ACCESS New Orleans Wins ADMEI Excellence Award in Cultural & Traditional Integration for IPW 2016

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December 1 2016 | News

 

IPW was held in New Orleans in June 2016.  IPW is sponsored totally by US Travel Association through BRAND USA to promote travel throughout the US.  The co-sponsor of this event was the State of Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Normally IPW is awarded to the host city 4-5 years in advance.  Due to the selected city pulling out only 18 months before, New Orleans stepped up and accepted the event.  The closing event is just a small portion of the entire program that the entire hospitality industry is involved in:  tour companies, hotels, transportation companies, attractions, restaurants, airlines and the entire city of New Orleans.

The venue for the closing party was River City Venues, a series of event spaces that are all connected located on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans.  Being a port city, the River is a very integral part of the culture of the City and where it was founded.

In order to accommodate the 3800 expected guests, every part of the complex had to be developed and utilized.  Another major portion of the complex is Mardi Gras World.  This portion could not be used at all due to the fact that the opening theme for the conference was Carnivale Celebrations Around the World, which touched on New Orleans’ local version.

The event began at 7:30 and ended at 11 pm with a spectacular fireworks show on the River.  The event was the closing night event for IPW intended to show the best of Louisiana and specifically New Orleans, the most popular tourist destination in the State. 

The clients’ main objective was to showcase all of the unique and world renowned characteristics that Louisiana is known for – the music, food, culture and iconic landmarks.

Other objectives were to create an event that would exceed everyone’s expectations; one that people would not want to leave early; and to forge interest in having international travel agents sell travel to Louisiana in the years to come.

The State has created a campaign to showcase Louisiana’s Culinary Trails and includes 8 different regions featuring cuisine that is indigenous to each region.

One of the biggest challenges was to integrate the culinary regions, most of which are in areas that tourists do not frequent when visiting Louisiana, and to create a theme that visitors would identify with.

The most important cultural events throughout the state are the ubiquitous fairs and festivals.  There are 79 fairs and festivals just in the month of October statewide.  Hence, the idea of creating one big festival with all of the elements from all over the State was launched.

CVBs from all over the state, part of the Louisiana Culinary Trails, sponsored some of their finest restaurants and caterers that provided distinct foods from their particular regions.  The music was also showcased from all over the state featuring all types of genres:  Zydeco, Cajun, Gospel, Jazz, Brass Bands, Country, Blues and more.

In addition to the venue, there were 2 Riverboats docked alongside the main event space.  Each boat featured a different Dixieland Jazz Band and alternating Can-Can, Gospel Choir and Brass Bands.  There were over 14 musical acts, street performers, Second Line Parades and Fireworks on the River to end the celebration with constant entertainment in every area.

Our idea to create a Louisiana Festival – Taste and Tunes of Louisiana – is what cemented the State’s promotion of the Culinary Trails to one of the most popular reasons visitors come to Louisiana – all of the unique and diverse Festivals.

One world renowned celebration that New Orleans is most known for is Mardi Gras. Due to this theme being part of the opening event, it was decided that nothing to do with Mardi Gras could be included.  Because New Orleans has such a rich musical environment, choosing the best entertainment to showcase only Louisiana music and performers and not repeat what was heard on the opening night was well planned.

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