Meeting planners, tourists, hotels and others who play key roles in our industry are changing how they operate, thanks to advances in technology, innovations in sales processes, and new ways to get information. These are just a few of the factors that are altering our business, and we must position Meet Minneapolis to be nimble so we can continue our growth and success as the landscape of the industry evolves.
We approached this project by focusing on three levels of analysis: shifts in the industry, shifts among our peers and shifts in the organization. Through interviews, literature reviews, surveys, and organizational assessments, we studied each of these areas in detail to inform our next steps as an organization. In the end, DI was extremely helpful in identifying areas where we will strengthen our processes, as well as those areas where we can shine a light on opportunities to grow and continue to be a leader among Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).
As a result of all this work, we have identified four key areas we will be putting a strong focus on as we move forward:
- Public relations and communications
- Diversity and inclusion
- Public affairs and community relations
- Finance and human capital
Putting more emphasis on these areas has led to these key changes to our organizational structure:
- The creation of a Public Affairs department.
- The redeployment of the Tourism & International Relations department, with its staff joining the Public Affairs, Destination Branding & Strategy and Destination Sales departments. We will continue to place a strong emphasis on the leisure travel sales and marketing expertise that our stakeholders need.
- Changes in structure to the Destination Branding & Strategy department to boost our communications capacity and ensure we’re making the most of public relations, web, digital, and social media channels.
- Changes in our Finance & Administration department that will help us prepare for future financial challenges and put greater focus on our technology strategy.
As you know, we work closely with the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) to ensure that we’re tapping into their expertise and leadership in our industry. A recent industry review by DMAI looked at dozens of DMO practices it believes are necessary for future sustainability, and Meet Minneapolis ranked as a “trailblazer,” which is the highest tier.
With these changes, we’re coming into even closer alignment with DMAI’s vision for what DMOs of the future will look like. DMAI says successful DMOs will play an expanded role in economic development issues, they’ll focus on branding their destinations across markets, and they’ll capitalize on social media and smart technology to engage and access residents, the industry and our key markets. The outcome of DI will help us do all these things.
I firmly believe that this evolution to Meet Minneapolis will keep us on the forefront of DMOs in the country, helping us achieve our goals and most importantly, bringing greater numbers of visitors to Minneapolis.