Bill Geist takes a rare turn as both host and guest in another special COVID-19 edition of DMOU. The past few weeks have seen DMOs come to the aid of hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions like never before. But now, DMO Boards have a meaningful role going forward to ensure that their Organizations are sustainable. From ensuring that community leaders are kept abreast of the Organization's efforts to save local businesses and jobs to working to diversify future revenue streams, Bill encourages DMO Boards to step up to the new opportunity to solidify their Organizations as a Shared Community Value.
In this special COVID-19 episode of DMOU, Greenberg Traurig's Bryan Grimaldi (former COO of NYC & Company) shares his thoughts on next steps for Destination Marketing Organizations as we look beyond this crisis. From planning for that moment that the virus releases its grip on the Visitors Economy to taking immediate steps to survive until that time, Bryan suggests a number of opportunities for DMO consideration in the next few weeks.
For the past decade, many DMOs have slowly evolved from being Destination Marketing Organizations to Destination Management Organizations. The Little Rock CVB, however, has been managing destination facilities there for half a century. CVB CEO Gretchen Hall joins DMOU to share her tales of managing and renovating iconic public facilities. You'll also hear how she helped shepherd forward a downtown entertainment district (featuring an open-drink zone) last summer and how she can trace every good thing that's happened in her career...to basketball.
We are coming up on four years since Don Welsh was named the CEO of the organization today known as Destinations International. In that time, the organization has increased member outreach, professional development options and industry advocacy efforts. In this episode of DMOU, we sit down with Don to discuss what's next...from the revolutionary new joint partnership with Simpleview to create the all new MINT+ meetings database to new services and offerings for small to medium DMOs. If you're a DMO and not a member of Destinations International (or even if you are), this episode is for you.
While most in the Destination Marketing sector signed up because we loved Sales, Marketing and our communities, being adept at politics is becoming more important with each passing year. Monica Smith, CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society, joins DMOU to share her experiences in communicating the value of Destination Marketing and the Visitor Economy to elected leaders...from the nation's Capital to back home in Georgia. In this episode, you'll gain common sense insights into working with legislative leaders (and members of their staff), finding common ground on which you can agree and why taking your message to Capitol Hill is such a powerful move.
In our work with DMOs throughout the Americas, we rarely experience the organizational culture we experienced in our work with Visit Anchorage. So naturally, we needed to understand how this Team was so different. On this episode of DMOU, Visit Anchorage CEO Julie Saupe shares what she believes to be the "secret sauce" behind the staff culture over which she presides. From recognizing staff for the little things to breaking from conventional wisdom on being cool with staff working remotely, Julie suggests some interesting thoughts on way to cultivate a staff culture that rocks. Plus, in the Bonus Round, you'll hear her experience in watering the roof of her first DMO.
Over the past two decades, Searchwide Global's Mike Gamble has seen a significant evolution in what communities and their DMOs expect from their next leaders. On this edition of DMOU, Mike shares the changes he's seen from Board Search Committees over the years and offers suggestions for how DMO pros who are looking for that next opportunity can build their magnetism. Kick off the new year with sage advice from the man that has placed more DMO CEOs than anyone else.
As the pressure builds on public sector investment into Destination Marketing, smart DMOs are looking for alternative revenue streams...and the most successful strategy for over 200 communities has been establishing Tourism Improvement Districts. On this episode of DMOU, we catch up with the man who has had a hand in virtually all of them, John Lambeth of Civitas. In this wide ranging conversation, John shares the genesis of the concept, how DMOs can begin down the path and some exciting news regarding how the Improvement District movement is seeing expansion to other sectors of the hospitality industry. This is a "must-listen" for anyone concerned with the future viability of DMOs.
When a community pushes back on the industry that is its lifeblood, what is a DMO to do? Jennifer Wesselhoff of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce sits in on this episode of DMOU to share the story of how a DMO that thought it was being responsive to its community found itself using all the wrong measures and all the wrong words. Today, the Chamber is at the vanguard of global sustainability, heralded as a model for international DMOs. Jennifer's story is both compelling and inspirational for all Destination Marketing leaders.
What does it take to make the jump to the Big Chair? Two former Number Twos share their experiences as Visit Pittsburgh CEO Craig Davis and Visit KC CEO Jason Fulvi join us for this episode of DMOU. From the importance of mentorship to volunteer engagement in Destinations International, this dynamic duo of DMO Leaders discuss their respective paths to CEO…as well as learning to fly and making the perfect margarita.
While those of us with Convention Centers always dream of upgrades and expansions...what if that renovation meant your primary asset would go dark for two years? In this edition of DMOU, we hang with Louisville Tourism COO Cleo Battle, who shares that the loss of their Convention Center actually made their DMO better. You'll hear how they adapted their team and approach in response to the closure and how they've evolved into a much more effective agency.
DMOs have been marketing to meeting planners for years and the opportunity to innovate their approach is huge. Digital Edge, headed by Mya Surrency and Shirley Smith, helps DMOs use tactics to appeal to meeting planners in new and different ways. Mya joins DMOU to discuss a recently developed program focusing on creating partnerships with local economic development offices to develop more targeted group business and create more alliances in-market.
There are few destination assets as powerful as the Arts in helping to define and magnetize a community...and, for more than just Tourism. George Tzougros (co-founder of the National Creativity Network and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board) joins DMOU for a wide-ranging discussion of how DMOs can more effectively promote and nurture the creative artists and initiatives that exist all around us. You'll also come away with a deeper understanding of how the Arts can create a powerful platform for community development.
Destination Marketing has never been more politicized…but recent budget attacks have actually indicated a path forward in the way we communicate the value of what we do. Destination International’s Jack Johnson shares the research behind the new lexicon that DMO pros will need to employ to establish Destination Marketing as a Community Shared Value. You’ll also hear Jack’s take on refining our message from one of logic and fact to one utilizing emotion in order to capture the imagination and support of residents and community leaders.
And, to see Jack's presentation on the subject from this year's Annual Convention of Destinations International, click HERE.
DMOs often talk about making their destinations “Visitor Ready,” but what about those prospective visitors that are unable to experience our communities due to sensory or developmental issues? On this edition of DMOU, the Greater Lansing MI’s Julie Pingston walks us through how a sensory-friendly theatrical performance of “The Lion King” led to a complete re-thinking of how the Organization would reach out to this previously under-served market. And, you’ll learn how they have engaged over 850 individuals in the community to be trained to assist these individuals.
Targeting Multi-Cultural Meetings and Conventions is nothing new. Destinations like Chicago began addressing this lucrative market over 40 years ago. But, PHL Diversity, a division of the Philadelphia CVB, has taken its work in the space 360 by dedicating their efforts to also ensure that the Multi-Cultural community is visitor ready. PHL Diversity’s Greg DeShields shares the story of how his agency engages Philadelphia’s Multi-Cultural partners to ensure that they benefit from the visitor economy while connecting event planners to authentic experiences while in market.
As the philosophical discussion of whether the "M" in DMO stands for "Marketing" or "Management" (or both) continues in many quarters, the Rockford Area (IL) CVB has blazed its own path over the past decade by focusing on what's best for the community. RACVB CEO John Groh guests on this edition of DMOU with his thoughts on how a "Citizens First" mantra has lifted Rockford's image of itself and for others. You'll also hear why having exceptional video assets at the ready offered the RACVB the opportunity to punch back when Forbes dissed the city...and about one of the most interesting internships one could imagine.
What keeps one of the top Digital Marketers in the DMO space up at night? Visit Austin’s Katie Cook shares her thoughts on the new expectations regrading attribution, new tracking tools that enable smarter marketing decisions (as well as destination development advocacy) and what’s around the next corner (both exciting and potentially disturbing). Plus...a brief travelogue from an island destination you've likely never visited.
Bill Baker’s latest book is called “Place Branding for Small Cities, Regions & Downtowns.” We recently caught up with Bill to learn more about the new book and, more importantly, where he sees the future of Place Branding taking us all. Armed with several case studies to drive home his philosophies, Bill suggests that destination logos may well be giving way to font type to represent a brand…and several other game-changing concepts. Oh yeah...and there's a story about bagpipes and a kilt in there, too.
When Destination Madison publicly endorsed an ambitious lakefront hotel project a decade ago, the push-back was as unexpected as it was swift. While a scaled back version of the project eventually came to fruition, CEO Deb Archer took steps to ensure that the organization would never be in that position again. In this episode of DMOU, Deb recounts the process and shares how her DMO developed a “Decision Matrix” tool that vets every project or legislative initiative that comes before it. You’ll also learn how a Destination Madison-sponsored public art project impacted the community in multiple ways.