Summary of New Media Artist-in-Residence Program

It is the last day of 2011 and I want to add an exclamation point of gratitude on each of my blogs – most of which suffer from neglect from me. It was my friend and Maui blogger Liza Pierce’s idea: let’s all write a blog post for January 1st! So, I’ve set this to post just one minute in to the new year. Happy New Year!

I am starting on this blog, as this is the easy one! (I have at least three more I am aiming for.) This past year, I was hired by the Lānaʻi Visitors Bureau (LVB) to run a social media marketing campaign for them, based on a very original concept created in discussion with Mr. Keliʻi Brown, who is the PR director for the Maui Visitors Bureau (MVB). For those of you outside of Hawaiʻi, Maui Nui, as we call it, or Maui County, encompasses not just the island of Maui but also the islands of Lānaʻi and Molokai. So the MVB provides support to the LVB.

Lānaʻi is was the least known of the Hawaiian Islands. There are only three hotels! So we wanted a program that would shine the best light on this beautiful place, something that would go deep and not just be about “one more trip to Hawaii.”

First, though, watch the video! It is a quick one minute. Then keep reading for more on this program.

UPDATE: The New Media Artist-in-Residence Program slide deck is now available for viewing and download on SlideShare.

New Media Artist-in-Residence Program from Roxanne Darling on Vimeo.

You can read more about the setup of the New Media Artist-in-Residence program here, but in short, it involved the hand selection of seven well-known bloggers who each spent a week on Lānaʻi and who also agreed to collaborate in supporting the other team members throughout a six month period in 2011. Of course there is more to all this than meets the eye, but for now, in this post, I have two goals.

First I want to thank my clients at Maui Visitors Bureau and Lānaʻi Visitors Bureau for taking a chance with me on this innovative program! This is the second time I have worked for MVB and they are so willing to get out there and do what it takes to keep Maui Nui a top travel destination! Plus, they are willing to tolerate my at times demanding ways. Thank you so much, Terryl, Lynn, Keliʻi, Charity and all of the board members.

Second, I wanted to share the results – with you. Luckily, I had already prepared this video for our local Hawaii chapter of the Social Media Club’s year end party, which featured our social media accomplishments of 2011. The preso’s were played throughout the night on the big screen, so I made this without a sound track. I also want to thank my colleague and SMCHI president, Tara Coomans, who assisted me with the interpretation of the results and the ROI formulas.

We also received great coverage online. Be sure to read this summary over at Media Post and listen to my interview on the This Week in Travel.

Bottom line? Visitor spending was up nearly 28% on Lānaʻi, far more than on either Maui or Molokai.

Plus, I have been hired to run this program again for LVB in 2012! Lots more ideas are percolating of course, but for now, I share my gratitude for a wonderful year in 2011 – in so many respects, and am very excited about the big possibilities in 2012 – the year of the Dragon!

UPDATE: Please help me also thank the wonderful team of bloggers we had on this inaugural run! Visit their blogs and search for “lanai” to read all about their trips. Here they are, in order of their visit to Lānaʻi:
Shannon Hurst Lane of The Traveling Mamas
Chris Gray Faust of Chris Around the World
Matt Long of Landlopers
Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere
Kara Williams of The Vacation Gals
Sheila Beal of Go Visit Hawaii
Melanie Waldman of Travels with Two