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.
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.
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.