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This Just In

DMAI’s Destination Arena Offers Performance Monitoring for DMOs

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

Washington, DC – The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) unveiled a collaborative data-sharing project that will give its member organizations a better idea of how they are doing as they sell their cities to trade shows and meetings.

The Destination Arena project invites DMAI members and other destination marketing organizations (DMO) to submit statistics on more than 100 different metrics into a real-time look at how they stack up against other DMOs on a regional or national basis.

“Access to constantly updated data from DMOs around the world will help us identify better ways to increase meeting sales, improve our digital marketing, and further develop our online strategies,” said Martha Sheridan, chair of the DMAI board of directors, and CEO of the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau in Rhode Island.

The data submitted to Destination Arena can be used mainly to compare a DMO to other cities to see where they are being successful, where tweaks may be needed or, if necessary, to convince city hall that more funding is needed to increase business at their local convention centers.

“It validates the impact a DMO is having,” said Richard Vaughn, senior vice president and managing director of the Destination Arena project. “There is a need for the industry to have trusted and correct information.”

A total of 108 of the more than 500 DMAI member groups signed on for Destination Arena when it was rolled out in April. Vaughn told Trade Show Executive (TSE) the goal was to have about 200 DMOs on board before the group’s 100th annual convention July 21-23 in Las Vegas.

Vaughn said the data can be used to calculate metrics such as website traffic, booking pace, membership, interactive, mobile, social media and how many leads  sales reps are drumming up compared to their competition.

Such information is generally available in annual reports and other public documents, but looking it up on Destination Arena saves many hours of staff time. “Some of those reports can be a year or two old, and in this business environment, you need it instantly,” he said.

What won’t be found on Destination Arena are statistics from individual trade shows. Meetings are one of the categories of metrics; however, the data the DMO inputs is in aggregate form and does not provide information on specific shows. Vaughn said. “What they put into the system is up to them,” he said. “We can only provide what is provided to us.”

Reach Martha Sheridan at (401) 456-0224 or msheridan@goprovidence.com; Richard Vaughn at (202) 835-4202 or rvaughn@destinationmarketing.org

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