Experience Columbia SC wins three Addy awards SC

February 25, 2022

Experience Columbia SC (ECSC) took home three Silver ADDY Awards at The American Advertising Awards held Saturday, Feb. 19. ECSC won awards in the brochure category for its Reconstruction Trail and was recognized for its printed annual report and online/interactive social media campaign.

“I am so proud of our Experience Columbia SC marketing team on winning three Silver ADDY awards this year,” said Kelly Barbrey, VP of marketing and communications. “Their teamwork, creativity, industry knowledge and savvy collaboration with top-notch partners is a win for the entire region. These projects will inspire travel to our area as well as educate our community on why travel is so important to our economy.”

Reconstructed: A Journey Through the Reconstruction Era in Columbia, SC was curated with the assistance of Historic Columbia and designed by Mary Dunn, ECSC’s then graphic designer. It highlights eight locations and 10 trailblazers of the post-Civil War period to provide a new perspective to residents and visitors on how the past has shaped our modern nation. The brochure touts the only museum dedicated to the Reconstruction Era, Historic Columbia’s Museum of The Reconstruction Era at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.

“Many people don’t know how important the Reconstruction Era was to our nation, let alone that many of the most iconic landmarks and stories are still here in Columbia SC,” said Charlene Slaughter, director of communications for Experience Columbia SC. “The brochure serves as a guide for visitors and residents to explore this time period in an authentic and meaningful way.”

Each year, ECSC produces an annual report to showcase the wins across our organization. The report features how the marketing, sales and services teams in the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), sports team and the sales and events staff at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center work passionately each year to bring economic impact to the region.

“These past two years have been a little different,” said Kelsey Carmichael, ECSC director of marketing. “With the travel industry being one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, we have had to pivot our marketing messaging and sales and event tactics quite a few times. We wanted this year’s annual report to reflect how we have been able to pivot in a moment’s notice.”

This year’s report shows the challenges and responses, the evolution of advertising campaigns and the impact of those campaigns, touts press coverage, showcases the relentless efforts of our sales teams to bring group business to the region and how we’ve incorporated safety into our event policies and throughout our messaging.

“While each of our departments has their own goal, the point of our annual report is to showcase our cohesive brand and message and how we’re using them to sell the region as the unexpected, urban South.” she said.

Instagram’s launch of the Guides feature was a perfect avenue for Experience Columbia SC to share recommendations for visitors and locals alike. The Instagram Guide Illustrations Covers provided an eye catching visual with landmarks that would be instantly recognizable to locals and intriguing for visitors. With the help of SparkLoft Media, ECSC created three guides, each with their own illustration, to reach a wide range of interests: art, brunch, and scenic gardens.

“Because this new content format mirrors much of the blog content that lives on our website, we wanted to do something to set it apart,” said Content Specialist Helen Dennis. “By integrating our brand colors to show off each of these topics, we furthered brand recognition and enhanced local pride in the these unique landmarks.”

Visit reconstructedcolumbiasc.com to learn more about the Reconstruction Trail or stop by the ECSC Visitor’s Center or Historic Columbia’s Gift Shop at Robert Mills to pick up a copy. The annual report is available online at experiencecolumbiasc.com and follow ECSC on Instagram @columbiasc.

About Experience Columbia SC

Experience Columbia SC is the region’s destination marketing organization. We’re responsible for all marketing efforts intended to help more visitors discover all that makes Columbia the real Southern hot spot. Think of us as the biggest cheerleader for the heart of South Carolina. For more information, please visit www.experiencecolumbiasc.com.