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Shining A Spotlight on Your Destination Via Speaking Engagements


Thought leadership positioning is critical in order to gain greater credibility and build trust with key audiences, including travel trade, meeting planners and media as well as industry peers. Speaking engagements are a critical component of this strategic approach. Participating in leading industry events is an important way to establish expertise and take advantage of exclusive networking opportunities. Speaking engagements can also be leveraged in order to secure editorial coverage/op-ed placements and to spur social media conversation.

West Coast DMOs are in luck with a range of industry events taking place in Western states for 2016 to 2017. Read on to learn more about speaking opportunities –


PRSA 2017 Travel and Tourism Conference | Greater Palm Springs, CA | May 2017

Each year, the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference brings together travel and hospitality PR professionals to learn about the latest industry trends and insight. Speaking engagements include keynote speakers for the conference’s general sessions as well as participants and moderators for roundtables, breakout sessions and hands-on workshops.  The conference is seeking sessions that speak to timely trends or strategic niches – think Snapchat, media trends, or integrated marketing and social initiatives.

Requirements: The PRSA Travel and Tourism Section issues a call for the next year’s speakers and panelists approximately 1-2 months after each conference; details for the 2017 event are expected to appear in June/July 2016. To increase the likelihood that your concept will be successful, build relationships with the Travel and Tourism Section’s board members, who can serve as an advocate for your idea among key conference decision makers.

Deadlines: Speaker submissions are reviewed during the PRSA Travel and Tourism Section board meeting in September, about six months prior to the 2017 conference. Topics and speakers are confirmed by February/March – a good time to follow up to see if there are any gaps in the final conference schedule.

Website: PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference; 2017 details are forthcoming


DMA West Education Summit | Mesa, AZ | September 21 to 23, 2016

The Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West) is a regional membership organization of more than 145 destination marketing organizations (DMOs). The CEOs and staff members of these member-organizations are committed to improving organizational effectiveness, implementing engaging marketing and communications strategies, successfully representing their local stakeholders and advancing the destination-marketing profession.

At the DMA West Education Summit, DMO representatives from across the West gather for advanced education sessions, progressive sales and marketing strategies as well as management ideas and networking opportunities with peers from the West.

DMOs are invited to share informative, innovative and influential ideas in DMA West’s Best Idea Program, with presentations at the annual DMA West Education Summit each September. The objective of the Best Idea Program is to share inventive techniques or imaginative approaches to destination promotion, organization management, and providing services and communicating with stakeholders.

Requirements: Visit the DMA West website to enter your electronic submission, with details on the best idea your organization has implemented during the last two years, including details on the project’s effectiveness as well as cost and ROI. A Board-appointed Task Force reviews submissions to invite select panelists to present at the annual Education Summit in September.

Deadlines: Best Idea submissions for September’s event are due by August 23.

Website: For more information, please visit DMA West Education Summit.


IMEX America | Las Vegas, NV | October 2017

IMEX America is the country’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. Increasing in size and scope annually, this event features the largest Hosted Buyer Program in North America and attracts thousands of buyers and exhibitors from the U.S. and around the world.

Speaker sessions take place in one of four formats: 30-45 minutes seminars, with a theatre-style audience of up to 60 people; 30-minute campfires, best for an informal learning discussion with about 20 attendees; 45-minute hot topic tables, moderating peer-to-peer discussions on your expert topic, with small groups of up to 15 people; and research pod, presenting industry or company research to a small group of up to 20 people. 

Requirements: Proposed sessions must fit into the show’s principal themes for the year as well as within one of IMEX America’s education tracks. Submission requirements include a short biography and headshot, proposed session title, and a brief session description including three learner outcomes or takeaway points.

Deadlines: The speaker submission deadline for this October’s event has passed – leaving you with plenty of time to prepare your proposal for IMEX America 2017! Submissions are required approximately 4 months prior to the event.

Website: IMEX America Speaker Submissions.


SATW 2017 Chapter Meetings | Varies, 2017 Details TBA

SATW is a professional association made up of 1,100 writers, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, public relations experts and hospitality industry representatives from the United States and Canada. Founded in 1955, SATW comprises Travel’s Most Trusted Voices. SATW members represent some of the most influential content producers in the travel industry with work that can be seen throughout all print, digital and broadcast platforms.

SATW has four geographical chapters: Eastern states, Central states, Western states and Canadian, each of which hosts an annual meeting for its membership. These meetings include a range of professional development panels and sessions, providing ample opportunities for industry leaders to establish expertise among many of the industry’s most influential content creators!

Requirements: Session and panel ideas are welcomed by SATW chapters. For greater success, offer to take the lead on coordinating the session and pulling together speakers – a spirit of collaboration that will be greatly appreciated by the officers who volunteer their team serving on each chapter’s board.

 Website: For more information, contact the chair or board members of the chapter where you would be interested in speaking; contact details are available at SATW Chapters.

Which West Coast travel industry events top your list for 2016-17? Let us know @AboutDCI

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