Tips From a Pro: Focus on DMOs & Utilize Local Experts

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Sponsored by Travel Lane County 

When a planner thinks of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), some immediate things come to mind. DMOs are valuable resources for site selections, marketing resources, distributing RFPs, and site visits, but that’s not all they can do. Does your group want to learn more about Nike or track and field events? Tour a cutting-edge medical facility? Discover scientific innovations that will improve the quality of life for people all over the world? As a destination’s experts, the DMO staff is connected to local expertise and can make sure your group receives an immersive and all-inclusive experience.

Local Influence

In order to fully utilize all that a DMO has to offer, it’s important to do some research before reaching out. While you’re researching destinations, do a little digging to find out what each city’s niche is. Identify the areas of strength in the destination you’d like to travel to, brainstorm on creative ideas and then ask questions about the local community. The DMO is there to help with your traditional needs such as referrals for local suppliers, transportation assistance, and coordinating tours, but they are also there to help with the extra questions. Make sure to ask if there is access to top experts in your field to host talks, out-of-the-box venues to hold events at, or facilities to tour for teambuilding opportunities. Find out what else the destination has to offer.

For example, in Eugene, Oregon, there’s a focus on science at the University of Oregon, a myriad of video game developers in the community, an emphasis on track and field events, and a focus on life sciences, research and cutting-edge discoveries at the new Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. Find a forte that works with your event and incorporate a local celebrity who can serve as a speaker or as additional delegate for your conference. In the past, Travel Lane County has enticed local Olympic track & field athletes, who live and train in Oregon, to lead fun runs at conferences or serve as speakers. Not only does a local expert or celebrity add some extra flair to your event, it might even increase the number of potential attendees for your conference.

Marketing Mavens

Local Destination Marketing Organizations can make connections happen. If your conference or industry can benefit from reaching a large local pool of potential attendees, your DMO can help you with marketing outreach and meeting influentials within that group through a variety of services DMOs are always there to provide regional promotional materials including videos, images, maps, and visitor and restaurant guides so your attendees are prepared upon arrival. They are also ready to assist in all things digital including a web microsite for your convention with a link to your website, social media guides with tips to maximize event attendance and digital marketing professionals who can assist with social media campaigns, media lists and local media coverage. Finally, to encourage your attendees get out and explore the town, “Show Your Badge” programs can be set up so visitors can receive a discount at local shops and restaurants.

Next time you’re planning an event, make sure to connect with the local DMO and let their additional services take your conference to the next level. Your attendees’ conference experience will be greatly enhanced by local enrichment.

Sponsored by Travel Lane County 

Find your inner meeting planner expert in this forward-thinking destination. From mountains to coast and everything in between, this region can offer exactly what you're looking for and help you along the way. Come early or stay late to play in all the natural beauty that is the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. Travel Lane County is comprised of a dedicated management team, with longevity in the industry; an advisory board of regional business leaders volunteering their time and insight; a friendly and professional front-line staff at our visitor centers and mobile outreach; and an enthusiastic group of volunteers and interns assisting throughout the organization.

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“We sample teas in much the same way as one would experience a beer or wine flight,” says Sara Kaufman, tasting room manager for Smith Teamaker. “Our guests are encouraged to choose their own teas or they can allow our teamakers to lead the way for them.”


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Tetherow has teamed up with nationally recognized energy healer Bill Turner to offer wellness breakout sessions for groups meeting and staying at the Bend, Oregon, resort. The sessions are held at the resort event pavilion, which includes floor-to-ceiling glass doors framing views of the Cascade Mountains.

Turner has more than 30 years of experience in land, horse and human energy work. Based in Sisters, Oregon, he is also a professional speaker and trainer.