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Insights from "The Tank" at DMO Mojo 2016

Kim Lenox

Growing up in the tourism industry and attending conference after conference (one freezing ballroom at a time), all I have ever wanted was to have a session in the sunny outdoors. All my dreams came true at DMO Mojo 2016 (just 18 years later!). All the natural beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel surrounded us as we cruised the Pine Island Sound from Fort Myers to Captiva on the Harbour Princess Yacht. Along the way, we voted on a friendly mic drop challenge and discussed topics affecting DMOs.

Politics was the first hot topic led by our friends in Charlotte and North Carolina, given all the controversy they recently experienced with new bathroom laws in the state. How do we continue to show the world we are welcoming to everyone when officials and the law say otherwise? Charlotte launched an ‘Always Welcome’ inclusion campaign combating HB2.

Another topic included defining micro segments pertinent to a specific DMO. The session focused on millennial travelers over the last three years. We have all come to find that Millennials lead a mindset that others follow. So, beyond the Millennials, what are we doing to attract the Henrys & Henriettas, Foodies, Curious Travelers, #1 Fans and PTAs (parents traveling overnight with child athletes)?

We also talked about the real opportunities with data. Getting to the right person at the right moment with the right context is paramount given the technology that’s available to us. We got into social debates on whether DMOs should consider playing with Snapchat (like our friends at Marriott). We debated whether or not market activations are an effective marketing tactic or just eye candy. We also discussed attribution: is it first click, last click or weighed?

All in all, it was another thoughtful Tank discussion guided by our DMO attendees on a boat. But the biggest question we managed to answer was what is a Rum Floater? To my dismay, there were a few guilty of not knowing.

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