Face to Face Connections

I love LinkedIn but there’s nothing like meeting someone face to face to cement a connection. 

One of the most important functions of a DMO, especially in a mature market, is facilitating the development of industry stakeholders in the destination. 

It’s one of the reasons BCIT joined Tourism Vancouver. Their team does a wonderful job of hosting workshops, facilitating skills development, and sharing their vision, all of which are essential to success. Recently they hosted a sold-out workshop on strategies for responding to Legionnaires disease outbreaks, for example. Coming soon is a workshop on how to integrate the destination’s brand into marketing initiatives for individual businesses.

One of the the best values for us has been attending their Member to Member (M2M) mixers. These are held at member businesses, allowing us all an opportunity to get familiar with a particular asset for the city. 

Last week’s mixer (the last of 2019) was held at Dunn’s Famous in downtown Vancouver (poutine pictured above). You can’t do much better than delicious poutine served up in individual cups. Actually, you can, if the poutine is paired with the opportunity to advance your understanding of tourism.

One of my favourite activities was a “speed networking” session. 

Speed
Handy conversation starters at the Tourism Vancouver M2M mixer. 

This was a cool and creative way to have members engage with as many new connections in a short time as possible. As a result I was able to find a new lead for student projects and practicum (work experience) placements. I was also able to get a good sense of the lay of the land, key players in the industry, and what changes might be on the horizon. 

Tourism is about people. Some points to consider:

  1. What networking events are on offer in your community? 
  2. If there is a gap, what opportunities could you facilitate at your business or organization?

Let me know in the comments!

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