2020 Advocacy Summit | October 15 & November 12, 2020

We are at a time of significant change in our industry and around the world. We are in a time of crisis, a seminal moment, a defining moment. We are at a watershed, a decision point, an inflection point - a strategic inflection point.

This is a point in the life of our organizations when the fundamentals are changing. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights; however, it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end. The choice is yours.

Answer the Questions icon
Answer the questions driven by this strategic inflection point and put it in perspective.
Acquire tools icon
Acquire the information, insight, tools, and tactics you want and need to grab hold of this opportunity.
Inspire Your Organization icon
Inspire your organization to acknowledge the inflection point, seize the moment and rise to new heights.
0

October 15 Keynote Speaker

Sara Ross Headshot

REBECCA RYAN

Rebecca is a futurist, author, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of NEXT Generation Consulting and has held residencies at the Alliance for Innovation, the Governing Institute, and the Association of Government Risk Pools. She is the board chairperson and faculty member at the Institute for Zen Leadership.

Session Recordings

Content and session recordings are now available for attendees.

Use your Destinations International member login to access the recordings, or contact us if you need assistance.

0

October 15 Virtual Agenda

Schedule subject to change.
Welcome Coffee
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM ET
Welcome | Learning from Our History: Detroit 1896 to Today
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM ET
Details +
We are at a point in time in the life of our organizations when the fundamentals are changing - a strategic inflection point. Learn what makes this opportunity different from others.
Don Welsh headshot Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Maura Allen Gast headshot Maura Allen Gast
Executive Director
Visit Irving
Can Advocacy Accelerate Recovery?
10:30 AM - 10:50 AM ET
Details +
Historic travel industry losses continue to mount. However, signs of recovery point to big opportunities for destinations over the next 18 months. During this session, Adam Sacks will share Tourism Economics' latest views on the economy, expectations for how and when travel will fully recover, as well as perspectives on the interplay between advocacy and a sustainable long term recovery.
Adam Sacks headshot Adam Sacks
President
Tourism Economics
Destination Safety: The New Priority
10:50 AM - 11:20 AM ET
Details +
Destinations International has stated that it is the job of the destination organization to pitch in and help make a destination safe – to make the residents feel safe so that travelers can be invited to visit. If residents feel that they and their community are at risk, you may be courting disaster with any external marketing campaigns. Visitors must be made to feel that your destination is safe to travel to and that it has gone the extra mile to ensure that safety is the first concern.

Discover Long Island has been a leader in taking on this challenge with the hiring of an Official Health & Wellness Ambassador. Hear from both the President & CEO, Kristen Jarnagin, who adopted this strategy, and Dr. Michele Reed, who acts as an advisor on health and safety-related protocols to tourism industry leaders, as they share safe travel tips recommendations on how to enjoy Long Island’s tourism attractions and vast outdoor experiences.
David Peacock headshot David Peacock
Senior Advisor, Future Tourism Group
Simpleview
Kristen Jarnagin headshot Kristen Jarnagin
President & CEO
Discover Long Island
Dr. Michele C. Reed headshot Dr. Michele C. Reed
Official Health and Wellness Ambassador
Discover Long Island
Advocacy Solutions Case Studies
11:30 AM - 11:55 AM ET
Details +
Join us for specific case study examples presented by our industry partners.

Sessions:
• A Tale of Two Recoveries
• Broader Coalitions & Accountability
• Destination Resilience
• Proving Impact: Life Without a Destination Organization
Advocacy Solutions Case Studies
12:00 PM - 12:25 PM ET
Details +
Join us for specific case study examples presented by our industry partners.

Sessions:
• The Audacity of Future Proofing
• The Importance of Allies: Building Recovery Through Connection
• Using Research to Show the Value of the DMO
• Where Do We Go From Here? Evolving Your Mission
Lunch Break
12:25 PM - 1:00 PM ET
The Importance of Resident Sentiment in a Crisis
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Details +
Communities are often the environment wherein residents develop identities, forge relationships with peers, and create meaning and coherence in their lives. A community's reputation - shared beliefs among residents about the positive or negative qualities of a community - can influence people's views about themselves and the broader community. We are excited to welcome back Longwoods International for this exclusive release of their 2020 Resident Sentiment study. We will be taking a deeper look at what changed for this year with a deeper discussion as to why this matters to a destination organization. Join us for part 1 of this discussion, to be continued at the November 12 Advocacy Summit.
Amir Eylon headshot Amir Eylon
President & CEO
Longwoods International
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Senior Director of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
The Unusual Suspects: The Community Benefit Funding Model
1:35 PM - 2:10 PM ET
Details +
At the 2020 Annual Convention, the Destinations International advocacy team introduced the concept of a Community Benefit Funding Model. This model is based not just on "heads in beds" but in a broader view of the direct beneficiaries of destination promotion. This session picks up where that session ended and will explore specific funding sources.
Gabe Seder headshot Gabe Seder (Moderator)
Senior Director of Advocacy Policy
Destinations International
Ray Hoyt headshot Ray Hoyt
President
Tulsa Regional Tourism
John Lambeth headshot John Lambeth
President & CEO
Civitas
Community Engagement and Grassroots Lobbying
2:15 PM - 3:05 PM ET
Details +
When it comes to engaging your community's residents or government officials at the statehouse or city hall, nothing beats assistance from an expert. Join us for this panel of four experts in community engagement and government lobbying, as they offer their thoughts on the current state of politics in Canada and the United States. They will also address successful community and government outreach strategies, tactics and messaging... critical areas that every destination organization must invest in for the next normal.
Angela Val headshot Angela Val
Chief Administration Officer
Philadelphia CVB
Imran Ansari headshot Imran Ansari
VP of Community Engagement
Discover Long Island
Rob Leforte headshot Rob Leforte
VP of Community Engagement
Impact Public Affairs
Gary Sanchez headshot Gary Sanchez
Director of Public Affairs
VisitDallas
Lexicon 2020: Expanded with New Words to Know and Use
3:10 PM - 3:40 PM ET
Details +
The Lexicon is based on the idea that relying merely on ROI numbers to defend the value and relevancy of a destination organization was no longer a viable advocacy strategy. Instead, destination organizations need to support that message with an emotional and value-based appeal to convince political leaders and community stakeholders that without a destination organization, these returns will inevitably vanish. Utilizing Quorum, the world's most comprehensive database of legislative information, we were able to build a list of key words that were used repeatedly by elected officials when talking positively about travel and tourism. We then ran an analysis of political discourse around related topics and public goods, and found that many of the same key words were being repeated by political leaders. In 2018 we released a master list of ten keywords. A year later, we updated that list and expanded it to twenty words. This year Destinations International released our 2020 edition of thirty words with country specific lists for Australia, Canada, and the United States. This session will review the words AND discuss strategies to put them in use at your destination organization.
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Senior Director of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Shirtsleeve Roundtable Discussions
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM ET
Details +
Join us for breakout room discussions of current advocacy trends.

Breakout Rooms:
Learning From Our History & Destination Safety Sessions
Community Engagement & Grassroots Lobbying Session
The Unusual Suspects & Pandemic Recession Sessions
Resident Sentiment & Lexicon 2020 Sessions
Closing Keynote: Rebecca Ryan
4:20 PM - 5:00 PM ET
Closing Remarks & Yappy Hour
5:00 PM - 5:35 PM ET

November 12 Virtual Agenda

Schedule subject to change.
Welcome Coffee
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM ET
Election Insights and Policy Outlook
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM ET
Details +
Join two individuals with politics, government and destination organizations in their blood – Bryan Grimaldi of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Jack Johnson of Destinations International - to discuss the intersection of those three and the impact of the recent US national, state and local elections along with a handful of Canadian provincial elections. With the position of destination organizations never being so fragile, the funding and policy impacts of this round of voting has never been so critical to understand.
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Bryan Grimaldi headshot Bryan Grimaldi
Of Counsel
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
A Conversation with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
10:30 AM - 10:50 AM ET
Details +
Darrell Steinberg is one of Sacramento’s most accomplished public servants, serving the Sacramento community for more than 20 years as a city council member, state assembly member, state senator (serving as President of the Senate) and mayor. He has championed economic development, education reform, building sustainable communities and major investments in healthcare and education. Most recently he has secured significant new resources to tackle difficult problems such as homelessness and economic inequity. He also believes that travel is “an important part of our economy and community” and the work of Visit Sacramento is “not a luxury” and that it is critical “to grow our modern economy.” Meet Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Visit Sacramento President and CEO Mike Testa as they are interviewed by John Lambeth, President & CEO of Civitas Advisors.
The Business Case for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
11:00 AM - 11:25 AM ET
Advocacy Solutions Case Studies
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM ET
Break
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM ET
What Keeps Us Up at Night
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Details +
In what has become one of the Advocacy Summit’s most popular sessions, the Destinations International Advocacy and Research team looks past the horizon and spotlights issues and topics that we see as ripples that will turn into waves of change for our sector. In a year of many sleepless nights, we once again return to peering beyond the cacophony of issues and unrest we have faced with focusing on just a few core trends we see for our next normal. Please join us once more into the fray.
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Senior Director of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
No More Excuses: Working with Economic Development Partners
1:30 PM - 1:50 PM ET
Details +
Never before has two groups needed a strong working relationship than economic development commissions and destination organizations. Whether it is limited resources on one hand or a shared vision on the other, the need is there and there are no more excuses for not working hand in hand. Join two experts in the area who have worked together – Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Maura Gast, President and CEO of Visit Irving Texas as they are interviewed by Gabe Seder, Senior Director of Advocacy Policy and Program Development at Destinations International.
The Architecture of an Advocacy Plan
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM ET
Details +
Destinations International's Chief Advocacy Officer, Jack Johnson, will walk attendees through. step by step, his outline for a successful Advocacy Plan. From assessing your current situation, to setting big goals to building coalitions to developing a constituency to using the lexicon in your messaging, this session will give you the basic architecture of a sound advocacy approach.
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Destinations International Products As Advocacy Tools
3:00 PM - 3:25 PM ET
Details +
Destinations International Advocacy, Research and Products teams come together to walk you through products produced by Destinations International and its partners - most free with your membership - that can aid you in your advocacy efforts. Join Destinations International's Andreas Weissenborn and Alyssa Poulin along with partner Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics to cover a wide range of tools and products including a brand new one that measures economic ROI in a manner to establish the full value of destination organizations.
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Senior Director of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Alyssa Poulin headshot Alyssa Poulin
Product Engagement Manager
Destinations International
Adam Sacks headshot Adam Sacks
President
Tourism Economics
Advocacy Shirtsleeves
3:30 PM - 4:10 PM ET
Looking Forward To The Next Normal
4:10 PM - 5:00 PM ET
Details +
We opened this Summit with a look back at our history and we are closing it with a look forward. Join Don Welsh, Destinations International's President and CEO as he engages with three destination organization leaders who have been at the forefront of breaking new ground. Hear how what they think, with their vast knowledge of our industry, will define the next normal.
Happy Hour
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET