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Schedule at a Glance Register Now

Destination organizations are a community asset responsible for programs promoting their community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through their knowledge of the destination, brand management, promotional programs, and the resulting impacts of visits by people, destination organizations strengthen the community’s economic position and vitality which provides opportunity for all the people in a destination.  

Recognizing residents as their ultimate customers, destination organizations have an expanded leadership role to play within their communities. This includes playing a supporting role in efforts led by others on issues that, for too long, organizations have avoided and claimed were not within their scope.

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As the 2021 DestinationNEXT Futures Study states, “Destination organizations are expanding their roles in many directions. They are aligning with government and community organizations more intentionally to support initiatives designed to improve social issues and local quality of life; fuel priority sector development; attract outside investment and high-value talent; and elevate the overall destination brand beyond a tourism lens.” 

The Summit presents ideas, strategies, and tactics for destination organizations to successfully embrace their role as a community asset that aligns with their residents and advocates for their needs.

Optional Professional Development Opportunities

CDME logo
CDME courses will be offered prior to the start of the Summit. Don't miss this opportunity to further your professional development!
Sunday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 26
View Courses | Register Now
EDI Workshop logo
Join us for this interactive EDI workshop to provide your destination organization with a roadmap on how to take actionable steps to implement EDI initiatives regardless of where you are in the process.
Wednesday, October 26 | 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM CT
Add the workshop on to your Summit registration during the checkout process

Register Now
Member Rate Non-Member Rate
Advocacy Summit US$895 US$1345
EDI Workshop Add-On US$199 US$299
Use your Destinations International member login to register.

Attendees by Budget Size

Attendees come from destinations of all shapes and sizes. The summit offers unparalleled opportunity to network with peers facing the same challenges that you are.

Attendees by Job Level

The summit is geared towards destination leaders who are responsible for marketing, community engagement and destination development. Take a look at the breakdown of attendees by job level.

EDI Workshop logo

The workshop is eligible for up to 3 CDME CE credits

The EDI Workshop is approved for up to three (3) CDME CE credits. Learn about CDME recertification.

Wednesday, October 26

Design and Implement Sustainable EDI Initiatives in Your Destination Organization
1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Details +
This interactive EDI workshop will provide your destination organization with a roadmap on how to take actionable steps to implement EDI initiatives regardless of where you are in the process. During this session, you will have the opportunity to learn from colleagues, ask questions, and get started on your implementation strategy As a workshop recipient, you will be the first to receive DI’s EDI Workbook, which outlines how to build a strong and reputable foundation within your destination organization.
Sophia Hyder Hock headshot Sophia Hyder Hock
Chief Diversity Officer
Destinations International
Advocacy Summit logo

The workshop is eligible for up to 13 CDME CE credits

The Advocacy Summit is approved for up to sixteen (16) CDME CE credits. Learn about CDME recertification.

Wednesday, October 26

Advocacy Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Welcome
4:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Forward Thinking Leaders
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Details +
Join this powerful discussion with Fortune 500 and other community leaders from the Twin Cities on how to create culture of equity, diversity and inclusion in your business and your community. They will share their stories and best practices about what equity, diversity and inclusion means across different industries, and provide actionable take aways that will help you enhance your EDI efforts in your destination.
Welcome Reception
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Thursday, October 27

Mall Walk (Complimentary Registration Required)
6:15 AM - 8:00 AM
Details +
World-class health care organization Mayo Clinic has partnered with Mall of America to map out one mile, 5K and 10K walking paths inside the Mall! Mall of America’s vice president of communications, Dan Jasper, will lead the group in a one-mile mall walk while sharing fun facts about the inner workings and history of Mall of America. Post-walk, grab-and-go breakfast from the Lululemon Fuel Bar will be available.

Complimentary registration required. You may add the session during the registration process for the summit, or add the session to your existing summit registration.
Yoga Class (Complimentary Registration Required)
6:15 AM - 8:00 AM
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Start your day with a moment of Zen with a yoga class at Lululemon’s flagship Mall of America store. A Lululemon ambassador will lead the group in a relaxing, 40-minute beginner class. After class, grab-and-go breakfast from the Lululemon Fuel Bar will be available.

Complimentary registration required. Limited to 25 participants. You may add the session during the registration process for the summit, or add the session to your existing summit registration.
Networking Breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Welcome and Overview
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Details +
Welcome to the Summit from Destinations International's President & CEO Don Welsh and Foundation President Vail Ross. Event overview by Anna Tanski.
Don Welsh headshot Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International
Al Hutchinson headshot Al Hutchinson
President & CEO
Visit Baltimore
Vail Ross headshot Vail Ross
SVP, Global Business Development & Marketing
STR
Anna Tanski headshot Anna Tanski
Summit Moderator
The Essential Elements of Community Shared Value
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM
Details +
To kick off the summit, Destinations International's Chief Advocacy Officer offers a view of the essential elements of the community shared value concept including the values they are based on and the implications they have. He will also outline how you can use these values to build out a successful advocacy strategy.
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Community Awareness: New Resident Sentiment Data for Canada and the United States
9:45 AM - 10:30 AM
Details +
Picture Amir Eylon as the CEO of a destination organization. We have asked him to do just that and in that role, have asked him to lay out how he would use resident sentiment data to advocate. Amir will outline how he would develop resident advocates for funding and building new tourism product, being the trusted source of important word of mouth to friends and relatives, and being the beneficiary of the financial gains from this vital economic engine. As part of this session we will release a preview of the results of the 2022 National Resident Sentiment Study Towards Tourism for both Canada and the United States.
Amir Eylon headshot Amir Eylon
President & CEO
Longwoods International
Networking Break
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Creating Regular and On-Going Interaction With Your Residents, Stakeholders and Public Officials
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Details +
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes. This session will walk you through how several organizations regularly engage with their community in order to make the difference.
Bringing Left and Right Brain Data Together in a Community Indicator
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
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It is critical to identify a clear and powerful community-facing measurement(s) to highlight how a destination organization is filling the community need for destination promotion. This session provides an overview of a six-month effort to explore what such a measurement would look like for our industry sector.
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Vice President of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Workshop: Bringing Left Brain, Right Brain Data Together in a Community Indicator
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Details +
Building off of the two previous sessions, attendees will break into groups and work with a facilitator to identify how to use data to create their community indicator, as well as use key types of data to explain what a destination organization does, how well it is doing it and why it is important to residents and stakeholders.
Networking Lunch
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
If We Want To Be A Force for Good, Then There’s Things We Need to Be Talking About
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Details +
With residents as their primary customers, destination organizations have new leadership roles to play within their communities. This also means that destination organizations must step up and play a role - both leading and supporting - on civic issues, issues and efforts that for too long we have avoided by claiming they were outside of our scope. This new role is natural, as destination organizations are uniquely positioned to share the story of their community, as well as leverage the partnership between residents and visitors to create a positive and lasting impact for both sides.
Al Hutchinson headshot Al Hutchinson
President & CEO
Visit Baltimore
The Role of a Destination Organization in Addressing Crime and Safety Issues
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Details +
Destination organizations are increasingly aligning with government and community organizations more intentionally to support initiatives designed to improve social issues and quality of life and elevate the overall destination brand beyond a tourism lens. Violent crime is one of these alignments. The causes of and solutions to violent crime fall outside of our wheelhouse, but it affects our communities, our brand, our home. We may not lead in this effort, but we have a supporting role to play. This session will discuss the results of a six-month process to identify our sector's role and best practices that can be followed in order to effectively support the community.
Alyssa Poulin headshot Alyssa Poulin
Senior Manager of Advocacy Research & Content
Destinations International
Workshop: Working With Residents and Stakeholders to Address Civic Issues
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Details +
Building off of the two previous sessions, attendees will break into groups and work with a facilitator to identify ways destination organizations can work with residents and stakeholders to help address violent crime and other civic issues in order to shape the conversation and be part of the solution.
Networking Break
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
How Do Other Industries Engage Stakeholders In Powerful Grassroots Advocacy
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
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Learn how to engage people to influence vital policy issues with grassroots advocacy campaigns. Grow your supporter base, educate them on your issues, influence policymakers and reach your goals.
The Annual Advocacy Summit Political Round Table
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
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Destinations International brings together a collection of people for a candid discussion of politics, policy agendas, strategies and predictions.
What Data Would You Use To Advocate for Your Organization?
4:45 PM - 5:15 PM
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Picture Adam Sacks as the CEO of a destination organization. We have asked him to do just that and in that role, asked him to lay out the data he would use to advocate on behalf of his organization as well as how he would use data to underscore his position and authority in the community.
Adam Sacks headshot Adam Sacks
President & CEO
Tourism Economics
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Updates
5:15 PM - 5:25 PM
Details +
Sophia Hyder Hock headshot Sophia Hyder Hock
Chief Diversity Officer
Destinations International
Wrap Up Day 1
5:25 PM - 6:00 PM
Details +
Anna Tanski headshot Anna Tanski
Summit Moderator
Foundation Dinner (Invitation Only)
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Friday, October 28

Networking Breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Marketplace of Ideas
9:00 AM - 11:55 AM
Networking Lunch
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Words Matter: The 2022 Destinations International Advocacy Lexicon
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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Words matter in politics, and they need to be chosen carefully to carry an emotional connection to people’s values and the values of our industry. This session marks the annual release of words we have found that are used by elected officials and can carry an emotional message.
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Vice President of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Workshop: Using the Lexicon in Your Messaging
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Details +
Looking through the lens of the New Tourism Lexicon, attendees will break up into groups and work with a facilitator to transform real life messaging into emotionally based messaging to better communicate with residents and stakeholders.
Networking Break
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Cannabis and Hemp As Part of the Ecosystem
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM
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Hear from the Destinations International cannabis/hemp task force on research around the opportunities and issues at hand for destination organizations and the adoption of cannabis and hemp in our communities. We will walk through examples on how to align detractors and showcase examples of destinations adopting cannabis and hemp as part of their tourism ecosystem.
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Vice President of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Brian Applegarth headshot Brian Applegarth
Founder
Cultivar Brands
Racene Friede headshot Racene Friede, CDME
President & CEO
Glacier County Tourism
Identifying, Cultivating and Activating Grassroots Advocates
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
Details +
Learn how Choose Chicago set about building an army of grassroots advocates that has helped it stay afloat through some very rough political waters. This session will provide an overview of how they have expanded their original efforts through programs focused on neighborhoods and the concept of equity, diversity and inclusion.
Workshop: Designing Your Own Grassroots and Engagement Campaign
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Details +
Looking through the lens of the values of Engagement, Collaboration and Innovation, attendees will break into groups and work with a facilitator to tackle real life situations and come up with an outline of a grassroots strategy and plan to develop political and stakeholder support for their mission.
Advocacy 2023
5:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Details +
Join Summit moderator Anna Tanksi and two members of Destinations International's advocacy team members as they talk about what's in the pipeline for 2023.
Anna Tanski headshot Anna Tanski
Summit Moderator
Jack Johnson headshot Jack Johnson
Chief Advocacy Officer
Destinations International
Andreas Weissenborn headshot Andreas Weissenborn
Vice President of Research & Advocacy
Destinations International
Closing Reception
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Hotel & Travel Information

Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis
3200 East 81st Street
Bloomington, MN, USA
+1 952-922-1234

Block rate: US$189/night + taxes and fees
Cutoff date: Friday, September 30, 2022

Book Your Room