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10 Reasons why ESTO 2021 is a Can't-Miss Event

Robin McClain, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Destination DC
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
feature blog graphic Presented by Robin McClain, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Destination DC

LA is the place to chase your dreams. When I lived there, I realized some of my dreams, including some I didn’t know I had, like working in destination marketing at Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. I’m hoping as we join industry colleagues in person for ESTO in LA after the challenges of this past year, the dreams we all have for a quick and sustained recovery for each of our destinations will come true. Here are the top 10 reasons this year’s ESTO is a can’t-miss event for destination marketing professionals.

  1. Los Angeles Rolls out the Red Carpet – Los Angeles is the perfect city to host ESTO 2021. With thrilling theme parks, unique cultural attractions, famous studios, world-class dining and endless outdoor adventures, L.A. offers endless opportunities for creative inspiration for destination marketing professionals. And a must for me, shopping: from West Third Street in the center of LA to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.
  2. Recovery at the Forefront – There is no question that the pandemic has shifted the travel landscape—for visitors and DMOs alike. ESTO attendees can expect insightful educational content that will serve as a guiding light on the road to recovery.  
  3. Beyond Marketing – This year’s ESTO will go beyond marketing. Attendees can expect mainstage presentations and breakout sessions that have evolved along with the role of a DMO, geared toward reimaging, redefining and reshaping the work of a DMO. 
  4. Thought Leadership – ESTO’s mainstage speakers will provide thought-provoking ideas that will inspire attendees’ personal and professional growth, such as how the pandemic has accelerated our future of work and changed consumer engagement practices.
  5. Unique Breakout Sessions – In addition to ESTO’s can’t-miss mainstage presentations, ESTO will feature concurrent sessions and workshops that will share insights on the industry’s most critical priorities, including destination stewardship and sustainability diversity, equity & inclusion, the future of in-market agency representation the importance of brand partnerships and more.
  6. More Bang for Your Buck – New this year, ESTO is offering multi-attendee discounts for U.S. Travel members. Attendees can bring a colleague from the same member organization for a reduced rate to maximize participation and expand learnings.
  7. Networking Galore – Attendees will enjoy incredibly meaningful face-to-face networking opportunities throughout the entire event. Catch up with old friends or learn marketing ideas from a new industry colleague.
  8. ESTO Awards are back! – Celebrate excellence in marketing at the Destiny and Mercury awards dinner on Tuesday night. Interested in submitting your work? View the categories here. Entries for both categories are due June 25.
  9. Health and Safety FirstU.S. Travel, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and our host hotel JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, are deeply committed to conducting a successful, productive, and above all, safe ESTO for all. 
  10. Beyond ESTO – Our host city, Los Angeles is the perfect gateway to a California adventure. Extend your stay beyond ESTO and experience life-changing adventure in the Golden State. Endless sunshine? Check. World-class theme parks? You bet. Incredible beaches? There’s an entire coastline full of them. And don’t forget the towering trees, pristine lakes, culinary hotspots, and urban adventures.

In 2019, I visited LA four times. It has been a long year and a half and I’m making ESTO my first and most significant business trip of my post-pandemic year. I hope to see you in LA!