains, and enlightens. That’s why AudioConexus values collaboration with clients.

Clients Provide Intimate Knowledge of Site & Subject

No one knows the subject matter better than a client with years of on-site experience. They know what has and hasn’t worked in past tours, and have chosen a direction for the future. They know their visitors, whether they’re local seniors returning with their grandkids or international travelers visiting for the first time. From the company CEO to the bus drivers, every member of the client team has an invaluable perspective to share.

One of the first things we ask for is a list of FAQs, visitor questions that clients hear time and again. AudioConexus also studies current tour structure, including how the route, timing, and content vary based on factors like traffic patterns, tidal flow, weather, and time of day.

We ask clients for an “elevator pitch” to visitors: how would they describe their site in 30 seconds? What emotion do they want to evoke? What do they want visitors to do after the tour: spend more time exploring, book additional tours and services, or plan future visits?

AudioConexus Brings Fresh Eyes & Communications Expertise

Our writers and tour designers visit the site to interface with the client team and evaluate the experience of first-time visitors. Clients may know every detail—all the trees—but as newcomers, we see the forest, how those details fit together to form a complete picture.

Our writers understand the nuances of AudioConexus tour technology, and how to create tours in multiple languages. Because of cultural and linguistic differences, a statement that’s meaningful or funny in English may not have the same impact translated into Japanese.

AudioConexus writes in language that flows off the tongue and registers immediately. Our scripts convey subject matter in different styles, whether a single-voice narrative, dramatic monologue, or dialogue that stimulates listeners’ imaginations and understanding. Fully produced tours combine music, sound effects, and actors’ voices to create atmosphere and mood in the style of old-time radio drama.

First and foremost, we tell stories. Facts are important but stories lodge in the memory. If the site includes a structure made of 10-tonne blocks of granite, the weight and dimensions won’t register as vividly as a story about quarrying the stone, hauling blocks to the site, and fitting them together.

The Perfect Tour Has Many Authors

AudioConexus writers are the opposite of temperamental artists: we welcome criticism, direction, and feedback. AudioConexus tours spring from a collaborative meeting of the minds. They reflect the combined perspectives of insiders and outsiders to produce a tour that’s unique and custom made, one that works every time for every visitor.

Cruise One of the Most Multicultural Cities in the World Aboard the Oriole Steamship

Mariposa Cruises is a Canadian owned and operated company based in Toronto, Ontario. They began in 1987 after acquiring the Mariposa Belle steamship which, at that time had the largest passenger capacity in the city. Today, they are known as one of the longest standing tour operators on the waterfront and operate 6 different boats – two of which are the largest in Toronto’s Harbour.

They are one of Canada’s largest hospitality cruise operators – in addition to sightseeing harbour tours, they offer everything from private charters – for conferences, conventions, socials, weddings, corporate, special events – such as for Pride or partnerships with the city or province, public dinning – dinners, lunch, weekend brunch and cocktail cruises, and much more!

It’s About the Guest Experience 

Guests’ experience the scenic Toronto skyline and lagoons aboard beautiful boats. These boats include a replica of the Great Lakes steamship as well as luxurious yachts. Mariposa Cruises pride themselves in being ‘the most dynamic experience on the water.’

Mariposa Cruises boasts it’s their dynamic guest experience which sets them apart in the competitive Toronto market. They take great pride in having a team focused on guest experience and in their fleet, capable of hosting from 20 to 575 guests, which offers amenities onboard that allow for free roaming on their outer decks as well as a range of indoor seating, dining, restrooms, and even a dance floor!

“Our people make the difference and our sightseeing amenities onboard are unlike other harbour tour offerings. We are coach/group business friendly because of our capacity. People do like that they can move about the boat – because views change, giving our guests the opportunity to take beautiful photos at the vantage points they prefer,” explains Cindi Vanden Heuvel, the Vice President of Mariposa Cruises

Originally Mariposa operated as a collection of boats used primarily as event venues. Mariposa Cruises saw the opportunity to become more involved in the community and Toronto’s event scene and launched a strategy to offer superior tourism and sightseeing experiences.

“What we’re very passionate about here is staying current, on trend, and identifying what is driving the industry. Events and tourism have different touch points, to a certain degree, with crossover of course. But each requires a dedicated focus, on guest experience and innovation. We’re constantly listening to our guest’s feedback so we’re always on top of trends and delivering on what our customers want from our services.”

In early 2016, Mariposa collaborated closely with AudioConexus about their vision for the future. As a result, plans were made to install their own TriggerPoint GPS Commentary System with wireless receivers to support premium sightseeing content for their Oriole steamship.

“Part of the challenge of creating this AudioConexus narrative was – because Toronto and the waterfront is changing everyday – providing our guests an engaging, unique Toronto experience without becoming outdated. [AudioConexus] did a really good job of providing a robust, interesting narrative that had all of these thematic threads of stories tied together, giving our listeners a great snapshot of life in Toronto. From historical to current day storytelling, the content does not become outdated in a matter of minutes. Its been really well received.”

Sightseeing commentary is currently offered in four languages simultaneously: English, French Canadian, Spanish, and Mandarin. Because of demand from the group market, Cindi and her team are currently working towards adding German and Japanese to their list of languages to expand their foreign language guest services.

Operating a Multilingual Business in a Multicultural City 

Toronto, Ontario is known to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world with over 140 languages and dialects spoken there. Toronto is also the leading tourist destination in Canada with over 40 million visitors seen in 2015.

Seeing the continued growth and need for foreign language experiences, Cindi and her team continue to make foreign language commentary a priority. In addition to their new commentary, Mariposa invested in training staff who are available on board to answer any questions about the commentary that their guests may have.

 “The AudioConexus product we brought last year was identified as an opportunity for us to be alone in that offering. We took a leadership position by having an exclusive offer in the Toronto market, which in the tour operator market can be a slow climb. We’re already seeing a great response and enthusiasm from the market. We didn’t anticipate that there would be the initial response there was – we’ve already seen a significant increase in ridership! New tour operators that had not previously cruised with us are now identifying that their guests would be interested in doing this.”

Mariposa Cruises has reported lots of growth this past year after their investment was made in new markets. They are also receiving positive feedback on their new commentary, which was co-developed by Mariposa Cruises and our Creative Services team.

“It was wonderful to witness that a lot of the investments that we’ve put in are helping us achieve our goals – which is a more robust, guest focused experience. We see opportunity in this market place to welcome more visitors from the group market. We certainly have the capacity in offering the amenities on board that make our tour experiences far more enjoyable.”

Mariposa Cruises has been awarded the Best Recreational Cruise by Consumer Choice Awards, Ontario’s Best Touring Experience from Attractions Ontario in 2016, and Toronto’s Choice Awards 2017 from Event Source. In addition, they are constantly being voted as one of the top attractions in Toronto by Trip Advisor.

Mariposa Cruises is also celebrating 30 years of business this year. From all of us at AudioConexus, we want to wish Mariposa Cruises a happy 30th anniversary! We wish you many more years of health, happiness, growth and success! Thanks for being such a great team!

 

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Convention Visitor Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations – What they know!

Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVB) and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) work non-stop promoting your town, city, state, and/or region. By learning about and partnering with the CVBs and DMOs in your area, you will be taking a huge step towards being proactive instead of reactive to the tourism trends in your area.

To retain and increase tourism to your area, these organizations are tracking the analytics that help you make wise business decisions. Most CVBs offer a history of the demographics that have been visiting your area. They will be the ones to notice trends in your tourist’s markets and can provide insight into the forecasted growth. Most CVBs also maintain calendars and lists of events which may affect your daily operations.

Attracting YOUR Market

Finding the organizations that cover your area is usually as simple as entering CVB and your cities name into a search engine. Perhaps your city or town does not have an organization such as this. In this instance, the local Chamber of Commerce may have demographics and schedules for local events, but most of your tourism information can come from your state, province or regional CVB. By speaking with the organizations directly you are creating a relationship that can prove to be very symbiotic. Your company’s offerings likely increase the attraction of visitors to your area. It is the organizations goal to show your areas offerings to the world. With a good relationship, the CVB can both use your company to expand the areas attractiveness, and advise you on current market focuses of their organizations so that your business is the most prepared for tourism growth.

Remember, most cities with tourism have these organizations. It would be wise to pick several cities which share similarities to your own, and research their CVB websites.  The statistics on display vary widely from website to website, and you may see details or trends that you can inquire with your own CVB.

The primary focus of all Convention Visitors Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations is to increase the number of tourists and business travelers to your region. Marketing is what they do, on behalf of your company, and all other tourism and hospitality businesses.  By being involved with local and regional CVBs you can position your company to take advantage of tourist growth and be the first to know who is coming to town.