2019 CMO Summit
2019 CMO Summit
Apr 28, 2019
Apr 30, 2019
date_range April 28-30, 2019
location_city Houston, TX, USA
location_on Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Destinations International's CMO Summit is your opportunity to join fellow marketing leaders and colleagues from destination organizations to discuss the evolving role of destination marketers and how your destination adapts to the dynamic landscape of place-making. The Summit is designed for destination organization professionals in leadership positions within the marketing department of their organizations, including Chief Marketing Officers, VPs and Marketing Directors.


Four dynamic incubators offering intimate experiential learning with expert leaders in their respected fields will delve into these topics to address current challenges, future trends and best practices.

Join your peers at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of downtown Houston. Please plan to arrive by the afternoon of Sunday, April 28 for the opening keynote at 4:00 p.m. and welcome reception to immediately follow. Plan to depart after 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening following the final afternoon Learning Lab or stay the night and enjoy Houston’s vibrant culinary scene on your own.

Please note that no individual corporate registrations are permitted. Sponsorship opportunities with included registration are available by contacting Nina Winston ([email protected]).

CMO Tom Loftus 1
CMO incubator 2
Culinary incubator 3
CMO Summit reception 4
(1) Tom Loftus, Chief Marketing Officer for VisitPITTSBURGH, talks about "The Pittsburgh Story." at the 2018 CMO Summit. (2) CMO Summit includes many off-site educational incubators. (3) Mitchell Davis, EVP of the James Beard Foundation, speaks to the crowd at the Federal Gallery. (4) Attendees gather at a 2018 CMO Summit reception.



Sunday April 28, 2019
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Details +

Location: Ballroom Foyer, 3rd Floor

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Opening Keynote with Jim Schleckser
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Jim helps leaders grow companies. He specializes in the issues that fast growth organizations experience in their business models, talent, processes and systems as they reach higher levels of performance. Jim works with CEOs and leaders of high growth companies to identify and obliterate the things that stand between them and continued organizational successes.

Sponsored by Northstar Meetings Group

5:00pm - 6:30pm
Welcome Reception
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Cocktail reception with medium bites. Pool side (if weather permits.)

Venue: Four Seasons Pool Deck

Rain Location: Ballroom Foyer

Sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Monday April 29, 2019
7:30am - 5:00pm
8:00am - 9:00am
Details +

Location: Austin, 3rd Floor

Sponsored by Mile Marker 360

9:00am - 10:30am
Welcome and Keynote
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  • Don Welsh, President & CEO, Destinations International.

The Houston Story with Visit Houston

  • Holly Clapham-Rosenow, Chief Marketing Officer, Houston First Corporation

Becoming a Community Shared Value

  • Jack Johnson, Chief Advocacy Officer, Destinations International

Despite our collective efforts over decades, destination organizations continue to be regularly under attack - like they are stuck in some sort of Groundhog Day existence. Through the use of audits, freedom of information requests and public hearings, destination organizations are being labeled wasteful, poor fiduciaries of public money, bad community investments and examples of corporate welfare. Responses that have worked in the past no longer resonate and yet too many destination organizations continue to fall back solely on their economic development argument. In an era where industry performance measurements and ROI that are not understood or believed too many organizations have no other options in the playbook, no allies beyond the core industry partners and nothing to keep an elected official from leaving our corner. 

Join Jack Johnson as he talks about a needed shift in the tourism lexicon and a strategy that will help destinations to positively engage and influence public opinion to shift the way the people of the destination view the CVB and raise the public’s awareness of the organizations’ value.

10:30am - 10:45am
Networking Break
Details +

Sponsored by Pandora

11:00am - 12:20pm
Incubator Lab: Innovation
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Influencing the Traveler of the Future

Judy Kay, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Brand and Communications at HomeAway

  • In 5 years, voice-enabled devices, personalization via AI, chat bots and virtual tours have become pervasive. As technology has changed the world so, too, has travel and consumer preferences for finding, booking and exploring the perfect destination.
  • David Burgess, CEO and President at Miles Partnership will facilitate a conversation with Judy Kay, SVP, Strategy at HomeAway around how data and new technologies are influencing the traveler of the future.

Keynote: Place In-Formation: How New Information Landscapes Help Shift Urban Experiences

Featured Speaker: Dr. Anijo Mathew, Associate Professor, IIT Institute of Design and Founder and CXO, Vamonde

Driven primarily by technology which has disrupted all previous forms of communication, we now live in a world that is highly connected and highly mobile. The result? Urban spaces are changing; the immaterial – new media convergences, fast-paced mobile connectivity, and disruptive social networks collide to shape and redefine the material – built environments and physical spaces. For the last 17 years, Dr. Anijo Mathew has been studying this transformation in cities around the world. In this talk, he will describe how the rules of the game are changing and how information landscapes fundamentally shift the scale and operation of urban place. Through the lens of his research and prototypes, he will show how innovative technologies and experiences can redefine what it means to be an urban citizen.

Venue: The Grove

Sponsored by Simpleview

12:20pm - 1:10pm
Lunch at The Grove
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Free networking lunch with peer to peer table activity to inspire discussion. 

Sponsored by CrowdRiff

1:45pm - 2:30pm
Industry Outlook: A Portrait of U.S. Tourism in 2019 and Beyond
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Speaker: Craig Compagnone, COO, MMGY

From threats of domestic economic recession to figurative (and literal) walls challenging inbound international tourism, what is on the horizon for our industry? Join Craig Compagnone, COO, MMGY Global, as he shares recent market research that helps reveal what is in store for tourism in the U.S. and how destination marketers can succeed despite bumps along the way.

Location: Ballroom A&B, 3rd Floor

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Networking Break
Details +

Sponsored by Pandora

2:45pm - 4:15pm
Incubator Lab: Technology
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How Risk-Taking Led Visit Houston to Success

The team at Visit Houston has come a long way. From a small team with limited resources, to a force of experts with multiple dedicated sites and an augmented reality mobile application in their digital portfolio.

But growth didn’t always come easy. Visit Houston worked relentlessly for years to push boundaries and create innovative solutions to their challenges. Disrupting the destination marketing space often came with significant amounts of pushback, even from citizens of Houston, who protested the launch of the LGBT-focused microsite “MyGayHouston.com” in 2009. But Visit Houston knew that bold moves would put them on the map, and they were willing to take the necessary risks in the moment, and ask questions and come up with resources later.

Join Simpleview for a conversation with Visit Houston, as they provide insights into their success and take a detailed dive into their journey to get there. 

 Purposeful Planning & Advanced Performance Metrics

Travelers are frenetic in their planning, consumers are mobile and use media simultaneously and data-driven marketing is pervasive. Today's media strategies must adapt which means the analysis is more important and far more complicated than ever before. Join us in a discussion of how we ensure we adapt our metrics of success to align with the changing landscape.

Jessica Schultz, SVP, Media Strategy at MMGY will moderate a session with:

  • Suzanne Gunning, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Overland Park
  • Melissa Gogel, Vice President of Marketing, Tourism & Communications, Visit Phoenix
  • Wendy Olson Killion, Global Vice President, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Sponsored by Arrivalist

6:30pm - 8:30pm
Hosted Dinner at The Rustic
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Venue: The Rustic

Meet in the Four Seasons lobby to depart for dinner at 6:15pm. This is a casual, outdoor event. We highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes!

Sponsored by Tempest

Tuesday April 30, 2019
8:00am - 9:00am
Details +

Location: Austin, 3rd Floor

Sponsored by Mile Marker 630

9:00am - 11:05am
Incubator Lab: Branding
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Keynote: Piera Gelardi, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Refinery 29

The Element of Inspiration

Moderator: Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA

  • Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Jeremy Harvey, Communications & Marketing, Visit Savannah
  • Wendy Olson Killion, Global Vice President, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Social Media's Role in Brand Education and the Complete Consumer Journey

Speaker: Nick Evans, Social Media Director, Hills Balfour

Join a discussion with Nick Evans, Social Media Director, Hills Balfour, on the sector’s growth from a catalyst to wanderlust and inspiration into a fundamental tool for delivering brand education and developing destination awareness. Nick will discuss the role social media can play throughout the entire consumer journey and explore how education can happen despite platforms being in a constant state of evolution and consumer attention spans shifting. How do we measure all of this? Nick will look to build on the traditional approach to ROI and examine what social engagement really equates to, analyzing the return different forms of engagement give brands while sharing insights, best practices and case studies on this topic.

Sponsored by Digital Edge Marketing

11:05am - 11:15am
Networking Break
Details +

Sponsored by Pandora

11:20am - 12:20pm
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Sponsored by Miles Partnership

12:30pm - 1:30pm
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Sponsored by Fuseideas

1:30pm - 2:30pm
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Sponsored by Miles Partnership

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Networking Break
Details +

Sponsored by Pandora

2:45pm - 4:30pm
Incubator Lab: Diversity & Inclusion
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Blurred Lines: How to Navigate the Changing Boundaries of Gender

Bernadette Smith, CEO, Equality Institute

31% of centennials and 20% of millennials are identifying as LGBTQ+. 10 states now offer third gender options on state IDs. Airlines now let passengers set their gender as "unspecified." What does this mean for your business? 

A lot.

In her thoughtful and humorous presentation, Bernadette will address the "blurred lines" around gender that can cause confusion and lead to missed business opportunities. She'll highlight everyone's role in creating an environment where the full diversity of gender is embraced and welcomed.

Developing Story: Compelling Consumers to Action through Content

Ryan Thompson, Senior Vice President, Miles Partnership

Explore the latest trends, data and shifting consumer behaviors that are driving the continued success of storytelling marketing in travel and hospitality. This session explores the step-by-step process behind great storytelling; combining the best of literature, journalism and marketing into a path for success. Learn how storytelling marketing is used to engage new and different audiences including the promotion of diversity and inclusion topics with travel brands.

Peer to Peer Open Forum

Sponsored by TripAdvisor

4:35pm - 4:45pm
Closing Remarks
* Schedule subject to change.
2019 CMO Summit- Destination
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2019 CMO Summit- Speaker
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Four Seasons Hotel Houston
1300 Lamar St
Houston, TX, USA
Group rate: US$ 219.00 per night
Cutoff date: March 30, 2019

To book online:
  1. Go to fourseasons.com/houston.
  2. Click on "Check Rates."
  3. Select dates and enter your promo code (case sensitive): CI0419CM
  4. Confirm room and details
You may also book directly with Hotel’s reservation department at (800) 734-4114 and ask for the 2019 Chief Marketing Innovation Summit group rate.