Destinations International Announces Its 2021 Events Schedule
Representatives from CVBs across the world are scheduled to descend on Baltimore July 10-15 for Destinations International’s annual convention. The summer event is the highlight of DI’s lineup, announced last week, as the association looks to play a pivotal role in the travel and hospitality industries’ recovery.
As is to be expected, the Baltimore-based convention will be hybrid, allowing attendees unable to travel to participate in the education and network virtually. All of DI’s major events this year will be hybrid, with only CDME courses being solely face-to-face.
“The 2021 Annual Convention may look a little different as we adapt to the new challenges that come along with meeting safely in person in accordance with health and safety standards,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International, in a statement.
Welsh noted the importance of convening in-person this year after COVID-19 separated much of the industry in 2020. Beyond health concerns, the pandemic has been devastating to travel and tourism organizations of all kinds. Many CVBs were forced to lay off or furlough more than half of their staff last year and will be operating on a smaller budget than in the past. The ability to host conferences, meetings, trade shows and other events—even with fewer attendees—during the past 11 months has been vital to bring employees back to work or avoid further cuts.
DI’s convention’s timing is noteworthy, as many industry experts expect business and group travel to pick up in the second half of 2021. The event should serve as a jumping off point for a busy third and fourth quarters.
Building off of last year’s virtual Annual Convention that brought in a record-breaking 3,000-plus attendees from 14 countries, the association will bring together travel and tourism professionals (both virtually and in-person) to participate in educational sessions that will cover the gamut, providing information for destinations with myriad budget sizes, including sessions focused in marketing and convention sales, along with much-needed networking opportunities
Baltimore is a natural choice for the return of face-to-face for the organization. The “Charm City” is only 45 minutes from DI’s home offices on M Street in Washington, D.C., and is driving distance from many metropolitan regions beyond the capital, including New York and Philadelphia. There are also three major airports within an hour of the city.
The association’s 2021 schedule is as follows:
- The Convention Sales and Services Summit will be held virtually on April 7, followed by a hybrid experience with Destination Showcase in September in Washington, D.C.
- The Marketing and Communications Summit will also be held virtually, on April 29, and have a component at the annual convention on July 13.
- The CEO Summit will be a hybrid event May 25-27 in Tampa, Florida, home of this past weekend’s Super Bowl.
- The Annual Convention will be July 10-15 in Baltimore, beginning with three days of face-to-face CDME courses.
- The Advocacy Summit will be held in late October in Houston.
- Additional CDME courses will be part of the Houston event and also available in Banff, Canada, in October.