2018 Education Summit & Vendor Showcase

We all put our phones down for Ronda Conger’s spirited opening general session—“Better Human: It’s a Full-time Job.” Being a Better Human is about being better than you were yesterday. It was an energetic, hands-on, jam-packed session and a great way to kick off the conference in Boise! Plus—Everyone received a copy of Ronda Conger’s book.

During a series of workshops, marketers gathered new trends and best practices in the areas of product development, innovative travel campaigns, sports tourism marketing, and the evolution of sales. New topics focusing on succession planning and mentoring were also part of the program.

Today’s tourism viral campaigns may seem like jackpots in a one-in-a-million lottery, but it turns out they are well within the reach of any marketing team’s grasp. By reverse-engineering each element of a successful viral campaign in your industry, Tod Maffin, president of Engage-Q Digital, showed the group the key markers that can launch a campaign into the viral stratosphere — markers that can be programmed into the smallest budgets. For those of you not in Boise, check out Shreddies Diamond on YouTube. It’s a cereal that out marketed itself!

The DMO has an essential duty to lead as the community responds to tragic, life-changing situations. Industry peers from Las Vegas, Mt. Hood Territory and Santa Barbara shared how they responded when devastating incidents occurred in their destinations. The presenters discussed the flow of messaging (including imagery) and how it progresses though the stages of a crisis—during, soon after, and long term. The panelists also reviewed messaging for different audiences while—respectfully and accurately—stimulating demand for the destination’s experience.

Shawna Suckow focused on her latest hospitality and tourism findings on the major and minor shifts that are already here, the trends we can expect next, and the potential disruptors that are possible in coming years–from the predictable to the unbelievable.

From sustainability to video production and beer to ice cream, the Best Idea Program presentations continue as a favorite component of the Summit. Achievement awards were presented to Aspen, Mat-Su, Santa Rosa and Tri-Valley. (See separate article with project overviews.)

The Roundtables by specialty area provided an open-discussion format for delegates who participated at one of the following Roundtables—Marketing Gurus, Product Development Pundits or Sales Standouts.

The staff at the Boise CVB coordinated some of the coolest, most creative ways to experience the destination, while gathering tips and strategies to develop or enhance visitor experiences in one’s own destination. Participants delighted in the “get-to-know-the destination” outings—Bicycle Boise, Downtown Boise Food & Cultural Tour, and Whitewater Rafting. From a participant: “As a destination marketer, these experiences renew my passion for travel and remind me of the memories I am trying to create for visitors in my own destination. It is an exciting way to start the summit.”

On the social side of things, Drozian Webworks hosted a relaxed welcome reception at The Riverside Hotel. Our Boise CVB hosts showcased the Basque Cultural District in downtown Boise during an offsite reception. Delegates enjoyed an evening that included a tour of the only Basque Museum in the United States, fabulous entertainment by the Oinkari Basque Dancers and authentic Basque food.

Thanks to our speakers, sponsors and exhibitors for their participation and support. See separate article for a list of the companies at the Vendor Showcase.

Watch for information at the DMA West website about the 2019 Education Summit & Vendor Showcase, scheduled for October 2-4, 2019, in Sacramento.