More often than not the association is somewhat of a keeper of the peace among competitors in a particular industry. In the case of destination marketing organizations (DMO) like Meet Minneapolis, the trade association that represents Meet Minneapolis and its counterpart organizations around the world is the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and that organization recently held its annual convention in Austin, Texas.
Local organizational awareness and relevance, sports marketing, digital technology, customer engagement, organizational efficiency, limited resources, staff training and development are among the common themes that were discussed at the convention. These subjects resonate with DMOs wherever they may be or whatever size they are.
The hotel industry tends to be ultra competitive with little sharing. I'm told that the financial services industry is also not particularly collaborative among competitors. However, as closely as we watch our destination competitors, there is a more prevalent spirit of collaboration and cooperation at the destination level. One of the greatest aspects of destination marketing is how much sharing of non-proprietary information there is among destinations. As the saying goes, there's nothing new under the sun.
Of course, a bit of competitiveness did emerge as those of us in attendance spoke glowingly about the latest new "thing" happening in our particular destination such as a new attraction, hotel, convention center, airport or other tourism infrastructure project.
DMAI will convene its 102nd annual convention in Minneapolis in August of 2016. A lot has changed since DMAI last met here in 2000. So while we will be doing our share of bragging and showing off things such as the new U.S. Bank Stadium, we will be more focused on the collaboration and information sharing that will help us to better serve our stakeholders in a very competitive arena.