Storytelling has become the new black in every industry as marketers use the power of narrative to engage and inspire. Event planners are in a perfect position to leverage the perceived image of destinations as a vehicle for their message.

According to booking and management software company TrekkSoft, 73 percent of destination budgets are spent on marketing experiences. Planners can take a cue from the travel industry when weaving a tale into a program that will educate, motivate and inspire.

  1. Tap into sense memories. The most powerful emotional stories appeal to all the senses. That is why a lot of travel writers focus on food. Every meal is an opportunity to align with your brand voice and the meeting’s mission. The aroma of apple pie at a delegate convention and the pop of champagne at an awards ceremony put people in very different moods. These are subtle ways to help people engage with your message.
  2. Put a face to the feeling. The right speaker can put listeners in their shoes as they share their first-hand experiences of starting a company, overcoming a life-threatening disease or climbing a mountain. Combined with actionable take-away lessons, a keynote can be a wonderful way to engage attendees emotionally.
  3. Show the story. The winners of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s annual video competition are examples of compelling storytelling at its finest. The videos are mainly shot from first-person perspectives in stunning settings—from trekking through the Atacama Desert in Chili to snorkeling crystal blue waters in Greece. Outdoor activities are intercut with moments of serene contemplation, demonstrating the dynamic value of these travel experiences. These stories should get your creative juices flowing.

People’s Choice Award and East Asia/Pacific Winner: A Journey to a Wonderful World (Indonesia)

Africa Winner: #TrueTunisia

America’s Winner: Find Your Chile—Chile is Waiting for You

Europe Winner: Greece—A 365-Day Destination

Middle East Winner: This is Egypt