Destinations International’s annual convention in St. Louis kicked things off with a big announcement. The host organization’s president and CEO, Don Welsh, along with PCMA’s president and CEO, Sherrif Karamat, made their partnership official at a press conference July 23, 2019.

They will dually host a Destination Showcase event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5, 2020.

The joint venture, which will take place annually in the nation’s capital, will match meeting planners with CVBs with the goal of connecting the two groups in a way that goes beyond a buyer-supplier relationship, according to Welsh and Karamat.

Instead, the duo hopes it can illuminate how planners working closely with CVBs can be the key to a successful event experience.

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“This partnership fulfills a vision of bringing together the education PCMA is known for delivering with the important commerce opportunities Destinations International provides,” Karamat said in a statement released during the event.

“Plus, Washington, D.C., where Destinations International is based and Destination Showcase is held, is a global headquarters for many associations and corporations and is the ideal platform for business events organizers and suppliers to engage,” he added.

Specific details about the Destination Showcase event haven’t been announced—Welsh and Karamat signed the contract live during the press conference.

But both hope that the redesigned showcase will help meeting planners and destinations produce impactful events in communities across the country.

The Destination Showcase will include educational sessions that benefit both professional groups. More details about the showcase will be released in the coming months.

A Partnership in Perpetuity

Welsh and Karamat emphasized 2020’s event will test some exciting new elements, but that the real transformation will take place in 2021.

“This is a partnership in perpetuity,” Welsh concluded at the press conference, promising an ongoing alliance with PCMA and commitment to the showcase.

The inaugural Destination Showcase event led by Destinations International and PCMA will be held at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. It is expected to be a multi-day event.

“Commerce, creativity, content and experiences will come together,” Karamat said.

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