As the world began to crawl out from under its Hermit crab shell in the fall of 2022, Elevation and the Visa Waiver Program (Powered by ESTA) greeted an eager post-pandemic traveling community by attending trade and travel exhibitions around the world, which included Germany, Japan, London, Netherlands, and Spain.
In line with a resilient Hermit crab changing shells, TEJ 2022 in Tokyo started the year of travel and trade expos with a bang and was aptly nicknamed “Taking on a New Era-Restart.” With a profound appreciation for new beginnings and the opportunity to inspire travelers around the world once again, Elevation attacked this opportunity with new and improved creative assets, highlighted by ESTA-san, an anime-inspired character that helped connect Japanese culture with the Visa Waiver Program attract the Japanese audience to the ESTA booth throughout the duration of TEJ (ESTA-san lives on in the U.S. Embassy in Japan).
The same inspired and refreshed passion was sustained through the ensuing travel shows and expos. Particularly successful was the U.S. Trivia game, which was spearheaded by Amanda Mahon (who drew multiple comparisons to Meredith Vieira for her Gameshow host performances), which served to get booth visitors excited about travel to the U.S. and allow them to compete against one another on their knowledge of U.S. destinations/landmarks through sports, movie, and history questions. Combined with geo-fenced digital campaigns that targeted the locations of the respective trade shows and meeting face-to-face with travel agencies/tour operators, these approaches helped create excitement and build connections with international communities to bridge a gap that was created during the pandemic.
The work to get back to (and build upon) pre-pandemic travel industry results continues with the launching of the newly released ESTA mobile app and building relationships with travel communities worldwide with upcoming shows in Germany, London, and a first-time visit to Singapore.