Engagement + Marketing

Reinterpreting the Message

I spent part of this past week in Seattle for DMAI’s annual conference. One thing struck me right away: many of the people I spoke with fell into destination marketing by accident.

A good percentage came from other industries, or had no intention of making this their career when they started out. But it is something about their personalities that attracts them to destination marketing and keeps them there.

As I listened to the speakers at opening and closing general sessions, I noticed a theme. It’s not rocket science, and although the message came from different speakers covering what seemed like unrelated topics, it resonated the same for me: Be Yourself.

Jason Ryan Dorsey, The Gen Y Guy, engages the audience at DMAI’s Local Passion, Global Impact annual conference July 16-18 in Seattle.

Your distinct experiences and strengths are what make you valuable to others. It seems so simple — and maybe cliché — but as I listened to Jason Ryan Dorsey, The Gen Y Guy (check out his profile in the July issue of Convene) discuss the differences between Millennials (Gen Y) and Baby Boomers in the workforce, I realized that being ourselves (which in terms of generations is a combination of the time and place of birth, parenting trends, technology, economics, and other factors) is what drives change and growth — ignoring this will ultimately be counterproductive in any industry. In the end, generations are collaborating together in our industry — whether to market a destination, to provide the best guest experience at a hotel, or to plan a meeting.

Sally Hogshead, who spoke at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference in January and has been featured in Convene, discussed her “7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation.” Her point was that there are unique aspects of everyone’s personality that influence how others perceive him or her (my primary and secondary triggers are Mystique and Alarm). Ideally, a working team would have just the right combination of people with the primary and secondary triggers that are perfect to get the job done. And there’s a reason that your triggers captivate others — it’s because they are authentically you and naturally fascinating. It’s when we try to force a personality trait in order to conform to a job or idea of how others perceive us that we become inauthentic, unhappy, and ultimately boring.

Katie Kervin

Katie Kervin was formerly assistant editor of Convene.