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Four Seasons Bangkok encourages foodies to capture World Gourmet Festival via Instagram contest

August 23, 2013


Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok and American Express Publishing's Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia are inviting guests to enter an Instagram contest to relish and document the World Gourmet Festival Sept. 2-8 in Bangkok.

The 14th annual World Gourmet Festival will celebrate culinary innovations and pay homage to cultural traditions with the work of eight master chefs from seven countries and various food and wine specialists. Since food is a notoriously common Instagram subject, establishing a #MyWGF hashtag will help the posts standout from others on the platform.

This is the first time we've launched an Instagram contest in Thailand, a country known for its love of food and incredible creativity," said Nicola Chilton,senior director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Thailand.

"This contest focuses on one specific event only, the World Gourmet Festival, for a limited time only, and there's no limit to the number of images that can be submitted," she said.

"We're excited to see how our guests visually interpret the World Gourmet Festival and to see how they put their creativity to work."

Seven countries

The #MyWGF contest invites contestants to capture any aspect of the festival, from the chefs in action to mixologists creating drinks.

Next, guests are encouraged to add the hashtag #MyWGF, tag @FSBangkok and geotag the location as Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok.

Eligible entries will be re-posted on the hotel's official Facebook page where the public will vote Sept. 2-11 on their favorites. The public voting will narrow the images to 10.

The World Gourmet Festival

From the top 10 images, the final winner will be selected by Chris Kucway, editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

The eight chefs featured at the festival include Switzerland's Markus Arnold, France's Jérôme Bonnet and David Rathgeber, Japan's Hirohisa Koyama, Portugal's Miguel Laffan, Italy's Vito Mollica, Spain's Paco Pérez and Belgium's Roger van Damme.

The World Gourmet Festival

Notable winemakers in attendance include Japan's Ned Goodwin and France's Pascal Jolivet.

An international buffet with live cooking will be available for the festival for lunch Sept. 2-5. Other temporary events include brunch, Afternoon Tea, The Louis Roederer Lounge and The Whiskey Lounge.

The festival will also travel to Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Sept. 6 and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui Sept. 9.

Guests can pick and choose from the variety of events. Tickets are available at

A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the "Save a Child's Life from AIDS Project" under the auspices of HRH Princess Soamsawali and in coordination with the Thai Red Cross.

Four Seasons has been promoting the festival and providing updates on its social media pages.

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Facebook page

"Gourmet food and Instagram are an undeniably strong pair," said Taylor Rains, account executive at Rawle Murdy Associates, Charleston, SC.

"In the case of Four Seasons’ Bangkok’s The World Gourmet Festival, the Instagram competition takes something that exists solely on property and pushes it out to the network of Four Seasons’ guests," he said.

"Social media is a powerful word-of-mouth platform, making this Instagram contest a promising channel for Four Seasons to engage its core market to reach out to potential guests."

Worth a thousand taste buds

Instagram contests can allow luxury hotel brands to measure the impact of their social media channels and gain a deeper understanding of guests’ interests.

With the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media engagement, providing fans and guests with a creative project attached to prizes seems like a simple way to stay relevant. However, beyond the immediate fun, such contests can arm brands with insights into how consumers respond to their social media pages and how they can structure future offers (see story).

Four Seasons has leveraged Instagram for contests several times before.

On one occasion, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong interacted with a diverse group of young consumers by inviting Instagram users to capture views of the cosmopolitan city.

The summer contest sought to bring new visitors to the hotel and invigorate current visitors with a creative mission. Instagram competitions of this kind breed memorable ties by spurring entrants to make new experiences (see story).

Bringing in reputable editor to judge the contest aids credibility to an already credible event.

"The Four Seasons brand already carries with it all the credibility necessary to execute a digital campaign like this successfully – a fact proven time and time again with the brand’s innovative digital tactics," Mr. Rains said.

"By aligning with Travel and Leisure, the contest effectively becomes something larger than Four Seasons for participating guests," he said.

"Many are likely to be Travel and Leisure readers themselves, making it all the more exciting to participate."

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York