Simpleview employees come from all over the world. Small towns. Big cities. Countless countries. We’ve seen it all. Including a hands-on look inside the DMO world.
We’re packed with former DMO employees, like me,who wanted to stay close to the industry.
Today I want to introduce you to a few of our former DMOers. They’ll share how they infuse Simpleview with the lessons and experiences they gained strengthening their communities through tourism. And how those insights influence their work today.
We interviewed a few of our former DMO employees who use their unique perspectives and experiences.
Marketing Technology Specialist
Customer Success Manager
Customer Success Manager
What's a favorite memory of your time at your DMO or a favorite project you worked on?
Any time we got the community together — whether it was a monthly membership meeting or a large brand-launch party I felt in my element. Having the business owners and other stakeholders together to celebrate the work we did for the local tourism industry always energized me to continue to grow our membership, expand our website content, and share the awesomeness of Alexandria, Virginia!
While I had so many favorite projects and memories at Destination North Myrtle Beach, one of my favorites was working on the Official Visitors Guide. It was so fun being on set and seeing all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating something that captures a little bit of magic the destination offers. From shooting content to packing and mailing out guides, it was truly a fun and rewarding process that reminded us just how loved North Myrtle Beach is.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work under Cherly Kilday. She taught me so much about being a young professional in the workforce and instilled so much confidence in me. The entire Destination North Myrtle Beach staff has played such a key role in my career thus far I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to start my career with.
I was with Explore York for over five years, so there are a lot of great memories, but one of my biggest projects was organizing the annual Have It Made Here event, which is a week-long celebration of the artists, manufacturers, and makers of York County. Businesses host open houses, special demonstrations, and behind-the-scenes tours, and visitors can track their stops through a digital passport to win prizes. It’s a massive labor of love that involves everyone on the team, from Marketing handling creative and advertising to Sales bringing in group tours, and after months of work, everyone gets to go out and enjoy the fun- take a class on building the perfect charcuterie board, learn how to spin yarn, make your own all-natural soap, or bottle feed baby cows and enjoy some fresh ice cream. Each year, it gets bigger and better, and I’m really proud of the role I got to play in that.
My favorite memories from working in the DMO/state tourism space mostly revolve around the people I worked with and the passion they carried for marketing their destination. There were certainly memorable projects, but those projects were only made memorable because of the passion and dedication of the people leading them and putting in the work. Employees in this space truly do the work because they enjoy it and have fun doing it. From events that had a major economic impact on the community to smaller projects that just stirred up some good fun, the level of energy was always through the roof, and attention to detail was always impeccable. It's the one industry I've worked in where people exemplify the "I love what I do" phrase.
There were so many fun projects that I had the pleasure to work on while at VisitGreenvilleSC, but the one that stands out the most was leading the planning and execution of a food-themed PR event for the media in New York City at the DeGustibus Cooking School, we called "Yeah, That Yum!", a riff on our "Yeah, That Greenville" branding at the time. We took some of our top local chefs and products from local farms with us to showcase Greenville's up-and-coming food scene to the media. Since most folks writing for the top food magazines live in NYC, we took Greenville's food scene to them! I got to work with our PR and Ad Agency partners to create some really captivating creative to promote the event as well (and had some great food and wine in the process)!
What are the most important things you learned at your DMO that you are applying here at Simpleview?
Collaboration and empathy. It takes many different skill sets and roles to run a DMO. Being understanding of each others' workload and responsibilities is very important. Always try to make someone else's life easier if possible!
Working at Destination North Myrtle Beach taught me so many skills that I apply every day at Simpleview. I believe that working for a DMO before coming to Simpleview gave me important insight into client expectations, how to write to appeal to their consumers, and more.
Explore York taught me how much more there is to tourism than just putting together a travel guide and having a visitors center. It is a massive amount of work, and despite the economic impact of tourism, that work goes mostly unnoticed by the community at large. I think that’s a shame, so something I always want to do in my new role is to acknowledge the hard work my
DMO clients are doing and celebrating their wins with them. I’ve been in their shoes- I know how much work goes into designing that travel guide, and I know the heartbreak of when your destination gets negative attention in the national spotlight. Now, I get to leverage my skills and experience to help ensure their hard work pays off, and that’s a great feeling.
Outside of my skill set and dedication to hard work, I think the most important thing I learned in the DMO space that I can attempt to bring to Simpleview is just a general understanding of that world. It's a very unique space, and most people have no idea what a destination marketing organization is, let alone its importance to the community. Sharing my input and experiences from my DMO days will allow us to better understand our clients and how they are perceived in their communities, which should hopefully allow us to better serve them.
That the staff at a DMO wear a ton of different hats in their roles, which means they have to do a lot of projects all at once, so having partners like Simpleview to lean on is really important. Just bringing an understanding of that, as well as some compassion in knowing the kinds of "fire drills," etc., they deal with, is great for communication and relationship-building and helps me understand their needs better.
What's it like working at Simpleview?
Each day is different — each client has different goals and needs — and we're all in the business of "selling happiness" to tourists and visitors! Sometimes, I'm traveling to a client's destination to assist with CRM training, and sometimes, I'm at my desk with a day full of back-to-back client calls. Going through the website redesign (or new build!) project with a client is always a fun process, too - a lot of work behind the scenes, but happy clients in the end make it all worth it!
I truly love working at Simpleview. I wake up every day excited to work with our clients and collaborate with staff. A typical day for me looks like writing and editing blogs, web copy, and landing pages for a range of clients in all different areas and regions. In addition, I meet with clients to better understand their goals and collaborate internally with team members to streamline big campaigns and strategies.
As an SEO Analyst, my workflow basically resets itself every month as we put together our performance reports for the previous month. I get to dig into the site’s data, identify content that’s doing well and places where there’s room for improvement, and make recommendations based on what I find. I get to know my client’s destinations from the outside, which gives me a unique perspective, and I get to take what works for one location and adapt it to the needs of another, so there are a lot of examples to learn from. I also get to work with a great team of analysts and specialists who are genuinely lovely people who have made me feel welcome from day one, even as a remote employee.
There's never a shortage of things to do, and there's always the chance that something you hadn't planned for might pop up and take precedence over something you were working on. Working at Simpleview definitely keeps you on your toes in the best of ways, and the people working here are truly amazing and care deeply about putting out quality work.
Working at Simpleview has been a great experience, especially seeing all the work that goes into the products and services from the inside so we can provide a more seamless experience to our clients, has probably been the most interesting part.
What do you know now after working at Simpleview that you wish you'd known while working at your DMO?
There are so many staff members and so many things going on behind the scenes. The CRM analysts and CMS Support members who are client-facing are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. And there are many, many projects going on at once; it can take time for collaboration and input from all necessary parties when questions arise or assistance is needed.
Nothing. I wouldn’t change a thing.
I wish I had a better understanding of how big Simpleview truly is when it comes to the number of DMOs served and the services we provide. In my roles at Explore York, I often got to connect with other DMOs in our region, but we were at all differing staff sizes or budgets, which could make comparing best practices difficult. Since Simpleview serves so many DMOs, it's easier to find DMOs closer in size, budget, or types of attractions to better compare notes and learn what services have worked best for them. It can be scary, especially for a small DMO, to make the investment in something like SEO, so being able to connect with people who know what you’re going through and who can share their experience is truly helpful, even if they’re across the country from you.
I think when you're in the DMO world, it's easy to forget that you're not the only client. The most eye-opening thing to me has been the number of clients we have across the globe and the amount of non-stop work that goes into making sure we provide each of them with the same, top-notch service. I like to think I was a pretty easy-going client, but it does make me wish I had practiced a little more patience sometimes!
I never got to experience Simpleview Summit as a client, and I wish I had had that experience before working at Simpleview because it is a great time!
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