DMO BizOps

The next generation of DMO Business Operations conferences has arrived! The summit committee is made up of existing IT, HR, and Finance professionals in our industry. This summit will focus on current challenges and foster an environment for collaboration and learning, along with helping us better understand the inter-dependencies between our disciplines.

America’s Center Convention Complex

Register Today

  • Early Bird – $425  (through August 19)
  • Standard – $550 (August 20-October 3)
  • Late – $600 (October 4-19)

Full conference registration includes:

  • Welcome reception
  • Closing reception
  • Access to all conference sessions
  • Commemorative “DMO Biz Ops” conference t-shirt
  • Continental breakfast, lunch and beverage breaks daily

The DMO BizOps Summit is approved for up to 16 CDME recertification credits by Destinations International.

Conference Hotels

Book your rooms directly with one of the three hotels contracted for the guests of the DMO Biz Ops Conference in St. Louis.  It is important that you book your hotel room before the cut-off date so that the conference host can uphold the commitments of the contract.

Discounted room rate: $159 per night (exclusive of taxes and any fees)

Cut-off date: Friday, September 23 at 11:59 p.m. CT

Marriott St. Louis Grand

Magnolia Saint Louis, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Courtyard by Marriott – St. Louis Downtown/Convention Center

Explore St. Louis

Stay tuned for spoiler videos every month!  We will be showcasing hot spots in St. Louis and giving more insight into what’s coming.

Conference Agenda

The full agenda is in the works, and will be available here soon!  Download the general layout for the DMO BizOps Summit.

Special Guest Speakers

Cleo Battle

Cleo Battle, a hospitality industry veteran of nearly 35 years, currently serves as President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. Prior to coming to Louisville, he spent 12 years as Vice President of Sales & Services of the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau in Richmond, VA. He held the positions of Director of Sales and Sales Manager at the Richmond CVB.

Craig T. Davis

Craig T. Davis, a hospitality veteran for more than 3 decades, is President & CEO of Visit Dallas, Dallas’ destination management organization. He directs all of Visit Dallas’ strategies, operations, activities, and staff as the organization works to achieve its mission: generate convention, trade show and leisure travel business for Dallas, which greatly impacts the economy and helps support more than 65,000 jobs.

Maura Allen Gast

A 31-year veteran of the Irving CVB, Maura was named Executive Director in October 2003.  A leading business travel destination, Irving is home to the world headquarters of ExxonMobil, Kimberly-Clark, Flowserve and Fluor, among others.  She led the team that delivered the on-time, under-budget and architecturally distinctive Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and has oversight of its day-to-day operations, which prior to COVID averaged 250 events per year.

Brian Hall

Brian is a recognized expert in the field of travel and tourism marketing and advertising with over 30 years of experience in hotels, destinations and airlines. In his role as Chief Marketing Officer of Explore St. Louis, he oversees the destination’s tourism brand positioning and marketing activities.  He is a member of the America’s Board of Directors of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

Sophia Hock

Sophia Hyder Hock, Chief Diversity Officer of Destinations International, has spent 20 years developing tailored strategy, training, facilitation, and coaching services on topics pertaining to diversity and social inclusion, gender empowerment, community engagement and outreach, emotional intelligence, and cultural awareness for clients in the international development and travel industries. She integrates human centered design thinking, and mindfulness practices into her work as a holistic way to develop sustainable outcomes that align with business performance and the enabling environment.

Ajay Iyer

Ajay is a Modern Work & Security Technical Architect at the St. Louis Microsoft Technology Center, helping customers with strategy & architecture designs, with specialty in Cloud Security, Compliance & Governance.


Kathleen Ratcliffe

Kathleen ‘Kitty’ Ratcliffe has spent her career in the DMO world, with short stints in hotel marketing and retail sales. For the last 16 years she has headed Explore St Louis, the destination marketing organization for St. Louis City and County, and also oversees the operations of both the convention center and attached domed stadium. She has held sales and marketing and CEO roles in several DMOs, starting her career in this industry as the Executive Director of a one person CVB. She is a past international chairwoman for Meeting Professionals International, a recipient of their International Supplier of the Year award and this year was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Members in MPI’s 50 year history. She served on the board of Destinations International and was inducted in their Hall of Fame in 2019. She just completed service on PCMA’s Board of Directors and this year received PCMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Kitty is passionate about DMO excellence and our critical role in the economies of the regions that we represent.

Helpful Links & Resources

Find out more about down town St. Louis and the America’s Center Convention Complex.

Event content generously supported by Destinations International.