This is not a tourism conference… but very much a conference for DMOs’ professionals!

At the European Cities Marketing (ECM) Online Autumn Conference, September 23-24, 2021, attendees will deliberately expose and challenge themselves and their colleagues to seek inspiration from both within and beyond the tourism industry – for purpose, for understanding of challenges and possibilities ahead, and for exploring the broader needs of their destinations and cities. 

This is not a tourism conference as we know it!

DMOs’ professionals constantly need to remind themselves to look outside their own industry echo chamber – reinforced by their SoMe news feeds, by their inboxes, the reports they read, the articles they share, and in the tourism conferences, where they meet.

This may not be a tourism conference, as we know it, but it is a conference for all DMOs professionals. Attendees will join for two immersive days of exploring decarbonization and what this means to tourism and the role of DMOs, and they will learn about new technologies to push forward tourism transformation, or to reimagine the business models of events. There will be engagement in discussions around tourism and stereotypes, or how to develop more accountable tourism and participatory destination management. Attendees will be encouraged to make sense of their destinations – or simply sense them in new ways. This and much more together with the speakers and facilitators in formats like Outside-Incomers and Frameworkers, or when zooming into their Horizones and buckling up for Fasterclasses, Disasterclasses and high energy Cross-inspires, or while seeking inspiration numerous Case Clubs presented by ECM member cities.

The ECM Autumn Conference, September 23-24, 2021 is live and virtual for everyone – with virtually every opportunity for attendees to customise their own route through the two days of programme, sensemaking experiences and more than 70 speakers!

The 1st day “This is just the beginning…” will be about the challenges we face and the action and changes, we can and should make. From DMOs taking climate action, to behavioural changes and new technologies, from acting against stereotyping and empowering citizens to develop new models of collaboration to build community and strengthen destination stewardship.

The 2nd day “The art of reframing” will be about exploring new business models of events and the different demands and possibilities for host cities, debating the imperative of always learning, discovering, and adapting, discussing our most important lessons of the past and how they could shape the renaissance of tourism and exploring how can we make sense of our cities and destinations in new light and perspective!

Among the 70+ speakers, here are the ones that will take on the main stage during the ECM Autumn Conference: Avinash Chandarana, Global Learning and Development Director at MCI Group, Erin Francis-Cummings, CEO at Destination Analysts, Ed Gillespie, Insultant at The Futurenauts, Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Director of Sustainable Development of Tourism at UNWTO, Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Tourism at UniSA Business, University of South Australia & Adjunct Professor at University of Waterloo, Carmelo Ignaccolo, Doctoral Researcher in Urban Planning at MIT, Stephanie M. Jones, Founder at National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative, Leena Lassila, Director Global Sales at Helsinki Marketing, Rodney Payne, CEO at Destination Think, Nicolas Popoff, Business Development Manager at Riot Games & Matthias Schultze, Managing Director at GCB German Convention Bureau.

ECM Pre-Conference on September 16 open to industry and DMO Stakeholders

The first ever ECM Pre-Conference will be accessible at no cost on September 16 to warm up everyone’s curious questioning and shared exploration before the 2-day conference a week later. Attendees will dive into the big question of what comes after the pandemic and what has been the impact on destinations, on consumer behaviour, traveller and booking patterns. This will help everyone prepare not just for the new normal, but for managing the prevailing uncertainty of future crises in our VUCA* times.

Whether you are from the tourism industry or not, feel free to join for this easily available Pre-Conference with great content on the post pandemic world!


Programme and registration links for both events can be found on the Event Platform.

Registrations are open until September 16, 2021 for the Pre-Conference and until September 21, 2021 for #ThisIsNotATourismConference.


*VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity




*European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from 110+ major cities in 36 countries.

For more information and pictures, please contact:
Bénédicte Lack,, +33 380 56 02 03