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2016 Winner

Travel Portland
"Welcome to the World of Portland"
Building Block Direct Mail to Meeting Planners


Travel Portland targeted meeting planners by sending custom-designed gifts throughout the year. By sending non-traditional promotional gifts, Travel Portland hoped to stand out from the clutter while highlighting the unconventional nature of Portland.
Without the visual icons possessed by convention business competitors, Portland does not have one big tourist attraction. Rather, Portland offers a unique collection of smaller experiences meant to be enjoyed in the combination of one’s choosing. These messages are key in ‘selling’ Portland to a meeting planner.
Travel Portland’s team set out to position Portland’s attributes in a memorable way. They realized that meeting planners are constant targets for DMO marketing “swag”. Portland needed to figure out what would be notable to their target audience, while staying on brand.
Portland created custom-designed building block (i.e. Lego) kits to be sent to planners throughout the year. Each kit reflected a key Portland message that would resonate with a meeting planner. These direct mail pieces would assist the sales team and help generate additional convention business.
Of the 700 planners that received building block kits, 58 of them booked conferences. The Oregon Convention Center had $3.3 million in revenue from 16 events, and $37 million in community economic impact. More subjectively, direct mail recipients initiated a number of proactive conversations with the Portland sales team, including a number of emails praising the campaign’s unique qualities.


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