While attending the 2015 Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism, I met Brandon Holmes, co-founder of technology startup Bandwango. Holmes, along with co-founder Mo Parikh, was getting set to launch an attractions pass in Salt Lake City (my old stomping ground) with a consumer interface that blew me away. Their system takes advantage of mobile technology, gives tremendous value to the traveler and makes it easy to track success. As a destination marketer that loves creative projects, this got my wheels spinning.
We initially jumped into a conversation aimed at the creation of an attractions pass for this area. It made sense to me, was similar to something I’d helped create during my time in Salt Lake and would give the Oregon’s North Coast coalition a dynamic way to promote our tremendous assets from Astoria all the way down to Cannon Beach. We envisioned at least five to six participants but could see as many as ten easily fitting into the pass.
Ultimately, we hit a snag with the attractions pass. Perhaps the timing just wasn’t right, but we kept talking and that left the door open to doing something later. Enter Beer 101. Holmes was working on the basis of a craft beer pass for an area in Portland and it gave us the idea to capitalize on the success of the 2013 advertising campaign run by the Oregon’s North Coast group.
You might recall that two years ago, the marketing coalition of Astoria-Warrenton, Seaside and Cannon Beach unveiled a promotion called Beer 101. The month-long focus was on craft breweries, educational events and a contest that allowed consumers to help name a one-of-a-kind collaborative beer. All three elements were designed to drive visitation and overnight stays to this area during the late fall and winter season of 2013-14.
Late this summer, this year’s campaign and the idea of a Beer 101 Pint Pass really started to take shape. I initially ran it past a few local establishments while Bandwango made sure it was something that would work within the guidelines of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. We received enough positive feedback to know this was something we could move forward with.
In early November, the Beer 101 Pint Pass went on sale as the successor to the campaign from two autumns ago. It’s a new step for Oregon’s North Coast and, quite honestly, it’s a new way to promote tourism and travel. The pass sells for $20, and gives the consumer a $5 mobile gift card from each of ten participating locations. The pass is valid through the end of February 2016 with a few minor restrictions. Advertising for the pass started on November 9. As usual, I’ll keep you posted on the efforts, and the results. Learn more about the Beer 101 Pint Pass here.