During the recent eTourism Summit, Lara Brockway, Social Media Manager for Visit Albuquerque, took the stage to offer insights on “Storytelling 101: Crafting Connections: Strategies to Forge Deeper Bonds with Your Travelers.” Lara highlighted the pivotal role of storytelling in Visit Albuquerque’s marketing efforts, particularly focusing on promoting the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the city’s largest event. With nearly one million visitors in 2023, drawn by over 500 hot air balloons, including the unique occurrence of an annular eclipse, the Fiesta presented a prime opportunity to showcase the city’s vibrant culture and attract global attention.

To maximize engagement, Visit Albuquerque assembled a dedicated team of nine individuals to capture content not only from the Balloon Fiesta but also from various concurrent events across the city. This concerted effort resulted in round-the-clock social media coverage, yielding unprecedented levels of engagement and follower growth, including a notable endorsement from celebrity Jennifer Garner, who reposted one of their Reels. Leveraging volunteers from within the organization, the content creation team attended 21 diverse events, equipped with training on mobile video production techniques.


Following each event, footage was promptly edited and distributed across Visit Albuquerque’s social media platforms, saturating channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Threads with fresh, compelling content. This comprehensive approach ensured a constant stream of relevant information for both prospective visitors and locals, reaffirming Albuquerque’s position as a dynamic and culturally rich destination.

Visit Albuquerque’s strategic storytelling and social media engagement during the Balloon Fiesta exemplify the power of collaboration, creativity, and community involvement in destination marketing. Their efforts were so impactful that the team secured the eTSY Award for ‘Best Social Media Marketing Campaign’ for their work promoting the annual event. By harnessing the collective efforts of dedicated volunteers and staff, they successfully captured the essence of the city’s unique events, fostering deeper connections with their audience and solidifying Albuquerque’s reputation as an exciting travel destination.

Have a story idea or want to be featured? Email Mattie Allen at mallen@connectmeetings.com.

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