THE EVENT

18th and 19th October 2014

MORE THAN JUST A TRAVEL FAIR

On the 18th and 19th October 2014 the culture and travel fair “Destination Europe” (DE) at Balai Kartini, a convention centre in Jakarta, provided the opportunity to showcase Europe to the Indonesian public as a unique travel destination. As the first event of this kind to be held in Indonesia, DE was faced with a major challenge; ‘how do we showcase Europe as a preferred destination?’, and leave visitors with a feeling that Europe is the highest priority on their ‘list of places to visit’.

A vision of Europe was presented to the Indonesian people by displaying its culture, food, people and services. Visitors were able to experience the ‘touch and feel’ of what they could expect when in Europe thus showing them firsthand the best possible destination for the perfect holiday experience. The objective was clear: “putting Europe in the mind” of future visitors through a comprehensive and positive image of the continent as a whole. Key elements of the event were personal interaction with European representatives, sampling the variety of foods on display from the different European countries and an in-sight into the different cultures found across Europe. This showcased Europe in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. This concept defines “Destination Europe” as an event that combines the best of both worlds: the traditional tourism business promotion fair and the cultural and non-profit image-building event such as art or education exhibitions.

EUROPE AND ITS TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED AT ITS BEST

The event included around 70 private and public exhibitors; among them 24 European embassies, the EU, travel agents, international airlines and travel suppliers. Colourful displays and entertainment together with creative and interactive ideas made many booths to crowd pullers leading to long queues in front of them.

The provision of entertainment and creative ideas together with attractive design were decisive for visibility and in attracting large numbers of visitors to the booths. As an example, the EU Delegation booth used a back wall with a bench featuring the gardened square surrounding Salamanca’s cathedral. This was used as a photo backdrop by visitors. A map game and trivia quiz entertained and, at the same time, educated the public about the EU and European travel. The trivia quiz especially piqued the curiosity of passers-by. Having seen visitors ‘roaming’ around the booth to find answers, many more joined the game to read posters on the walls of the booth to find answers. Queues formed in front of the map of the EU whilst visitors tried their hand at matching countries with flags hoping to win small prizes such as travel diaries and travel tags.

Similar results were to be seen in Member States’ booths that featured creative ideas for engaging visitors. Actions like selfie competitions, attractive decorative backdrops, traditional costumes, food tasting, face painting, lucky draws and quizzes, or goodies to take home were all successful in attracting visitors.

A COLOURFUL CULTURAL PROGRAMME, GREAT WORKSHOPS, AND A TASTY FOOD FESTIVAL

To bring Europe to Jakarta a two day entertainment programme for the whole family and a food festival complemented the fair. Almost 50 different events took place on two stages from a Beatles cover band to cooking demonstrations and travel talk shows, all with the objective of giving the visitors a full picture of Europe.

With the aim of letting the visitors not only see but also hear Europe, seven musical and two dance performances were brought up to the large main stage at the head of the venue; covering everything from the unmistakable sound of the Beatles, over Spanish flamenco to the soft sounds of the Belgian saxophone. Another main stage highlight was the twitter photo competition. Out of the over 500 entries, seven were selected as winners by EU Ambassador Olof Skoog and Indonesian photo journalist Arbain Rambay.

Next to the main stage eight cooking presentations gave the visitor a taste of Europe, because everyone who has ever been to Europe knows that it’s the culinary art that make the European experience complete. Preparing the visitors perfectly for their trip to Europe, language classes, a travel blogging class with Indonesian blogger Marishka Prudence, and presentations on Europe’s secret destinations were held in the presentation room.

Closing each of the two event days was the lucky draw, were eight free tickets to Europe were given away amongst Destination Europe’s visitors.

ONE GREAT SUCCESS

Initial expectations about the number of visitors were exceeded by far: during only two days, more than 11.600 people attended the event. The innovative concept of combining institutional image with leisure and tangible experience attracted both public and private stakeholders to exhibit together. Not only did “Destination Europe 2014” achieve its objectives – it exceeded most expectations.