DMAI Announces Official 2016 Annual Convention Program

National Industry Leaders to Keynote Value-Driven Sessions Throughout Reimagined Event; Long-time and Future Leaders to be Honored

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Chair Bob Lander and President and CEO Don Welsh today announced the official program for the 2016 Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Building off the “It’s a Brand New Day” theme, the three-day program, August 1–3 promises to inspire, educate and inform. 

“The DMAI and Meet Minneapolis teams are excited to welcome attendees and exhibitors to the 2016 Annual Convention,” said Lander.  “This year’s completely revamped program will be nothing short of an engaging, energetic and value-driven event.” 

The official program will kick off with the DMAI Annual Golf Classic at Town & Country Club, located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. The Classic is open to all attendees and benefits the Destination & Travel Foundation.

Retooled sessions featuring educational tracks focused on marketing, sports, convention sales, and more will be moderated by CVB leaders and industry experts.  The value-driven content expands to DMAI’s introduction of the highly-anticipated Economic Impact Calculator for Fairs and Festivals and the Global All Stars Innovation Showcase presented by Miles.  

"The DMAI team has been focused on building a reimagined, energetic, and engaging 2016 Annual Convention," said Welsh. "Thanks to Melvin Tennant, his team, and the Minneapolis visitor industry, we firmly believe that this year's Convention will provide exactly what DMAI members, partners and sponsors want and need to further their business goals."

Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning at the ZOO, Google’s creative think tank for agencies and brands will deliver the Opening Keynote sponsored by PCMA on Monday, August 1.  Posner, a renowned thought leader on culture, creativity and technology will share how the modern world can help reconnect leaders to a pre-digital humanity and subsequently yield a considerable difference in professional and personal livelihoods.  

Throughout the three-day program, DMAI executives will recognize and celebrate those whom have demonstrated commitment and promise towards the continued success of destination marketing worldwide. Scheduled presentations include: CDME graduates, DMAP honorees, Hall of Fame inductees, Kirkland Award and 30 Under 30.   The 2016 recipients of the 30 Under 30 will be announced the week of June 5.   

A renewed commitment to DMAI members and partners, together with purposeful and strategic industry-wide engagement has solidified the return of several major destinations following a multi-year hiatus.  Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Co. will moderate a session focused on the global meetings and convention industry. Concurrently, Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California will moderate a session on leisure tourism. 

The Opening Celebration sponsored by Meet Minneapolis will take place at the new U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings.  DMAI’s 2016 Annual Convention is the very first event to be held in the $400 million development. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite professional sports team jersey. 

Jay Baer, the world's most retweeted person among digital marketers will lead a General Session on Tuesday, August 2. A New York Times best-selling author, Baer will share how DMOs’ sales and marketing teams can co-exist to drive results and grow destination brands.

Chip Conley, Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality will lead a General Session, also on Tuesday, August 2 entitled “Embracing Innovation: How Destinations Are Figuring out Airbnb and the Sharing Economy.”  Conley, founder of the award-winning, boutique hotel company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality will share his story from hotelier to innovation chief.  He will be joined by panelists from domestic and international destinations who have taken the risk to work with Airbnb.