When launching its new campaign, Beyond Words, Tourism Victoria decided to kick it up a notch. The CVB partnered with Baggins Shoes, a local company in Victoria, Canada, that customizes Converse sneakers. Guests attending their recent San Francisco party were sent a link in advance, inviting them to create their own unique pair of Canadian kicks, which they would receive at the event.

Budding artists selected either a low- or high-top version of the classic white footwear, and one of several designs depicting the beautiful city in Western Canada to adorn the outside of the shoe. Online they then decorated the inside of the sneaker with whatever image they chose. When Tourism Victoria’s Amanda Eyolfson and Trina Mousseau wheeled out a rack the finished products, everyone got a kick out of viewing their colleagues’ creations. (Some of the sneakers featured beer and donuts; while others had dogs, orcas and polar bears.)

Great Idea for Planners

Planners that want a clever conversation starter that doubles as a memorable souvenir can arrange a similar promotion with Baggins. The firm could imprint the company’s logo on one side of the sneaker, and let employees attending a meeting or incentive trip get creative with the other side.

Trina Mousseau, Tourism Victoria’s chief marketing officer, came up with the campaign. “I’m a huge fan of Baggins, which has one of the largest collections of Converse sneakers in the world,” she says. “What’s great about this promotion is that you get the buy-in from the group before even arrive at the event. Then they get to keep and wear the sneakers, which is continuous advertising for us.”

Victoria Beyond Words

When explaining the new Victoria Beyond Words campaign, Tourism Victoria’s travel media relations representative Amanda Eyolfson said that trying to describe why Victoria, BC is so special is difficult to put into words. “It’s just a two hour, direct flight from San Francisco, but it’s like stepping into a different world,” she says. Visitors get a relaxed feeling as they adjust to island time. In addition to being the cycling capital of Canada, Victoria is a very walkable city, with little traffic congestion and a lot of character.

Holly Lenk, manager of Travel Media Relations at Tourism Victoria, echoes her sentiments. “No car is needed to experience this destination, which is nice for busy planners. In Victoria it’s easy to get to the beach, or the wilderness.” She adds that Victoria is proud of its old-world history, but also has a fair share of modern tech startups, especially in the gaming industry.

Kick it up in Victoria, BC!