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Branding a City for Universal Appeal with Elliott Ferguson – ECEO025

Branding a City for Universal Appeal with Elliott Ferguson – ECEO025

In this episode, Rebecca Linder speaks with Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO of Destination DC. Elliott reveals what it takes to make your city attractive to potential visitors (and to “compete” with other U.S. cities), how Washington, D.C. will be affected by IPW, and the hard work it takes to connect planners of big events and conventions to local hotels and venues.

Topics include:

  • The role destination marketing organizations play in building commerce in a city
  • How “DC Cool” has made the branding of Washington, D.C. sexy
  • How planners can utilize destination marketing organizations to deliver a smooth event
  • Giving travel agents a “Wow!” experience to share with their clients visiting the city
  • Utilizing social media to include end-user participation in branding

DC venues and sites mentioned in this episode:

Convention Center
Carnegie Library
RFK Stadium
National Mall
Air and Space Museum
Nats Park
Ben’s Chili Bowl


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Elliott Ferguson serves as President and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC. A 26-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC’s
efforts to generate economic opportunity for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization’s convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance and business development operations.
Ferguson began his tenure with Destination DC in 2001 as Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services and has served as President and CEO of Destination DC since 2009. Prior to working at Destination DC, he served as Vice President of Sales at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also served as Director of Sales for both the Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureaus.  Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Business Administration from Savannah State University. His many memberships in the industry include the American
Society of Association Executives, Professional Conference Management Association, International Association of Exhibition Executives and Destination Marketing Association International.
Ferguson currently serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: U.S. Travel Association; Travel and Tourism Advisory Board; Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo; DC Jazz Festival; Capital Partners for Education; and the Ryan Kerrigan “Blitz for the Better” Foundation. Ferguson also serves on the Hospitality Alliance of Washington, DC.

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