Aqua Earns Clients Top Honors at 2019 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism


November 25, 2019

Fran Vaccaro, Vice President – Client Service, shares Flagler Award wins with clients — Punta/Gorda Englewood Beach VCB and The Emerald Coast CVB.

On Tuesday night, November 20, 2019, Aqua’s clients the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau (ECCVB) and the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau (PGEBVCB) both brought home Henry awards at this year’s (rescheduled) VISIT FLORIDA Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Considered the highest honor in a given category (followed by Silver, and Bronze), the Henry award is a sought-after prize for those entering the Flagler Awards, and a first for the ECCVB and PGEBVCB. The annual Flagler Awards is the most prestigious competition recognizing outstanding Florida tourism marketing.

While winning a Flagler of any level is a great accomplishment for any destination, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach bringing home a Henry award is a significant milestone because it is their first Flagler win. The goal of Aqua’s marketing efforts is always to increase awareness of the destination and drive tourism to it. However, it has been the agency’s hope to get PGEBVCB into the awards shows. The Henry award is just the latest in a string of awards the agency has helped the PGEBVCB win. Recently, the destination received an eTSY award for their Outsiders Welcome videos. But that’s not all. It’s only the midst of award season, and with the Adrian Awards, the ADDYS, and more on the way, Aqua is just getting started.

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach won the Henry in Creativity in Public Relations for their response to the red tide crisis of 2018. In a campaign created and executed by Aqua, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach invited people back to the destination’s beautiful beaches and fun water activities with the message, “Are you Beach Ready?” The campaign, funded with a grant from VISIT FLORIDA, was a massive success and saw record-breaking numbers, such as $1,009,357 in TDT for March of 2019.

The Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau (ECCVB) would take home two awards that evening. The ECCVB received a Henry in Television Advertising for Aqua’s negotiating and execution of a $1.3 million ABC National deal that included placement on Live with Kelly & Ryan, a Super Bowl flyover (reaching 173,691), and a five-minute showcase on Chicago TV that reached more than two million people. Overall, the ABC National campaign put the client in front of tens of millions of people. The deal also serves as an incredible example of Aqua’s media placement and negotiation ability by securing $2 million worth of media for only $1.3 million (a 35% reduction in budget).

But that’s not all the ECCVB won. The destination also won a Silver Flagler award in Resource/Promotional Material – Consumer for their visitor guide. Driven by Aqua’s vision of what role a modern-day visitor guide plays in the vacation planning process, the guide was designed for style, and focused more on evoking inspirational and aspirational emotions from the reader. This visually stunning guide was a much-needed departure from the destination’s traditional guides filled with pages and pages of lists and numbers. Aqua recognized that visitors no longer look to guides for phone numbers of every restaurant in the area, but want to be inspired to take a trip. This award is proof that Aqua’s approach to visitor guide design is a big step in the right direction.

While it’s great to win these awards, and in all honesty quite the confidence boost, Aqua remains committed to producing content, developing tactics, and executing initiatives that serve to achieve client goals. That’s what matters. Not the industry recognition, the spotlight, or the accolades. Aqua delivers results, not trophies. The awards? That’s just a bonus.


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