More than 300 meeting professionals attended the recent Destinations Showcase Chicago; along with 60 exhibiting destinations from 24 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Aruba, Canada, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. The annual event, produced by Destination Marketing Association International, took place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., on June 23.
Highlights included six morning breakout sessions, a keynote luncheon, and the Midwest’s largest expo exclusively featuring exhibiting destination marketing organizations. Author and broadcaster Bill Kurtis delivered the keynote address, courtesy of Leading Authorities; following lunch provided by Branson Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kurtis anchored the “CBS Morning News” and Chicago’s “Channel 2 News”, produced “Investigative Reports: Cold Case Files” for A&E Network, and also served as host of A&E’s “American Justice.”
An expanded hosted buyer program provided complimentary travel and accommodations for 24 association, corporate, government, and independent meeting planners from outside of the Chicagoland area; including participants from as far away as Miami and Renton, Wash. In addition to participating in regular Destinations Showcase activities, the buyers were treated to a welcome reception hosted by Rosemont Convention and Tourism Bureau and small group appointments with sponsoring destinations, which also included Beaches of South Walton, Branson Lakes Area Chamber and CVB, Daytona Beach Area CVB, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Mexico Tourism Board, Visit Jacksonville, and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater.
DMAI is now accepting exhibitor and sponsorship commitments for Destinations Showcase Washington, taking place on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.DestinationsShowcase.com.