Full Program

March 3, 2021 | Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session A - Great Marketing Comes with Great Responsibility

Presenters: Sheretha Bell, Vice President, Brand, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Matt Borud, Marketing & Innovation Administrator, Idaho Department of Commerce; Dan Janes, CEO, Madden Media

What does being responsible in your marketing efforts actually mean? There are layers to being trustworthy and conscientious marketers in the travel industry. From over-tourism to environmentally responsible publications, there are many ways your organization can take socially responsible leadership. This includes privacy-centered promotion, inclusive representation in creative and personalized content, and ensuring your agency is actively working to develop long-term growth from the resources they trust. During this presentation, we’ll talk about what KPIs you should be expecting, share great creative examples and discuss how to increase your responsible marketing across all channels.

March 3, 2021 | Wednesday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (Three Express Sessions)

Session B - Pivot Plus

Presenter: Eliza Voss, Vice President, Destination Marketing, Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Aspen can present how we pivoted an existing Sustainable Tourism Effort (How to Aspen) to accommodate for travel in a COVID world – “How to Aspen in a COVID19 World.” In addition to creating this useful content, the program included creating a visitor resource guide that all stakeholders utilized in their own communications so that all guests were receiving unified messaging when considering a vacation to Aspen.

From Content to Conversions: Adopting Methods from Leading Retailers

Presenter: Emilie Harris, Director of Marketing Operations, Bandwango

DMOs have focused for years on understanding how travelers book vacations – from inspiration to visitation – but what if we stopped thinking about vacations as trips and instead thought of them as products? We’re digging into Bandwango client data and sharing parallels we’ve found between the retail and e-commerce space and destination marketing. Using examples from retailers like Urban Outfitters, MVMT Watch Company and StitchFix, we’ll make the case for why your current approach might not be driving anything more than time on site. This session focuses on strategic shifts you can make in your website, advertising and overall strategy to capture more conversions and make your website a more powerful tool for driving visitation.

Using Data and Insights to Plan Your Content and Paid Media Strategy

Presenters: Paul McLeod, Director of Analytics, and Jason Swick, Vice President of Strategy & Insights, Simpleview

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has dramatically impacted DMO web traffic in 2020. Tune in to this webinar as the presenters walk you through the data and insights Simpleview has compiled from destinations all over the world. Based on these insights, Jason and Paul will identify the types of content you should be focusing on and how to adjust your paid media strategy accordingly.

March 4, 2021 | Thursday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session C - DMO Data Clutter—We Might Have a Problem...  

Presenters: Patrick Harrison, CMO, Visit Tampa Bay and Ted Sullivan, CMO, Entrada Insights

No matter the size of the DMO, we have too much data clutter! Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. Throughout our DMO industry, we often hoard data, no matter how small the report. We’ve had to justify our existence for decades, so we’ve created this fear if we don’t report the same metrics we did last year, we may lose our budget. We all experience distress at the thought of getting rid of the items we have in our spreadsheets. There is so much data out there: Marketing attribution, STR reports, surveys, website statistics, jobs data, relocations... and tons more. We need to declutter! DMOs are spending too much money, and they don’t need everything available. Together we can create a method using the correct insights and best data to make a better case to our stakeholders much easier and more compelling in the future.

March 4, 2021 | Thursday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session D - Vendor Product Demos | CrowdRiff | Simpleview | Sparkloft Media | Arrivalist

March 10, 2021 | Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session E - Destination Disruption: The Art of Strategic Storytelling

Presenter: David Flanagan, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, MISFIT Agency

Everybody is telling the same old story. There is no clear or compelling differentiation. How can we begin to tell another story? Destinations often rely solely on the beauty and other obvious natural assets of the destination itself, completely overlooking the real story. It’s time to disrupt the apple cart. Find the right story. Tell it an unexpected way. Learn how to tell a whole new story in a powerful new way. We’ll review traditional approaches to destination marketing and then discuss the art of REAL storytelling. Learn how to find a more compelling story. David will also discuss human psychology and the story structure. In addition, David will incorporate an aspect focusing on how issues such as COVID, safety, and/or political unrest might affect communication and messaging.

March 10, 2021 | Wednesday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session F - The Future of Visitor Guides: How COVID is Shaking Up the Printed Visitor Guide vs. eBook Debate and What It Means for Your DMO

Presenters: Chris Adams, Head of Research & Insights, Miles Partnership; Erin Francis Cummings, President & CEO, Destination Analysts; Ariane Hiltebrand, Director of Marketing Systems & Insights, Sonoma County Tourism; and Susan Richardson, Director of Content & Digital Marketing, Visit Austin

The COVID pandemic has created some unique challenges for printed visitor guides and short-term opportunities with ebooks. DMO budgets and co-op advertising revenue are both under real pressure. How are DMOs grappling with these challenges and what does the largest-ever DMO Visitor Guide study – commissioned by the DMA West Foundation – say about the role of the printed visitor guide both during the pandemic and its longer-term future? Join us for the latest insights and a lively debate on the future of the official visitor guide – best practices in managing your visitor guide strategy both during the crisis and in the recovery.

March 11, 2021 | Thursday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session G - Maximizing the Utility of Geo-Location Data

Presenters: James Minton, CDME, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing, Visit Santa Barbara and David Reichbach, Senior Director of Analytics & Data Security, Destination Analysts

Destination Analysts will walk through this groundbreaking foray into garnering valuable insights from geo-location data. Discover what visitor questions can be answered with this innovative and unique research approach. Starting with a critical look under the hood Destination Analysts and Visit Santa Barbara applied tourism expertise, knowledge and perspective in analyzing geo-location data to identify how it can best serve destination marketers.

March 11, 2021 | Thursday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session H - Vendor Product Demos | 100 Digital Creativity, Madden Media, Relic, Visit Widget

March 17, 2021 | Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session I - How to Leverage Locals to Bring Visitors to Your Destination

Presenters: Julia Manoukian, Senior Content Marketing Manager, CrowdRiff, and Toni Smith, Director of Communications, Tempe Tourism Office

Destination marketers face a unique challenge today: serving both locals and visitors. The shift hasn’t been easy, yet some DMOs are experiencing record levels of engagement on their websites, growth on their social channels, and participation from their communities. In this session, we’ll pull back the curtain on what has made these marketing strategies so successful. You’ll learn how these DMOs use locals to attract the right kind of visitors, the digital channels and tools they rely on, and how they stay agile. You’ll hear how one DMO is leveraging locals in multiple ways, and walk away with tips and practical advice on how to transform your locals into your most powerful marketing engine. If you’ve struggled with engaging both local and visitor audiences, you’re not alone—in this session, we’ll teach you how to drive record levels of engagement across your marketing channels and attract the right visitors using those who know your destination the best: your locals.

March 17, 2021 | Wednesday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session J - How to Make Stellar Creative Without Stellar Assets (or: How to Use What You Have to Get Great Content)

Presenters: Lorien Steele, Creative Director; Colin Ofloy, Associate Creative Director; Elissa Kevrekian, Associate Creative Director, Sparkloft Media

In this session, members of the Sparkloft Media creative team will share their content creation process when they work with clients who do not have the budgets to shoot new photos or videos, but have to use existing assets to create compelling ad units or engaging social content. Participants will learn agile content production methods, tools to use and techniques recommended to work best with existing assets.

March 18, 2021 | Thursday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session K - Anywhere, Not Here: Activating Your Search Marketing Post-COVID 

Presenter: Jason Dodge, Founder & Chief Strategist, BlackTruck Media + Marketing

2020 was the year of staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 and beyond is the year of being anywhere but “here.” Travelers are clamoring to get away, is your destination ready? This session explores the trends of travel seekers in a post-COVID world, and how your search marketing strategies can be tuned for optimal performance that encourages visitors to your destination. Travel is coming back in a big way, and your destination needs to be there now when they are looking.

March 18, 2021 | Thursday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session L - Vendor Product Demos | Bandwango, RootRez, Tempest Interactive Media, UberMedia

March 24, 2021 | Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session M - Creating Engaging (And Easy!) Virtual Experiences

Presenter: Erin Wygant, Content Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

Virtual experiences are vital to our destinations – now more than ever. Help keep your destination top-of-mind while also keeping potential visitors and your community safe by inviting travelers to get a taste of your destination from the comfort and safety of their home. Learn from the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau as they share how they turned their yearly “Savor the San Juans” campaign (www.visitsanjuans.com/savor) – usually a month-long medley of farmers markets, farm tours and harvest dinners – into a month of virtual tours, cooking and baking classes, wine tastings, film festivals and more. Discover how they blended pre-produced videos with live audience participation to create engaging virtual experiences. Utilizing simple tools like iPhones, Zoom and Facebook, their virtual campaign not only delivered short-term ROI by boosting web visits, YouTube views and social media engagement but also built long-term loyalty by bringing fun, discovery and connection to attendees and local businesses. Learn how to create your own engaging, virtual experiences!

March 24, 2021 | Wednesday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session N - To Tik or to Tok? Everything You Need to Know About the Emerging Network of TikTok

Presenter: Brian Matson, Director of Strategy & Education, TwoSix Digital

In this webinar, get the latest information that you need to consider when it comes to whether or not you should be leveraging TikTok (and other similar services) for your business/organization. This emerging social media application is taking the world by storm and comes with some compelling reasons why you should consider adding it to your digital marketing mix. Learn why you should or shouldn’t dive into the fascinating world of TikTok.

March 25, 2021 | Thursday | 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Session O - Leverage Business Listings to Drive Economic Recovery 

Presenters: Kate Jorgensen, Product & Platforms Manager, and Cecilia Suvagian, Database Information Specialist, Travel Oregon

As we emerge from the economic fallout of COVID-19, it is critical to drive business to the travel industry as part of our recovery efforts. These efforts must include the widest possible distribution of tourism businesses and experiences, to maximize their exposure, while not overburdening our already resource-strapped industry and small business partners. It is no secret that listing management in the travel industry is fragmented and inefficient. And while it is beneficial to businesses to be listed on DMO websites, this model is self-serving. With the lion’s share of search happening in Google’s ecosystem, it is imperative for businesses to be surfaced there first. Join the Travel Oregon team to learn how they are trying to connect these dots, to gain efficiencies and add deep value to businesses and DMOs across Oregon.

March 25, 2021 | Thursday | 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Session P - Vendor Product Demos | Destination Analysts, Drozian Webworks, Tripadvisor, Miles Partnership