If you had a superpower, what would it be? Invisibility? Flying? If your destination marketing organization (DMO) could talk, chances are it would say, “Mindreading!” 

As a destination marketer, it might feel like you are constantly wishing you could read minds. Would you make different choices for your DMO if you knew what your travelers, locals, partners, and stakeholders were thinking? We might not be able to help you with all of that (yet…), but we can give you the inside scoop on what meeting planners think.

It doesn't take mind reading to know that Simpleview offers a myriad of meeting and events resources for DMOs — Simpleview Sales Quarterly and the MINT+ Top 250 report, to name a couple — but we’ve also compiled the following feedback from meeting planners regarding what makes a DMO shine brighter than the rest. 

Get Back to the Basics  

To get planners’ attention, you’ll have to put in time and effort and gather some top-tier resources. Stay up to date on trends by reading publications — see what is already written about your destination and leverage this existing content when pitching to planners. Always include stories and testimonials that describe your destination’s role in bringing value to the community and supply a variety of high-quality images and B-roll that isn’t solely leisure-focused to help event professionals visualize their conference in your destination. 

Hot Topics 

Planners are looking for destinations where there is an obvious, intentional space for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and plans for future developments in the pipeline. For example, there are growing concerns about proper education on Black History and human sexuality, so your destination must showcase productivity and proactiveness when it comes to educating travelers and locals about cultural diversity. Don’t shy away from a humble brag about your destination’s efforts — and make sure there is similar verbiage displayed on your website for planners doing some internet digging. The same goes for corporate social responsibility, which can be a “make or break” deciding factor for meeting planners. Make sure yours is front and center. 

In addition to DEI, sustainability is important to travelers, so it’s important to planners. They want to know if your destination is sustainable, how, and what your DMO plans to do to boost sustainability efforts even further in the coming years. 

Be Upfront

All destinations have challenges, and planners want to know about them upfront. Let’s say your destination has great DEI initiatives in place, but it also has a not-so-charming history of controversy. Boycotts, political concerns, and tragedies should be shared with planners upfront, with details on how your DMO is working or worked past the situation. By not mentioning a problem in your destination, you could be setting visitors/attendees up for disappointment. 

Work with your venues and partners to create a comfortable environment for visitors and make sure your attendees know you’re working to control the environment for their event. Remember, never having meetings in destinations with controversy does not solve the root of the problem — instead, aim to have meetings that invoke change with education and storytelling (and tell planners you are doing so). 

Conferences Are Key 

Have you ever heard of “conference hacking?” This term is used for business travelers who attend a conference with the goal of experiencing the destination without taking PTO. That means the appeal of the destination outside of the conference room matters. It’s all about the experience; themed Fam Trips with specific angles, like health and wellness, are both attractive and valuable to planners. 

Meeting professionals want to know what attendees will be doing in their downtime while visiting your destination; non-business-related networking activities are a hot ticket. For example, Destination Madison can accommodate 500 people an hour for kayaking and has accessibility options so anyone can participate — music to planners’ ears.


Technology integrations in meetings and events will only continue to accelerate, so being prepared to adopt tech-forward events is a must. Meet meeting planners and event attendees where they are with mobile apps, interactive maps, and an event experience they’ll remember with technology you can rely on.

Pro tip: you can utilize Eventsforce to manage all of your event attendees on one platform and deliver personalized content, sessions, agendas, and more.

Timing is Everything 

Last, but certainly not least — remember that timing is everything. If a planner inquires with interest to your pitch or proposal, make your response back to them a top priority. Nail the first impression by providing as much material upfront to avoid emailing back and forth. Being easy and pleasant to work with from the very first point of contact will make your DMO memorable amongst even the pickiest of planners.

Want to create eye-catching proposals that are sure to win business? Simpleview and SendSites and help your team create best-in-class proposals.

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