Bringing a Food & Wine Festival online

January 06, 2021

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

For sure, adaptation has been the key word in 2020 for Tourism Organizations around the world. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is no different from other organizations, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic with series of social distancing measures, affects the planning of annual Wine and Dine Festival.  To react to the rapid changes, HKTB adapted quickly and managed to propose an amazing sensorial online + offline experience replacing the traditional Wine & Dine Festival. 

While this grand celebration is all about taste, it was quite a challenge to propose online content that would satisfy the audience and still handout some tasty flavors. Challenge accepted and succeeded! 

Between November 11th& December 15th, wine and dine festival campaign site registered total 1.15M page views  (winedinefestival.discoverhongkong.com) and 850,000 connections were registered on the livestreaming event site (masterclasses.discoverhongkong.com), the online gateway for wine & gourmet lovers. 
 

 

What was held online? 

An online wine cellar was set-up to support wine purchase with weekly special offers. Bottles could be purchased from the participating merchants’ website and shipped home.  Moreover, global wine experts such as James Suckling and Debra Meiburg also conducted wine talks with tasting kits where consumers could purchase a wine selection and attend the zoom classes or watch the class live together with wine experts. 

 

On food side, Masterclasses were proposed by leading chefs, offering “ingredient kit” . In total, 34 sessions in total and duration of each class ranged between 30 mins to 45 mins. The content was entirely free for the online participants as a way for the Tourism Board to support the industry and to encourage local consumption 

 

What was held in the city? 

In order to stimulate spending in local restaurants, over 500 restaurants were promoted through the Festival, all proposing dining offers or thematic experiences specifically for the Festival attendees. 

 

Looking at the bright side of things! 

There is an old saying, with every crisis comes with an opportunity, this experience allowed the Tourism Board to broaden this event to a wider audience. While the event originally targets locals, the digital event attracted both residents and overseas visitors, happily experienced the dining scene of Hong Kong. 

 

And digital is the new norm, the strategic focus changed from event-led to experience-centric. But this shift has one goal:  to substain Hong Kong as the events capital in Asia and keep showcasing its vibrancy and positivity no matter rain or shine! 

 

A few figures: 

  • 34 online session produced by the Tourism Board 
  • 100 staff members involved in the production of the event 
  • 1.15m total pageviews of campaign site, 20% are from overseas markets 
  • 850 000 viewers registered of streaming site, 30% are from overseas markets 
  • 500 partner restaurants offering special offers 
  • 100 wine merchants offering their wine selections 
  • 16 chefs presenting a masterclass 

 

For more information: Mason Hung, General Manager, Event and Product Development / Hong Kong Tourism Board