The Creative's Guide to Evanston Explores the Peer-to-Peer Travel Trend
By Whitney Colley
I recently spent several weeks planning a trip to Europe using a plethora of online research and my notebook. I scoured the internet for resources that would appeal to me but my searches always came up dry. I’m a creative thinker who wants a unique itinerary that provides me with the opportunity to interact with locals and other like-minded individuals. During my time at NeigerDesign, I was challenged with being co-creator of a guide to Evanston, Illinois, that will help people like myself have a more memorable experience in this city that has so much to offer. Our creative guide demonstrates the rapid shift to peer-to-peer travel that is currently happening in the tourism industry. From Airbnb to Uber to EatWith, travelers of all ages and backgrounds are disrupting the traditional business model in favor of a more authentic local experience.
The Creative's Guide to Evanston is a microsite designed on HubSpot, a powerful marketing tool that emphasizes creating and sharing content with people around the world. It offers personalization that happens gradually as we acquire more information about the unique needs of our visitors. We are an arts-focused and culturally relevant design firm that is engaging with local businesses to create a guide that will keep us connected with our creative community. Through this kind of open engagement, it opens the door to collaborate with local businesses and form a partnership that will present NeigerDesign with unexpected business opportunities and future creative endeavors. We are striving to support other small businesses and become long-term advocates of each other’s business ventures.
Steps to Building Our Creative Guide:
- Scout and visit locations, compile photography for guide
- Create guide using HubSpot
- Launch guide
- Follow-up with chosen businesses, engage with them on social media
- Stay connected!
Traditionally printed guidebooks offer us the chance to step away from our smartphone but they are not very convenient and the content becomes outdated very quickly. Easier access to curated information about locations is becoming increasingly important to travelers, which is seen with Airbnb's recent launch of city guides that call out locations recommended by their hosts. Search engines on their own are an overwhelming source of travel information and don’t always generate the best results. To get the most useful and relevant travel information, you’re better off seeking out specialized resources. The Creative's Guide turns up some offbeat and hidden gem travel suggestions that other guides may simply overlook. It is curated, tested and written by creatives, for creatives. It is also geared to open-minded, quirky travelers looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and explore the less visited locations that don’t necessarily drive the city’s economy.
The consumer does not enjoy being bombarded by meaningless and irrelevant advertisements in fact, they simply ignore them all together. Using Hubspot as an inbound marketing tool enables NeigerDesign and the consumer to connect on a more human level. Consumers want personalization and our guide is certainly specialized and perhaps even niche. In contrast to the one-size fits all guides, we look forward to providing the visitor with a customized itinerary and experience, and in contrast to some travel and review sites, we approach the guide and its contents from an unsponsored and authentic peer level. Looking forward, we aim to utilize the HubSpot platform to tailor content to the individual consumer’s wants and needs. Personalization and "smart content" will develop over time as visitors interact with the guide. We are committed to delivering quality and inspiring content by helping travelers to feel more like a local and less like a tourist. We will continue to share our knowledge and creative passions to ultimately co-create unique travel experiences with visitors all around the world.