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Moving Henderson out of the shadows: How a marketing agency put this southern Nevada city on the map (sponsored)


Southern Nevada is home to the bustling metropolis of Las Vegas, and… well, that’s it.

Or is it?

Henderson is home to similar, yet unique draws to its famous neighbor. From the vibrant Green Valley, to the fashionable Lake Las Vegas, to the transforming Water Street arts district, Henderson has exited the Vegas shadows and has stood out from the crowd on its very own.

But it wasn’t always that way. Henderson was an underdog to the well-known Las Vegas. In fact, Vegas easily swept both the travel and conventions markets for the entirety of Southern Nevada. As such, Henderson as a destination struggled to make an impact in the tourism and hospitality space. The city needed to shift its narrative from a “shadow of Vegas” to its own distinct entity, full of an abundance of opportunities for both tourists and locals alike.

Abbi Agency Logo

The Abbi Agency, an award-winning integrated marketing agency based right here in the Silver State, was tasked with doing exactly that.

And they succeeded. 

This is how they did it.

They learned and defined what makes Henderson special. Through the enthusiastic work of the agency on the ground in Henderson, the team was able to fully immerse themselves in the Henderson culture and the unique Henderson experience. More importantly, the opinion that mattered the most was that of the locals and visitors – what did THEY love the most about Henderson?

It certainly wasn’t the city’s closeness to Las Vegas. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Both locals and guests actually love Henderson precisely for its distance away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas, its proximity to nature and its family-friendly atmosphere that the neighboring metropolis doesn’t necessarily market.

Through the process of individual interviews, the agency discovered that both locals and visitors appreciate Henderson’s varying and unique architectural styles that populate the city’s various neighborhoods, the array of outdoor activities, its plethora of dining and entertainment establishments, and of course, its down-to-earth character. These are the major facets of the city that makes Henderson stand out from the rest and differentiate itself from Vegas.

So obviously, Henderson is a one-of-a-kind tourist destination that caters to many types of travelers. But how could the agency preach this to the masses? 

Answer: through the work of an integrated communications plan – or simply put, laying out a path for sharing Henderson’s story with potential guests. 

This involved, first and foremost, figuring out the city’s key audiences and key messages. And to do that, The Abbi Agency relied on its trusty Messaging Map and stellar consumer segmentation process – in other words, in-house tools that help to understand each audience, define key messages and plan for outreach. The team was ready to do a complete overhaul of Henderson’s visual culture and messaging – and boy, did they ever.

Getting inspiration was easy. With Henderson’s unique architecture, its friendly, breezy neo-suburban feel and the openness of its natural surroundings, the team brought the three best characteristics together: familiarity, possibility and pressure-free excitement.

Thus, the “So much. So close. So Nevada.” campaign was born.

And through this campaign, the agency proved to visitors – which trended older (Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers) – what Henderson is all about: a vibrant, luxuriously relaxed location full of friendly faces and exciting places.

As the city thrived with its new, defined brand and visitation started to rise, Henderson and The Abbi Agency saw another opportunity for growth: digital real estate.

Henderson Nevada's website homepage
The homepage of visithendersonnv.com

When you research destinations for your next trip, where do you go first? Most likely, you’re pulling up that destination’s website to delve deeply into the ins-and-outs of the location to truly get a taste for what to expect on your upcoming vacation. Unfortunately, Henderson was lacking in this digital space. It was obvious that the city needed and deserved the opportunity to make a case for itself in a big way – with a stunning, user-friendly website with easy-to-find information that helps site visitors get an authentic feel for the destination from the comfort of their own homes.

The Abbi Agency knew what they had to do, and they sprung their web development team into action. Knowing the intentions and the kinds of information visitors to Henderson’s website look for, the team translated Henderson’s messaging and visual culture and established a beautiful, online knowledge base to guide Henderson’s guests to the region’s best activities, meeting spaces, lodging and news. 

The best part? The Visit Henderson website served so many purposes for all of its visitors. By offering an abundance of educational marketing, visitors are influenced to book lodging and activities. The team was also able to collect impactful data about how guests are interacting with the Visit Henderson brand in order to better understand what they truly care about the most. With this vital information under their belt, the team planned content that visitors can connect with in the manner that was most convenient and meaningful to them.

All this hard work paid off – Henderson’s digital presence has never been better, and as such, guest interest has soared. The newly revamped website garnered an over 86% growth in visit sessions over just a six month period, and the Visit Henderson brand has secured nearly one million brand impressions through targeted digital advertisements.

Armed with new assets and outreach framework, Henderson is poised for long-term success and growth. And therefore, the city has quickly exited the shadow of Las Vegas. 

There is no where to go but up.

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