Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of working with Armando Troncana, the Italian director of MySwitzerland, on the Swiss Summer Lounge event in Milan. The event aimed at offering a taste of Swiss charm to the local audiences, as part of a general campaign to promote tourism in Switzerland. On that occasion, we caught a glimpse of a fascinating personality, set to shape the future of the tourism industry. We had a chat about Switzerland, Italy, tourism and the way different Countries look at each other.
How did you come to promote Switzerland as a tourist destination to the residents of Milan?
We are constantly on the lookout for new promotional ideas, for ways to engage our audience. We hoped we could recreate a small corner of Switzerland in central Milan, let the Milanese audiences experience our beautiful scenery. I think we succeeded.
Your team members come from different regions of Switzerland. How do their individual points of view influence your business?
We partner with all the touristic regions of Switzerland, trying to offer our customers a variety of options. This year we started implementing virtual reality into our campaigns, making it easier for customers to experience our different travel packages before buying them.
During the event, the Swiss-themed mechanic system was probably the main attraction. How did you come to build such an unusual system and what is its function?
The “Switzerball” is the work of an English artist and it tells the story of a journey, namely the journey of a pinball rolling through the Country, through different parts of the Swiss scenery, and exploring all the main attractions of a Swiss holiday. It’s easier to experience than to describe it. One thing we know for sure: the public loves it!
What did you learn about Milan and its people’s attitude to tourism?
The most popular of our attractions, over here, are panoramic railways. The famous “red train”, the Bernina Express, is often an Italian’s first experience of Switzerland. This particular means of transport allow tourists to savour one of the best things about Switzerland – and often the first aspect to draw tourists to our Country: the natural scenery.
What kind of atmosphere do you go for, when planning this kind of promotional event?
We always look for a venue that fits our needs and allows us to develop our creative ideas. We want to welcome our visitors and potential clients in a unique environment, providing a high-quality experience with surprising and unexpected elements. The venue’s location is also essential in reaching the right audience.
Smart Eventi has been organising incentive travel programs and team building events both in Italy and abroad. Which kind of activities would you suggest to a company wanting to book a team building/incentive travel experience in Switzerland? Do you also cater to this kind of corporate clients?
MySwitzerland has a whole section about incentive travel. Here you will find some of our best solutions for corporate clients.
What do you enjoy about working with Italian clients and partners? And what do you expect from this kind of event?
We care about our audiences and want to keep constant and open communication with them. We matched our event in Milan with a massive online campaign and integrated elements of virtual reality into our digital promotion. We hope this three-pronged approach (online, offline and VR) will help drive new tourists to our Country.
Is there a community of Switzerland aficionados? How do you manage your relationship with returning tourists?
We use social media daily to nurture a community of Switzerland-enthusiasts. Once or twice a year we meet them for an event such as the “Swiss Summer Lounge”.
This was our first collaboration on a territorial marketing event. Were you satisfied with Smart Eventi’s location scouting services?
Absolutely! It is impossible to find the perfect venue in such a city as Milan, without local expertise. The sheer number of options is enough to make the task impossible. You sourced the perfect place and made the event possible by helping us every step of the way.