Kristen Jarnagin has been reinventing Destination Marketing in her community since taking the helm of Discover Long Island in 2015. On this edition of DMOU, she shares the backstories of their recent forays into producing a weekly YouTube TV Show, a Video Podcast and their blazing success on TikTok (where they have over 55,000 followers). Oh yeah...and a Bonus Round question that likely beats your most-unusual-summer-job-ever story. It's a lively half hour of conversation with one of the bright new stars of our sector. Join us.
Earlier this year, Destination Greater Victoria became the first major metro DMO in North America to achieve a Carbon Neutral designation. CEO Paul Nursey shares how Sustainability went from near the bottom of the list of 300 things he planned to achieve when he took the helm of his organization to one of their North Stars. From intentionally analyzing the environmental cost of his own team's travel to launching a national convention (hosted in Victoria) focused on Sustainability in Travel and Tourism, Paul's story is a compelling example of how we all have a role in preserving our communities.
Visit Savannah is known as one of the most innovative DMOs in America...and that didn't stop with COVID-19. On this episode of DMOU, CEO Joe Marinelli shares the story behind one of the first Safety Pledges in the nation...and how the program will likely evolve in the future. You'll also hear how Savannah successfully staged live conventions during the height of the virus (which encouraged other meetings clients to move their events to Savannah) and how the community is just about to break ground on a Convention Center expansion during a moment in time when other destinations are backing off their plans.
Destination DC's Elliott Ferguson is Chair of the recently founded organization called Tourism Diversity Matters. On this episode of DMOU, he shares the vision for the organization, why (with everything else going on in DC the past year) he felt compelled to take on this role at this time and how DMOs can continue to up their game in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is about the uncomfortable conversation...one that Elliott encourages us all to have more often.
We had the opportunity to work with Montana's Glacier Country Tourism last year and were simply blown away with how engaged the Board of Directors was in driving home the Vision and Mission of the agency. CEO Racene Friede joins DMOU to share how their unique brand of onboarding, diversity in member selection and an annual Strategic Planning cycle makes GCT one of the highest performing DMOs in the nation. And, you'll hear how a serendipitous business trip changed her life on our Bonus Question.
Visit Alexandria CEO Patricia Washington joins DMOU for a wide-ranging conversation that focuses on the transformation of her destination. From ensuring a more representative marketing message to flipping the historically heritage-facing brand to a hipper rendition of the community's primary strengths, you'll hear how the DMO and its partners are capitalizing on a more recent heritage that is more compelling for today's consumer that is searching for the truth. And, answering a rare fourth question, Patricia shares her suggestion on how her peers can capture this moment in time and turn it into something special.
On this edition of DMOU, we welcome Destination Analysts' Erin Francis-Cummings to the microphone for a wide-ranging conversation that showcases exclusive new research into how DMO leaders perceive their future. She also shares fresh insights into how Meeting Planners view DMOs in a post-COVID world...and other insights relative to the pandemic that will help DMO pros prepare for the days ahead.
Jim Cowan heads the Chickasha OK Economic Development Council...and is playing the long-game. While he certainly hosts potential investors to the community, Jim is focusing a lot of his work on the Chickasha brand. On this episode of DMOU, you'll hear the unique philosophy and vision of an Economic Development guy that sounds a lot like a Destination Marketing pro. Music Videos. PR coups that go International. And, a story about Jimmy Stewart. It's a refreshing conversation with a bright new voice in Community Development.
It's been over two decades since destination marketing turned digital...and the number of platforms we use to touch consumers and clients has exploded. TwoSix Digital's Dave Serino and Brian Matson share their thoughts on what's next for destination marketing, how DMOs are missing opportunities to own their data and how e-mail marketing is far from passe. Plus, you'll learn what Dave aspired to be, growing up as a kid in Pennsylvania, in the Bonus Round.
As Co-Chair of Destinations International's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Visit Baltimore's Al Hutchinson has been at the forefront of the movement to accelerate change across the travel, DMO and hospitality sectors. In this episode, he shares the backstory of this Summer's manifesto from Black leaders in the DMO space, the newly released CEO Pledge from Destinations International and how Visit Baltimore is partnering with Guinness on an innovative apprentice program. Oh yeah...and a Bonus Round question that screams "Hit Me." It's a great way to kick off a bold New Year of DMOU.
All destinations aspire to be welcoming communities...but only a handful of communities have moved to ensure that the welcome truly extends to those on the Autism spectrum. Visit Mesa CEO Marc Garcia recently shepherded a community-wide effort that resulted in his city becoming the first Autism Certified destination in America. On this episode, Marc shares his story from genesis to certification...and his road to becoming a DMO pro.
Norfolk and Virginia Beach are less than a half hour apart but have been destination competitors for decades. In a DMOU episode recorded in September, VisitNorfolk's Kurt Krause shares the process that brought the two destinations together for a legendary campaign that very well may have serious post COVID legs. You'll also hear how VisitNorfolk is working to bring the story of the region's Underground Railroad to life.
One of the nation's most sought after marketing strategists joins DMOU to offer her take on what's ahead for Destination Marketing and the Experience Economy in a COVID-vandalized world. In this episode, Marsha Lindsay suggests ways for DMOs to underscore relevance and teach our communities how to fall in love with themselves once again. She also shares her views of how forces outside the DMO world will impact our lives going forward. It's a fascinating conversation for anyone trying to divine what's next.
DMOs that are active in the Sports Tourism and Events field have a new tool created to measure their competitiveness, enabling them to make more informed choices in future facility development and event acquisition. On this edition of DMOU, Jon Schmieder (Founder of the Huddle Up Group) shares the evolution of the Sports Tourism Index, how it works...and a sneak peak into the imminent launch of Scout, a new searchable database designed to match events and destinations.
The fall-out from the pandemic has impacted Destination Marketing Organizations particularly hard...and no one is more tied into how that is impacting DMO Culture than Tammy Blount-Canavan (former DMO CEO, past Chair of Destinations International and now EVP with Fired Up Culture). On this episode, Tammy shares her thoughts on how Zooming has impacted leadership and collaboration, how this moment in time is an opportunity to diversify professional staff and much more...including the story of when she once stood on the top of Seattle's Space Needle.
Jake Steinman joins DMOU to share the evolution story of the TravelAbility movement. From creating a Summit that brought the disability community together to help advise the tourism and hospitality industry to next steps during the pandemic, Jake shares his exploratory journey into the realization of our collective lack of empathy for travelers with disabilities. And yeah, there's a Bonus Round question you're not gonna want to miss.
As with most public gatherings, Destinations International's annual Advocacy Summit is going virtual this year. On this episode of DMOU, Jack Johnson, Andreas Weissenborn and Gabe Seder preview the upcoming Summit and discuss the need for diversified revenue streams, the updated 2020 lexicon and the opportunities to more effectively tell our story.
Stevens Point is the 28th largest city in Wisconsin, yet its DMO's utilization of sector-specific technology rivals first-tier destinations across the country. We sit down with Sara Brish of the Stevens Point Area CVB to discuss her philosophies on investing in technologies to compete more effectively and operate more efficiently...and not letting destination size or budget prevent her DMO from operating like a major market operation.
This Summer, Nashville's Butch Spyridon assumed the Chairmanship of Destinations International. On this edition of DMOU, he outlines his agenda for the organization in the coming year, focusing on Diversity and Advocacy. In our conversation, Butch goes deep on both topics and shares his experience in producing brand-defining documentaries that showcase the voices behind Music City.
Earlier this year, Simpleview asked sector veteran David Peacock to lead its Future Tourism Group, a think tank created to envision next steps and design the necessary tools to get there. In this episode, we sit down with David to discuss how the process began, pivoted and is positioning itself to guide DMOs into the future. Plus, we talk about broken bones and how an unintentional Visitors Center almost cost a destination a boatload of money. Join us.