European Cities Marketing Spring Conference, March 17 – 19 2021

With this Call for Speakers, we are starting programming for the upcoming European Cities Marketing (ECM) Spring Conference – digital version. In doing so, we are zooming in on the DMO members of ECM and their future role in a post-COVID reality. For many years, discussions have centered on the magic M in DMO: is it marketing, is it management, is it both or is it something entirely different? Now, following the pandemic crisis, perhaps it’s time to realise that no one really cares what the M stands for, people care what you stand for. And that is why we are inviting to explore your DMOJO at the upcoming conference!

We now know we each play a role in ‘flattening the curve’ – but what about the climate curve? The curve of social instability and inequality? Consumers are becoming increasingly guided by values in their consumption choices, which in turn sets new expectations to brands and what they stand for – including destinations in their marketing, messaging, development and commitment beyond tourism; what does your destination stand for?

Did your DMO find its true mojo during the crisis – the ability to pivot, adapt role and relevance, while maintaining a long-term perspective? Now, the global pandemic crisis has effectively erased all pre-determined roadmaps and business-as-usual-thinking. The challenge to you and your colleagues is to define your DMOJO by the same key skill and mindset that will also define our future: the art of futuring itself! It is the ability to cope and navigate uncertainty, ask brave questions and experiment new solutions along the way, while insisting on thinking both short- and long-term at the same time. It is the ability to re-configure yourself for the future.

While tourism was certainly missed in 2020, bringing back the tourism of before may not equal pure destination bliss. Looking forward – what role should and could tourism and destinations play in the face of future challenges and crises? What are the plans for recovery out there?

With this call for speakers, ECM invites member DMOs, knowledge partners, industry experts and lead thinkers to help unfold the theme of DMOJO! at ECM’s Spring Conference on the future role of DMOs and the trends that will shape it in the coming years. The conference will be digital, March 17-19, 2021. We are looking for excellent speakers, presenters and facilitators with inspirational insights, ideas, and perspectives to share.

You are most welcome to answer to this call if …

  • You have inspiring skills and insights in transformation management, working with foresight and futuring, adapting or reinventing organisations to continuous change.


  • You and your destination and/or tourism business have worked extensively with post-covid recovery plans and sustainable transformation which might inspire and start a movement.


  • You offer experiences or insights focused on new value-based branding, messaging, consumer trends and what this will mean for urban travel and destinations – especially in the context of Covid-19.


  • You are a DMO or ECM Knowledge Partner who want to share insights and learnings in all of the questions above!


If you answer to this call, you need to prepare for a digital format, where most sessions will be involving, lead to discussions and exploration. Feel free to take a deep dive into topics and cases such as how DMOs and CVBs are reinventing their value proposal to attract meetings and conventions, how you are rediscovering or reimagining your destination’s mojo, perhaps aiming for different visitors or reshaping the destination in the image of locals, how you are upskilling on futuring and organising for agility, or how new consumers make different consumption choices, how the future mojo of DMOs involves more democratic listening… or if you think culture will be key to the future mojo of urban destinations.

We look forward to hearing your ideas and leads! In our evaluation of all suggested speakers, we always look for content and quality first, but we also strive for gender balance, diversity of topics and geographical spread.

Practicalities: Please submit your proposals and leads to ECM associate conference partner Group NAO at before January 22, 2021.  Expect to hear from us before the end of January.

For further background, please visit the website of European Cities Marketing: