The Northwest Georgia Historic High Country Awards for Association Excellence recognize outstanding members and partners that promote travel and tourism in Georgia’s Historic High Country region. Awards honored activities and accomplishments that took place in 2019. “Forum on Ice” was honored with the Best Marketing Campaign award. The award was presented at the Historic High Country Legislative Outreach and Awards Reception on December 1, 2019.
The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism coordinated a marketing campaign for “Forum on Ice” to promote the introduction of the new seasonal indoor ice skating attraction at the Forum River Center. The overall goal was to drive 6,000 visitors to the ice rink during a 50-day period of the public ice skating attraction. Marketing messages promoted all ice skating activities that would attract visitors including group field trips, skating parties, holiday parties and special ice skating events. The campaign messaging also highlighted the venue’s Downtown Rome location; since this area of town is popular for visitors. Messaging highlighted the fact that the rink was indoors accommodating all activities rain or shine.
The target market for this campaign was families in areas surrounding Floyd County. Marketing channels to reach this market included: GPB Radio, Georgia Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Magazine Email Newsletter, Explore Georgia Email Newsletter, Geo-targeted Digital Ads, Gadsden Times, Discover Bartow, and Cartersville Patch print and online ads.
A promotional video was produced in-house with internal resources. Facebook served as the main distribution channel for the promotional video. The video reached 273,851 people, generating 22,784 engagements. (Link to video: https://youtu.be/4ImzSGUTkgw)
The campaign leveraged discounted co-op ad buys through the state and some added value bonus ads. The creative for the campaign reflected the fun, playful spirit of a child enjoying the thrill of the ice to draw in the audience. This marketing campaign spanned a period of three months.
The “Forum on Ice” seasonal attraction far surpassed it’s goal of 6,000 visitors. The event attracted 17,000 skaters that included walk-ins, students for field trip attendance and group skaters. The estimated economic impact to the community was approximately half a million dollars.
Thomas Kislat, Sales and Marketing Manager for the Forum River Center, along with Kristi Kent, Communications Director for Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism, coordinated the marketing campaign. Chuck Meeks produced and edited the video for the campaign.
A committee of tourism professionals selected the campaign for creativity, uniqueness of effort, goals achieved and audience reach.