Day 1 – Tuesday, Nov. 13th
8:00 am – Registration
8:30 am – Networking & Introductions
9:00 am – Welcome: Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy Group
9:15 am – Presentation: Trends in Digital Marketing for Tourism and Local Businesses Sarah Benoit & Justin Belleme of JB Media Institute
The decision to visit a region, destination, attraction, or local business often starts with a potential customer learning about or researching the location online. As technology and digital communications evolve, marketers in the tourism and hospitality industry must embrace change and adapt to new digital marketing trends in order to stay top of mind to these potential visitors or to appear in the results of an online search. This session will explore the current trends in digital marketing and online advertising that are impacting how tourism organizations and local businesses are reaching and engaging their target audiences.
10:15 am – Break
10:30 am – Concurrent Breakout Sessions
- Conversation is King – Social Media Strategies to Engage and Grow Your Following Sarah Benoit
In today’s world of social communication, the key to improved performance and tangible social media success is conversation. Tourism organizations and local businesses rely on social media to share stories, connect with the community, attract visitors and customers, and provide higher levels of customer service. The big question for most regions, nonprofits, and companies is how to strategically increase reach and generate more engagement. The answer: invite people to exchange ideas, thoughts, feelings, and opinions and inspire your fans to engage.
- Google Adwords 101 – Getting the Most Out of Search and Display Advertising Justin Belleme
Join us for a presentation to learn how to efficiently run tourism and local marketing campaigns on Google Ads. We will cover targeting strategies, best practices for conversion tracking, local and tourism industry benchmarks, and keyword strategies. The team at JB Media Group has been managing Google Ad campaigns for tourism organizations, events, and local businesses for over ten years. If you’re considering or currently utilizing Google Ads for your marketing strategy, you don’t want to miss out on these tips and tricks.
11:45 am – Lunch Panel Discussion
1:15 pm – Concurrent Breakout Sessions
- Why Blogging? – How Blogs Support SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and PR Strategies Sarah Benoit
Blogs attached to tourism and local websites can serve a number of purposes. It’s essential that your blog content and design are user-friendly, offer clear value, and provide relevant content. Learn the best practices for blogging, and find out how to leverage the power of your blog to improve your brand’s searchability, recognition, engagement, and conversion rates.
- Facebook and Instagram Advertising Strategies for Tourism and Local Businesses Justin Belleme
For the last several years, social media advertising has been the most cost-effective way for tourism organizations and small businesses to reach their target audiences. As the social advertising landscape gets more competitive and expensive, up-to-date strategies are needed to remain relevant and stay visible. This class will explore the current best practices for social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
- Skating to Where the Puck Will Be – Basic Strategic Planning for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Chris Cavanaugh
Many parts of the travel and tourism sector are performing especially well right now, buoyed by a strong economy and unprecedented favorable demographics. But there are always potential threats to success, and success can also breed complacency. This session will help position your organization for growth by establishing a plan that sets reasonable objectives, makes use of available resources, and is easily understood by staff and stakeholders.
2:30 pm – Break
2:45 pm -Concurrent Breakout Sessions
- Tracking and Reporting – How to Use Google Analytics and Quantify Success Sarah Benoit
Digital marketing tracking and reporting can seem intimidating, especially when you are managing multiple strategies like social media, email marketing, SEO, blogging, and more. In this session, you’ll learn how to define clear benchmarks and quantify website and content marketing success using simple Google Analytics tracking data and metrics. Attendees with access to Google Analytics are invited to bring account logins and a personal device in order to review live data and ask questions.
- Critical Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team or Vendors Justin Belleme
Learn the most important questions that your marketing team or vendors should be able to answer. The questions will help you uncover if your personal efforts and those of your current internal team or outsourced vendors are keeping up with the latest tourism related strategies for SEO, social media, Google AdWords, online PR and email marketing. As effective digital marketing campaigns are increasingly critical for tourism organizations, this session will focus on asking the right questions to ensure success, even on a small budget. These questions will help kick off conversations to ensure that your marketing meets your organization’s needs and provides a return on your time and financial investment.
4:00 pm – Closing Remarks
4:15 pm – Adjourn
4:30 pm – Optional Happy Hour and Networking
Day 2 – Wednesday, Nov. 14th
8:00 am – Networking
9:00 am – Concurrent Breakout Sessions
- Effective Marketing Partnerships and Collaborative Campaigns Justin Belleme
Because vacations include multiple experiences and activities, travel and tourism organizations are uniquely positioned to collaborate and create effective partnerships. Explore and learn from real-world examples for creative marketing partnerships, social media cross-promotions, and influencer marketing. Learn best practices to create and execute authentic tourism marketing campaigns with both your existing relationships and to develop new, mutually beneficial, long-term relationships.
- Local SEO Best Practices Rich Owings
Local SEO differs in many ways from traditional search engine optimization. This session will offer tips for maximizing your listings on Google, Apple Maps, and other important location-based platforms. We’ll also delve into the importance of consistency across listings, leveraging the power of reviews, how your website impacts local SEO, and much more.
- Principles and Practices of Outstanding Branding Chris Cavanaugh
The digital age has changed the execution of brand development and management, but the principles of strong foundational branding stay the same. This session will look at how to develop, maintain, and grow your brand using both traditional and digital media to establish a message that resonates.
10:15 am – Break
10:30 am – Concurrent Breakout Sessions
- Creating Content to Attract Search Engine Traffic Sarah Benoit
Tourism and local businesses and organizations naturally have a variety of stories to share. These stories can be used to create many different types of content including articles, videos, photographs, and more. Learn how any region or brand, big or small, can prioritize topic ideas and properly structure website content in order to build search engine authority and increase organic search traffic. Find out ways you can leverage your stories, strengthen your brand, and make a bigger impact online.
- Tourism Digital Marketing Plans – Case Studies and Examples Justin Belleme and Chris Cavanaugh
Developing a professional digital marketing plan requires creativity and cohesion across written content, social media, video, and email. Doing all of these things well is challenging yet achievable for any small organization as long as a solid strategy is in place. This class will explore successful marketing plans and case studies across tourism and local marketing and will include dedicated time for audience Q and A.
12:00 pm – Lunch Panel Discussion
1:30 pm – Presentation: Interactive Brainstorming Strategy Workshop
Once you understand the tools and strategies covered at the conference, your final task is to create a unique and creative digital marketing campaign to execute and promote with your team and partners. During this final brainstorming workshop, we will break into small groups and engage in rapid prototyping exercises to generate fun and exciting campaign ideas. We’ll also create brief strategic outlines to help make your come to life. The ideas will then be shared with the group, allowing for cross-pollination and further exploration.
3:00 pm Adjourn