Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) wrapped up its 2019 annual conference at Four Seasons Houston with a pledge to increase the visibility of the association globally.
Robert Lee, director of sales at Spaintacular, a Global DMC Partner and incoming ADMEI president, stressed the power of expanding ADMEI education and outreach. “We will be offering our emergency preparedness certificate program at IMEX Frankfurt and other locations in the United States,” he said of the training program that leverages the local knowledge of program logistics professionals to help event managers design and execute effective security plans.
The association is also making its Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP) designation program more accessible by offering testing at IBTM in Barcelona in November. And a new initiative will bring ADMEI education to the university level. “We are building the next generation of future leaders,” Lee said.
Outgoing president Marty MacKay, president of Hosts Global Alliance in Washington, D.C., called ADMEI the best kept secret in the events world—one she hopes will no longer be a secret. “The education provided globally is a resource for planners and the rest of the sector,” she said.
When more than 180 destination marketing professionals gathered for education and networking sessions, the topics covered everything from technology tools to economic impact. The business meeting ended with a gala dinner honoring those who have advanced the field.
Winners included Mosaix Group, a DMC Network Company in Charlotte, North Carolina; Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner from Austin, Texas; PRA Nashville; Koncept Events of Oakland Park, Florida; and PRA Northern California from San Francisco for Best Innovative Event at different sizes.
Red Velvet Events and Realize Colorado, a Global DMC Partner, paired up for Best Collaborative Event. Ultimate Ventures, a DMC Network Company took home Best Corporate Social Responsibility award for Winter Wonderland, a giveback benefiting the children of Dallas. Accent Indy, a DMC Network Company, took home Best Destination marketing Award for The Superbowl of FAMs. FM&A Events out of Boston won for Best Logistics after managing a re-imagined luxury train event.
Hadler DMC Scandinavia, a Hosts Global Member, from Copenhagen, won Best Overall Program for a truck dealer excellence event. Roberts Event Group, a Hosts Global Member, from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, won Best Public Event. Realize Colorado won for Best Recreational Activity—ice climbing. Maple Ridge Events, a Hosts Global Member, based in Nashville, Tennessee, won for Best Team Building Activity. PRA Orlando won Best Tour Program. Roberts Event Group, a Hosts Global Member, from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania was the Members’ Choice winner.
Excellence awards went to Hadler DMC Scandinavia; Imprint Events Group, a DMC Network Company in Denver; Hosts DC, a Hosts Global Member in Washington, D.C.; PRA Orlando; Newport Hospitality, a DMC Network Company in Rhode Island; Accent Indy; and CSI Florida. Excellence in Site Inspection went to the team of Destination South Meetings & Events, a DMC Network Company; Juice Studios, a Hosts Global Company; PRA Atlanta; and Presenting Atlanta.
Megan Johnson, DMCP, from Accent Indy was named Destination Management Rising Star. Michelle Castady Orlando, DMCP, from 360 Destination Group in Chicago was selected Destination Management Professional of the Year. Pat Owings, DMCP, CMP, from Maple Ridge Events took home ADMEI Volunteer of the Year honors. Carol A. Norfleet, DMCP, CMP, of PRA Nashville was awarded the Joanne O’Connor President’s Award and Terry Epton, DMCP, CIS, CITE, from Hosts New Orleans, a Hosts Global member, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Next Gen DMC
Also attending were two Linda Thompson Memorial Scholarship winners, an award named in honor of the late longtime chair of the DMC Network and president and CEO of Cappa and Graham in San Francisco. The award winners, Hannah Patterson, a student at University of Central Florida majoring in hospitality management and leadership studies, and Ekaterina Anotonva, a student at The Saint Petersburg University of Economics in Russia, both plan to pursue careers in destination management, according to Robyn Bass, president and CEO of Maple Ridge Events, the scholarship award committee chairperson.
Related: The 411 on DMCs
Patterson described the DMC worlds as “a whirlwind of bright and exciting opportunities” and saw the opportunity to participate in the conference as a “significant impact on the trajectory” of her career. Antonova, similarly, labeled the two days as “one of the most informative and productive ones” she has experienced.
Look for the 2020 ADMEI Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico as part of a push to support destinations that have experienced natural disasters.