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The Kingdom of Eswatini

The Caravan Show: positioning Eswatini as a top-of-mind destination

The Eswatini Tourism Authority (ETA) participated in the Beeld/Caravan Show in Midrand, South Africa. This event presents a significant opportunity to showcase Eswatini’s tourism offerings to a large and targeted audience of potential South African visitors.

Event Overview

The Caravan Show is a renowned annual event held in Midrand, South Africa, attracting a large audience interested in caravanning, outdoor recreation, and travel. The show features a diverse range of exhibitors showcasing caravans, camping equipment, travel destinations, and related products and services. The Caravan Show formerly known as the Beeld Show is not all about caravans, as the name depicts, despite on-road caravanning being the bulk of the leisure travel industry. The Caravan show focuses on any leisure holiday and travel activities. This includes the destinations, 4X4s and custom-built motor homes. The show brings together the camp-loving community with dedicated sections showcasing the latest gear, accessories, and destinations available within the holiday leisure industry. This show, an ideal for camping enthusiasts, provides with easy platform for browsing products launched within the Tourism Industry. Visitors and exhibitors gather information about the most exciting and mind-blowing camping spots and establish good working relationships with other travel agencies across the region. This year’s show was held at Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand South Africa from 23-25 February 2024. The Eswatini stand, shared with Big Game Parks Eswatini, attracted over 600 visitors over the three-day period.

Impact of ETA Participation

Increased Brand Awareness

By participating in the show, ETA can significantly increase brand awareness among South African audiences. This exposure can position Eswatini as a top-of-mind destination for future travel plans. Engaging visuals, informative brochures (Big Game Parks, Triland, Explorer Maps and What’s Happening copies) and interactive displays effectively captured visitor attention and leave a lasting impression.

Targeted Marketing

The Caravan Show caters to a specific demographic with a strong interest in travel and outdoor activities, aligning perfectly with Eswatini’s target audience. Engaging with potential visitors directly allows for targeted marketing efforts, providing them with personalized information and addressing their specific interests.

Lead Generation

The show presents an excellent platform to generate leads through interactive booths and competitions. Offering incentives like travel brochures, discounts, or competition entries in exchange for contact information allows for further marketing efforts and conversion into bookings.

Building Partnerships

Participating in the show enables ETA to connect with travel agents, tour operators, and other industry stakeholders in South Africa. Building strong partnerships can significantly enhance marketing reach and distribution channels for Eswatini’s tourism offerings.

Competition and budget

The show features numerous exhibitors vying for visitor attention. To stand out, it is crucial for ETA to have a well-designed and engaging booth with interactive elements and informative staff. Participating in the show involves costs associated with booth space, travel, promotional materials and staff. Careful budgeting and maximising return on investment are essential in attendance of such shows. ETA normally considers cost-sharing partnerships with other tourism entities and captains of the industry from Eswatini.

Logistics

The Caravan Show logistics include ensuring smooth planning for booth setup, staff travel, and promotional materials is crucial. Develop a clear plan and delegate tasks effectively to ensure a seamless experience at the show.

Communication

Pre-event and post-event communication is key in both traditional and digital media platforms. The Eswatini Tourism Authority utilised social media, traditional media and targeted email campaigns to generate pre-show buzz and follow up with leads after the event. Pre-show, traditional media engagements included interviews with Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) on “Letishisako” Show where a detailed interview profiling what the show entailed was held. Post-show, ETA establishes clear metrics to measure the success of its participation. Track leads generated, brand mentions, website traffic from the event and potential conversions into bookings to Eswatini aid to assess the Caravan Show’s effectiveness.

In conclusion, participating in the Beeld/Caravan Show in Midrand presents a valuable opportunity for ETA to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build partnerships within the South African tourism market. By implementing the recommendations outlined above, ETA can maximize the impact of its presence at the show and effectively promote Eswatini as a compelling travel destination.

Eswatini Tourism Authority continues to drive its mandate to encourage responsible travel in the Kingdom of Eswatini and promotes Eswatini as a preferred destination.