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Uttar Pradesh Travel Writers’ Conclave

Introduction

Another event under the umbrella of UP Tourism – the Travel Writers’ Conclave, aimed at promoting the Heritage Arc of UP—the cities of Lucknow, Agra, and Varanasi—by depicting them through the words and tongues of numerous travel writers all over the world. The primary aim of the event was to give a personal and never-before-seen view of Uttar Pradesh and its culture, heritage, people and colours. It also aimed bringing together the experts on conservation, environment, food, textiles, agriculture and other industries so as to draft a road-map that would attract more tourists to the state.

Challenges

The primary challenge for the state government was to present Uttar Pradesh in a positive, and at the same time, personalized light. Additionally, one of the most challenging aspects was to present the Heritage Arc without having any one particular city dominate the coverage.
Another challenge was the kind of audience that the event was targeting. Since it was the Travel Writers’ Conclave, attracting other people who were not associated with the art would require considerable effort. After all, the event was organized under UP Tourism, and needed to represent the state at the end of the day. This meant that content for the event would have to be diverse, inviting, and interesting enough to be shared by people from all walks of life, and not just writers. This was the only way that the event would move past the barriers of segmentation.
However, reaching the very people that the event targeted was another aspect: content about the event would have to be interesting enough to have it retweeted by acclaimed writers, experts, photographers and so on. Thus, emphasis was on what we were communicating, and then on how we were doing it.

Solutions

Since the team was handling the writers’ conclave in year 2015 in Lucknow and in 2016 in Varanasi, our goal was to present both the cities in an optimistic light, benefiting the tourism in the State. For this reason, the team created hashtags accordingly for both the years, #UPTWC2015, #uptwc15 & UPTWC16. The team utilized the handles for UP Tourism on Facebook and Twitter for continued & live coverage of the event and the writers’ journeys. The hashtags were used with every tweet and post related to the event in order to maximize reach and publicity for both.
Content for the event consisted of alluring quotes about Lucknow and Vranasi as well as live streaming of various happenings at the event. This further expanded into what was being carried out at the venue, as well what the writers were sharing as parts of their experience travelling in Uttar Pradesh (particularly on the respective cities, viz. Lucknow and Varanasi). Quotes and ideas from experts, who shared views on various fields related to travel and facilitation, also formed a huge part of the social media coverage.
This need for keeping the audience updated with the very latest happenings on the event resulted in a marathon of tweets, which ultimately helped in getting the Travel Writers’ Conclave hashtag trending on twitter. Following this, visitors, experts and travel writers’ used the same hashtag to share their views and opinions on social media. As a result, the hashtag moved up to first place on social media, and the event was mentioned by numerous notable writers, photographers, and social media celebrities.

Benefits

  • Continued social media coverage helped bring publicity to the event in both the years.
  • Media coverage also helped expand the reach of the hashtag, event, and UP Tourism on the whole, thus fulfilling the purpose of the event.
  • The trending hashtag further augmented the team’s effort to bring visibility to the event.
  • It also helped set the stage for other conclaves in the future.
  • It helped get a 360 degree view of opinions in the event, and assisted in worldwide tracking of progress