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How Grapevine Uses Personalization to Share the Holiday Spirit Year After Year

Picture of the author, Ali Nichols
By Ali Nichols
M11 6, 2019

Listen – I can’t really believe that it’s already November.  How did this happen?! But ready or not, we know that DMOs start planning their holiday content long before the weather cools off.  To continue our Customer Spotlight series and welcome the start of the holiday season, we spoke with one of our favorite Texans, Bill Young with Grapevine CVB, to pick his brain on seasonal content and how he uses personalization to share the magic of the season.  Nestled in North Texas, Grapevine is known for their historic downtown, beautiful winery tasting rooms and, most importantly, as The Christmas Capital of Texas®!

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Bill!  To start, can you tell us a little about Grapevine and how it became The Christmas Capital of Texas?

Each Christmas, millions of Christmas twinkling lights and decorations illuminate Historic Downtown Grapevine with choreographed light shows held each evening. Ten years ago, the Texas State Senate recognized Grapevine’s “impressive Christmas season” and 1,400 events in 40 days with a proclamation which can be viewed on our website. Since then, we’ve been the Christmas Capital of Texas® (CCOT) and continue to find ways to make enhancements and additions. Some of our popular events include the North Pole Express®, SNOWLAND at the Great Wolf Lodge, ICE!®, this year featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas at Gaylord Texan and classic holiday movies at the Palace Theatre just to name a few. Plenty to keep us busy and to keep people coming back to Grapevine year after year.

So many events!  How do you approach marketing all of these activities to visitors and prospective visitors?

In an effort to promote 1,400 events in 40 days, we deploy an exhaustive 360° marketing approach. In addition to our Bound content, we run TV and radio ads, print ads in magazines and newspapers, behavioral and geographic digital banner ads, email marketing, social media ads and posts, and public relations/media appearances. We’re lucky to have 7.4 million people in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex so we market to them for staycations and daytrips but we also advertise in eight regional drive markets.

What are some of the challenges you face in sharing your seasonal events and activities?  Texas doesn’t always have the weather complementing a winter wonderland….

Grapevine is fortunate to have mild, pleasant winters, and while there may not be a white Christmas season, there are many areas throughout Grapevine where snow falls, including the North Pole Express’ snowy Forest; snow flurries at the Town Square Gazebo; and flurries in the lobby of Great Wolf Lodge. Those looking for a wintry chill can visit ICE!, a walk-through winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of ice. The lights along Main Street and throughout the city create an ambiance perfect for unseasonably warm and wintery temperatures alike.

If anything, a mild winter weather may help your visitors enjoy all the holiday activities even more!  Do you have any tips for us on keeping your content feeling fresh when talking about annual activities?

We especially like promoting new features when it comes to our annual events. This Christmas is no exception as we’re offering the Grapevine Christmas Passport – Elf Adventure and Christmas Activity Tickets which will allow our guests more options as they explore the many hands-on and unique holiday activities happening in and around Historic Downtown Grapevine.

And speaking of nostalgia, we at Bound have been lucky to partner with you through many holiday seasons!  Can you talk with us about what role personalization plays in your strategy and how Bound helps you achieve these goals?

Thank you, it’s been a lot of fun and a pleasure working with you, too! We love having the ability to reach our local and regional audiences, as well as those well beyond, with different messages. We also greatly appreciate the monthly performance reviews allowing us to make tweaks here and there and to make sure that we’re taking advantage of all the platform has to offer. We’re looking forward to many more Christmas seasons with Bound!

Thank you again, Bill – we love celebrating the season with you and helping highlight all the amazing activities Grapevine has to offer.

Want to learn more about using personalization to highlight your destination’s unique events?  We’d love to talk with you more!

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