2018 Destinations International Annual Convention Recap

Marketing Manager
Published 9/5/18
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Earlier this summer, members from the Miles team attended the 2018 Destinations International Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. The 104th Annual Convention brought together over 1,600 industry members for a jam-packed event full of insightful sessions and opportunities to learn about the latest topics and trends in the industry. Our team had a great time and we’re already looking ahead to the 2019 Annual Convention in St. Louis next summer!

Here is a recap of Miles’ participation at the convention along with some additional resources you might find helpful including access to session recordings and presentation decks:

Global All-Stars Mainstage Session

This year’s Global All-Stars brought together three speakers and three critical trends that are reshaping destinations and travel. Airbnb’s Cassidy Blackwell shared insight into destination storytelling highlighting the elements that drive Airbnb’s most compelling and buzzworthy content. From the latest in Placemaking, DIALOG’s Alan Boniface explained the new emerging trend of how reimagining downtown and public spaces can benefit visitors, businesses and locals. To conclude the session, Stafford Marquardt from the Google Street View team shared how Google is working with destinations to add 360 content and other mapping information to fill in the map all around the world. If you weren’t able to make the session, the presentation recordings and slide decks are now available.


Global All-Stars Immersion Lab

This year we had the opportunity to share an immersive storytelling experience with convention attendees in our Global All-Stars Immersion Lab. Joined by the team at OmniVirt, we displayed a combination of Miles projects and OmniVirt projects that showcased interactive and immersive experiences. Read our blog post for more on this experience.


The CVB and the Future of the Meetings Industry

This session gave an inside look at the most recent groundbreaking meetings industry research conducted by Destination Analysts in close conjunction with Destinations International and Miles Partnership. It took an in-depth look at the ideal leadership and functions of the destination marketing organization in the meeting planning process, including an exploration of the evolving meetings business and metrics for performance evaluation. Erin Francis-Cummings, President and CEO of Destination Analysts, presented these insights based on a comprehensive study conducted in 2018. Click here to watch the presentation recording. 

Google’s Global Content Initiative for DMOs: One Year On

Following the announcement from Google at the 2017 Annual Convention, over 40 destinations across multiple countries have since participated in the groundbreaking new program, the Google DMO Partnership Program. The program allows destinations to review and contribute content across Google’s platforms. Destinations involved have updated content, held industry education events and uploaded thousands of images in addition to Street View 360 content and videos of their destination. This workshop provided an update on the program, how it will develop in the future and some of the most innovative content experiences DMOs have developed thus far. Visit the Google DMO Partnership Program page to learn more and if you missed it, you can also watch the session’s recording.


Personalization vs. Optimization: Battle of the Buzzwords

Personalization, optimization, segmentation, targeting… this session covered all this and more! While it’s known that these strategies are all important parts of marketing your destination, determining the difference and the strengths of each is less familiar. Personalization and optimization are vastly different, but not mutually exclusive. Personalizing your marketing content is essential to provide your target audiences with what they want, when they want it. Optimization is equally as essential in deciding how best to present that content to increase conversions and drive your audience to complete a goal. In this session, Miles’ Lucia Schepps and CA Clark discussed each strategy and shared insight on when destination marketers should personalize, when they should optimize, and when they should do both. Watch the recording now to learn more.