Attending the Destination Sales and Services Summit as a 30 Under 30 recipient was an eye-opening experience. It provided me with a unique opportunity to observe industry executives in an intimate setting while they discussed the challenges they experience in our industry. These roundtable conversations were truly humbling. They sparked innovative ideas and approaches, and I left feeling motivated and inspired to make an impact in my career. Here are my three, key takeaways:
1. Understand your organization's holistic concerns.
I have a lot to learn from the people who are leading the charge in our industry. While listening to these executives, I realized the threats and challenges they may be focusing on in the industry are different than my own. Conversations among my counterparts center around the safety of attendees who are in town for their meetings and conventions, whereas industry leaders are fearful of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) losing their relevance. Both challenges are true, but they show how open conversations with varying levels of leadership and expertise are important to understand the perception of threats we face.
2. Bring your team along.
It's not enough to have discussions on these various threats to the industry if team members with unique backgrounds and experiences are not included. Personal histories and experiences shape our perspectives, which is why it is important to have empathy and respect for these differences. Involving others and encouraging them to share their perspective and ideas for solutions allows for a more diverse and collaborative approach to moving forward.
3. Transparency is key.
This may seem simple, but transparency makes all the difference between salespeople, event organizers, and vendors. The roundtables were a good reminder of what we have all worked through during the pandemic and the strides we have tried to make as an industry to move forward. As our stakeholders are adjusting and shifting their goals, we need to continue to be transparent in advocating for our communities, while also representing opportunities. We are all facing different strengths and weaknesses, and it is our responsibility to help connect the dots and find win-win solutions for true partnership.
My seat at the table during the Destination Sales and Services Summit was an experience that will shape my career path. I am forever grateful to Destinations International for this opportunity. The knowledge gained from the roundtables broadened my perspective and deepened my understanding of the industry.