Destination marketing isn’t always as easy as it seems at first. You have to decide what you want to say. We Finns are very truthful and prone to rather understate than to exaggerate and openly praise what we have. In that sense we don’t at least risk promising too much. But what if we do it anyway, unintentionally?
Let’s take the weather, for example. We state on our website that summers (when most congresses in Tampere take place) in Tampere are warm and sunny. (See for yourself!) But what if they aren’t? Like this year, when “the longest cold spell was from June 14 to June 29, constituting 16 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. “ (WeatherSpark) What do we do when we have 700 congress delegates expecting to see a warm, sunny Tampere, like the one in our promotional pictures and instead it snows?? Should we add a statement to our website that occasionally it can also snow in June?! (Finnish broadcasting company YLE news on the subject).
Maybe we’re fine the way we are, having a side note that anything can happen, please bring a warm coat just in case. Surprises such as snow in June can actually be one of the things that helps people remember the particular conference and the city of Tampere. It’s much more likely that people will talk about the snow in June for years to come than the constant sunshine and nice weather. Which comment is more likely: “Do you remember how it was nice and sunny in Tampere?” or “Do you remember how it snowed in June in Tampere?” I think the latter. And besides, the weather is just a minute detail in the whole conference travel experience. What matters the most, is the content of the conference itself.
According to our surveys, 60% of delegates were strongly encouraged to attend because of the conference theme and official programme. The equivalent percentage for the attractiveness of the country or city itself was a mere 15.
Just as well that we have two universities and one university of applied sciences full of clever researchers and professors, whose hard work international contacts bring us almost 70 international conferences each year. We are lucky that way.