PODCAST

Destination On The Left

Nicole Mahoney

Destination On The Left is a podcast focused on the travel and tourism industry that explores successful collaborations, creative marketing ideas and best practices. Interviews are a mix of Destination Marketers, Industry Leaders, Consultants and businesses in the industry. We explore consumer marketing programs and travel trade marketing programs. This podcast provides an opportunity for professionals in the travel & tourism industry to share what they have learned and successes that they have achieved.
Episode 256: How to Personalize Your Destination Marketing, with Gregory Lim
Greg was previously the CMO at LifeLock. He is a seasoned executive with a unique knowledge of start-ups and how to create an innovative strategy and align it with practical execution to achieve exceptional results. Greg possesses a progressive and diverse background in Marketing (brand management, digital and traditional marketing, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing), Finance (budgeting, planning, debt & equity raise, IPO), and Operations (process improvement, risk management, call centers, and reporting & analytics). He has over 17 years of experience, ranging from Chief Marketing Officer of a $1B+ public company to the financial lead of a start-up that went public. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Greg Lim, who gives his actionable tips on ways you can create meaningful connections with prospective customers through personalization and data. He demystifies how to incorporate personalization into your marketing by sharing his crawl, walk, run approach to implementing new marketing tactics. Greg also highlights the importance of collaboration between destination marketing organizations and how personalization can boost the success of co-op programs. What You Will Learn: How to deliver different personalized experiences to help a wide range of audiences and potential visitors in their trip planningWhy differentiate landing pages according to interest then extend the customer experience to your core websiteHow we’ve normalized bad communication and bad behavior in marketing through the historical limitations of technologyUsing touchpoints to personalize a consumer experience to engage and delight virtual visitorsApproaching marketing personalization from a crawl, walk, run perspective with regards to technologyTechnical solutions that allow marketers to take control of their campaigns and integrate their social media channels Prioritize Your Website Marketing Invest in your website — because that’s where all of your social channels and your marketing are sending everyone. So, if you invest in your website, your website performs better, and you’ll get a better conversion rate and return on your investment. You can also build new partnerships and add value to your existing partners with your destination marketing site. Personalization can empower your team to go out and find collaboration opportunities. With your destination marketing site, you can create an exciting way to expand your partnership inventory and serve the different audiences coming to your website. Personalization Shouldn’t Be Overwhelming Gregory shares the common-sense middle ground in marketing personalization. He gives his insights on how to deliver meaningful experiences to your consumers that delight them and do it in a way that is not invasive. You want to create a powerful experience for them that will ultimately drive your business results. The most significant opportunity for the travel and tourism industry is to take all the micro conversations and engagements that we already have with our visitors then carry that same conversation through to the website. To learn more about Gregory and his company, Persosa, please check out the contact links below: Website: https://www.persosa.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregorylim/https://www.linkedin.com/company/persosaFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/teampersosa/Twitter: https://twitter.com/teampersosa
6d ago
43 mins
Episode 255: Leaning into Our Core Values, with Nicole Mahoney
With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester. In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left,” a highly successful tourism marketing podcast. As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I reflect on whether 2021 has been an easier year than 2020 and why the travel industry hasn’t been able to make up the lost ground that we had hoped. I share the key elements that make up our culture at Break the Ice Media and explore our seven essential core values and how we promote and live those values. One of the changes to our work environment that COVID-19 brought was the move from sharing an office to working 100% remotely — so I also want to take some time to discuss how we collaborate and stay connected as a team. What You Will Learn in This Episode: The seven core values at the heart of Break the Ice MediaWhy the travel industry is still having to make adjustments to welcome guests safelyHow employers in the industry have the power to change the culture of our organizations and create places of work that value and respect their employeesWhy we are so intentional about the culture at Break the Ice MediaCommunication tools we use to stay connected now that we are all working from homeWays that your employees can give you feedback and insight into what they enjoy and would change about the company Our Values and Mission In my opinion, one of the key reasons that Break the Ice Media has not only survived but thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic is that we have leaned on our values. Transparency was an essential feature of navigating the challenges of recent unprecedented events as a business owner. It was so important to me to be very transparent with our team members about where we were in the moment, what the choices were, and why those choices and decisions could change on a dime. As we head towards the end of 2021, we continue to weave our seven core values into our day-to-day practices to keep what it means to work at Break the Ice Media at the forefront of our minds. Collaboration and Respect Our core values give us a clear understanding of who we are as a company, and understanding what we value makes it easier to make decisions and navigate the challenges of the road ahead. As a team, we devoted a lot of time to thinking about our core values and ensuring that what we chose really embodied the company’s ethos. Collaboration is one of the values that resonates deeply with me (as you won’t be surprised to learn). We are collaborative — it is the bedrock of Break the Ice Media. In our team, everyone’s ideas, input, and talents are valued, and as a result, we all feel heard, valued, and respected. To learn more about Break the Ice Media, please head over to the contact links below: Email: nicole@breaktheicemedia.comWebsite: www.destinationontheleft.com/summitWebsite: https://breaktheicemedia.com/Twitter: @Break_TheIceFacebook: @BreakTheIceMedia
Nov 17 2021
23 mins
Episode 254: Taking the Road Less Traveled, with Bobbie Goheen
President and CEO of Synthesis Management Group (SMG) Roberta “Bobbie” Goheen is a resourceful and committed leadership expert and Fortune 100 executive coach who promotes positive growth and development environments for individuals, executives, and organizational teams. With more than 25 years of world-class experience, Bobbie is a motivational force who inspires her clients to steer their personal and professional lives in the direction of excellence. She has worked with companies worldwide and organizations ranging in size from five employees to 80,000. Clients include international, national, and local C-suite executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals looking for curated, practical tools to match their desire to lead others with greater ease and agility. Bobbie offers a multi-dimensional approach for successful business leaders and their workforce to achieve results through experimental learning and development. She utilizes researched and proven methodology combined with a style that is fresh, dynamic, and inspirational. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Bobbie Goheen about why following your dreams and passions leads to enjoying a more fulfilling life. She shares her insights and strategies on how leaders can enhance their skills using a build, measure, learn framework and how using this model can also help you stay motivated during challenging times. Bobbie also gives us the benefit of her leadership experience on how to prepare your team members to be future leaders and the importance of trusting your instincts and prioritizing your wellbeing so you can move forward with a positive mindset. What You Will Learn: Bobbie’s advice for leaders keen to maintain focus and keep motivation levels high moving through this challenging and disruptive period of timeWhen you’re committed to finding a way forward, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change course once you start down your path — you can measure it and then learn, then adjust if necessaryWhy leaders need to stay focused on the possibilities, the opportunities and cultivate a willingness to go into the unknown, be uncomfortable, and learn something newHow we can prepare our team to be future leaders, and why we need to reframe the process from delegation to developmentBobbie’s wisdom on what we should be doing to maintain a better work-life balanceKey takeaways that professionals should be taking forward with them from the disruption of the last 18 monthsWhy the most straightforward way companies can grow leaders is to have very clear goals and be specific on the ‘what’ of the goal, but be less specific on how they’re going to get there The Call for Leadership Bobbie Goheen is a resourceful and committed leadership expert and Fortune 100 executive coach whose company Synthesis Management Group promotes positive growth and inspires her clients to steer their personal and professional lives in the direction of excellence. In this episode of Destination On The Left, Bobbie shares why she believes that leaders right now need courage, passion, and the drive to step up to the consistent atmosphere of change and challenge that we live in today. Bobbie notes that before the COVID-19 pandemic, if you were willing to put in the hard work and effort, then you had a good chance of achieving your dreams. But now, we know that we aren’t always in control of the changes in life, which is why we need to step up as leaders and trust that even when we’re not in control of external factors, we are in control of our choices. Leaders should follow a path of build, measure, and learn, testing the terrain as they go to ensure they are on the right track, and making adjustments to continue to move forward. Trust Yourself and Your Team As Bobbie says, having the confidence to trust yourself, block out the external chatter, and measure what is happening in your environment is crucial when navigating uncertainty. It’s also essential to build a trusted group around you, gain their insight and input, and use the ideas that resonate with you. Leadership is all about recognizing the possibilities and opportunities and being willing to go into the unknown, be uncomfortable, and learn something new. To learn more about Bobbie and her company, Synthesis Management Group, please check out the contact links below: Website: www.getsynthesis.comLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbiegoheen/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/getSynthesisInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/synthesismanagementgroup/
Nov 10 2021
44 mins
Episode 253: Insights from the 2021 eTourism Summit (Part Two), with Nicole Mahoney
For this second episode in a special two part series of Destination on the Left episodes, I visited the 2021 eTourism Summit held in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 20-22. At the summit, I was privileged to speak with fourteen attendees who are experts in the field of digital marketing for travel and tourism. In my conversations with today’s guest experts, I asked them to each answer one question: “Looking into the future, what innovations are happening now that you think will impact digital marketing for your organization or destination?” I’m so delighted to share their insightful and sometimes surprising answers with you in this week’s special podcast episode. In this episode of Destination On The Left, you’ll hear from these fourteen extraordinary digital marketing experts:   Chris Lukenbill – Co-Founder, ShrpaEd Harris – CEO, Discover LancasterEmilie Harris – Director of Marketing Operations, BandwangoJake Brown – Content Manager, Visit South BendJason Holic – Vice President of Business Applications & Insights, Experience KissimmeeKyle Johnson – Digital Strategy Manager, Indiana Destination Development CorporationLeena Riggs – Director of Marketing & Partnerships, Visit Rancho CordovaMarc Garcia – President & CEO, Visit MesaMaria Skrzynski – Marketing Coordinator/Office Manager, Destination Ann ArborMark Romig – Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President, New Orleans & Co.Nicole Stacey – Director of Marketing Communications, Visit PensacolaRalph Thompson – Executive Director Travel & Tourism, StreetsenseTim Ash – Marketing Keynote, Trainer & AdvisorVictoria Simmons – Senior Vice President of Travel, BVK Innovative Digital Marketing Experts at the 2021 eTourism Summit The eTourism Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference that exists at the intersection of destination travel and tourism with cutting edge digital marketing. It’s a unique opportunity for industry leaders, marketers, and destinations to come together and exchange ideas, collaborate, and brainstorm new solutions together. This year’s eTourism Summit was held in Las Vegas from September 20-22 and offered insights into digital marketing trends, advertising innovations and new ways to connect travelers with incredible experiences. I asked each of these experts the same question: “Looking into the future, what innovations are happening now that you think will impact digital marketing for your organization or destination?” Here are the insightful answers they gave me: Chris Lukenbill from Shrpa Chris discusses how the many disruptions our industry is facing create new opportunities for Shrpa’s clients to tell their stories within their own communities. He discusses why an increased focus on local communities has moved from “nice to have” to necessary to navigate the pandemic. He talks about why stronger communication is going to be an increasingly critical component of travel and tourism marketing going forward. Ed Harris from Discover Lancaster Ed talks about the juxtaposition of digitally marketing the simple life of the local Amish communities through modern technology and social media, and he discusses why innovations in technology like AI and machine learning are transformative tools that will reshape digital marketing in the future. He talks about the power of data in informing what content destinations and marketers share, and he discusses the importance of adapting to and embracing these emerging technologies to help meet travelers where they are. Emilie Harris from Bandwango Emilie talks about how the industry’s broad focus on innovation is creating new opportunities to integrate various products, experiences and locations into full experience packages. She discusses how important it is for marketers to understand how the process of booking travel is changing as consumer expectations are shifting. She shares how the “niche” audiences of the past are dissolving and how authentic, unique experiences are becoming the cornerstone of travel and tourism marketing. Jake Brown from Visit South Bend Jake talks about the role of data in travel and tourism digital marketing, and he shares why being able to track the success of campaigns by how much revenue they have generated for the area is going to be a sea change for digital marketers going forward. Jason Holic from Experience Kissimmee Jason explains a calculator tool his organization developed to help track key data metrics that they have made available to other DMOs, and he shares how it helps track media impact of your messaging through transparency and the dynamic narratives it can create. He explains how the tool uses 30 different data points to fine tune visibility over your metrics and help you communicate with four key stakeholder groups using language they themselves use to help you demonstrate the value you’re driving to them. Kyle Johnson from Indiana Destination Development Corporation Kyle shares how his organization’s transition from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development to the Indiana Destination Development Corporation has allowed the organization to expand their goals and cast a wider net. He shares why their goal isn’t just to attract visitors but to also attract talent to the state. He discusses the important role location tracking serves for the organization, allowing for targeted messaging. He talks about how Indiana has seen big success bringing corporations to the state, and he shares how the next goal is to bring more workers to the state as well. Leena Riggs from Visit Rancho Cordova Leena shares how her organization is focused on more and stronger data collection, and she shares how Visit Rancho Cordova is exploring options for engaging with and messaging in-market. She shares how the data is powerfully informing how Rancho Cordova plans their future growth. Marc Garcia from Visit Mesa Marc shares how his organization is focused on accessibility in travel as part of Visit Mesa’s larger Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. He shares how Mesa, Arizona has worked hard to become the nation’s first Autism-certified City and is now seeking to become a city known for its accessibility programs and initiatives. He shares how Visit Mesa has recently established the Mesa Regional Foundation for Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion, which will be used to purchase accessibility technologies. He also talks about how his city is building what will be the largest youth and amateur sports complex in the country. Maria Skrzynski from Destination Ann Arbor Maria shares how her organization is working to strengthen its local partnerships and collaboration with other organizations and sectors to elevate the energy of the community. She also discusses the importance of unity within Ann Arbor. Mark Romig from New Orleans & Company Mark discusses how people are using handheld devices far more than tablets, desktops and other large devices, and he shares how his organization is focused on developing their integration with phones and other handhelds. He talks about the importance of focusing on the consumer’s needs and obstacles and staying ahead of the curve by meeting them where they are. Nicole Stacey from Visit Pensacola Nicole talks about how Visit Pensacola is reallocating their budget to use connected TVs to better reach people. She talks about the importance of transparency and honesty in messaging, and she shares how Visit Pensacola is utilizing targeted marketing strategies and messages to reach niche traveler groups. Ralph Thompson from Streetsense Ralph talks about how Streetsense is creatively using podcasts to build relationships with travelers in a more casual way than traditional messaging. He explains how even smaller, resource-challenged DMOs can take advantage of established podcasts to amplify their message. Tim Ash, Marketing Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Advisor Tim discusses how travel planning can take advantage of Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants and the casual, conversational way they work. He shares why it is important to understand the psychology behind how people make decisions, and he explains how evolutionary psychology can be the key to anticipating and guiding people’s decision-making processes. Victoria Simmons from BVK Victoria talks about how DMOs and destinations are becoming better at having in-market conversations with travelers and connecting them directly to travel partners. She shares how geolocation data is becoming a powerful resource for enhancing this connection with travelers. Technological Innovations and the Role of Data As you can see, many of the leaders I spoke with hit upon recurring themes around emerging technologies and new ways of collecting, collating and analyzing data. The outbreak of the global pandemic has created major strains and challenges on travel and tourism, but it has also given us a unique opportunity to reevaluate how we market destinations to travelers and how we can share our messages in more targeted ways and with larger, more diverse audiences. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing insights from the 2021 eTourism Summit and from these extraordinary travel and tourism marketing experts and leaders. As our world slowly begins to turn the tide against the pandemic, one thing is certain: by embracing new innovations and outside-the-box ideas, the future of travel and tourism looks bright! We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes! https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Nov 3 2021
43 mins
Episode 252: Insights from the 2021 eTourism Summit (Part One), with Nicole Mahoney
For this first episode in a special two part series of Destination on the Left episodes, I visited the 2021 eTourism Summit held in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 20-22. At the summit, I was privileged to have the chance to interview fourteen attendees who are experts in the field of digital marketing for travel and tourism. In my conversations with today’s guest experts, I asked them to each answer one question: “What has been the biggest change in your digital strategy that has resulted in big wins for your organization or destination?” I’m so delighted to share their insightful and sometimes surprising answers with you in this week’s special podcast episode. In this episode of Destination On The Left, you’ll hear from these fourteen extraordinary digital marketing experts: Chris Lukenbill – Co-Founder, ShrpaEd Harris – CEO, Discover LancasterEmilie Harris – Director of Marketing Operations, BandwangoJake Brown – Content Manager, Visit South BendJason Holic – Vice President of Business Applications & Insights, Experience KissimmeeKyle Johnson – Digital Strategy Manager, Indiana Destination Development CorporationLeena Riggs – Director of Marketing & Partnerships, Visit Rancho CordovaMarc Garcia – President & CEO, Visit MesaMaria Skrzynski – Marketing Coordinator/Office Manager, Destination Ann ArborMark Romig – Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President, New Orleans & Co.Nicole Stacey – Director of Marketing Communications, Visit PensacolaRalph Thompson – Executive Director Travel & Tourism, StreetsenseTim Ash – Marketing Keynote, Trainer & AdvisorVictoria Simmons – Senior Vice President of Travel, BVK Innovative Digital Marketing Experts at the 2021 eTourism Summit The eTourism Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference that exists at the intersection of destination travel and tourism with cutting edge digital marketing. It’s a unique opportunity for industry leaders, marketers, and destinations to come together and exchange ideas, collaborate, and brainstorm new solutions together. This year’s eTourism Summit was held in Las Vegas from September 20-22 and offered insights into digital marketing trends, advertising innovations and new ways to connect travelers with incredible experiences. I asked each of these experts the same question: “What has been the biggest change in your digital strategy that has resulted in big wins for your organization or destination?” Here are the insightful answers they gave me: Chris Lukenbill from Shrpa Chris shares how the industry-wide disruption of the global pandemic has created a unique opportunity to share experiences and user-generated content. He discusses the challenge of creating and sharing great itineraries that go beyond a single viewpoint and that are available “where the visitors are”, whether that’s Shrpa’s website or elsewhere. He explains why it’s easy to find directories of information but it is often difficult to get a good understanding of the full experience a destination offers, and he shares how Shrpa is working to bridge that gap for travelers. Ed Harris from Discover Lancaster Ed shares how Discover Lancaster has focused on making greater, more meaningful investments in social media over the pandemic, and he shares how experimenting with alternative information vehicles like video has helped significantly increase Discover Lancaster’s social media engagement and following. He discusses why content centered on the local Amish community has been a big driver in this stronger engagement as people learn more about the Amish lifestyle. He discusses how the pandemic has highlighted a new level of desire from travelers to find unique escapes from our modern lives and challenges. He discusses how his team created five video ads highlighting activities that can be done in a pandemic-safe way in the area, and he shares the big results these videos have generated. Emilie Harris from Bandwango Emilie discusses how the biggest shift she has experienced working with clients has been greater focus on tracking bottom-of-funnel conversions rather than top-of-funnel inspiration-focused marketing. She explains how this information has helped many clients transition their websites into e-commerce engines, and she talks about how the integration of new website strategies and new tools has created exciting opportunities for clients. She discusses Bandwango’s work connecting communities with local businesses and crafting engaging experiences, through web-based free and paid “passports” that highlight client offerings while allowing Bandwango to collect invaluable data and traveler insights. Jake Brown from Visit South Bend Jake describes how Visit South Bend has been experimenting with and collecting data on a variety of ideas, such as advertising through Expedia. He discusses why Visit South Bend’s focus has shifted from inspirational top-of-funnel campaigns to the actual booking process, and he explains why the global pandemic has created new opportunities farther down the sales funnel. He discusses how the content his organization is creating integrates with their paid campaign efforts, and he explains why Visit South Bend is layering content to help guide traveler choices at all levels of the funnel. Jason Holic from Experience Kissimmee Jason discusses how he and his team have shifted their focus to in-state marketing targeting Florida residents and drawing them to the many experiences available in the Kissimmee, Florida area. He talks about using data to help the team reprioritize which markets they are advertising in. He explains why the goal has been to drive knowledge of the impact of the global pandemic on travelers, and he shares how leveraging the area’s unique ability to handle high volumes of traveler traffic has been an invaluable asset. Kyle Johnson from Indiana Destination Development Corporation Kyle shares how he was introduced to the concept of “bricks and feathers”, including heavy pieces of major content called “bricks” that can be sliced into smaller pieces of “feather” content. He shares how his team put together a scavenger hunt list of “stranger things” travelers can find in Indiana that connect to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana featured in the Netflix series “Stranger Things”. He describes how that list became 12 separate social posts over 14 days that generated more than 250,000 organic social channel impressions. He shares how the pandemic put all of the team’s initiatives on pause, and he talks about how the team navigated the challenges of the pandemic using their “bricks and feathers” content to empower their social media efforts and drive traffic to exciting, pandemic-safe outdoor destinations in every county in the state. Leena Riggs from Visit Rancho Cordova Leena shares how the pandemic has created a unique opportunity for her organization to shift to user-generated content, and she shares how this has allowed Visit Rancho Cordova an opportunity to partner with local residents in a unique way. She shares how residents are creating unique hashtags and amplifying the organization’s message. Marc Garcia from Visit Mesa Marc shares how the pandemic pushed Visit Mesa to turn inward and form a steering committee made up of Mesa residents that has advanced his organization’s digital strategies and social media outreach. He explains why the pandemic has given Visit Mesa an opportunity to inform locals of what their organization does to support the area. He shares how the steering committee came about and immediately assisted Visit Mesa in formulating a strategy to deal with the challenges of the pandemic by marrying songs with photos of the region. Maria Skrzynski from Destination Ann Arbor Maria discusses how one of the big changes Destination Ann Arbor has made has been collaborating with residents and supporting local business through stronger connections. She explains how user-generated content has become a backbone of her organization’s marketing efforts and social media outreach. She shares how Destination Ann Arbor has been exploring new ways and channels to connect with local residents, and she explains why these collaborations are a win-win-win for everyone involved. She shares how her organization reaches out to highlight how they can be of assistance to local businesses and destinations. Mark Romig from New Orleans & Company Mark discusses how his organization worked to shift the perception of New Orleans as an “adult playground” and highlight how it’s an extremely family-friendly destination, by partnering with a group of “mommy bloggers” to share their travel experiences. He shares how leveraging influencers and social media can be an extraordinary way to connect with niche markets and get the message out. He also shares how Instagram has been a key platform to share the exciting sights in New Orleans, and he discusses how merging two competing websites into a single “one stop shop” internet address has helped travelers find information more easily. Nicole Stacey from Visit Pensacola Nicole talks about how “pivot” has been the key word through the pandemic for so many organizations in travel and tourism, and she shares how Visit Pensacola has used a multi-channel strategy throughout the full funnel to dig deeper into the “why” of the destination. She shares how sharing an authentic experience that goes beyond Pensacola’s famous beaches has been transformative for the organization. She describes how connecting with audiences and the things that inspire them has gotten easier through the use of real-time data. She discusses how the agility of digital marketing has been crucial for navigating the challenges of the pandemic. Ralph Thompson from Streetsense Ralph talks about how Streetsense leverages its experience in digital marketing to reach audiences and deliver measurable results. He discusses how the evolution of data collection has been an extraordinary asset for his organization. He talks about the importance of building relationships and engaging consumers both logically and emotionally, and he talks about how video is becoming a crucial component of digital travel and tourism marketing. Tim Ash, Marketing Keynote Speaker, Trainer, and Advisor Tim explains why too many destinations are “in love with themselves” and are focusing too much on polished visuals and not enough on the process of planning for travel. He talks about why it’s crucial to focus on how you can be helpful to your audience, and he shares how our brains interpret text, graphics and motion to determine what we’re paying attention to. He shares why it’s important to be conscious about the elements of your digital marketing to ensure that a viewer’s attention is being drawn to the right elements. Victoria Simmons from BVK Victoria talks about how the pandemic has given BVK a new opportunity to help clients make better sense of data without feeling overloaded through creating a data dashboard and investing in analysts to help interpret the data and translate it into strategy. She shares how the greater access to data and the ability to target consumers individually has transformed interactions and empowered destination organizations to better reach their audiences. She talks about why personalized content isn’t necessarily about having something new to say all the time but is about delivering content that speaks to the listener. Collaboration and a Renewed Focus on Local Residents As these extraordinary leaders shared, a key recurring theme is that so many of their organizations found new life and new purpose through the pandemic by collaborating with local residents and “turning inward” to highlight why sometimes the most exciting and unique experiences happen in our own communities. Another common theme has been looking beyond the top of the funnel and exploring multi-channel initiatives that target people throughout the sales funnel across a diverse range of communications mediums. I hope you enjoy this first episode of this two-part 2021 eTourism Summit series. Next week, we’ll hear from even more remarkable digital travel and tourism marketing experts from the eTourism Summit to share their insights and experiences. We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes! https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Oct 27 2021
1 hr 3 mins
Episode 251: Creating a Unique Travel Niche Through Collaboration, with Karolina Guilcapi
Karolina Guilcapi has managed private luxury tours since 2006, endlessly promoting a hands-on travel approach. With a background from Johnson & Wales University, a school dedicated to food and travel, she has been deeply involved in the growth of the tourism industry. Specializing in Latin America, Karolina represented her product at countless trade shows, organizations, and events around the world, inspiring travelers to become lifelong clients. She has tasted her way across 40 countries continuously inspecting services, meeting local foodies, and searching out the next morsel to offer in her itineraries. She treats food like she does travel – an experience that should utterly satisfy you. In this episode of Destination On The Left, Karolina shares why collaboration with chefs and organizations across the South American continent has allowed her to build a thriving travel business even during the global pandemic. Karolina also discusses why anticipating and addressing travelers’ concerns and needs has become a cornerstone of her work. What You Will Learn: How immigrating to New York from Poland at age ten sparked Karolina’s passion for travel and exploring new places, and why she focuses her work on Latin American travelWhy Karolina chose to start her company, Sated Ventures, and how it has taken off even during the global pandemicHow Sated Ventures has carved out a unique niche by focusing on local chefs as guides to the unique flavors, ingredients and culinary history of the regionWhat new skills and talents Karolina has discovered since launching her business, and what challenges she has overcome during the pandemicWhy collaboration and being active within the local community as a helpful partner can be a powerful organic way to grow your businessWhat changes, new challenges and opportunities Karolina expects as we begin to return to global travelWhy understanding and problem-solving for travelers is a key component of Karolina’s work, and why seeing things from the perspective of the traveler is vital Creating a Unique Travel Niche Through Collaboration Karolina Guilcapi is an innovative travel expert who has carved out a unique niche for her company, Sated Ventures, by focusing on the unique culinary adventures and flavors to be found in South America. In this episode of Destination On The Left, Karolina shares why collaboration with chefs and organizations across the South American continent has allowed her to build a thriving travel business even during the global pandemic. Karolina also discusses why anticipating and addressing travelers’ concerns and needs has become a cornerstone of her work. Transparency, Being Helpful, and Identifying Partnership Opportunities As Karolina said during our conversation, world travelers often save the South American experience for last, preferring to tour Europe and Asia. However, by leveraging creative partnerships, Karolina is working to change that. Karolina’s organization, Sated Ventures, focuses on the unique dining experiences available in South America and works closely with local chefs, restaurants and other food industry organizations to create unique, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences for her clients. By maintaining a tight focus on this unique niche and by working tirelessly to be helpful to her clients and partners, Karolina has been able to organically grow her business even during the unique travel challenges of the global pandemic. This extends to anticipating and understanding traveler concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and working to address them in an empathetic way. Karolina is truly a facilitator whose specialized knowledge of South American cuisine has allowed her business to thrive even during these challenging times. To learn more about Karolina and her company, Sated Ventures, please check out the contact links below: Website: www.satedventures.comLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karolina-guilcapi-15670066/Facebook: www.facebook.com/satedventuresInstagram: www.instagram.com/karo.travels.and.eats/ We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Oct 20 2021
38 mins
Episode 250: Embracing New Opportunities for Partnership, with Melanie Esterhuyse
Melanie Esterhuyse was initially employed as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of De Doorns Cellar in 2000 when the winery joined hands with local DMO, Hex Valley Tourism Association. As the tourist association could not employ someone permanently at the time, Melanie volunteered to step up and assist them and developed a passion for this rapidly growing industry. Over the past 25 years, Hex Valley Tourism’s purpose has changed from only serving as an information desk to taking on the role of a true philanthropist and representing the community in a more diverse way. By managing sustainable programs that will successfully and responsibly contribute towards the growth of the local industry and economy, Melanie and the Hex Valley Tourism Association hope to leave a legacy of endurance and steadfastness. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Melanie Esterhuyse about how this podcast has sustained her creativity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares how the Hex Valley Tourism Association stepped up to the unexpected challenge and used it as an opportunity to move the organization forward into the future. We also discussed the evolution of the Hex Valley Tourism Association and how it has helped her region grow tourism to a meaningful economic contributor over the last 25 years through creative co-opetition. What You Will Learn: How the Hex Valley Tourism Association has developed from the three original tourism organizations to the 20 now involvedThe four central goals the Hex Valley Tourism Association is working towards and how they are faringThe creative solutions that Melanie’s destination has used to help them stand out from the crowdHow Hex Valley are identifying ways that they can position themselves as unique and different from other similar destinationsHow the Destination on the Left podcast has helped Melanie, and her team put together a marketing strategy plan for 2022 Creative Marketing The Hex Valley Tourism Association in South Africa is identifying ways that they can position themselves as unique and different from other similar destinations. PRO of the association, Melanie discusses how they worked on a creative marketing strategy that saw them partner with travel influencers to help their brand reach niche audiences and markets. Melanie also shares how her team created the amazing video content for their social media channels. Managing Expectations in Partnerships Managing expectations is critical in a partnership, but how do you set the groundwork for a successful partnership? Melanie explains why clear communication and giving back to the community supporting them is critical to achieving long-term buy-in. We discuss how the tourism association tapped into the community’s collective knowledge to promote their destination and how Melanie is leveraging the popularity of similar wine country destinations to build on recognition and broaden the experience for visitors and offer them even more. Website: https://www.hexrivervalley.co.za/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hex-valley-tourism-4b628338/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HexValleyTourism/Twitter: https://twitter.com/hexvalley We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Oct 13 2021
35 mins
Episode 249: Why Disruption Creates Added Value, with Sherrif Karamat
Sherrif Karamat, CAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA. He also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine. As CEO, Sherrif leads the vision, mission, and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. He serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling our community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development. In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Sherrif led the development and implementation of PCMA’s new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. In addition to his responsibilities at the executive level, Sherrif also directed streamlining of PCMA’s content creation and delivery channels into one organization. He oversaw partnership, business services, membership, business development, and technology teams. As part of PCMA’s growth strategy, Sherrif has led a major data intelligence program and played a key role in the 2017 acquisition of Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP). A leader in the business events industry, Sherrif previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destination International Board of Trustees. Sherrif is a life-long learner, and in addition to completing his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada; he has completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. At Harvard Business and Law School, he completed a program on strategic negotiations for senior executives and a program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one on data intelligence and big data. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Sherrif Karamat, who I met at the Destinations International annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland, and whose insights I hope will inspire you going forward. Sherrif shares his thoughts on the importance of face-to-face meetings and gives an overarching perspective of the business meetings industry’s impacts on a vast range of topics and industries. We discuss why when we meet in person, we solve complex issues faster, how those connections will help form and sustain the meetings industry of the future, and why disruption uncovers new value and brings us into focusing on outcomes rather than outputs. What You Will Learn: Why the events industry has been sadly missed over the last 18 monthsThe critical flashes of brilliance that Sherrif has found during the COVID-19 pandemicLessons learned on recovery and change and how Sherrif is taking some of them forwardHow do we create engaging experiences and broaden our reach with technologySherrif’s thoughts on how disruption will shape the future of the travel industryWhy it’s vital to be centered around the people we serve, so they will want to engage with us Lessons for the Future When humans are faced with roadblocks, we start to innovate — and COVID-19 certainly threw up a few obstacles! Sharrif and I discuss the lessons learned by the travel industry, including how we can leverage technology to broaden our reach and engage with more people. Sharrif also shares why he firmly believes that in-person events will see a resurgence in the future as people seek out opportunities to forge meaningful connections. Purpose Driven Outcomes Disruption can help us uncover added value by challenging the status quo. In the travel industry, we want to center our events and organizations around the customers we serve and how we are solving their issues or creating value for them that makes them want to engage with us. When we rethink that status quo and shift our mindset, we can bring people together and focus on positive outcomes, not merely outputs. Convening Leaders Registration Page: https://conveningleaders.org/Website: https://www.pcma.org/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherrif-karamat-822b821/https://www.linkedin.com/company/pcma_2/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PCMAHQ/Twitter: https://twitter.com/pcmahq We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Oct 6 2021
18 mins
Episode 248: Cannabis Travel Experiences, with Brian Applegarth
Brian Applegarth is a strategic voice and leader in the advancement of cannabis-related travel and tourism. He is the founder of the Cannabis Travel Association – an international non-profit organization that is the united voice of cannabis tourism and travel, Cultivar Strategies – a cannabis-solutions provider for travel destinations, and The Cannabis Trail – a non-profit dedicated to preserving and celebrating cannabis history and culture in northern California. Brian serves as a subject matter expert for industry organizations like the California Travel Association, Destinations International, San Francisco Travel, Sonoma County Tourism, Visit Greater Palm Springs, Visit West Hollywood, and the Las Vegas Chamber of Cannabis. Holistic strategy, innovation, and thought leadership at the intersection of cannabis tourism are the signature of his work. Brian was the sole expert advisor for the first-ever national research on the Cannabis Travel Audience profile in the United States. He is known for creating the Cannabis Effect Pairing method, a proprietary consumption method for psychedelics in travel, serving the visitor profile in a safe and meaningful way while spreading visitor spend strategically throughout a destination by positioning cannabis as a tool for targeted sensory enhancement. A world traveler with an appreciation for culture, passion, and human rights – Brian brings a global, expansive perspective to his work. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Brian Applegarth about the cannabis travel trend, and he walks us through what cannabis experiences look like when embraced by a destination. He does a deep dive into the various facets of the cannabis market, including leisure, business, and medical, and describes how cannabis pairs perfectly with travel and tourism opportunities. Brian also discusses how destinations can respond to the growing appetite for cannabis-related experiences in a safe and informed way. What You Will Learn: Ways cannabis experiences are currently being delivered across the USA and the scope for innovating in the niche in your destinationThe foundational values of the Cannabis Travel Association International, including advocacy, education, and networkingWhy the type of visitors who are seeking out cannabis experiences aren’t necessarily who you would expectThe options for educating visitors on the uses of hemp and cannabis and developing a product that travelers can experience when they’re visiting your destinationCreative collaboration and partnership opportunities in the cannabis tourism industry Developing Cannabis Experiences Cannabis comes in many different forms or product categories, and Brian describes the sheer variety of experiences available within the cannabis niche. From CBD relaxation tea to a spa day complete with a topical cannabis oil massage, destinations can leverage many creative options as part of their cannabis experience offering. Wherever your destination, there are opportunities to breathe new life into a region’s signature crop to create a new product that attracts a new tranche of visitors. Values of the Cannabis Movement Brian describes why he feels an immense sense of responsibility to ensure that cannabis visitor experiences are done correctly. His ambition is to elevate all of the opportunities that show the positivity and the power of the plant and encourage destinations to explore all cannabis’ uses, from sustainable hemp products to its medicinal uses. Destinations have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the niche and do it right — to ensure that visitors have a safe and meaningful experience. Cannabis Dosing Scale: https://breaktheicemedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Dosing-Scale_Final_Effect-Pairing.jpgWebsite: https://cultivarstrategies.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-applegarth/https://www.linkedin.com/company/cannabis-travel-association/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/bapples2 We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Sep 29 2021
45 mins
Episode 247: Why Vulnerability Inspires Trust, with Clark Twiddy
Clark Twiddy is the President of Twiddy & Company, an asset management and hospitality firm founded in 1978 along the North Carolina Outer Banks. He was raised in Duck, North Carolina, and is a combat veteran of the US Navy and an alumnus of several universities. Clark has served in numerous public, private, government, and non-profit capacities at various levels, from volunteer to Chair. He was selected as the FBLAs Business Person of the Year in North Carolina in 2019 and is currently the President of the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Married to a native Texan, he is the father of two young daughters and enjoys time on the water and the guitar in his spare time. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Clark Twiddy about leading effectively during a crisis. Clark reflects on how he worked to build a trusting relationship with his customers even during the lockdown and why that allowed him to reap the rewards once things reopened. We also discuss how Clark’s company built capacity and value through digital innovation and how they work in partnership with the University of North Carolina in the spirit of co-opetition. What You Will Learn: Clark reflects on his experience managing his vacation rental business through the pandemicThe two reasons businesses in the travel industry can failHow showing vulnerability builds trustHow Twiddy & Company built capacity and value by leveraging digital toolsWhy Clark was so keen to engage with the broader community on a sustainable tourism projectThe creative ways that Clark has guided his company through the last 18 months and the key lessons learned Maintaining Visitor Trust As the pandemic took hold, customer confidence in the possibility of future travel took a nosedive. Clark explores the lessons his company learned about maintaining visitors’ trust and why it was so important to be honest and transparent — and he shares the three key factors that comprised their covenant with their customers. We discuss why it is so powerful to acknowledge failures and how it allows community partners and stakeholders to have faith in your business. Leading in a Crisis Leaders in the hospitality industry are predisposed to want to give visitors a positive experience, but that desire was tested amid the COVID-19 crisis. Clark explains why he felt it was important to highlight to his team that it was ok to make mistakes but that the most important thing was to learn from those mistakes. He outlines how they built their founding principles of reflectiveness and transparency and how he sees them benefiting their partners in sustainable destination management in North Carolina. Book: Memories of the Currituck Outer Banks: As Told by Ernie Bowden by Clark TwiddyWebsite: https://www.twiddy.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clark-twiddy-3b61a7133https://www.linkedin.com/company/twiddy-&-company-realtors/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TwiddyOuterBanksTwitter: https://twitter.com/clark_twiddyhttps://twitter.com/TwiddyOBX We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Sep 22 2021
38 mins
Episode 246: Omnichannel Marketing, with Douglas Ralston
Douglas Ralston is the President and CEO of True Omni. With over 20 years of expertise in the digital and technological industry, Doug is a digital experience expert who reinforces innovation. Equipped with an industry-wide background in omnichannel, eCommerce, social and interactive digital strategy, Ralston steered technology businesses from different Fortune 500 companies over the last ten years. Doug has a core focus on how traditional organizations can rethink their engagement strategies, utilize technology to increase efficiency, drive revenues and still provide memorable personal experiences. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Douglas Ralston, who describes why he sees the digital visitor experience as a way to open new channels for revenue, data, and engagement. We discuss the evolution of consumer behavior over the last 18 months and how it aligns with recent technological advances. Doug shares case studies of big brands that have added an omnichannel approach and how destinations of all sizes and budgets incorporate similar strategies into their visitor experience. What You Will Learn: How creativity and innovation combine when applying an omnichannel marketing strategyHow large brands are fully developing this type of strategyAffordable ways to develop an omnichannel strategy for your destinationTactics that destinations can use to gather data that helps them better serve their visitorsHow to leverage your current technology to enter the omnichannel world Personalized Information Understanding and personalizing the customer experience is the future for the travel industry, and omnichannel communication allows you to meet your customers where they are most comfortable. When you’re developing technology, remember that the more value you give your visitor in the form of information, coupons, or tickets, the more value you will get back in the form of data that you can use to understand and improve the visitor experience. Enhancing Visitor Experience The omnichannel approach to the visitor experience is all about allowing your customer to access the content they want on a device of their choosing to enhance their experience of your destination. Smartphones and mobile devices have opened up a whole new medium of communication, and if destinations can evolve their marketing on a digital level, then they will be able to open up new channels for revenue and visitor engagement. Douglas Ralston, on behalf of True Omni, will be part of the upcoming Louisiana Governor’s Travel Summit (Aug 24-26), Alabama Governor’s Conference (Aug 28-31), and eTourism Summit Tourism (Sept 20-22)Website: https://www.trueomni.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasralston/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trueomniTwitter: https://twitter.com/ddralstonhttps://twitter.com/trueomni We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Sep 15 2021
44 mins
Episode 245: Building Successful Partnerships, with Annette Rummel
Annette Rummel joined the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureaus as president and CEO in 2009. In her role as chief executive officer, Annette leads the individual Destination Marketing & Management Organizations (DMMOs) of Bay, Midland, and Saginaw Counties and the Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB. This has allowed Annette and her team to invite the world to visit a place they are proud to call home. Annette has led through times of calm and crisis, always focused on positioning this Pure Michigan destination as a great place to live, work, worship, and play. During calm times, Annette serves her team ensuring they have the tools needed to flourish, and during times of crisis, Annette leads the team relying on their support. Annette understands that the travel sector plays a key role in economic development, as a community shared value and that data-driven, creative cathedral thinking must be deployed throughout the organizations. In addition to her primary role, Annette leads the Great Lakes Bay Quality of Life Council where she pioneers and manages the new Go Great Foundation and its progressive vision for tourism, economic and experience development. Annette has served the Michigan travel and tourism industry for more than 40 years. Prior to her roles with the Great Lakes Bay Region, Annette served as the CEO of the Saginaw County Convention & Visitors Bureau and CEO of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau – Michigan’s #1 community destination. Annette was the originator, organizer, and operator of the World Expo of Beer, Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, and Frankenmuth Big Block Party attracting more than 250,000 participants. She participated as a founder of Zehnder’s Snowfest and helped organize the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival attracting more than 200,000 participants. Annette is an advocate for tourism at the local, state, and federal levels. She participates annually in Destination Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., served on the Destinations International (DI) Board of Directors, the DI Foundation Board. She was Chairman of the Advocacy Committee for DI Foundation for several years, and consistently produces and shares advocacy materials and concepts, inspiring other DMMOs to enact powerful, measurable change for the tourism industry. Annette is a graduate of Delta College, Northwood University, Rochester Institute of Technology (Master of Science), and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Park, Recreation, and Tourism Resource Studies). Annette’s Dissertation Titled: Travel by People With Disabilities: A Diffusion Study Focused on Opinion Leadership provided her with great insight on the disabled traveler and the opportunities associated with services geared toward these individuals. Recently, Annette was an international adjunct professor for Rochester Institute of Technology and completed the 3rd DestinationsNext Assessment for the destination. Residing in Frankenmuth Michigan, Annette is married to William Rummel and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Elizabeth (Brandon) and Sarah, and grandparents to one granddaughter. Annette and William are members of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church in Frankenmuth. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Annette Rummel, master collaborator, travel trailblazer, and CEO of Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. Annette gives her insights on finding the win-win in collaborative relationships and why she believes in actively seeking out collaborators rather than sitting by and passively waiting for them to find you. We also discuss the additional crisis that her destination faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and her team’s creative solutions to serve their community. What You Will Learn: What Annette has done to really help Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau stand out from the crowdThe challenges that Annette faced in 2020 and some of the creative solutions that her team used to move through themHow Annette and her colleagues created the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau from three county CVBsAnnette’s advice for listeners who might want to start thinking about potential collaborations for their destinationWhat cathedral thinking means to Annette and how it has helped her during her career An Innovative Approach Creativity is enhanced when people feel able to suggest new things, and Annette describes why she values innovation in her team. She shares how the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau try to open their eyes to everything in their destination and pass on their enthusiasm to their visitors. We also discuss Annette’s enthusiasm for collaboration and how she engineered the creation of a regional CVB in the Great Lakes region of Michigan that took three county CVBs under one successful umbrella organization. Crisis Management Annette shares the story of the crisis within a crisis in the Great Lakes region and how her team at the CVB was able to swing into action to help accommodate those left homeless by flooding. She describes why they were so grateful for the support of their partner organizations and why the disaster underlined the importance of having established collaborative relationships in place. GLBRCVB Tourism Economic Development Overview thru 2020Go Great Collaboration ChartWebsite: https://www.gogreat.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annette-rummel-16909633/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gogreatlakesbay/Twitter: https://twitter.com/gogreatlakesbay/ We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Sep 8 2021
51 mins
Episode 244: Insights from the Destinations international 2021 Annual Convention (Part Three), with Nicole Mahoney
For the final episode in a special three part series of Destination on the Left episodes, I visited the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention and spoke with several attendees who are experts in the travel and tourism industry. These guests shared remarkable insights in their mini-interviews, and our conversations were focused on learning to adapt to the challenges we’ve all faced through the global pandemic and even embracing the disruption by innovating and getting creative. The brilliance each of these leaders shared is certain to be invaluable as we continue to navigate the pandemic. In this episode, you’ll hear from these extraordinary leaders: Adam Johnson – Sales Manager at ZarticoAnnette Rummel – CEO of Great Lakes Bay CVBMichael Hensley – Travel Marketing Manager at Great Lakes CVBGreg DeShields – Executive Director of Tourism Diversity MattersJim Walter – Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Visit CheyenneAndi Jaspersen – Experience and Marketing Manager at Visit CheyenneMelaine Rottkamp – President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism Inc.Steve Powell – CEO of Destination ServicesTiffany Gallagher – Eastern US Branch Manager for CivitasWes Rhea – CEO of Visit Stockton Visionary Travel and Tourism Leaders at the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention The Destinations International Annual Convention is an incredible yearly event that brings together experts from both within and outside of the travel and tourism industry, to exchange ideas and collaborative solutions for the many challenges our industry faces today. This year’s convention was uniquely focused on the challenges and opportunities we have experienced over the past two years, and it was my honor to speak to some of the extraordinary guests to get their insights into where we started as the pandemic began, where we’ve been, and where we’re going in the future of our industry in a post-pandemic world. Adam Johnson from Zartico Adam explains why the pandemic has taught many of us to be more nimble and flexible and taught us to see beyond year-over-year KPIs. He shares why he believes staying nimble will be crucial going forward, and he explains why working collaboratively with residents and local organizations will be crucial going forward. Adam shares why now is the ideal time to rethink how we’ve traditionally done things and break out of our habits and rituals. Annette Rummel & Michael Hensley from Great Lakes Bay CVB Annette and Michael explain why “Semper Gumby” (forever flexible) has been the theme they’ve attempted to embrace throughout the pandemic. They share how being creative and tackling immediate challenges while remembering long-term goals has been key. They share how data has been central to their recovery strategy, and they discuss the importance of not viewing disruption as a “negative” but rather as an opportunity to realign, correct for vulnerabilities, and innovate. Greg DeShields from Tourism Diversity Matters Greg talks about how the biggest positive disruption he has experienced has been seeing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) moving to the forefront of the industry in the last 18 months. He shares why every level of the industry needs to consider their DEI position. He explains why this greater focus on DEI is beneficial for the entire industry and creates opportunities to broaden messages and reach more people. He shares how today’s customers have higher DEI expectations from the travel and tourism sector than ever before. Jim Walter & Andi Jaspersen from Visit Cheyenne Jim and Andi discuss how disruption lies at the core of the work they do. They explain how their duties have expanded to encompass the Downtown Development Authority as well. They talk about why standing still isn’t an option and always pushing and growing has been key to their success. They also share how partnerships in their community have been powerful, impactful and important. Melaine Rottkamp from Dutchess Tourism Melaine explains why your ability to embrace change is key to your success and survival, regardless of the industry you’re operating in. She highlights how organizations who have embraced new opportunities have survived and thrived through the pandemic crisis. She explains how outdoor experiences have become key attractions throughout the area during the pandemic, with outdoor trails and gardens being instrumental “hidden gems” and revenue generators even as the indoor spaces have remained closed. Steve Powell from Destination Services Steve shares his perspective that “disruption” is nothing more than the introduction of new generational cultures. He explains why technology is reshaping the industry and will be central to the “new norm”. He talks about how the pandemic has accelerated changes that were already coming, and how the things we’ve had to sacrifice through the pandemic have given us a new appreciation for life and work experiences. Tiffany Gallagher from Civitas Tiffany talks about how the disruption has created opportunities for a brighter future by shining a light on things we’ve ignored and neglected for too long. She shares how the loss of tourism income and other pandemic financial impacts have shown us how essential tourism is to the overall health of our economy. She believes leveraging this new level of attention and understanding will make the industry stronger in the long term. Wes Rhea from Visit Stockton Wes discusses why he believes examining data will be crucial moving forward, and he talks about how using geolocation data can answer a number of questions and give us new insights. He shares how collaboration with vendors has been key over the course of the pandemic. He also discusses the importance of rolling DEI efforts into our organizations. He celebrates Stockton being named the most diverse city in the nation, and he looks toward the future and even bigger DEI initiatives and efforts. Embracing Change and Welcoming Disruption Many of these leaders spoke of the importance of not becoming entrenched in our old ways of doing things and instead focusing on innovation, new solutions and flexibility. Greater diversity, equity and inclusion in our marketing efforts and outreach will be crucial moving forward. And, for all the chaos and turmoil the pandemic has caused, it has also given us a rare opportunity to reexamine how we do things and challenge our own assumptions. I want to thank all of the extraordinary travel and tourism experts who shared their wisdom with me over this three-part special series. These visionaries and trailblazers are finding solutions to the unprecedented challenges our industry faces today, and they are paving the way for a bright future for travel, tourism and hospitality in a post-pandemic world. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing the unique insights and perspectives all 26 of these leaders generously shared with me at the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention. Thank you so much for joining the conversation! Together, we can apply the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic to strengthen our industry as a whole. We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Sep 1 2021
28 mins
Episode 243: Insights from the Destinations international 2021 Annual Convention (Part Two), with Nicole Mahoney
For this second episode in a special three part series of Destination on the Left episodes, I visited the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention and spoke with several attendees who are experts in the travel and tourism industry. These guests shared remarkable insights in their mini-interviews, and our conversations were focused on the bright spots and silver linings they were able to discover during this unprecedented and challenging period of global pandemic. The brilliance each of these leaders shared is certain to be invaluable as we continue to navigate the pandemic. In this episode, you’ll hear from these extraordinary leaders: Tammy Blount-Canavan – Executive Vice President, President and Principal at Fired-Up! CultureGordon Taylor – Vice President of Convention Sales & Services at Destination ClevelandGreg LaDuca – Vice President of Industry Relations & Visitor Experience at Visit RochesterJack Johnson – Chief Advocacy Officer at Destinations InternationalJill Delaney – President & CEO of Discover AlbanyJulie Gilbert – Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Destination Niagara USALiz Fitzsimmons – Managing Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism and FilmShannon Lowery – Content & Social Media Manager for Visit Savannah Visionary Travel and Tourism Leaders at the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention The Destinations International Annual Convention is an incredible yearly event that brings together experts from both within and outside of the travel and tourism industry, to exchange ideas and collaborative solutions for the many challenges our industry faces today. This year’s convention was uniquely focused on the challenges and opportunities we have experienced over the past two years, and it was my honor to speak to some of the extraordinary guests to get their insights into where we started as the pandemic began, where we’ve been, and where we’re going in the future of our industry in a post-pandemic world. Tammy Blount-Canavan from Fired-Up! Culture Tammy shares why patience is such a crucial virtue when dealing with the unexpected and the uncertain. She explains how increased collaboration in her organization has helped them navigate this complexity. She also highlights how organizations are emerging leaner and more nimble than ever before, reexamining their goals and adapting to today’s challenges and opportunities. She explains how smaller teams filled with “cross-functional ninjas” are advancing travel and tourism organizations in this new era. Gordon Taylor from Destination Cleveland Gordon explains why focusing on and celebrating personal and professional wins has helped his team navigate the emotional challenges of the pandemic. He explains why it is crucial to create a culture where people know they’re loved and cared about. He talks about how this same degree of empathy is important to extend to clients, and he shares how this past year has helped Destination Cleveland better understand the needs and challenges of their clients. Greg LaDuca from Visit Rochester Greg talks about how Visit Rochester recognized a need for increased diversity within their membership, and he discusses how Destination International helped him navigate the complexities of the pandemic. He talks about how Visit Rochester has worked to reach out in partnership with local businesses owned by BIPOC business leaders to foster greater diversity within the organization and a stronger reflection of the community at large. He shares how flexibility and empathy have been crucial for helping members navigate the pandemic. Jack Johnson from Destinations International Jack shares how travel and tourism organizations have found new purpose by shifting their focus from attracting outside visitors to working to serve their local communities, and he explains why collaboration within local communities is the key to bringing value to those communities. He explains why it’s important for destination organizations to maintain that local focus even as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. Jill Delaney from Discover Albany Jill explains how Discover Albany has used the pandemic as an opportunity to break out of their old way of doing things and innovate new, more flexible solutions. Jill shares how the pandemic sped up the time table for these changes and created an opportunity even for people who typically aren’t comfortable with change to reflect and shake things up. Julie Gilbert from Destination Niagara USA Julie talks about the growing importance of personalization in messaging to audiences. She shares how Destination Niagara USA is focused on testing to help adapt to swiftly changing consumer expectations. She celebrates the travel trade returning in such a strong, healthy way, and she shares how her organization is preparing for the coming months with a “bucket list” campaign (and sub-campaigns) that her organization has utilized throughout the year. Liz Fitzsimmons from Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism and Film Liz shares how trusting other organizations within the industry and being open to collaboration has been key, and she shares how working with a planning partner helped provide a roadmap to navigate the pandemic. She discusses how the blueprint her office was able to create with their planning partner’s help has served as a guiding star and a focus point throughout the pandemic. Shannon Lowery from Visit Savannah Shannon shares how increased accountability on social media platforms has given her a greater sense of empowerment in her role. She shares how this increased accountability and ability to push back against harmful narratives has created a positive impression that has resonated with many of Visit Savannah’s followers. Flexibility, Empathy, and Collaboration The pandemic has brought unprecedented levels of upheaval to virtually every aspect of our modern lives, but the destination travel and tourism industry has seen some of the biggest shifts. Adapting to these challenges has required innovative thinking, new approaches, and strengthened relationships. As you heard from many of the guests I interviewed in this episode, there have been some powerful silver linings and positive experiences that have come out of the pandemic, things that we can take forward into the future. Leaning into our local communities, listening and being empathetic, being flexible and ready to adapt, strengthening existing partnerships and creating new ones will continue to serve the destination travel and tourism industry long into the future, even after we emerge from the pandemic. If we embrace the lessons this chaotic period has taught us, our entire industry will be stronger for it. I’m so grateful for these remarkable experts and professionals who took the time to speak with me and share their insights. I hope you enjoyed their unique perspectives in this second episode in our three part series. We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Aug 25 2021
36 mins
Episode 242: Insights from the Destinations international 2021 Annual Convention (Part One), with Nicole Mahoney
For this first episode in a special three part series of Destination on the Left episodes, I visited the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention and spoke with several attendees who are experts in the travel and tourism industry. These guests shared remarkable insights in their mini-interviews, and our conversations were focused on the bright spots and silver linings they were able to discover during this unprecedented and challenging period of global pandemic. The brilliance each of these leaders shared is certain to be invaluable as we continue to navigate the pandemic. In this episode, you’ll hear from these extraordinary leaders: Andria Godfrey – Vice President, Longwoods InternationalBree Nidds – Vice President of Sales, Discover Lehigh ValleyBrian Bossuyt – Executive Vice President and COO, Pocono Mountains Visitors BureauDavid Holder – CEO, Clarity of PlaceJamie Furbush – President and CEO, Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors BureauJosiah Brown – President, New York’s Best Experience (a division of Famous Destination Marketing)Kurt Krause – President and CEO, VisitNorfolkValerie Knoblauch – President and CEO, Visit Finger Lakes Visionary Travel and Tourism Leaders at the Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention The Destinations International Annual Convention is an incredible yearly event that brings together experts from both within and outside of the travel and tourism industry, to exchange ideas and collaborative solutions for the many challenges our industry faces today. This year’s convention was uniquely focused on the challenges and opportunities we have experienced over the past two years, and it was my honor to speak to some of the extraordinary guests to get their insights into where we started as the pandemic began, where we’ve been, and where we’re going in the future of our industry in a post-pandemic world. Andria Godfrey from Longwoods International Andria shares some of the key statistics and insights Longwoods International has been able to gain from their American Travel Sentiment survey throughout the pandemic crisis. Respondents have reported a high pent-up demand to travel, even during the most difficult periods of the pandemic outbreak. Andria sees this as an opportunity as we navigate the pandemic and beyond. The younger traveler demographic is a growing segment that presents many new opportunities as we move forward, and our messaging should keep these younger travelers in mind. Bree Nidds from Discover Lehigh Valley Bree discusses the rapid changes affecting our industry, and she shares how the Discover Lehigh Valley team developed new skills and strategies to adapt to the speed of these changes. This team growth has allowed people to truly shine in new ways. Discover Lehigh Valley has made a conscious shift toward content creation, and as team members have honed their on-screen presentation and writing skills, this has created extraordinary new ways to highlight the destination. Brian Bossuyt from Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Brian shares how close partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders and business leaders have been instrumental in his organization’s success and their strengthened messaging. By bringing together so many interested organizations, the Visitors Bureau has been able to amplify their message. And these collaborations have had a positive effect on the community as a whole, creating a powerful ripple effect. Brian also discusses how their TV station has proven to be a valuable asset and an extraordinary communication and education channel, both before and during the pandemic crisis. David Holder from Clarity of Place David shares how the key to this challenging period has been the opportunity it has presented to re-examine everything we do and innovate new solutions. David shares how the greatest destination leaders have used initiative, new content development strategies, and a different approach that goes beyond destination marketing to drive their organizations forward through the pandemic. He also shares how it has become important for organizations in our industry to become more than just cheerleaders for their communities but to serve as a bridge between the community and the destinations within it. David says it’s critical for us to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to marketing as we move forward. Jamie Furbush from Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Jamie discusses how even simple, little things have become necessities through the pandemic and its restrictions, and she shares how seeing our spaces in a new light and finding new uses for these spaces can become a powerful opportunity even after the pandemic. Jamie highlights the role that collaboration has played for Frankenmuth, and she discusses the stronger connections that facing the many challenges has allowed her community to forge. Josiah Brown from New York’s Best Experience (a division of Famous Destination Marketing) Josiah shares why the biggest lesson he has learned through the pandemic is how much we all truly need each other. He discusses how the pandemic has brought both times of clarity and times of confusion, and he explains why collaborations have been crucial for helping each other navigate the moments of fog and take advantage of the moments of brilliance. Josiah discusses how generosity and idea-sharing have been hallmarks of the pandemic that have served to universally strengthen the industry. He also discusses how video conferencing tools like Zoom may continue to be valuable even after the pandemic. He talks about how the tourism industry is shifting to a “play, live, work” economic development model for the first time. Kurt Krause from VisitNorfolk Kurt shares how the initial challenge for his organization was timing their programs without knowing how long restrictions would last or how long the pandemic would impact travel. He shares how focusing on Norfolk’s strengths and highlights has been key. He discusses the pent-up travel demands, and he shares how his community partnered with nearby Virginia Beach to create an outreach campaign to increase awareness of the area’s features and destinations. These two communities worked together and became stronger together than they would have been independently. He shares how $1 million in investment turned into $6 million in hotel room sales, and he highlights some of the other benefits this program provided to Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Valerie Knoblauch from Visit Finger Lakes Valerie shares how the pandemic created a unique opportunity to truly lean into the diverse skills of her staff, but also to “lend out” those skills where they were most needed. She shares how the county government needed help with their early pandemic safety messaging to travelers and residents, and she explains how helping the county with this messaging has created powerful new relationships and new opportunities for Visit Finger Lakes. Collaboration is Key As these extraordinary leaders shared, collaboration has been one of the key recurring themes that has helped each of these organizations chart a new path forward through uncertain waters. From working with other nearby destinations to coordinating their efforts with their larger community, collaboration has become a powerful resource for everyone involved. I hope you enjoy this first part of the three part Destinations International 2021 Annual Convention series. Next week, we’ll hear from even more remarkable leaders and we’ll take a look at more of the bright sides, silver linings and moments of brilliance that have helped our industry move forward through this challenging period.
Aug 18 2021
39 mins
Episode 241: Destination Storytelling — A New Era, with Will Seccombe
Will Seccombe is President of Connect Travel, a strategic marketing business that connects destination marketers with the products, services, people, and ideas that help them thrive in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive global marketplace. Prior to joining the tourism marketing company in May 2017, Will served four years as President and Chief Executive Officer for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s destination marketing organization. He joined VISIT FLORIDA in March 2008 as Chief Marketing Officer, and International and out-of-state visitors to the Sunshine State increased from 80 million in 2009 to over 112 million in 2016, with an associated annual increase in visitor spending of over $30 billion. Will’s career began as regional sales manager with Vail Associates in 1989. He then moved on to Loveland Ski Areas in 1992 as director of marketing, vice president of marketing for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1995, and vice president and chief operating officer with PRACO, LTD in 1999. In 2004, Seccombe founded Revolution Communications, LLC, a digital travel marketing firm. Will was named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing by HSMAI, Top 50 Global Marketers in Travel by Skift, and the 2014 Hospitality Legend of the Year by the South Florida HSMAI. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Will Seccombe, who joins me to share his perspective on creativity and collaboration in the travel industry. We discuss the upcoming eTourism Summit and the benefits that participants will get from the industry collaboration. Will also shares why he thinks that creativity is a critical skill for marketers and why building positive and productive relationships will push the industry forward over the coming months. What You Will Learn: Why Will made the leap from mountain destinations to beach destinations and his career trajectory so farWill’s insights into current innovation in the travel industry as a response to the events of the last 18 monthsHow destination marketers can recognize and tell the story of their key differentiatorWhy traditional targeting is no longer working and what destination marketers can do insteadHow the eTourism Summit evolved and what participants will get from the collaborationWill’s insights on how collaboration is going to help carry the travel industry forward Innovations in Storytelling Creativity has never been a more important skill set than it is today. The travel industry as a whole in 2019 saw record visitor numbers, so there was no real incentive to innovate. The events of 2020 and the challenges the sector faced forced innovation and creativity and drove destinations to reevaluate their messaging. Will shares his thoughts on the new ways destination marketers are using social media to tell their stories and why he feels the playing field has been reset going forward. Capture the Authenticity The concept of branding is to tell our stories, and the best way to get to the heart of a destination is to leverage feedback from visitors and community experiences to tell that story. We discuss why hearing about lived experiences captures the genuine authenticity of a place and why the voices of the people who are passionate about your destination are so powerful in attracting new visitors. Website: https://connecttravel.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seccombe/Twitter: @troutline
Aug 11 2021
37 mins
Episode 240: Collaborative Storytelling for Destination Marketing, with Kurian Tharakan
Kurian Mathew Tharakan is the founder of the sales and marketing strategy firm StrategyPeak Sales & Marketing Advisors and a 27-year sales and marketing industry veteran. He has consulted for companies in numerous sectors. Mr. Tharakan is also the author of the Amazon Bestseller, “The 7 Essential Stories Charismatic Leaders Tell,” which details how anyone can move people and mountains with the power of story. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Kurian Tharakan about the importance of storytelling as a tool for sales and marketing. He shares the seven stories that every leader should tell and how stories make activities and destinations come alive for the listener. Kurian also shares case studies of how destinations can leverage collaboration and community relationships to tell their authentic stories and attract more visitors. What You Will Learn: The importance of creating curiosity with a relatable storyWhat an ‘idea stack’ is and how it can help build your authentic storyHow to develop your marketing to make value propositionsWhy collaboration is so beneficial when you’re telling your destination storyHow destinations can embrace the diversity and equity and inclusion movement in the stories they tell Tell Your Authentic Story If you have an authentic story, you’re more likely to engage people’s imagination. Take control of the narrative by using stories to lead your teams internally and to lead markets externally. You’re not focusing on a single idea, but rather an ‘idea stack’ that appeals to different audiences and sets you apart from your competitors. Kurain shares his seven essential stories and describes why every marketer needs to create a Venn diagram for their central story. Engage Attention Stories begin with intrigue and curiosity, and whatever you want the customer to hear should be functionally relevant and emotionally significant. Collaboration is important when telling your story; you can engage the whole tourism ecosystem — from boutique hotels to niche activities — to create curiosity in potential visitors. By thinking broadly about your destination, you can create a story that engages a range of audiences. Book: The 7 Essential Stories Charismatic Leaders TellInfographic: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uavv5hi1u8izn1d/The%207%20Essential_Stories%20Infographic.pdf?dl=0Website: https://strategypeak.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kuriantharakan/https://www.linkedin.com/company/strategypeak-sales-&-marketing-advisors/about/ Twitter: @KurianTharakanEmail: kurian@strategypeak.com We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Aug 4 2021
50 mins
Episode 239: Attracting International Brands to Your Destination, with Mike Testa
Mike Testa is the President and CEO of Visit Sacramento & the Sacramento Sports Commission, leading a team dedicated to promoting Sacramento as an attractive travel destination while enhancing Sacramentos image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, Mike and his team strengthen Sacramento’s economic position, grow the region’s economy, attract development investment, and improve the quality of life for the people who call Sacramento home. In just three years as the CEO of Visit Sacramento, Mike has generated new streams of visitors to the region by investing in and promoting Sacramento’s arts community and creating and expanding music and food festivals. He has also focused on growing and securing new and diverse sporting events and advocating for, and ultimately securing, the expansion of the Sacramento Convention Center. Visit California Travel & Tourism data shows that Mike’s vision of diversifying Sacramento’s visitor platform is working. In 2019, Sacramento generated record revenues from tourism, as visitors spent more than $3 billion into the regional economy. In 2021, Visit Sacramento will help further elevate the Aftershock Music Festival (the largest hard rock festival on the West Coast) into a four-day, 120,000-person music event. Later that same month, Sacramento will host its first Ironman competition. Through Mike’s vision, commitment to community collaboration, and consistent innovation, Sacramentos identity has evolved from a sleepy State Capital to a relevant food destination, recognized nationally as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Through creating the Tower Bridge Dinner and events like the Farm-to-Fork Festival, Mike’s ability to see Sacramento’s heritage and reimagine its identity as a food and agriculture leader has brought millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses national earned media to Sacramento. Additionally, Mike Testa is responsible for initiating and creating the relationship with the Paris-based Michelin Guide to generate a California dining guide that spotlighted 14 of Sacramento’s restaurants and earned the city its first Michelin-starred restaurant in its inaugural year of publication. Mike is a graduate of St. Mary’s College and has spent his career promoting, connecting, and developing relationships to elevate organizational goals. As an expert communicator and seasoned destination marketing executive, he is highly sought after to speak at CEO forums, participate in panel discussions, serve as an event emcee, and facilitate conversations around marketing, tourism development, and community economic creation and development. Mike is also widely known as a thought leader in economic development through festivals and events. In 2017 he was hand-picked to participate in a panel discussion at Austins SXSW about building successful special events and the intricate components of forming relationships between host cities and festival producers. In 2008, Mike was named as a ‘40 under 40 leader’ and in 2014 was awarded the Vibe Award from the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, which recognized ‘Visionary Innovators in Building Excellence.’ He is active on the boards of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Zoo, Midtown Association, and Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Mike is an educator and enjoys sharing his knowledge as a former media relations instructor for the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and the UC Davis Extension. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Mike Testa, who shares his passion for the city of Sacramento and details how Visit Sacramento built a brand as the Farm-to-Fork capital of America. We discuss Sacramento’s challenges as a city in California, where there are many bucket list cities, and creative ways his team has carved out positioning that Sacramento can own. Mike also highlights how his organization has creatively collaborated to successfully produce events for the city that are now attracting a vast number of visitors every year. What You Will Learn: All the exciting events that Visit Sacramento has created with its partners to attract visitors to the city, including the Farm-to-Fork FestivalWhy Mike focuses on building a brand to seek out national and international opportunities, including their collaboration with the Michelin GuidesVisit Sacramento’s creative plans for the future and how the COVID-19 pandemic has made them reflect on how they attract visitors to the cityWhy it’s so critical to build partnerships during challenging timesHow Mike approaches destination marketing within the local community Leadership in Adversity In times of adversity, we often see that team members find the strength and confidence to step up to lead and are keen to take on challenges that benefit the whole community. Mike’s leadership skills are shaped by his previous experience in a wide range of roles in marketing and community relationship development, and he fosters that ethos in his team. Mike also shares his insights on connecting with organizations in your area and why building deeper bonds ultimately helps you move forward to achieve your goals. Partnership Events With the Farm-to-Fork initiative, Mike and Visit Sacramento designed a 360-degree celebration of what the region had to offer and worked hard to get community and local media buy-in to the event, which has subsequently gone from strength to strength. Mike shares the most significant lessons he learned from building the festival gradually and candidly describes some of the valuable partnerships and collaborations they rely on to attract visitors to their destination. Website: https://www.visitsacramento.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-testa-1082673/https://www.linkedin.com/company/sacramento-convention-&-visitors-bureau Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VisitSacramento/Twitter: https://twitter.com/visitsacramento We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Jul 28 2021
46 mins
Episode 238: Motivate with Music, with Paula White
Paula White is a globally recognized sales leader with experience in scaling Inside Sales Teams into multi-million stand-alone sales channels. Using unique perspectives and a forward-thinking approach, she achieves 8% – 10% compounded yearly growth leading from a foundation of heart and mind. Her passion for people, purpose, and results has lent itself to experience in various industries: travel and tourism, investments, veterinary and healthcare distribution. Paula began a consulting business in 2021 to bring a new innovative way to explore leadership legacies and knowing each leadership style is as unique as one of your music playlists. She uses music as a metaphor and tool to enhance your experience through her company, Side B Consulting. Paula currently serves as a member of the AA-ISP Advisory Board and has been recognized as a Top 25 Most Influential Sales Leader for three consecutive years by AA-ISP. She was the award winner of ‘Excellence in Execution’ in 2017, ranked amongst the ‘Top 100 Coaches to Watch’ for two consecutive years by Ambition, and has been honored with the 2020 Mentor of the Summer for #GirlsClub. Paula served as President of the AA-ISP Columbus Ohio Chapter from 2015 – 2018 and is currently a mentor for #GirlsClub and a SalesClass.ai Contributor. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Paula White, who discusses the human side of the sales process and where she believes current problems lie. She shares some of the details of her new company, Side B Consulting, and why and how she uses music as a motivator and a tool to help clients understand their leadership style. Paula also provides some actionable tips for keeping the human connection in sales and outlines her approach to understanding and stepping into your legacy behaviors. What You Will Learn: Why we should re-humanize the sales processActionable tips on how to connect with potential clientsHow to use music as a leadership toolHow to understand a walk in your legacy behaviorHow putting together the right playlist can shift your mindset Humanize the Sales Process Travel professionals love what they do because they’re helping people by serving the communities they work in and the visitors who spend time with them — which is why it’s much more helpful to be a consultative salesperson than a purely transactional one. Sales is a process, but it is also a very human experience. Paula shares her philosophy on why we need to re-humanize sales and describes the rule of three by three by three that helps her connect with clients. Legacy Behavior Music is a potent leadership tool — if you’re stressed out, you can quickly change your mindset by playing the right songs to get you in the correct headspace for the task ahead. Paula explains why after 30 years working in corporate America, she was inspired to use music to motivate herself and her team and why she decided to help leaders figure out and walk into their legacy behavior and exemplify their ideal qualities through the metaphor of music. YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_xkbbpzjHaNghE5e3U6x6wWebsite: www.paulaswhite.comLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-pw-white-344a8611/https://www.linkedin.com/company/side-b-consulting Twitter: @pswhite00 We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Jul 21 2021
33 mins
Episode 237: Ready for Re-Entry!, with Pam Williams
Pamela Brooks Williams is a Huntsville native who is passionate about her city and sharing its highlights with anyone she can. She has been with the Huntsville/Madison County CVB for 16 years. As Tourism Sales Manager, she works to bring groups of all types and leisure travelers to our community and especially enjoys working with student groups taking advantage of the unique offerings available exclusively through the Educational Escapes program, which she coordinates. Pam is responsible for implementing new products and events in Huntsville, such as Huntsville Restaurant Week, the Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt, and Trains on Main Scavenger Hunt. In addition, she currently serves on the board for the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association. Before joining the Bureau, Pam worked at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, serving in various roles and was active in the local hospitality industry. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama Huntsville with a degree in history and political science. Pam enjoys travel and is frequently on the go. She has three talented, intelligent, and very busy children. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Pam Williams about her love of the diversity, the variety, and the incredible experiences that working with the DMO offers, and she shares why she is so passionate about the travel industry. We discuss why Huntsville is perfectly positioned as Rocket City, USA, and Pam describes some of the amazing attractions on offer, including their Space and Aviation Camps. Pam also gives her expert advice on creating successful collaborations, including details of Huntsville’s new initiative. Finally, she shares the new messaging that they are using as we head towards recovery. What You Will Learn: How Pam and her team manage the growth and the infrastructure of their expanding destination to ensure that visitors have a great experience in HuntsvilleWhat the Huntsville CVB has done to help it stand out in the crowd.The Attractions Week initiative — how it works, similarities and differences from Restaurant Week, and how they are promoting itUnexpected opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has given them to be creative when evolving to meet whatever the future bringsHow Pam has been able to leverage ‘coop-etition’ to join with competitors to collaborate on projects over the last 12 months Keeping It Fresh We discuss the pivots that the CVB has made over the last year to showcase its range of attractions, and Pam outlines how Huntsville creatively shines a light on each sector with the new initiative Attractions Week. Reimagining annual events to ensure they stay fresh and exciting for repeat visitors is a priority for the destination, and Pam also describes how they let people know what’s going on in the area using social media and their website. Supporting the Community Huntsville has been encouraging people to support local businesses more than ever, and in addition to inviting in visitors, they have focused on promotions that help local residents shop locally. Pam describes the I Heart Huntsville campaign, how inviting visitors, influencers, and locals to share what they love about the community works, and why they’re showing their love and appreciation for their hospitality heroes this year. Website: https://www.huntsville.org/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pam-williams-tmp-ctp-6270b67/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuntsvilleCVBTwitter: https://twitter.com/go2huntsvilleal We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/
Jul 14 2021
40 mins

0:00