Destination Marketing Association International Hold First-ever Strategic Innovation Summit

October 28, 2015

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) brought together a broad base of DMO industry leaders and thought leaders during the organization’s first-ever Strategic Innovation Summit, held Oct. 7-8 in Dallas.

The efforts from this meeting, led by Soren Kaplan of InnovationPoint, built the framework for DMAI’s 2016-2017 Strategic Plan, according to DMAI officials.

“We wanted to focus on the core values of the organization: Innovation, Transparency, Responsiveness and in particular Inclusiveness,” said Bob Lander, president and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and chair of the DMAI Board of Directors.

He added, “In order for DMAI to become a truly innovative association, it is essential to change the organizational culture to one of collaboration and trust; and implement tools to harness collective knowledge, experience and communities.”

Members of the DMAI Board of Directors, along with the Destination & Travel Foundation Board of Trustees, DMAI business partners and senior DMAI staff joined thought leaders from the American Management Association, Airbnb, Zipcar, Meddle, Rocketfuel and Marriott to help define the future of DMAI and the Foundation.

“Innovation and collaboration are not mutually exclusive; they feed and build upon each other,” said Charles Jeffers, interim president and CEO of DMAI.

He added, “Innovation happens through collaboration. And the best organizations are creating an environment of innovation not only with their employees, but also with those outside of the company. The future will be won by those who leverage the combined power of many ideas from different voices.”

During the meeting, several areas of opportunity were outlined to build the organization’s new strategic plan including:

·         Transforming DMAI’s partnership model to deliver higher value

·         Creating a platform and business models to strategically integrate with partners

·         Leveraging DMAI’s purchasing power to add value and save individual DMOs money

·         Cultivate partnerships with innovative companies to nurture  emerging ideas

·         Advocating for the industry, particularly on regulatory and disintermediating disruption issues

·         Utilizing DestinationNEXT as a revenue-generating entry strategy into non-U.S. markets

·         Developing next generation learning and professional development

The final Strategic Plan will be approved in December by the Board of Directors and implemented starting January of 2016.

“Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation and consensus,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver.

He added, “That’s why I was so excited to see DMAI bring our industry together to lay the groundwork for the strategic direction of the association and our industry at large. In the end, this collaborative effort will raise the profile of DMAI as an organization, and improve the quality and relevance of its resources.”

The group also provided input on the desirable qualities and attributes for the future CEO of the association.

DMAI has retained the executive recruiting firm SearchWide to collect this input manage the search process for a new CEO who will guide the new strategic plan.

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