Periscope Shows Promise for St. Pete’s Tourism Board

Skift Take

There’s lots of room for destinations to use Periscope to show off what they’ve got. But Periscope isn’t for cowards, you’ve got to have the nerve — and the skill — to deal with the challenges of working live.

The Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater tourism board is basking in the benefits of the early adopter. They’ve fearlessly embraced Periscope – the live broadcast app that integrates seamlessly with Twitter. Leroy Bridges, the ‎Media and Interactive Director at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, says it’s too soon to provide any concrete analytics about the results, but he’s excited about the potential.

“One of our first Periscopes was a sunrise from downtown St. Pete/Clearwater. We had 1,600 viewers at 6:30 in the morning, a ridiculous time of day. We’ve always had engagement, 30 retweets on a sunrise photo, a bunch of favorites, but 1600 people watching live? That was the moment we decided to it push further.”

Bridges and his team plan to use Periscope for more experiences – jet-ski rides, parasailing, batting practice with the Tampa Bay Rays, on stage at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday with Cheryl Crow. “Maybe someone doesn’t care about sunrise but they love craft beer,” says Bridges. “We plan to periscope a craft beer event this fall and we’ll see what happens.”  

“People find us through Twitter (@VSPC) — we have a built in audience of over 40,000 followers – and when we go live, it’s seamless. We’ve also thought about sharing the link on Facebook where we nearly 200,000 fans. It would be nice to know if we can get desktop viewers that way.”

Measureable results? Not yet but…

Bridges doesn’t know where exactly his experiments with Periscope are going, but, “I know that there aren’t many people on it right now. That’s where your message is loudest, where there’s no clutter and you’re not fighting for space.”

Audiences are genuinely interested. During a Periscope broadcast from the Loews Don CeSar Hotel (a classic pink hotel on the beach) viewers asked to see the rooms. “That’s huge,” says Bridges. “When 1000 people are watching live and someone asks to see a room, that’s pretty cool. That’s the product we’re selling. Viewers see a property and a destination they’ve never seen before.”

St. Pete/Clearwater recently broadcast the release of a rescued sea turtle from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, rushing out with very little notice. “We like to be as organic and authentic as possible, but we also publish a calendar with scheduled experiences.”

“To date, we’ve got more than 108,000 likes and 1,770 followers on 22 broadcasts totaling more than 30,000 viewers. The opportunity is now. People around the world are watching.”

While we can’t show you any of St. Pete’s Periscope videos (as they are live stream only), we’ll leave you with these hyperlapse videos created by the organization:

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