The 25th annual ADMEI (Association of Destination Management Executives International) Annual Conference 2020 brought together 179 destination management company (DMC) owners, sales and operations staff from around the world to San Juan, Puerto Rico last month. In the immediate aftermath of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake, the conference theme, “Impact” took on heightened meaning. In addition to recognizing the influence the association has had on promoting destinations throughout the years, an emphasis on emergency preparedness strategies was added. From networking opportunities to informative talks and delectable meals, attendees had their hands full with things to do and impactful moments to relish in. See a recap of what you missed below.
A Look Back in Time
ADMEI Past President Brian Ferrell, DMCP, CMP, owner of factor 110, Destination Oklahoma, opened the conference with a TED Talk-style history of the trials, tribulations and accomplishments of the association. Funny and insightful workplace commentary was provided by the musical-comedy troupe The Water Coolers.
Events and Activities
Panels and talks were not the sole focus of the event. Attendees also took part in breakout sessions and focused on strategies to promote sustainability initiatives and focus on operating from both a creative and sales approach. A few of the memorable events to note included an outing at the Bacardi Distillery, a scenic museum and event space, a keynote on “The Six Strategies Companies Use to Get Ahead and Stay that Way” with innovation expert Julie Holmes, and a session on “The Art of Collaboration” with The Hot List creator Michael Cerbelli.
With a new year comes new beginnings. The Presidential handover featured 2019 President Robert Lee “passing down the gavel” to newly appointed 2020 President Alaina Tobar, president of PRA Northern California.
ADMEI Awards Reception focused on recognizing DMCs and their professionals for solving problems and focusing on client-centric values. The annual conference concluded with an awards gala and a dinner to top off the 25th Anniversary celebration. The 2021 ADMEI Conference will gather in Lisbon, Portugal, Feb. 11 to Feb. 13.