Since starting with DMAI's empowerMINT initative almost three years ago, one of the most common questions I've received when talking to DMOs that are thinking about joining our online movement is: "Why would I want to be in one place with all my other competitiors?"
In case you're not familiar with empowerMINT and our website, it's an online destination finder that educates meeting professionals about the value of working with a DMO and to connect with them in one place. Hence, the question at hand. Why would a destination want to hang out with all their competitiors? And more importantly, why would you want to hang out in one place that looks the same for everyone when we're all spending significant marketing dollars trying to make all our websites individual and unique?
The truth is, every destination, every DMO, and ever DMO website is a snowflake. As your industry association, DMAI is here rather, to bolster your uniqueness in three main areas that your uniqueness cannot reach:
1. Customer Access
Have you ever heard of restaurant row? It's where everyone goes when they don't know where to eat, because they know there's at least dining options to consider. Think of empowerMINT as the restaurant row of destinations and their DMOs. A meeting planner may not always think of your destination first. Google might not be serving up your website first when planners use broad search terms like, "meeting venues" or "conference centers." With the combined content of over 130 destinations, we are able to optimize for our collective presence in major search engines, therefore making it easy for planners who don't know where to go yet come to a place that has it all.
2. Industry Power in Numbers
You can also consider empowerMINT like an online tradeshow. Just as you gather with your fellow competitors at tradeshows put on by various industry organizations, empowerMINT is able to take all of your individual profiles online and push it out to destination search tools and other web pages on our partners' websites like Tarsus, MPI, PCMA, TSNN, Cvent, HelmsBriscoe, and Destinations Showcase. Think of it like a 24-7-365 tradeshow where you and your destination are constantly available to be searched for and found by planners where they are already browsing online.
3. Advocating for Your Value
Lastly, empowerMINT is a hotbed for planner education. With biweekly newsletters to over 20,000 planners, monthly meeting planner webinars, countless articles, blog posts, interviews, and video resources, we loudly voice your value to the meeting planning community. We also take the opportunity to engage with our clients by understanding what their pain points and drivers for success are, which in turn guide content for training you -- the DMO sales professional -- to become an even better partner.
So here's to hanging out with our competitors. In this day and age, our biggest threats can often become our greatest collective asset, and empowerMINT is here to make the most out of it.