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Session 1: 
Destination Intelligence: Better Living Through Strategy 
Presented by: Matt Clement, Madden Media 

It is the 'Golden Age' of data in the DMO industry. However, this bounty of insights and information has arrived at a challenging time; while the need for destination intelligence has never been greater—the budgets to invest in and sustain those resources have reached historic lows. Discuss how the pandemic and societal challenges have shaped the role of destination intelligence for the DMO industry. How should DMOs tailor their approach to research and destination intelligence? Which information streams are critical, and which are 'nice to have'? How can destination intelligence platforms supplement the work of a research director or help make up for the loss of that FTE on staff?  How can destination intelligence platforms make sense of the data 'noise' and enable enhanced decision making, more effective communication, and improved advocacy efforts? Join the discussion with Matt.

Session 2: 
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Cannabis Tourism: Talking Points for Your Community
Presented by: Roberta King, Canna Communication and Tracy Powers, Agri-Med LLC
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We know our community is seeing an economic impact from people from out-of-town (and importantly out-of-state) visiting our communities to purchase cannabis.  Should this be part of our tourism marketing message?  How can I work with our local cannabis provisionary and yet follow the guidance set by local units of government?  What marketing messages and terminology should be used in the State of Michigan?  Roberta and Tracy will provide insight into possible messaging for your community and will provide examples from multiple communities statewide.

Session 3: 
 
Marketing Research and Trends Panel
Presented by: 
Brian Matson, TwoSix Digital
Eric Hultgren, MLive Media Group 
Jake Sillavan, Madden Media 
Patty Janes, Ph.D., Grand Valley State University 

Brian Matson, TwoSix Digital

The possibilities are endless when destination marketing organizations embrace a culture of coopetition! Hear about some of the latest tools and strategies that will help to empower your next digital campaign. Through the use of cooperative data, the sky is the limit for reaching qualified users who are engaged with your partners and ready to travel.  

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Eric Hultgren, MLive Media Group 

MLive’s subscriber sentiment surveys provided some great insight for DMO marketers during the pandemic.  Now that we are coming out of the pandemic, how have traveler sentiments changed? What do travelers expect has changed and what parts of their travel do they want to stay the same?  Eric Hultgren will lead us through a great presentation at his thorough yet “speed of innovation” pace!

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Patty Janes, Grand Valley State University 

With more than 16,000 completed surveys from participants in more than 40 states, Patty Janes will present overall findings from in-depth DMO surveys.  Survey topics included: the importance of various travel elements, activities enjoyed during travel, types of accommodations utilized, various travel behaviors and overall satisfaction with the community.  This summary will provide insights that will be helpful for marketing decision-makers!

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Jake Sillavan, Madden Media 

Transparent data is arguably the most important item a destination is looking for post-pandemic. With research budgets limited, if not non-existent, what can destinations do to learn about their visitors?  

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Session 4: 
 
Placemaking, From Idea to Implementation
Presented by: Joe & Kirsten Borgstrom, Place & Main

Placemaking is a term that has been used more and more over the past decade, but what is it and how do we execute it? This session will explore the process of, and the role CVBs can play in, placemaking and destination development. Place + Main Advisors’ Joe and Kirsten Borgstrom will share examples of successful placemaking activities happening across the country and how communities are getting from idea to implementation in Placemaking.

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