Three Days Networking with DMOs and Connecting with Customers
We just got back from the 2014 Travel & Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Marketing Outlook Forum in Atlanta. It was three days of great education, networking, engagement and communication with a diverse group of tourism pros from around the U.S. What makes TTRA-MOF unique is how it blends the analytics side of DMO research with the forward-looking side of travel marketing to deliver a holistic view of the global travel industry into the future. Just the right size for quality connections and networking. Not too big that you can’t find the people you want and need to talk with. Plus, the expertise of the people and their work is exceptional. Having access to the people behind wildly successful campaigns like “Pure Michigan” so you can learn from them in a casual environment is invaluable.
Key observations we gleaned from presentations and discussions at the conference:
- It’s clear that there is still much drama over the Millennial versus the Boomer — what their demographic really is, what their behavior really is. It seems like every survey reveals something different and often contradictory. I recommend we follow the data. Look at how they’re shopping and booking online, where the Millennials want to go vs where the Boomers want to go — that information reveals the true trends for these consumer profiles.
- Destinations should have a Master Plan — establishing a roadmap of what your goal is as a destination and how you plan to get there. When you have a roadmap you can set incremental goals and work your way to long term tourism achievement.
- Research and marketing work hand in hand. Although there are some key baseline metrics that researchers must have, such as visitor volume, visitors by country, growth, etc., there are other measure that take traditional researchers over the line into the gray area of marketing. Metrics like search-to-book window, length of stay and future demand are important marketing KPIs that can easily morph into the next-gen research analytics.
Cheers to TTRA-MOF for a great environment for sharing, collaborating and growing with the DMO community.
Our First nOvation Circle Advisory Meeting
TTRA-MOF was also the perfect environment for nSight’s first advisory group meeting, the nOvation Circle. We couldn’t be happier than we are now after assembling our users for the first time. We were excited to bring together key power users to get their feedback on how we’ve done over our first year and get their ideas for going forward. But let’s be honest — it’s always a little scary when you open yourself up to comments. We’ve learned a lot in our first year and we were excited to get the direct feedback from our users on what we did well, what they liked and what recommendations they had.
The good news is that the majority of comments were complimentary and very positive. The suggestions were great and we’ve put action plans against many of them already. What was most important to us was the overall feeling we got from our clients during and after the meeting. Users were supportive, excited and thankful. Yes, thankful — that we took the time to ask for their feedback and listen. As a young company, that’s one principle that we embrace. We might not get it perfect every time, but we’re committed to being advocates for our users. Listening and responding our best every day.
So thank you to our clients who participated in the first nOvation Circle meeting. We appreciate your time. We love your honesty. And we’re committed to continuing to improve and grow with you into the future.
See you again soon. Thanks, Atlanta!