Appen Media kicks off annual cruise giveaway - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM
 

Appen Media kicks off annual cruise giveaway

Last year’s winners visited New York, England

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For the last few years we have kicked off the New Year with an advertising and readership promotion, the 2017 third annual Appen Cruise Giveaway. Through partnership with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we run a promotion in the papers that highlights our mainly locally owned and operated businesses, as well as engaging our local readers. We hide a small cruise icon (think ‘where’s Waldo?’) somewhere within each paper the weeks of Jan. 19- Feb. 28. Our readers hunt through the papers looking for it, and once they find it, they can complete a submission form online at northfulton.com making them eligible for a free cruise. They can do this every week for the maximum of six entries. At the end of the promotion we have a drawing for the lucky winner.

The promotion is simple enough in nature, but it is fun for all those involved. Readers become more familiar with our papers and the stories we cover while looking for the icon, and at the same time our advertisers enjoy the benefit of added eyeballs on the page while kicking off their advertising efforts for the year.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Elise and Jeff Baggett had the time of their lives last October cruising on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.
“We were at sea for six days and loved how relaxing it was,” Elise said. “It was a jazz cruise and we enjoyed the music. We especially loved the British food and afternoon tea and met many wonderful people.”
They didn’t have to pay a dime, thanks to entering and winning Appen Media Group’s annual Appen Cruise Giveaway where the prize is a free cruise.
And now it’s your chance.
Each week from Jan. 19 to Feb. 28, the papers of Appen Media Group – the Alpharetta-Roswell Herald, Milton Herald, Johns Creek Herald and Forsyth Herald – will feature the Expedia CruiseShipCenter’s logo hidden somewhere on the printed pages. Readers have to find the logo and enter to win on northfulton.com by describing exactly where the logo is found that week.
Then on March 6, a winner will be randomly chosen from the entries.
That’s how the 2016 winners, the Baggetts, received $2,000 that was applied toward the cruise vacation of their choice, courtesy of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Alpharetta.
Elise said she and her husband saw the ad in the newspaper before the contest began and, once the competition started, she entered every week. While she didn’t really think she would win, she held out hope and kept entering.
“Jeff got the [winning] email and forwarded it to me and said, ‘Is this legit?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it’s legit,’” Elise said.
They sailed transatlantic from New York to Southampton England.
“It was great going on this cruise as winners,” Elise said. “Because we have cruised many times before, we wanted to select something different than we had done before and something extremely memorable. Sailing the QM2 on a transatlantic cruise definitely fit the bill.”
And once the new winner is chosen, it’ll be smooth sailing, thanks to the help of the staff at Expedia, including franchise owner, Vince Bonfanti.
The most important part of this experience, Bonfanti said, is the way it underscores the change in the role travel agents now play.
“Travel agents who were simply order takers have mostly gone out of business. They’ve become replaced by the Internet,” Bonfanti said. “Today’s successful travel agents have become travel consultants. We’re trained experts, and passionate travelers and cruise enthusiasts.”
In addition to providing advice from consultants, Bonfanti said all the other services travel agents offer are free for customers.
“We’re paid by the cruise lines and do not charge service fees (other than arranging flights in some cases),” Bonfanti said. “Even better, because of the buying power of Expedia, we’re often able to offer price discounts or bonuses such as onboard cash credits, free prepaid gratuities, or reduced deposits that you won’t get when booking directly with the cruise lines.”
Expedia CruiseShipCenters is located at 10945 State Bridge Road, Suite 105, Alpharetta. They can be found online at cruiseshipcenters.com/Alpharetta.

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