Responsible for promoting the Czech Republic’s many medieval castles, spa resorts and vineyards, CzechTourism is the organisation responsible for building awareness around its destinations and activities, and inspiring travellers to book their dream trip to the country.
Events play an integral part in this, yet, with the pandemic putting a stop to travel and tourism, they quickly transformed their approach and made the switch to virtual. Now more than ever, CzechTourism needed to continue promoting the country and connecting key players in the tourism industry.
With that in mind, they started to look for an event platform that could meet their requirements during the pandemic and beyond.
About Czech Tourism
Founded in 1993, CzechTourism aims to increase the awareness of the Czech Republic, domestically and globally, with the simple goal of getting people to visit the country. Over the years the organisation has turned the Czech Republic into one of Europe’s major tourist destinations, attracting 20 million visitors a year.
CzechTourism works with several important partners from around the world including tourism regions, towns and cities, media (travel writers, bloggers, vloggers etc.) and private sector companies such as hotels, destination management companies, online travel agencies, and travel startups to raise the profile of the Czech Republic as a unique destination.
Focused on a global audience, CzechTourism has a network of 19 foreign offices in Europe (e.g. Germany, Great Britain and Spain) and around the world (e.g. China, Brazil and the United States) with the objective being to connect these offices with different partners.
About Their Events Strategy
Events are a key component to CzechTourism’s overall marketing strategy and importantly, they align with the organisation’s main aim — to share and promote the depth, details, and culture of the Czech Republic.
First, they help to connect key partners and players from across the tourism industry, and second, they help to promote and maintain the image of the Czech Republic as a unique tourist destination.
Each year, CzechTourism runs a hundred plus networking, workshop and webinar events, covering everything from promotional beer and spa days to events for the MICE and nanotechnology industries.
However, with the pandemic forcing the world to go into lockdown and causing tourism and in-person events to grind to a halt, it was now more important than ever for CzechTourism to continue engaging their partners, and to keep the destination fresh in their minds.
With no other option than to pivot their events strategy to virtual, the organisation quickly discovered that they needed to offer their attendees more than just Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls. With this in mind, they had three types of online events they wanted to run:
- One-to-one pre-scheduled networking meetings carried out via a B2B matchmaking dynamic that uses participants profiles.
- Online video conferences where attendees have the option to write questions and comments through a live chat.
- Organization of online webinars where attendees have the option of both written and audio communication.
CzechTourism came to Eventtia with five challenges that they needed to overcome to develop their online events strategy.
- To take the experience of physical events online. As the organisation responsible for promoting and selling the country, Czech Tourism wanted to find a solution that would create engaging and impactful events for their partners, by replicating the experiences that you could usually find at a physical event.
- To portray the image of CzechTourism and the country through branding. CzechTourism wanted to have more control over its branding, to help project the image of the country as a tourist destination to its attendees. They were looking for a platform with the tools to create landing pages, manage comms, and distribute content to unify their message.
- Have a single point where partners can access all their content. Having to send their audience to different tools to access content was detracting away from the attendee experience. For this reason, they needed a solution where all content and event-related info (i.e. programs, contact info and partner pages) could be accessed in one place.
- One-on-one video meetings with B2B matchmaking. Without B2B matchmaking, CzechTourism was unable to put their partners in front of the right people. That’s why they wanted to find a solution that gave them control over networking, allowing participants to fill out a form or profile based on their business areas and interests.
- Have a centre-point to control all events from different local offices. CzechTourism was finding it difficult to get clear insight and visibility on all the events being run across their 19 offices. For this reason, they needed a global tool for internal collaboration that would save time and make them more efficient by having an overview of all their events.
Let’s explore some of the main features that have helped transform Czech Tourism’s events strategy into a virtual one.
Connecting with a global audience to develop partnerships
From spa and well-being presentations to networking sessions for the MICE industry, CzechTourism has been able to run several different online events for the many partners that it has across its network. Importantly, this has allowed the organisation to maintain its global presence online, connecting with partners at a time where travel and tourism have remained largely off-limits.
Utilising Eventtia’s different tools, CzechTourism has been able to run its networking, video conferences and webinars, all through a single tool that can be used across its 19 locations. Moreover, this has helped the organisation approach partners to run events together and to give them the visibility they need, through the website and virtual stage, to build connections for the future.
Projecting the image of the Czech Republic with branding
Having the tools to implement branding and send CzechTourism’s network a unified message has had a big impact on projecting the country as a tourist destination across the world. By being able to create different attendee profiles on the registration form, the organisation can communicate directly with each entity that it works with.
Now with Eventtia’s emailing tool, CzechTourism can send out multiple emails and manage all their contacts in one place which can then be accessed across their different offices. Thanks to this, sharing information and data with attendees has become quick and easy.
Moreover, they are now able to create branded microsites and virtual stages for each event, something that has gone a long way in providing their partners with a real experience of the Czech Republic.
B2B matchmaking to connect partners and create business
The main reason that CzechTourism runs events is to bring people together. However, without a matchmaking tool to schedule meetings and put buyers in front of the right sellers, they were unable to do this.
Being able to customise the registration forms and create attendee profiles for the different partners that CzechTourism works with, has helped to ensure high-quality meetings. Participants can easily identify and filter the profiles that are the best match for them, saving them valuable time in the process.
At a difficult time, the organisation has been able to stay connected with, get closer to, and give added value to their partners. B2B matchmaking and networking is putting partners in front of the right people. For the organisation, this has helped to generate new business opportunities and has also reduced costs on expensive international trade shows.
A centralised tool to foster collaboration
Having several offices around the world can make managing so many events difficult, but with Eventtia everything can be done through one platform. For head office in Prague, this means that they no longer have to oversee events being run in other locations, because they can be accessed and managed through a single dashboard.
This has also helped give each office more autonomy and the means to plan their own events. Importantly, this extra layer of visibility has helped to bring the organisation closer together. Teams can work in unison and see how others are running their events.
Being able to work collectively, as opposed to in siloes, has had a big say on the overall quality of events. Everything from websites, emails and images can be stored, shared and accessed from one place. While key reports and metrics can be drawn up in a few clicks via Eventtia’s reporting module.
Looking ahead to the future
CzechTourism is achieving its mission of promoting the country as a popular tourist destination through online events. In just over 9 months, the organisation has run 36 events for 1190 attendees from around the world.
Tereza Matejkova, Senior Manager at CzechTourism has been delighted with the Eventtia experience. “In a challenging time for the tourism industry, I’m so happy that we’ve been able to continue to connect with partners and build valuable relationships with them.”
“Having everything in one place has made my life and partners’ lives so much easier. As an organisation, we’re working much closer together; and as for the attendees, they’ve found the matchmaking to be really beneficial. It really makes it easy for them to meet and connect with the right people."
"Learning about all of its functionalities we´re definitely going to use Eventtia for our future events, not just the online ones, but also traditional workshops and presentation as we discovered this tool would help us very much during the whole process of organization, " continued Tereza.
After hosting 2 hybrid events on Eventtia, CzechTourism is already planning for the future with big, in-person conferences and summits already in the pipeline for 2022 and 2023.