"CVB sales professionals are best suited to get meeting planners exactly what they want and need to make their meeting a success. "
Now that Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Annual Convention is over, I am feeling truly inspired. I just want to say thank you to all that were able to make it to Las Vegas this year. The best part of any meeting, for me, is the opportunity to connect with industry partners face-to-face. Because at the end of the day, that’s what this whole association is about: people.
And what a great time to be part of this industry as DMAI celebrates its 100th anniversary! I really feel it is an acknowledgement of 100 years as an industry and what it means to have a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) in one’s community. It really is not always about the destination, but the journey along the way.
Celebrating 100 Years of Destination Marketing
Wow, 100 years! How did we get here?
Let me tell you…
In the early 20th century, there were “convention secretaries” that traveled throughout the country promoting their city as a destination to hold meetings. In 1914, there were enough “convention secretaries” promoting their cities that they decided to form the International Association of Convention Bureaus (IACB) to collaborate as an industry. The basic goal of IACB was to agree upon a code of ethics, determine best practices to advance the industry, and exchange meeting histories, called blue sheets.
Blue Sheets were used to share meeting histories between cities. That small beginning of exchanging blue sheets is now what we know of as MINT the historical database, which is part of empowerMINT.com.
Now called DMAI, our organization has over 600 destination marketing organizations (DMOs) from 16 countries. But the principals of collaboration that started our organization are still alive and flourishing today.
From “Convention Secretary” to CVB Consultant
Today we are joined in that collaboration with our industry meeting planner partners. In fact, empowerMINT.com’s mission is to bring together DMOs and meeting planners. While DMOs ultimately compete with one another for some meeting business, they also recognize the importance of helping meeting planners navigate their destinations for a successful outcome, working together to communicate the value meetings bring the destination as well as collaborating to be responsive to the needs of today’s meetings.
At DMAI’s empowerMINT.com we educate planners about the powerful role DMOs can play in their events, advocate directly for their value to planners, and specifically what CVB sales professional brings to the table.
CVB sales professionals are best suited to get meeting planners exactly what they want and need to make their meeting a success. They allow planners to acquire destination knowledge and take advantage of all of their destination connections and resources. They are the consultant who can help planners achieve their goals and deliver a stand out meeting or event in any destination.
Finding the Information Planners Need
100 years ago, convention secretaries would travel around the country promoting and educating planners about their destination. While this is still practiced by our CVBs today, there are also many other ways planners find information on meeting locations and venues. We know the Internet is great for general research; but nothing can replace the connection with destination experts who can answer planners’ specific questions, offer advice, as well as provide many other services ultimately saving planner’s precious time and money.
Our industry is continuously evolving and I look forward to diving deeper into these and other issues over the next year and hope you will join me as we work together to increase collaboration and have a greater impact to our industry.