Program of Events

Take a look at the program of events for ESTO 2018 in Phoenix.

 

Speaker Time & Location Session
8:00am to 12:00pm
Mesa, Arizona

Other
ESTO Cares gives back to the communities we visit. Help turn hunger into hope with your own two hands! Volunteers will pack nutritious meals for hungry children around the world at the FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN warehouse in Mesa, Arizona, just 20 minutes from ESTO's host hotel. 
Get your tickets today!
11:00am to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Other
11:00am to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
1:00pm to 5:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Closed Meeting
The business meeting for the National Council of State Tourism Directors is a time for members to review programs and services, discuss strategy and connect on critical policy issues.
NCSTD members only.
Sponsored by Sojern.
 
1:00pm to 6:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Stop by the Destiny and Mercury Awards Lounge to view our digital awards gallery that showcases submissions from the top three finalists in each category. Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 14, at ESTO's Awards Dinner and Presentation.
Sponsored by Tempest
2:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Closed Meeting
The Destinations Council Board of Advisors' meeting is a time for members to review programs and services, discuss strategy and connect on critical policy issues.
 
Destinations Council board members only.
Sponsored by Sojern.
 
2:00pm to 3:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Industry co-ops or participation programs can expand industry engagement, revenue and marketing opportunities for destination marketing organizations.
As a leader in industry co-op programs, team members from Miles Partnership will provide a hands-on, interactive workshop on the essential best practices and skills in planning, setting up and managing cooperative programs. These programs not only drive revenue, but enrich and expand marketing for your destination and build closer, more valuable connections with industry partners.
2:00pm to 3:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Visuals remain the most influential type of content for today’s travelers, with higher recall and shareability than content without visuals. It can be challenging to satisfy the demand for visual content within our existing time and budget constraints. Tourism brands need to get creative in how they source, manage and use visuals in their digital, print and PR initiatives.
2:00pm to 3:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
At the session, Expedia Group Media Solutions will share its latest custom research that unpacks trends on the growing category of bleisure travelers, as in those who are extending business trips for leisure. Looking across the United States, India and China, the research reveals the influences, preferences, priorities, resources, financial factors and more of these travelers—who can make a big impact to destinations by deciding to stay longer for leisure.
2:00pm to 3:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Tourism marketing has changed significantly over the last decade and is on the cusp of another big evolution. New technologies and concepts are becoming a reality including big data, marketing automation and artificial intelligence. Additionally, DMOs are facing increased pressure from stakeholders to drive results.
To prepare for these changes, destination marketers need to start measuring their customer’s journey from awareness to conversion and beyond. Is your DMO ready?
3:30pm to 3:45pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
3:45pm to 5:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Industry co-ops or participation programs can expand industry engagement, revenue and marketing opportunities for destination marketing organizations.
As a leader in industry co-op programs, team members from Miles Partnership will provide a hands-on, interactive workshop on the essential best practices and skills in planning, setting up and managing cooperative programs. These programs not only drive revenue, but enrich and expand marketing for your destination and build closer, more valuable connections with industry partners.
3:45pm to 5:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Visuals remain the most influential type of content for today’s travelers, with higher recall and shareability than content without visuals. It can be challenging to satisfy the demand for visual content within our existing time and budget constraints. Tourism brands need to get creative in how they source, manage and use visuals in their digital, print and PR initiatives.
3:45pm to 5:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
At the session, Expedia Group Media Solutions will share its latest custom research that unpacks trends on the growing category of bleisure travelers, as in those who are extending business trips for leisure. Looking across the United States, India and China, the research reveals the influences, preferences, priorities, resources, financial factors and more of these travelers—who can make a big impact to destinations by deciding to stay longer for leisure.
3:45pm to 5:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Tourism marketing has changed significantly over the last decade and is on the cusp of another big evolution. New technologies and concepts—including big data, marketing automation and artificial intelligence—are becoming a reality. Additionally, DMOs are facing increased pressure from stakeholders to drive results.
To prepare for these changes, destination marketers need to start measuring their customer’s journey from awareness to conversion and beyond. Is your DMO ready?
Speaker Time & Location Session
8:00am to 6:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Other
8:00am to 6:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Stop by the Destiny and Mercury Awards Lounge to view our digital awards gallery that showcases submissions from the top three finalists in each category. Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 14, at ESTO's Awards Dinner and Presentation.
Sponsored by Tempest.
8:00am to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
8:30am to 9:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
9:00am to 11:00am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Closed Meeting
NCSTD members only.
  • Berkeley
    Young
    Young Strategies, Inc.

10:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Sponsored by Mailman X. Powered by the Destinations Council.
DMO and CVBs only.
 
 
11:30am to 1:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Closed Meeting
12:30pm to 3:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Closed Meeting
The STAN meeting at ESTO is the only forum for state Travel Industry Association's to network and learn from colleagues who encounter similar challenges in dealing with state legislatures and congressional delegations. It is a valuable opportunity to pick up new methods and techniques for strengthening the travel industry in your state, as well as to network with your peers.
By invitation only.
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees.
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
1:30pm to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Professional Development Network Session
Our conference attendees have asked that sponsors not attend the Sunday Professional Development Network sessions as it may inhibit open conversation between attendees. 
4:00pm to 4:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • David
    Huether
    U.S. Travel Association

4:30pm to 5:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Hear from the vice president of research at the U.S. Travel Association, and a panel of experts on new and compelling travel industry research. Sponsored by Destination Analysts.
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Phoenix, Arizona
Musical Instrument Museum
Networking
Kick off your ESTO experience by mingling with colleagues and new friends at the opening reception. Enjoy some light hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at the one-of-a-kind MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum. The MIM invites ESTO attendees to explore a global collection of more than 6,600 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories—and try your hand at playing a few!
 
Speaker Time & Location Session
7:00am to 4:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Other
7:00am to 6:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Stop by the Destiny and Mercury Awards Lounge to view our digital awards gallery that showcases submissions from the top three finalists in each category. Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 14, at ESTO's Awards Dinner and Presentation.
Sponsored by Tempest.
7:45am to 8:30am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Roger
    Dow
    U.S. Travel Association

8:45am to 9:30am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
  • Dustin
    Garis
    Procter & Gamble

9:30am to 10:30am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Keynote
Part futurist and part Indiana Jones, Dustin Garis embarked on one of the most extensive research expedition of its kind, spanning 50 countries across 6 continents. From this, he uncovered the most powerful global trends that impact the future of travel for both leisure and business. This includes the "Life Profit" concept, which redefines the way people measure their life—not in dollars, but rather by richness of memorable experiences.
10:30am to 10:50am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Bill
    Geist
    DMOproz

  • Debbie
    Johnson
    Arizona Office of Tourism

  • Scott
    Joslove
    Texas Hotel & Motel Association

  • Steve
    Hayes
    Visit Pensacola, Inc.

  • Ray
    Hoyt
    Visit Tulsa

Multiple Speakers
11:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
As federal and state government funding sources continue to be reduced, all eyes are turning to occupancy taxes and other tourism funding as the cure for general fund shortages. Now more than ever, tourism leaders need to be able to demonstrate their value and role in economic and community development. This session will discuss ways to protect your resources and to increase your budget rather than just defend it.
Session Takeaways:

  1. New tools from the U.S.
  • Matthew
    Landkamer
    Coraggio Group

  • Trevor
    Cartwright
    Coraggio Group

Multiple Speakers
11:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to assess whether their current team structure needs to be redesigned, how to determine the impacts of the change a re-organization would trigger, and how to use a reorganization to meet business objectives. Topics covered will include: aligning your structure to your strategic plan, current trends for team structures, how to apply decision criteria to guide the design process, and when and how to engage employees in the process.
  • Jake
    Steinman
    North American Journeys

  • Esra
    Calvert
    Virginia Tourism Corporation

  • Susan
    Estler
    Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Jay
    Kinghorn
    Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding

Multiple Speakers
11:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
With a variety of data tools and analytics platforms out there, how do you determine which ones to turn to in order to help drive your marketing strategies? What can all of these different platforms offer, and what do they not? How many different sources should you use?
  • Katie
    Denis
    Project: Time Off

  • Kathy
    Janega-Dykes
    Visit Santa Barbara

  • Cathy
    Tull
    Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Multiple Speakers
11:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
  • Laura
    Chmielewski
    Visit San Jose

  • Adam
    Knobel
    LiveRamp

  • Brandon
    Meyers
    ADARA

Multiple Speakers
11:00am to 12:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
The goal of destination marketing has always been to understand potential and existing visitors and engage with them directly. Traditionally, the only marketing channels that have allowed destinations to do this have been email and direct email, where personalized messages can be tailored on a one-to-one basis.
Now, using a people-based approach, destinations can persistently and accurately engage customers with personalized messages and measure improved campaign lift and return on investment across all digital and linear channels.
This panel discussion will explore why the people-based a
12:15pm to 2:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Be sure to attend this luncheon to hear the latest from Brand USA. Also, don't miss the presentation of the State Tourism Director of the Year and the Destinations Council DMO Rising Star awards.
Sponsored by TripAdvisor
2:15pm to 3:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
ESTO is taking the famous ESTO Debates to the main stage! Mark your calendars for this action-packed entertainment. Check back in to see what featured debate topics our debaters have in store.
3:15pm to 3:45pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Nancy
    Harhut
    HBT Marketing

4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
The emerging field of decision science will soon have a game-changing effect on how marketers communicate. Evidence is uncovered every day by social scientists, neuroscientists and behavioral economists that proves people are hardwired to behave in certain ways. And even though consumers THINK they are in control, the fact is UP TO 95 percent of their purchase decisions are made subconsciously.
Even more importantly, these automatic behaviors can be prompted!
  • Sean
    Bayliss
    International Tourism Resources Group

  • Lizz
    Bittner
    Travel South USA

  • Julie
    Gilbert
    Destination Niagara USA

  • Dan
    Howard
    Park City, Utah Chamber & Visitors Bureau

  • Mark
    Newman
    Indiana Office of Tourism Development

Multiple Speakers
4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
Do you want international visitors in your destination, but you lack an international airport and are not exactly a household name in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America? How you do grow your reputation and increase visitor numbers on a small, limited budget?
  • Melissa
    Gogel
    Visit Phoenix

  • Debbie
    Johnson
    Arizona Office of Tourism

  • Rebecca
    Latham
    New Mexico Tourism Department

  • Steven
    Paganelli, CDME
    TripAdvisor

Multiple Speakers
4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
The importance of relationships cannot be overstated, but deep and meaningful connections take something many of us don’t have…time.
4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
  • Chris
    Adams
    Miles Partnership

  • Amir
    Eylon
    Longwoods International

  • Cathy
    Ritter
    Colorado Tourism Office

Multiple Speakers
4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
This session will provide you valuable insights from Longwoods and Miles on why this is a market that continues to grow in numbers and economic impact.  Destinations will share best practices on how to market to this growing segment, and you will learn who successfully developed product, sometimes across geopolitical boundaries, and reaped the economic impact benefits from it.
 
Session Takeaways:

  1. Insights into the spending,  planning process and motivating factors from a joint Longwoods International and Miles Partnership research project on “The Great
  • Katie
    Denis
    Project: Time Off

4:00pm to 5:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
5:00pm to 6:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Catch up with colleagues or mingle with first-time attendees before you hit the town. Libations and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.
 
6:00pm to 7:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Have you learned a few tips and tricks over the years that has helped you immensely in your career? Share the wealth during this informal happy hour session. Attendees are encouraged to share their own hacks and how-tos over some cocktails.
6:00pm to 7:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Have you ever launched a campaign or had an idea that didn't exactly turn out how you expected? Exchange your stories of the good, the bad and the ugly during this informal happy hour session. Attendees are encouraged to share their destination flops over a few cocktails. (This is intended to be a fun follow-up to today's Flip or Flop concurrent session!)
Speaker Time & Location Session
7:30am to 2:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Main Lobby
Other
7:30am to 7:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Stop by the Destiny and Mercury Awards Lounge to view our digital awards gallery that showcases submissions from the top three finalists in each category. Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 14, at ESTO's Awards Dinner and Presentation. Sponsored by Tempest.
8:15am to 9:00am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Jeff
    Fromm
    FutureCast

9:15am to 10:15am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
In this provocative session we will:

  1. Review what drives consumer affinity as well as how youth culture trends impact Gen X and Baby Boomers.

  2. See how to leverage content to consumers who crave information long before they arrive at their destination.

  3. Think about amplification opportunities since your visitors will recruit future visitors.

  4. Look for innovation opportunities and learn about the role innovation plays in searching and selecting a destination.


 
10:15am to 10:35am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Tom
    Loftus
    VisitPITTSBURGH

  • Nick
    Maniatis
    New Mexico Film Office

Multiple Speakers
10:45am to 11:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
State tourism offices and city-level DMOs are always pitching their locales to travel media and social media influencers, resulting in earned media and brand-building exposure. In recent years, there’s been a proliferation of reality TV producers, HBO writers, house-hunters, top food chefs, and major motion picture execs leaning on CVBs and film offices for help, financially and otherwise.
  • Nancy
    Harhut
    HBT Marketing

10:45am to 11:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
The emerging field of decision science will soon have a game-changing effect on how marketers communicate. Evidence is uncovered every day by social scientists, neuroscientists and behavioral economists that proves people are hardwired to behave in certain ways. And even though consumers THINK they are in control, the fact is UP TO 95 percent of their purchase decisions are made subconsciously.
Even more importantly, these automatic behaviors can be prompted!
  • Matthew
    Landkamer
    Coraggio Group

  • Trevor
    Cartwright
    Coraggio Group

Multiple Speakers
10:45am to 11:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to assess whether their current team structure needs to be redesigned, how to determine the impacts of the change a re-organization would trigger, and how to use a reorganization to meet business objectives. Topics covered will include: aligning your structure to your strategic plan, current trends for team structures, how to apply decision criteria to guide the design process, and when and how to engage employees in the process.
  • Jeff
    Fromm
    FutureCast

10:45am to 11:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
This is a follow-up to the Tuesday morning general session, presented by Jeff Fromm. 
After personally interviewing members of ESTO about marketing hot buttons, Jeff will discuss the following in his follow-up concurrent session:

  1. Why consumers amplify in social.

  2. How to use content marketing effectively.

  3. The common causes of friction and how travel brands can reduce this friction.


 
 
10:45am to 11:45am
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
Video is the most important content form but it is so expensive to produce. It does not have to be. Get a quick overview of how to best create a video strategy that covers video creation and distribution, rights management and how to best use existing assets.
12:00pm to 1:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Enjoy lunch with your colleagues and hear about plans for ESTO 2019 from the future host city and state. The winner of the Meredith Travel Marketing Scholarship will also be announced. Sponsored by HomeAway
 
  • Scott
    Brinker
    chiefmartec.com

1:45pm to 2:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
Marketing is being overrun with technology, but that can be a good thing. Marketers must master these new tools to move faster, adapt more quickly, and manage an increasingly complex set of customer experience touchpoints. Marketing technology expert, Scott Brinker, will explain how to carve a clear path through that complexity to effectively harness this innovation and deliver compelling marketing in a digital world. Sponsored by MMGY Global
  • Rob
    Torres
    Google

2:15pm to 2:45pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

General Session
2:45pm to 3:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
  • Charles
    Cunningham
    Sparkloft Media

  • Chad
    Hays
    Visit Phoenix

  • Patrick
    Murphy
    Off Madison Avenue

Multiple Speakers
3:30pm to 4:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
With so much going on in digital marketing, finding the time to keep up with new developments can feel overwhelming. Social media has also changed a lot over the past few years. One main difference is that today it is very difficult to reach large audiences without using paid social. But there are still ways to make social media more effective without spending a lot of money on social advertising.
3:30pm to 4:30pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Concurrent Session
Video is the most important content form but it is so expensive to produce. It does not have to be. Get a quick overview of how to best create a video strategy that covers video creation and distribution, rights management and how to best use existing assets.
6:30pm to 7:15pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
In Phoenix, somewhere between a saguaro selfie and a poolside cabana are friendly dive bars to explore, great music to discover and street art to stumble upon—all wrapped in a colorful desert backdrop. As the sun sets on ESTO 2018, don your best purples, pinks, oranges, yellows and blues and channel the energy of a spectacular Sonoran Desert sky.
Sponsored by Visit Phoenix
 
7:15pm to 9:00pm
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Networking
Join us for the annual Destiny and Mercury Awards Dinner and Presentation that honors marketing excellence for destination marketing organizations. This year's theme is "Sunrise to Sunset." Arizona’s skies defy understanding or description. Subtly shifting from creamy blues to fierce saffron hues to impossibly star-studded, it’s a mesmerizing sight that somehow encompasses the Grand Canyon State’s diverse experiences. Here, wide-open skies stir big possibilities and even bigger dreams—providing the perfect backdrop for celebrating tourism’s best.

Content like past webinars, attendee contact information and certain presentations are restricted. For access, contact esto@ustravel.org.