Experience Cayman, the Cayman Islands’ first online festival, closed its virtual gates last weekend, after highlighting more than 100 local businesses and entrepreneurs, across a diverse set of industries and in all three islands, over the last three months.
Hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Experience Cayman provided a platform for local businesses, struggling with the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic, to promote their services and offerings to Cayman Islands residents.
The virtual festival and supporting campaign were free for companies to take part in and featured long-established business, like Foster’s supermarket, the Cayman Turtle Centre and Camana Bay, as well as start-ups, such as Glazed With Nature, Tomfoodery Kitchen and Lummae Cayman. Experience Cayman also gave a stage to local not-for-profits including the Pink Ladies Volunteer Corps, Beacon Farms, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation and the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation.
“It’s been amazing to watch how the Cayman Islands business community and general public have rallied around the Experience Cayman campaign,” says Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Hon. Joey Hew. “I believe the campaign has not only reminded everyone how much talent we have in the Cayman Islands but also how lucky we are to live in such a magnificent and supportive community.”
Experience Cayman received additional support from the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, the Cayman Islands Small Business Association, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Celebrate Cayman, who each hosted a virtual festival arena.
Notable local personalities such as international supermodel and Cayman’s own, Selita Ebanks, as well as radio-personality, Taylor Vaughn, also lent their talents to the campaign.
Aside from the virtual festival, Experience Cayman also invited local social media influencers to promote offline events including “Shop & Dine the Waterfront” and “George Town Holiday” in George Town, “Shoppers’ Night Out” at Camana Bay, and “Looky Ya! Kitchen Dance” at the Cayman Islands National Museum, as well as the Ministry’s own “Experience Cayman LIVE” Saturday Night Live event in George Town through a host of Instagram takeovers.
“During these unprecedented times, Experience Cayman allowed us to showcase all that our islands have to offer, in a virtual setting,” PR, Media and Design Specialist for the Cayman Islands National Museum, Brian Walter Jr., said. “My hope is that we will continue to utilise technology and creative means to promote our brands and our beautiful Cayman Islands.”
At the close of the campaign, 12,000 virtual Experience Cayman attendees had enjoyed around 100 virtual experiences, collectively experiencing the festival more than 19,000 times. Experience Cayman also engaged 1,700 social media followers, including 22 brand ambassadors, in its three-month run.
“Just because Experience Cayman has come to an end, it doesn’t mean we stop showing support for our local businesses,” adds Colin Lumsden, the Ministry’s George Town Manager and Revitalisation Initiative Coordinator. “I look forward to seeing the spirit of the festival carry on throughout and beyond the holiday season, as people continue to explore everything there is to do, across all three of the Cayman Islands.”
The Experience Cayman virtual festival will be available online until the end of the year on www.gov.ky/experiencecayman.