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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources while in-person events and classes are canceled.

Growing tourism leadership online course

“In your early years, you are measured primarily for your individual contributions. Thus, it is difficult for emerging leaders to recognize that leadership is not about them and their ability to attract followers but is about serving others to bring out the best in them.”

Source: Bill George, Harvard Business School Professor and former CEO of Medtronic in True North, p. 181.

Strengthen your leadership skills

This six-month webinar course from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center features monthly interactive one-hour sessions that strengthen the leadership skills and knowledge of early and mid-career destination marketing professionals. Whether you are a CVB, Chamber of Commerce, business council or Main Street organization—if you promote your community to visitors, this course is for you.

This is not just a typical “one-and-done” webinar. You will be part of a cohort approach to learning designed for Minnesota DMOs. Throughout the series, you will engage with your peers, learn from professionals and receive extensive resources to deepen your knowledge. Sessions will build your skills and confidence for leading tourism in your community.

The six webinar course

Session 1: Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO): Context, funding structures, and trends

DMOs operate in a complex context of community or region and work with many stakeholders. This webinar explores the community context, types of destination organizations and funding structures (e.g. CVB, Chamber of Commerce, business council, government agency or Main Street group) that set the stage for leadership roles for DMO staff.

Session 2: Leading from every role

When it comes to making a difference, leadership matters whether you’re in a position of leadership or not. Influencing or guiding in direction, action and opinion—this is what leading is and it can happen in any role. In this webinar we’ll talk about how leadership shows up in the DMO context, the difference between leading and managing and how you can grow your leadership in your role.

Session 3: Leading with focus

With all the busy-ness going on in the world and at work, how do you decide where to pay attention? In this webinar, you'll learn a tool that will help determine where to put your attention to leverage your leadership and how to attend to all the managing that comes with the job, too!

Session 4: Leading an effective team, committee or board

In this webinar we focus on the key functions of productive team, committee and board work that help you recruit volunteers and board members effectively, keep groups on track and make group decisions that stick. You’ll also receive a participant workbook with helpful tools and information on each concept.

Session 5: Using data

Data drives a destination organization’s marketing, management and communications strategies. This webinar helps you understand what different types of data tell you, research you can do yourself, when it is best to seek expertise and guides you on using data to tell your story. Gain resources for finding useful secondary data, assessing big data and asking critical questions.

Session 6: Effective communication

Communication is at the core of a destination organization's mission. And you have multiple community stakeholders—local businesses, government and residents. Understanding these stakeholders, and what they want or need, is a first step. With technology changing how we engage stakeholders, you'll learn strategies to identify key stakeholder needs and how to engage effectively. As a leader in your community, effective communication with multiple stakeholders strengthens your destination marketing efforts.

Learn more and register 

Registration is currently closed. Please check back or join our email list for notifications about future webinars. 

This webinar series was created in collaboration with Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (MACVB). Funded in part with a grant from Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation.

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