Full Program

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

8:15am - 9:15am
Experiential Sessions-only Registration
(Separate fees apply; pre-registration required.)

Morning | Experiential Sessions: Experience-the-Destination

8:30am - 1:15pm
In the Dome: Biosphere 2

9:00am - 12:00pm
Scenic Sabino Canyon

12:30pm - 5:30pm
Tech Summit Registration Open

Name badges sponsored by Madden Media

1:30pm - 3:00pm
Learning Lab #1

Make It a (First) Party - Lead-gen Tools for Audience Segmentation and First-party Data Ownership
Presenters: Erin Griss, Marketing Manager, and Emilie Harris, Director of Marketing Operations, Bandwango

Crafting unique ways to engage with potential visitors has proven to be the best way to fight growing privacy concerns and the disappearance of cookies. In 2022, capturing first party data is widely regarded as one of the most important marketing goals a DMO can have. Beyond that, being able to segment those visitors into areas of interest can allow for e-mail marketing optimization. General e-newsletters and website forms are the tools of the past. Join this conversation to discover new ways DMOs across the United States and Canada are using lead generation as a tool for marketing success. This session will cover trail development, but also tools like website chat bots, “lead magnets” and Facebook’s lead generation paid marketing campaign option.

3:00pm - 3:30pm
Sweet & Savory Snack Break

3:30pm - 5:30pm
Learning Lab #2

Take Control: Social Media Tactics to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Presenter: Brian V. Matson, Senior Director of Strategy & Education, TwoSix Digital

The Wild, Wild West of digital marketing may be coming to an end. The times are changing and so must our approaches to social media marketing. No longer is a purely organic strategy going to cut it. To maximize our results, we must adopt new ways of thinking and embrace tools that will help us do our job more efficiently and effectively. In this learning lab discover how you can work smarter and not harder with a new approach with little help from your destination partners both locally and regionally. You’ll learn how to take control of your marketing messages to ensure that the right consumers see your messages using a paid first, cooperative approach to market your destination.

6:00pm - 7:00pm
Welcome Reception at Last Territory & the Courtyard at El Conquistador Resort

Sponsored by Drozian Webworks

Sip, savor and nosh as you enjoy time with industry friends and colleagues at the welcome reception.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

7:30am - 5:00pm

7:45am - 8:30am
Hot Breakfast Buffet

Sponsored by Smart Meetings

8:30am - 9:15am
General Session Presentation

How the West was Won: The Latest Research and Data on Why Travelers Head to Western Destinations
Presenters: Simon Caballero, Tourism Data Specialist, Near; David Reichbach, Senior Director of Analytics & Data Security, Destination Analysts; Andrea Wood, Vice President of Business Development

This session will combine the latest research and data to equip your destination for success in the rest of 2022 and beyond. Miles Partnership, Destination Analysts, and Near (formerly UberMedia) will combine insights from The State of the American Traveler, Destinations Edition 2022; custom analysis of 2021-2022 geolocation data for the western U.S.; and case study examples of successful western, U.S. and global campaigns that drove “quality” visitation – with a focus on length of stay, off season and/or travel to less-visited parts of a destination.

9:15am - 10:00am
Vendor Showcase & Refreshment Break

10:00am - 11:15am
Workshop A | Future Proofing Your Digital Advertising

What you need to know about the changes to the digital advertising landscape that will change the way you do business today - relevant definitions, future success strategies, and case studies
Presenter: Tania Leichliter, Head of Global Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Ad+genuity

Just when you thought you understood how to develop a comprehensive digital media plan strategy, you got hit by a tornado! Swirling in the funnel we see Cookies going away by 2023, new ways of targeting consumers bubbling up, streaming TV growth overtaking linear TV — and amidst this all you are getting bombarded with sales calls from people saying their product and/or services do things that you don’t really understand. Help is here - we will bring you up to speed, and future proof you for what is ahead.

10:00am - 11:15am
Workshop B | Evolving from Insights and Data to Actual OUTCOMES on the Community

Presenters: Todd Aaronson, CEO, Visit Modesto; Julie Chase, CMO, Visit Austin; Patrick Harrison, CMO, Visit Tampa Bay; Tony Lyle, CMO, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Moderator: Ted Sullivan, CMO, Zartico

In 2021 we were advised to embrace data and measure something new and difficult. Well, what did we do with it and what was the outcome? Did it make the visitor experience better? Did we improve the lives of our fellow residents? And, did we evolve our DMO? Several DMOs will share how they took insights for events, credit card spend and geolocation data to create positive change in their communities. They didn’t just look at some platform pie charts and bar graphs and share them with their board and stakeholders, they created outcomes that make great stories for DMO advocacy. The best leaders are storytellers, come hear what they have to say.

11:15am - 11:30 am
Quick Break

11:30am - 12:45pm
Workshop C | Wrestling the 800 lb. Gorilla: What’s Past, Present, and Future at Tripadvisor

Presenter: Steven Paganelli, CDME, Director, Destinations, Hotels and OTAs, Americas, Tripadvisor
Moderator: Wes Rhea, CDME, CTA, CEO, Visit Stockton

Join this fun, no holds barred, session with Tripadvisor, which kicks-off with a short presentation on the latest traveler insights and free ways for destinations to leverage the platform before Wes Rhea and Steve Paganelli engage in an open conversation and audience Q&A tackling tough subjects such as:
•    The Product Graveyard: Loved (and not-so-loved) solutions that met untimely deaths
•    Love Connection: Where is the Tripadvisor & Destination relationship headed?
•    Meetings Mean Business, but can Tripadvisor help?

11:30am - 12:45pm
Workshop D | Winning Visitors and Influencing Travelers - Turning Search Traffic into Paying Guests

Presenter: Jason Dodge, Founder & CEO, BlackTruck Media + Marketing

The pandemic has created an extraordinary “pent-up” demand for travel, driven by reclaiming those vacations people missed out on last year or the business travel they were unable to take due to heavy restrictions. Sentiment data and reports echo this trend. With vaccination rates rising and more consumers willing to travel, they turn to online resources before booking their trip, but the rules have changed. More often than not, the travelers visiting your region are the new influencers, and they’re influencing more than Instagram and TikTok. Search engines like Google, are constantly making changes to their algorithms and playing “favorites” to specific types of content they display. Gone are the days of just developing content that gets people to your site, the content must now convert a traveler to pack up their bags and commit to visiting your region. This session will share actionable insights to help your region determine how travelers are searching for their next experience, and will demonstrate how nano influencers play a large role in the new economics of search. User generated content (UGC) and understanding who you’re really competing with online for attention is key to increasing the number of paying guests in your area.

12:45pm - 2:00pm
Group Luncheon & General Session Presentation

Leverage LinkedIn and Social Ads for Meetings, Groups, and Sports!
Presenter: Brian V. Matson, Senior Director of Strategy & Education, TwoSix Digital
Luncheon sponsored by Tripadvisor

During this session, discover strategies to grow your groups, meetings, and sports business within your destination by leveraging LinkedIn and other social advertising networks. We’ll discuss strategies to help you build relevant audiences and the tactics you’ll need to grow your base, nurture leads, and book more group business. You’ll walk away from this session with some fresh ideas to get more groups coming into your destination.

2:15pm - 3:30pm
Workshop E | Traveler Insights to Capture Demand for Destinations

Presenter: Jessica Johns, Senior Regional Manager of Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Traveler behaviors and expectations continue to shift as the industry navigates the recovery road and rebuilds in the midst of changing border restrictions and health regulations, making it even more challenging for destinations to remain competitive, stay top of mind and, ultimately, capture demand. Through custom research from Expedia Group Media Solutions and Expedia Group first-party data, we explore how the latest trends in traveler behavior and intent, along with key insights into digital media consumption, are impacting and guiding the digital strategies and channels travel marketers use to effectively reach and engage the right audience at the right time. Industry best practices and case studies will give attendees tangible examples of how to turn these traveler insights into action.

2:15pm - 3:30pm
Workshop F | Rethinking ROI for the Modern DMO

Presenters: Hannah Chute, Media Director, and Matt Clement, Managing Partner, Madden Media

What’s the state of ROI and attribution in 2022? As privacy policies become stricter and direct causation becomes more untenable, DMOs are struggling to build data analysis and measurement programs that accurately capture their ROI. Add in the additional pressures introduced over the past two years and it’s easy to see why traditional ideas about ROI and attribution may be in need of reinvention. Join Madden Media’s Hannah Chute and Matt Clement to  learn how to rethink ROI for the modern DMO.

3:30pm - 4:15pm
Vendor Showcase & Refreshment Break

4:15pm - 5:00pm
General Session Presentation

Presenter: Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media

In the digital space two big trends emerged in 2020: the rise of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and Facebook making a big bet on the “metaverse” (technology that allows users to “live” in a digital space using virtual reality, e.g. augmented reality). At first glance, both trends do not seem to be that relevant for the tourism industry. After all, we want visitors to come to a destination “in real life.” We want them to buy real things that create economic impact and not digital goods. But that perspective could be shortsighted. While NFTs and the metaverse are still in their infancy, both will most likely have a profound way on the world ─ on the way humans interact and how companies sell their goods and services. Marketers should understand the underlying technology, challenges and opportunities. This session will not only cover these trends, but also provide examples of how this new technology could be used by travel marketers.

5:15pm - 8:15pm (times subject to slight change)
Offsite Reception (Transportation provided)

Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens
Sponsored by Visit Tucson and Simpleview

Tohono Chul Park was named one of the World’s Great Botanical Gardens by Travel + Leisure and it was listed by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S., and it’s easy to understand why. Tohono Chul Park features beautiful gardens and nature trails, art exhibits, guided tours and more. Nestled into Tohono Chul’s 49 acres of natural Tucson desert are multiple distinct botanical gardens. Easy to traverse and accessible paths meander throughout the grounds with surprises and delights at every turn. And, yes, the gift shop will be open!

Friday, April 1, 2022

7:30am - 1:00pm

7:45am - 8:30am
Hot Breakfast Buffet

8:30am - 9:30am
General Session Presentation

Digitally Connecting Artisans and Travelers | Technology that Powers Collaboration
Presenters: Lee McLaughlin, CTA, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Tucson; Andrea Martinez, Interactive Art Director, Simpleview; Travis Yewell, Associate Creative Director, Simpleview

It is undeniable that 2022 will be the year of DMO and community alignment, with no better example than your host destination, Tucson — the first U.S. city to be named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Visit Tucson is turning this moniker into a community resource with its new Gastronomy website. The digital environment works as a strategy to inspire community engagement and drive awareness to local restaurants and artisans. With a USDA grant, the three partners, Visit Tucson, Startup Tucson, and Simpleview joined forces to create a digital environment to inspire, connect, and ultimately drive revenue to the community business.

9:30am - 10:15am
Vendor Showcase & Refreshment Break

10:15am - 11:15am
Workshop G | TikTok Trends and Best Practices for Destination Marketers

Presenters: David Reichbach, Senior Director of Analytics & Data Security, Destination Analysts, and Gwynne Spann, Director of Content Marketing, Visit California

Learn about the latest trends on TikTok for destination marketing. With data from Destination Analysts’ national travel sentiment tracking study and video clips from qualitative in-depth interviews with real travelers who use TikTok, this session will shed light on how TikTok is currently used for travel inspiration and travel planning. A DMO representative will join Destination Analysts to share successes, challenges and best practices around marketing a destination through short-from videos on the fastest growing social media app.

10:15am - 11:15am
Workshop H | The Death of See | Play | Do: Implementing Natural Language Into Your Website Navigation and Site Structure

Presenter: Bryce Henry, Senior Sitemap Analyst, Simpleview
Sure, “see, play, do” is a fun and catchy concept, but it’s now a navigational trend of the past. The tracking of natural language and popular search habits gives us better insight into naming conventions that will help organize your site structure to match what users are seeking. Join this session to learn how to begin implementing natural language in your navigation and site content.

11:15am - 12:30pm
Closing Luncheon & General Session Two-Part Presentation

Drop Culture: What DMOs can Learn From the Fashion Industry AND Remember When? Leverage Your Past to Create Your Future

Presenters: Arianna Howe, Vice President of Performance, and Claire Fisher, Account Director, Sparkloft Media

For streetwear fashion brands “drops” are a big part of the marketing strategy. A limited release of merchandise creates buzz and activates the brand’s most loyal fans. Recent data for the travel industry shows that emerging from the pandemic travelers are most motivated by events as a reason to travel. One-time or limited-time events give consumers a reason to book without delay, play into FOMO and create great marketing opportunities. But the drop culture playbook is more sophisticated – it is about leaning into fanatical relationships between consumers and brands to maximize sales and engagement. This session will explain how fashion brands do it and why sentiment data points to opportunities for DMOs to the same.
We all miss the times when things seemed much simpler and less stressful (and we wore fewer masks). Marketing messages that play into this emotion resonate really well as the sense of belonging, safety, comfort that nostalgia creates allows brands to connect with consumers on a personal level. For destinations there are many easy (and cost effective) ways to benefit from this trend be it through content generation, social media engagement or paid distribution. We will show you 7 proven tactics that will allow your 2020s marketing to work with your budget from the 1990s.

Safe travels back home.