Oh yes, this is happening. We are less than 2 weeks away from celebrating DMAI's centennial, and while we may be an old organization, and an old industry, we're not slowing down for a second.
Taking that to heart, while there are plenty to keep you occupied throughout the convention, I've taken the liberty of filtering out a short list of things DMO sales pros really need to look out for at the Annual Convention from July 20-23 in Las Vegas.
Before we dive in however, I just need to remind everyone that if you plan on attending but haven't already registered, online registration is closing this Friday, so save yourself the time and trouble onsite by just doing it now. If you're not attending, be sure to follow the journey on social media. Just search #DMAI14 on Twitter, and you'll be sure to get highlights and major takeaways from attendees as they get crushed by the sheer weight of knowledge that will be dropped every hour on the hour.
OK, now that that's out of the way... onto the good stuff!
Sunday, July 20
It's almost imperative you get into Las Vegas the afternoon before the official kick off and take advantage of the dedicated Roundtables going on. Previously known as "Shirtsleeves," Roundtables are your chance to exchange business practices, creative ideas, and trending experiences; with your peers. You'll want to attend the Convention Sales Roundtable, and considering nearly half of convention sales leaders believe that "Services is the new sales," I would spend some time in the Convention Services Roundtable as well.
Monday, July 21
If your destination focuses on a particular niche market, don't miss out on Niche Roundtables on Monday morning. There are rooms dedicated specifically to marketing and selling beach destinations, healthcare hubs, sports-focused destinations, rural or quaint locations, and university towns.
Tuesday, July 22
This one is a biggie. Some of the most interesting minds will be sharing their thoughts in the session forwardTHINKING: Fresh Perspectives on the Future of Meetings. Cathy Tull from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will guide us through the experience and insights from Stephanie Glanzer, Vice President of Sales, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino; Todd Hansen, Lead Conference Programmer, SXSW Interactive; and Justine McVaney, Association of National Broadcaster. I'll personally be tweeting any insights they have on harnessing technology, engaging new audiences, and rethinking buyer/seller interaction. Follow me at @JoyLinDMAI.
The Business Exchange will offer significant time today to explore the multitude of solutions, tools, and research that will help your DMO in a variety of areas. If you're interested in any industry standard solutions and research from DMAI, find us in Booth #500. I know that the empowerMINT team is in the process of launching some robust new ways to connect meeting planners to DMOs, so bring your marketing colleagues along and find out what's in store for you.
Also on Tuesday, I want to draw your attention to a very interesting piece of research being presented on how meeting planners are using online and digital resources to research their meeting locations and engage with suppliers. Initial results indicate that DMOs are very distinctly missing out on the conversations that are taking place online. So, be sure to grab your marketing colleagues and head over to Digitally Disoriented: What Sales & Marketing Teams Need to Win Business from Today’s Digitally Oriented Meeting Planner and find out exactly what you've been missing and how to fix that.
Be an advocate for the meetings industry. U.S. Travel is sharing updates and insights from its recent Meetings Mean Business educational circuit touting the imortance of the industry we represent and its impact on not only the economy, but business creativity and relationships. Join this panel to find out more about what you can do to get involved.
Wednesday, July 23
If you're interested in a future driven by metrics and data, you'll want to sit in on The Future of DMO Global Bench Marketing and Shared Intelligence: Why is it Important and What are We Afraid Of? In this age where so much information is at our fingertips, we would be so remiss to pass this opportunity to master and understand our own industry's performance and behavior in order to make better decisions and make stronger cases for our importance to stakeholders. Don't pass the opportunity at the Convention to find out more.
For those looking to build stronger sales teams, look no further than Going from Good to Great: The Traits of Hiring Success May Not Be What You Think. The landscape for destination sales has and will continue to change, so be sure to gain a roadmap to success in this session -- complete with a step-by-step approach and real-world examples on how you can take the guessing out of the hiring process and produce amazing sales results.
Back to the Business Exchange, I forgot to mention that DMAI is also holding scheduled Live Demos and Workshops for the industry's various solutions like empowerMINT.com, Destination Arena, Event Impact Calculator, and MINT. Check out a full schedule and list of topics here, and come prepared to bring your burning questions straight to the experts themselves.
So there you have it, I hope you're as excited as I am to see what's in store during these jam packed days ahead. See you soon in Las Vegas -- or on the hashtag #DMAI14. Happy Centennial, everyone!