Here at Cleveland Plus, we’re always looking for cool ways to show off our region using social media. Our friends over at Lake County Visitors Bureau
found a way not only to engage their community but also garner a beautiful collection of photographs celebrating their gorgeous county on Lake Erie. Below, Elizabeth Connor explains the program and shows off a select few photos from the #Instatour. Enjoy!
The last weekend in July was a social media extravaganza for Lake County. Twelve different attractions participated in the Lake County Visitors Bureau’s #InstaTour and reached over a million people from as close as northeast Ohio to as far away as California and Toronto.
It really went to show just how much pride our residents have for the county, and the love our visitors now have!
37 teams submitted 368 photos of Lake County to the competition. (Link to highlight photo reel: http://instatourlakecounty.weebly.com/2014-winners.html
) Participants visited nationally significant sites such as Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve, James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Headlands Beach, Ohio’s longest Lake Erie beach, Kirtland Temple, Holden Arboretum, and also saw historic downtown shopping, Rabbit Run’s barn theater, and a variety of museums and parks.
Speaking from an insider’s point of view, watching the weekend unfold was absolutely amazing. I relaxed in the sand at Beachfest 2014, mesmerized by the sand sculptures and insanely large octopus kite flying overhead and scrolled through our bureau’s Instagram feed. At first, the hashtagged photos started slow, but by mid-morning on Saturday they were flying in. At one point I laughed to myself as I munched on kettle corn, improved my tan, and searched for beach glass as I “worked” through the weekend.
It was so much fun to see which users were traveling together and seeing what their reactions were to each site. Many visited sites they had never seen before – even a lot of our residents! A friend, Lori Caszatt said, “I had so much fun on the #InstaTour! 12 stops, 85 miles and I visited places I have never been.” She works in Willoughby, Lake County.
Everyone was also incredibly impressed with the quality of the photos that were submitted. We chose winners at random so that the tour was completely inclusive for families, but even with that being the case all our participants went above and beyond to get that ‘perfect shot’. It really went to show just how much pride our residents have for the county, and the love our visitors now have!
We finished out the weekend at Grand River Cellars with some tasty wine, a live band, and our prize giveaways. We gave out over $600 in prizes from each photo location and a Grand Prize that required participants to visit all 12 photo locations. The Grand Prize was a WiFi camera and I can’t wait to see what northeast Ohio photos come out of it soon.
I want to thank so many of our northeast Ohio residents for participating and sharing the #InstaTour with their friends. We have a remarkable community and it was great seeing so many of you in Lake County! It’s always nice to put a face to the comments on the computer screen!