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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua

ICCA’s annual ranking of cities and countries according to their meetings business has become both the meetings industry standard for evaluating performance and the go-to source for governments and civic authorities when considering CapEx and other investment in congress tourism. We’re proud members and enthusiastic supporters of ICCA but we believe there’s room for another destination index to complement and juxtapose the formality and seriousness of the industry behemoth. Enter the SoolNua world ICECREAM index.

The inaugural SoolNua world ICECREAM index was launched softly and sweetly at IMEX Frankfurt and over the past number of weeks has received scores of submissions from big and small destinations including the United States, Slovenia, Iceland and France. We’re unsure as yet whether governments will deliberate on their congress tourism CapEx with reference to our index. We can confirm, however, that competition for top rankings has reached fever pitch amongst  destinations to the point that all of us at SoolNua Towers has refused significant and, indeed, highly attractive bribes in exchange for rigging the votes.

Instead of rigging the votes, Aoife (SoolNua’s Manager of Digital Marketing) has prepared a helpful 7 point plan to ensure your destination moves up the rankings and get to the place it deserves to be on the SoolNua world ICECREAM index. I’m delighted to share these tips with you all here:

1. Vote for your Destination

Click here to view the full list of entries. Find your favourite (s) on the leaderboard and vote for them by clicking through to their individual entry page. Outliers at present are Iceland and Slovenia but with 5 full weeks of voting still to go, this could all change!

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2. Use Facebook

You can share your destination’s entry with your business colleagues, friends and family to encourage them to vote too! Copy the link from the store’s entry and paste it into a post for your Facebook profile and/or your company’s business page

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 3. Use Twitter

Tweet the link of the entry with the hashtag #WorldICECREAMIndex and include @SoolNua in the tweet so we can re-tweet you – including a photo in the tweet gets extra brownie points with your followers

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4. Use Instagram

Post a photo from the entry you voted for to your followers encouraging them to vote. Include the hashtag #WorldICECREAMIndex in the caption along with SoolNua’s handle (represented by Patrick) @supergreybeard so we can repost you. You can’t create a clickable URL on Instagram posts but you can put the URL for the entry you want people to vote for in your bio and tell people in your post to go there

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 13.51.28 5. Include the world ICE CREAM index in your newsletter

You can share your destination’s entry in your next newsletter and ask your fans to vote – just include the link to your destination’s entry and a visual looks great too

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6. Pop in for an ice cream

Visit the store you are voting for and enjoy the product – that is what it is all about after all.  Engage with the staff and let them know you are voting for them, it will encourage them to get behind the entry too

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7. Get your CVB behind it!

Ask your civic authority / local convention bureau / official tourist organisation / council to get behind your entry and help promote it!

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Pádraic Gilligan and Patrick Delaney along with Aoife McCrum (Manager, Digital Marketing) and Sarah Kavanagh (Manager, Sales & Marketing) run SoolNua, a boutique consultancy working with hotels, venues and destinations on strategy, marketing and training for MICE. 

They are all lovers of good ice cream but Patrick is an aficionado.  

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