The Next Normal: Pause. Change. Innovate. (July)
The Next Normal: Pause. Change. Innovate. (July)
Jul 23, 2020

Join Destinations International, industry leaders and peers for a day-long marketing and communications virtual summit focusing on the evolving role of destination marketers and the need for destinations to effectively react to the rapid changes occurring in the industry.

Session Recordings Now Available

Content and session recordings from the July summit are now available for attendees.

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


Thursday July 23, 2020
9:45am - 10:00am
Networking Coffee
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Good Morning! Grab your coffee and catch up with your marketing and communications peers.

Sponsored by Pandora
10:05am - 10:45am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
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Welcome:  Don Welsh, President and CEO, Destinations International and Jack Johnson, Chief Advocacy Officer, Destinations International

From a global pandemic to an economic recession to communities in a complete social crisis, there is no new normal. Join Jack Johnson, Chief Advocacy Officer at Destinations International, as he sets the tone for the day with insights on what it will take to transition from a traditional CVB model to what a CVB needs to be in the new normal.

Sponsored by Miles Partnership
10:50am - 11:30am
Opening Keynote: Mathew Sweezey
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Keynote Speaker: Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights,

COVID-19 has changed our world more than any other single event in modern history. It has changed consumer behavior, access, desires, the economy, and as a result, marketing. Marketing is now more complex than ever.  It is moving faster than ever, and consumers are shifting their brand loyalties for a multitude of reasons. So what are we to do?

Mathew is regarded as one of the leading minds on the future of marketing. His visionary insights into consumer behavior, technology, and new business strategies have changed the way startups, Fortune 500 companies, and nonprofit organizations alike find customers, break through and build modern brands. This morning’s keynote will center on the New Normal, Recovery, and the Next Normal.

Sponsored by Brand USA
11:30am - 11:40am
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Sponsored by Madden Media
11:40am - 12:15pm
Navigating the Data
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Globally, the travel industry came to a screeching halt in March 2020. As we enter the summer and fall travel season, how do we as an industry navigate the data to put us back on a path to recovery? Join this panel of industry experts as they sort through what this data means, what data points are most telling and what will be the new benchmarks as we look to 2021.

Steven Paganelli, Head of Destination Marketing, Americas,Tripadvisor, Moderator
Matt Clement, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Arrivalist
Erin Francis-Cummings, President and CEO, Destination Analysts
Danny Guerrero,  Vice President, North America Strategy and General Manager, Los Angeles, MMGY Global

Sponsored by Tripadvisor

12:15pm - 1:15pm
Brown Bag Lunch
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Grab a bite and connect with industry partners.

Featured Sponsors:
 - Crowdriff
 - Omniexperience
 - Barkley
 - Fuseideas

1:20pm - 2:00pm
Virtual Shirtsleeves: Navigating the Data… Let’s Get Into The Weeds!
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Join your peers for a working session to dig into the data. Discussion groups will be divided regionally to unpack the sweet spots for the marketing spend in 2020.

Sponsored by Arrivalist and Sojern
2:05pm - 2:15pm
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Sponsored by Destination Analysts
2:15pm - 2:50pm
Are You Really Addressing Diversity and Inclusion?
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When the crisis of racial inequality, followed by calls for social justice hit the news media, was your destination really prepared for this moment? Did you know what to say and how to respond? Was your branding reflective of being inviting to all? Join us for a discussion on why diversity and inclusion is critical to travel and destination brands.

Melissa Maher, Chief Inclusion Officer and SVP of Marketing and Industry Engagement, Expedia Group
Greg DeShields, Executive Director, PHL Diversity
Angela Nelson, Vice President of Multicultural Development, Experience Grand Rapids

Sponsored by Expedia


2:55pm - 3:30pm
Tale of How Two Cities Launched Meetings Recovery Marketing Plan Post Covid-19
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Join Digital Edge Marketing to learn how two destinations tackled their meetings marketing efforts post Covid-19.  Explore Branson had a call to action by their CEO to develop a meetings program in less than a month’s time, which led to the destination’s first Virtual FAM hosting more than 300 planners.  Visit Fort Worth knew it was going to have to adjust their meetings marketing not only due to the climate but due to their new fiscal realities.

Mya Surrency, Co-Founder, Digital Edge
John Cychol, Vice President, Sales, Visit Fort Worth
Samantha Gutting, Vice President Sales, Explore Branson

Sponsored by Digital Edge

3:30pm - 3:40pm
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Sponsored by Northstar
3:45pm - 4:20pm
PR: More than Just Media Relations
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Public relations and communications isn’t just about media relations anymore. Effective strategic messaging should be ingrained in every aspect of a destination organization. Knowing your organization’s voice in the community is important every day – but especially during a crisis. From fighting for funding to flash point politics to recognizing the importance of a strong communications strategy in advocacy plans – effective public relations and communications is the key to success for moving forward in our industry.

Scott Peacock, Director of Public Relations and International Tourism, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Moderator
Margaret Pentrack, Director of Content and Public Relations, Discover Durham
John Tupps, Vice President of External Affairs, Visit Florida

Sponsored by Mile Marker 630


4:25pm - 5:00pm
Balancing Visitor and Local Sentiment
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Quarantines, phased re-openings, safety and security. All topics that now shape our new normal. The post-COVID-19 journey will be long and will have an impact on how we all engage with travel in the future. Join this panel discussion on balancing visitor perceptions and local sentiment as the industry works toward recovery and community engagement.

Andreas Weissenborn, Senor Director, Research and Advocacy, Destinations International, Moderator
Maura Gast, Executive Director, Visit Irving (TX)
Andria Godfrey, Vice President, Longwoods International

Sponsored by Simpleview

5:00pm - 5:30pm
Virtual Happy Hour
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Grab your favorite beverage and chat with your fellow participants.

Sponsored by Tempest
* Schedule subject to change.

Virtual Summit Pricing

Member Rate
Non-Member Rate