Bandwango Infocus: Unlocking the Power of Your Destination’s Arts

Emilie Harris  |  March 10th, 2018

Arts-centric passes with Bandwango integrate tourism with local engagement and can transport a visitor’s in-destination experience to the unlimited worlds of creativity, performance and story.

Since it can be said that DMOs exist to drive economic revenue, it’s always useful to consider other forces of the local economy and how they interplay with the locals and visitors who come to play.

The Play’s The Thing

Speaking of play, when Hamlet—that pioneer of destination marketing he was.

—said, “the play’s the thing,” surely he must have been talking about performing arts as a way to boost local economy.

Likewise, as Jay Dick wrote in a CitiesSpeak article, ”The arts and culture sector is often looked at through a very narrow lens [and] are often viewed as isolated instead of being seen as part of a larger economic ecosystem.”

Dick, a senior director of state and local government affairs at Americans for the Arts naturally doesn’t want the arts to get overlooked for its economic value. His contention is that leaders who get it, know that the arts “can be an important part of a city’s economic development and growth strategy.”

He outlines 8 ways that can happen, with plenty of inspiring and validating mayoral quotes to boot. But the point stands: arts can be overlooked, and not just by civic leaders, but by destination marketers as well.

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All the World’s A Stage

The irony of the overlook is that plays, in fact, and art galleries, festivals, performances of opera and symphony, dance, community theater and more under the wide umbrella of the arts can have an incredible impact, not just on a community’s high brow, but on an entire region’s economy.

From a destination marketing perspective, where locals are often the “visitor” that’s overlooked, it’s the arts—especially performance-based experiences—that, once again, bridge the gap and bring locals and visitors together.

How that translates to Bandwango destinations, large or small, looking to capitalize on their vibrant arts scene is simply a matter of awareness, resolve and the few minutes it may take to set up a new pass on the platform.
With locals and visitors alike to include in a DMOs marketing efforts fort one-of-a-kind, artful and theatrical experiences, Bandwango’s Destination Experience Engine (DXE) can easily create customized and targeted iterations of essentially the same product.

From one-day, weekend, or however-long passes, Bandwango makes it easier to curate access to the arts and ultimately educate and drive more folks to experience them. Where an experience leaves one with a sense of place and an expression of art, that’s the sweet spot where DMOs and CVBs can really drive their own economic value to new heights.

When Bandwango destinations embrace their arts, the DXE becomes another venue to curate and to share. Let’s look a little deeper at one Bandwango destination in Michigan.

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Grand Rapids’ Grand Theater Scene

Another Bandwango city, Grand Rapids, Michigan launched a 3-day Culture Pass to promote art and history museums, including the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to that city’s visitors. How it entices customers, however to the more performance-based arts is through several exclusive discounts to the local theater scene available only to those who purchase the pass.

Those discounts include improv, opera, ballet classes, ticket discounts to iconic theatrical venues, performance halls and a lot more. These are add-ons that work, and the result is, in this case, a 3-day experience full of rewarding, enriching and entertaining art, one of the best souvenirs to with which to leave a destination. Oh, except there’s a 20% discount at a museum store, too!

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That’s The Ticket

“A well-placed arts district, or the use of an arts venue as an anchor for a neighborhood, can be a magnet for economic growth.”

And Jay Dick also wrote in that CitiesSpeak post that “City leaders across the nation are seeking to revitalize and grow their cities into vibrant communities — and the arts are part of a larger set of tools to accomplish that goal.”

We would contend that Bandwango is another tool here as well. And where Bandwango brings together travel tourism with the arts, it’s a double feature deserving of an encore.

Want to learn more about setting up an Arts and Culture pass on the DXE? Drop us a line below.