5 Takeaways from The March 13th COVID-19 Webinar

Key points from The COVID-19 Webinar

Thank you to everyone who attended the COVID-19 Webinar and contributed helpful examples and thoughtful questions. While we did record the webinar, we were disappointed with the quality of the audio. In lieu of sharing the audio, we’ve added a summary of highlights from the conversation below. 

In case you missed the conversation, here are some of the key points covered:

1. Consider Your Unique Community Needs

As leaders in the tourism industry, destination organizations are in a position to provide leadership and guidance to their communities while the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve. Every destination and community is unique and facing different circumstances, so what you choose to communicate will vary depending on your community and needs. At the end of the day, we encourage you to identify what you need to communicate, and share that through a variety of avenues to reach your full audience.

As you consider what message to share, think about your audiences. You may need to engage with a diverse range, including

  • Travelers 
  • Meeting planners
  • Local residents
  • Partners and local businesses
  • Workers, including staff at the destination organization

Consider how to tailor your messaging and content to align with each unique audience.  

2. Update Your Website Content

To make it easy for visitors to find current COVID-19 information, use a website alert or a homepage hero image to highlight relevant information immediately to your audience. 

We recommend creating a dedicated landing page as a hub to house all of your important content related to this issue. Use the landing page to address frequently asked questions, and link to valuable local, state, and federal resources. Also be sure to link to any additional blog posts, press releases, and other timely information you may be sharing. 

Here are links to a few landing page examples from our community:

3. Leverage iDSS for Communications

You can leverage iDSS communication platforms to keep your stakeholders updated with timely information like cancellations, resources, and lead updates. Effective immediately, Tempest has added 50,000 email credits to all iDSS users accounts to support communication needs during the COVID-19 event. 

Many organizations are using iDSS email campaigns to communicate daily or weekly with partners and members, visitors, and meeting planners. Creating regular, strategic emails to keep your audience informed will help you be a valuable, supportive resource to your community.You may also use the iDSS Extranet to reach partners and members with updates on the Homepage Message Widget and using the Lead Update Messages. This is a great way to keep members of the local business community involved and informed. 

Our team is available at [email protected] if you need assistance leveraging iDSS during this event.

4. Keep Communications Updated 

Thank you to our valued partners from Visit Pittsburgh, Visit Ogden, and Visit Long Beach for joining the conversation. A common theme across all three destinations was establishing regular communication pathways with key stakeholders and organizations at the local, state, and federal level. 

Jerad Bachar, EVP and Interim CEO of Visit Pittsburgh, shared that flexibility is key. His team has shifted the frequency of its communication with key stakeholders from weekly, to daily, and hourly, as-needed and as the situation evolves.  

As part of her organization’s efforts, Sara Toliver, President & CEO of Visit Ogden, is asking the local community to support main street businesses, which are in close proximity to the Convention Center and feeling the impacts of lower foot traffic. 

Loren Simpson, Director of Digital Communications with Visit Long Beach, added that her team is updating website content daily and using website alerts, press releases, and social media to reach different audiences.

5. Begin Thinking About Recovery 

While this is a challenging time, it is important to remember that this is temporary. As we communicate and navigate this event, we should also be prepared to come out of this situation bigger and better than ever before to help our communities recover.

During our question and answer session, Wes Rhea, CEO of Visit Stockton, shared that his organization is looking ahead to support recovery efforts by planning a special Restaurant Week event to coincide with the community’s eventual healing and return to everyday life. 

Share Your Experience

How are you navigating the COVID-19 event? Have you found strategies, tips, or tools that have helped your destination? Share them with our community here so we can continue to learn and support one another during this challenging time.

Download the Presentation Slides


A recovery media campaign following unfortunate natural disasters.

With its local economy devastated by the destruction of a wildfire and flooding,...


Share Your Story

As we work to navigate the COVID-19 event, sharing your perspective and...


Community Leadership Resources

Resources for navigating the impact of Coronavirus.