LA CROSSE — The Hayward Lakes Visitor & Conventions Bureau (HLVCB) on Nov. 5 was presented the 2021 Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer award in the $25,000 to $50,000 marketing campaign category for its “Sledding in Sawyer County” campaign.
The award was presented by Destinations Wisconsin, which also honored the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau for its under $25,000 Outstanding Marketing Campaign and Destination Madison in the $50,000 or more Marketing Campaign category.
The goal of the Sledding in Sawyer County campaign was to expand awareness of the Sawyer County trail system, bring new visitors to enjoy the trails and encourage those that have previously visited to return. It included a Snap a Selfie photo contest using Instagram and Facebook that resulted in 81 submissions and 341 new followers.
The campaign also used digital and inbox marketing, along with media relations. HLVCB conducted a survey at area lodging and restaurant partners and learned that 55% reported a direct increase in business as a result of the snowmobile promotion. Also, 55% reported that their guests were first-time visitors to Sawyer County trails. The campaign tracked at least 358 overnight stays.
”We are thrilled to have received this award and honored to be recognized by Destinations Wisconsin for our hard work and success of this campaign,” said Sherry Beckman, executive director of HLVCB. “The JEM (joint effort marketing) grant we received gave us the extra funds to market snowmobiling for the first time in a while. This achievement would not be possible without the inspiration we received from the HLVCB board of directors and our amazing team.”
This is the third time HLVCB has won an outstanding marketing initiative award competing with other destination marketing organizations in the state.
Destinations Wisconsin presents the awards each year during the Wisconsin Fall Tourism Conference. Destinations Wisconsin represents 40 Wisconsin destination marketing organizations and initiates cooperative ventures that strengthen Wisconsin’s tourism industry.