Destinations International Announces Leslie Odom Jr. as Keynote Speaker for Destination Showcase


Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2018) – Destinations International Chair William Pate and President and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and President and CEO Don Welsh today announced that Tony and Grammy award-winning performer, Leslie Odom Jr., will be the keynote speaker for Destination Showcase in 2019. This signature event, now in its 31st year, will take place February 13, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Grand Ballroom in Washington D.C. Planner registration and exhibit sales are now open.

Destination Showcase is North America’s only one-day event that connects meeting planners with convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) so they can better understand how CVBs are the key to making meetings and events successful.

“Events begin and end with the destination,” said Pate. “CVB representatives from various destinations across the U.S. will be in attendance at Destination Showcase to show how their convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) can help make events a success and to share what is new and exciting in their cities.”

“Today's CVBs serve as event strategists,” said Welsh. “They are not only the destination experts, they are the influencer within the destination to drive maximum results for any meeting or event. CVBs connect planners to the resources they need, as well as advocate for a planner’s business event goals to help achieve meeting objectives and business outcomes within the destination. In addition to connecting CVBs and meeting planners, we are thrilled to welcome Leslie Odom Jr. as our keynote speaker at this year’s event.”

About the Keynote Speaker:

Tony and Grammy Award-winning performer, Leslie Odom Jr., is best known for his breakout role as ‘Aaron Burr’ in the smash hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, for which he received a 2015 Drama Desk Award nomination and won the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his performance and a Grammy Award as a principal soloist on the original cast recording. Odom Jr. was most recently seen on the big screen starring alongside Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Judi Dench in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express and has been seen in countless performances.

This spring, Odom, Jr. added the title of “Author” to his resume with the release of his book – FAILING UP: HOW TO TAKE RISKS, AIM HIGHER, and NEVER STOP LEARNING. Written in the style of a commencement speech, the book brings together what Odom, Jr. has learned in life so far, tapping into universal themes of starting something new, following your passions, discovering your own potential, and surrounding yourself with the right people. FAILING UP is about unlocking your true potential and making your dreams come true even when it seems impossible.

New for 2019, Destinations International is partnering with the global organization of PCMA to deliver world-class education to business events strategists attending the event.

“PCMA is proud to partner with Destinations International to deliver high-quality education and continue the close collaboration between our organizations to benefit business events strategists,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, president and CEO of PCMA.

Registration and Exhibit Sales Information:

Planner Registration:

Complimentary registration for qualified planners includes the keynote with Leslie Odom Jr., access to the Exhibit Hall, Bites and Beverages and Caffeine and Cocktails. PCMA will offer an education session and breakout sessions for planners for $29.99. Planner registration may be found at

Exhibitor Registration:
CVBs are invited to participate in the event through one of the several exhibit or sponsorship packages at

For more information on exhibiting or planner registration, please contact [email protected].


About Destinations International:

Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, CVBs and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with more than 5,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit