November 9 – 10, 2020
 Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando™
Orlando, FL

In-Person Agenda

Day 1
Monday, November 9, 2020

A Case Study: Data and Audience Sharing with Conversions  

This program features a case study on a northern Michigan resort – Crystal Mountain Resort – and how we leveraged their in-house resort reservation data to build custom and lookalike audiences and then leveraged audiences built from specific pages on the Traverse City DMO website. We have examples of how each audience performed in terms of conversion along with campaign creative and retargeting ads. We also have pixel data on conversions and can explain the process of using offline conversions to determine direct revenue from the campaign. 
  • Dave Serino, Founder & Chief Strategist, TwoSix Digital
Dave Serino

Attracting Smart, Responsible Travelers to Your Destination

Your industry is hurting and crying out for you to start marketing to bring visitors back. But your residents and government officials aren’t ready to welcome tourists back – and the media’s constant parade of stories showing mask-related fistfights and large groups flaunting social distancing measures isn’t helping your cause. Traditionally, destinations have targeted against attributes like HHI, interest-based personas and market origins, so, how do you a) target and recruit responsible travelers through your media strategy, and b) convince your residents and government stakeholders you’re not going to introduce the “second wave” of infections to your community? In this session, learn how you can work with programmatic and publisher partners to introduce new profile and targeting strategies for your media to ensure you’re bringing in the “right” visitors to your community, and how to convince skeptics that you’re not secretly trying to create herd immunity in your community.  


  • Nate HuffSenior Vice President, Miles Partnership
Nate Huff

Rethinking Your Strategy During COVID

The tourism industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, forcing destinations to cut programs and scale back. But It’s also provided DMOs with an opportunity to rethink their strategies and investments. In this session, Simpleview will share a few examples of how destinations are using data to adapt their marketing strategies.


  • Paul McLeod, Director of Business Intelligence, Simpleview
Paul McLeod

The Road More Traveled

With airline capacity cut drastically, the Americans who are traveling during the pandemic are hitting the road. Arrivalist data will reveal how travel patterns have shifted, where new opportunities are emerging and how clients are adapting to the new normal. Arrivalist will share the story behind the Daily Travel Index, issue some bold predictions, propose new datasets and strategies to prepare for the new normal, and reveal 5 real-world case studies on how clients are using new data to measure impact and attribution on today’s travel.   

Cree Lawson

Finding a Data Unicorn to Make Your Case- Mining Data Intelligence as Currency for Policy and Budget Changes: Salt Lake City’s Convention District

DMOs are inundated with data. While data can provide insights and information on what has happened, it does not always provide a holistic view of what to do next. This session will tell the story of how Visit Salt Lake used data intelligence to change government policy and increase funding for their hardest hit district. Though the State of Utah and the outskirts of Salt Lake City were recovering fairly well, the Convention Center District’s visitor economy was decimated. Through quick and agile leadership and armed with Entrada analytics, VSL improved the experience for the visitor and bettered the lives of the residents who live and work downtown.


  • Ted Sullivan, CMO, Entrada Insights

Planning for Pivots

The only constant is change. If we needed a reminder of how true that is, 2020 kicked us in the face with that reality. In a world where the economic downturns, health crises and natural disasters converge, even the idea of planning ahead seems like an impossible task. But with the right toolsets and mindsets, marketers can build strategies with the fortitude to handle swift change by planning for pivots and adapting to an increasingly volatile marketplace. If 2020 has a silver lining, it’s made us rethink the “truths” that have guided our thinking in the past and showed all of us how resilient we can be.


Dulani Porter
Staci Mellman
Day 2
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Podcasts for Destinations: Why and How to Tell Your Story with a Growing Medium

Podcasts are one of the fastest growing mediums and by their nature are fantastic for storytelling. However, the barrier to entry can seem daunting for a destination that wants to explore new ways of getting their story out to new audiences. In this presentation we’ll share the story of how Visit Beaufort, SC, and Relic Agency came together to create the Inner Coastal Podcast. We’ll touch on why podcasts make sense for destinations, the hurdles to overcome, and how to get started in an efficient manner.
  • Josh Scheer, Director of Digital Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, Relic
  • Robb Wells, President & CEO, Greater Beaufort – Port Royal Convention and Visitors Bureau
Josh Scheer
Robb Wells

The Power of Data in Your Destination Recovery Strategy

In the current travel landscape, data is one of the most important tools for marketers. Having access to the right data can inform marketing and audience targeting strategies, deliver powerful results, and demonstrate the true impact of campaigns. Join Expedia Group Media Solutions to learn how destinations are connecting to consumers across our global network of leading travel e-commerce brands. Plus, recent insights on traveler intent and sentiment, travel shopping trends and insights-led best practices for engaging with travelers on the road to recovery.

  • Derek Price, Director, Business Development North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Derek Price

Proving Impact: Life Without a Destination Organization:

Many are the elected officials who, presented with the impact of their DMO, have replied with a terse, “But visitors would come here anyway.” In this session, you’ll hear about one destination that leveraged the Tripadvisor Insights Platform to show:
  • The difference in impact between travelers who “came anyway” vs. those specifically targeted by the Destination Organization,
  • How they turned travelers to competitive destinations into “destination loyalists” for their own destination, and
  • The direct impact of their advertising on the restaurant and attraction categories.


  • Carol Johnson, Senior Principal Client Partner: Florida, Caribbean & Int’l, Tripadvisor
Carol Johnson

Leaning On Your Neighbor: How 4 Small Cities Created a Big Impact

See how 4 small communities in Missouri came together during a difficult time to creatively co-brand their destinations as an experience. The Katy Trail created a partnership that launched an overall brand, sub-brands, and a microsite to push this initiative with a shoestring budget and quick turnaround. Learn how your destination can identify similar opportunities with neighboring partners or destinations and benefit your community. You are not alone in rebuilding your community’s tourism industry so don’t be afraid to lean on your neighbors to grow again.


  • Ryan Callison, Managing Director of Destination Strategy, Madden Media
Ryan Callison

2021 – The Year of Opportunity

We’ve all heard enough about 2020. Now it’s time to focus on the future. A vaccine for COVID-19 is almost here and travelers are actively planning their first major post-pandemic trips. This means that the coming weeks and months are critical for DMOs. In order to take advantage of the opportunity on the horizon, they need to lay a strong foundation and have a clear vision for their 2021 marketing activities. The world has changed dramatically. Consumers have evolved: they’re looking for different experiences, have different concerns, and behave differently online. At the same time, marketing budgets and resources have been decimated, increasing the need for flexibility and collaboration. These qualities will continue to be crucial in the coming months. Success will require tapping into the resilience we’ve developed and nurturing new, innovative ideas that can meet the challenges of a very different world. At Sparkloft Media we are committed to sharing the data, insights and best practices needed to navigate the moment. We’ll identify new target audiences, test new content formats and platforms, and help you bring messages to life across increasingly important digital and social channels. Opportunity is on the horizon, and we’re here to make the most of it.


Renata Tilkian

How DMO’s Can Drive Performance-based Outcomes Through Consumer Identity

There’s no denying the damage and uncertainty COVID-19 has brought upon the tourism industry and local economies. DMOs need to adapt to today’s new normal and the future, to deliver results that meet and exceed stakeholder expectations. Now is the time to enact change. What you’ll learn in this session:

  • Marketing strategies that lead to clear, demonstrable ROI for your community
  • Rethink your role as DMOs—moving from simply marketing to management
  • Specific action items to help ground your efforts and kickstart your evolution
  • How to rethink your metrics and prove impact
  • Insights from other destination marketers on their COVID challenges and successes


David Chastain

Applied Machine Learning in DMO Marketing: Case Study Visit Tampa Bay

Alvaro and Patrick will be talking about the practical applications of Machine Learning to public data in DMO Marketing. They will look at Computer Vision and Natural Language processing models to drive differentiation and efficiency.
Alvaro Melendez
Patrick Harrison

First-Party Data and Why You Should Always Want More

Frank Vertolli, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Net Conversion, discusses the value of first-party data and why it is becoming increasingly important.  As a travel marketer, learn how and why you should be collecting this information today and the best practices for applying it in the future.
Frank Vertolli

3 Digital Marketing Tactics to Reboot International Travel for 2021 on a Small Budget

Learn about how Visit Park City has developed a digital strategy to reach travelers in the UK, Australia, Brazil and Mexico at a shoestring marketing budget. By applying data-driven content tactics, Facebook/Instagram and Google can help you find the right global audience that will book travel in 2021 and future years.


Florian Herrmann

eTSY Awards

Sponsored by Expedia Group Media Solutions

7 Deadly Vendor Sins

For those who didn’t go to Sunday School or watch Seven, you really don’t want to miss Leah as she outlines all the things vendors should NOT do. 


Leah Chandler

Laying a Foundation: How Empowering Your Locals Impacts Future Travelers

The thread of a destination is in the people, culture, and vibe of the area. Since COVID, there has been a natural shift towards local outreach where historically, the focus of DMOs and CVBs has been on attracting leisure & business travelers. However, empowering locals has and will always be a strong tactic to entice future travelers to visit. This panel will describe a foundation upon which including a local marketing component into your long term paid and organic strategy can effectively impact future visitation.
Mo Parikh

Influencers or Superheroes? How Influencers Can Radically Connect and Support Your Messaging in 2021

Now more than ever, having a personal and relatable experience with a destination is the key difference between booking and visiting or skipping entirely. To get there, you need to have influencers’ stamps of approval. Through their eyes you can showcase new safety guidelines, how welcoming and diverse your destination is, and how to experience your city or state in a new way. We’ll walk you through our 2021 influencer campaign guide — how to navigate uncharted times and shift to hit targets. Bring your notebook, because you’ll leave inspired, with actionable steps to plan for in the new year! 


Jade Broadus