Learn trends, tools, and strategies you need to be prepared to maximize opportunities and minimize risks in the new year.

This year has brought unexpected challenges that have upended the entire economy including the tourism industry. The recovery so far has been uneven with some regions and certain tourism activities rebounding faster than others.

As we all prepare our marketing plans, budgets, and campaigns for 2021, we invite you to join us for a new virtual event focused on the trends, tools, and strategies needed to be prepared to maximize opportunities and minimize risks in the new year.

Register Today

Join us for one-and-a-half days of training presented via 1-2 concurrent training session(s) to meet your needs. Bring your questions and your current plans to gain valuable insight, support, and direction to ensure that your organization experiences a full rebound in 2021!

Day 1

THURSDAY, NOV. 12TH 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Day 2

FRIDAY, Nov. 13th 9 AM – 2:30 PM

Class and workshop topics include:

  • Advanced social media targeting to reach people planning a trip to your area/region
  • Latest best practices for video marketing
  • Understanding Google to accelerate your content marketing efforts
  • Creative ways to communicate during the COVID recovery
  • Travel trends that all tourism businesses and DMOs need to be aware of this year
  • Expert panel discussions
  • Email marketing best practices to increase engagement and conversions
  • Chatbot and messaging basics for marketing
  • Improving your website performance
  • Leadership during times of crisis

Meet Our Speakers!

Justin Belleme of JB Media Institute, JB Media Group, and RomanticAsheville.com

Chris Cavanaugh of Explore Asheville and Magellan Strategy Group

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

Nick Romanos of Status Forward

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Read Justin's Bio
A serial entrepreneur, Justin founded is first business, AshevilleNow.com an online magazine about the Asheville area for visitors in 2003. He continued to work in tourism marketing, holding interim positions in online marketing with Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau and City of Asheville in 2010 before launching Internet marketing agency JB Media Group in 2011. As Director of Strategy, Justin oversees the strategic direction for projects in SEO, online advertising, social media, event marketing, email and public relations for clients ranging from the Eastern Band of The Cherokee Indians to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Holistic Holiday at Sea and the Social Capital Markets conference.  He, along with Sarah Benoit, have also provided strategic consulting and training for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

In 2012, Justin saw a need for training for marketing professionals and business owners in Internet marketing from industry professionals. He teamed up with Sarah Benoit to found the JB Media Institute shortly thereafter and under his vision and leadership, the program has trained more nearly 200 students in its first three years. Justin is also a frequent presenter on the more technical elements of Internet marketing including Google advertising for businesses and non-profits, SEO and social media advertising. The recipient of the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Justin is a strong advocate for entrepreneurship, He has served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce since 2015 and is a previous Board Chair for the NC Stage Company.

Read Chris's Bio
Prior to founding Magellan Strategy Group, Chris served as vice president of marketing for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC, the owner of Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. For nearly 10 years he guided the company’s marketing planning, strategy, and execution. During his tenure, Biltmore doubled its annual revenue and became the most visited historic house attraction in the U.S. Cavanaugh also directed marketing for the Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star hotel on the property, and the Biltmore Estate Winery, the most visited winery in the nation.

Chris was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the state’s travel and tourism board in 2003 and reappointed in 2010. He is past chairman of that board, and also past chairman of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (overseeing the work of the Asheville CVB) and Blue Ridge Mountain Host, a regional marketing association. Chris received the 2014 Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award  and in 2015, the Travel Industry Association of North Carolina presented him with the Tourism Excellence Award for an Individual for outstanding contributions to the development of the travel industry in the state.

Read Sarah's Bio

Sarah Benoit is co-founder and lead instructor of the JB Media Institute, a digital marketing school, and President of Creative Original, Inc., a small business web design and consulting firm. She is an SEO, social media, and marketing and communications strategist who has worked in the field since 2003.

Sarah has also led classes, workshops, and presentations about many aspects of digital marketing throughout North Carolina and the U.S. since 2006. She is the Co-chair of Digital Marketing for AIGA Asheville and on the leadership team with Community Roots.

Read Nick's Bio

As Creative Director at Status Forward, Nick splits his attention between big picture thinking and the nuances of design. He believes that progress and prosperity happen most often when people are willing to seek deep understanding of a problem and pursue a solution with courage, creativity and intensity. “Never half-ass anything. Whole-ass one thing.”

Nick grew up in Asheville and mixes business with pleasure, making regular trips back. A graduate of NC State University’s College of Design, Nick has grown to love the Research Triangle and proudly calls Durham home.

Outside of the office, you’ll find him out and about with his wife (Tiana) and daughter (Rory) exploring Duke Gardens, taking in a Durham Bulls game or experiencing the euphoric whiplash that comes standard at the local trampoline park.

Hana Bieliauskas of Inspire PR Group

Amanda Ensinger InspirePR

Amanda Ensinger of Inspire PR Group

Hart Roberts Chair 8

Hart Roberts of Chair 8 Media

Cameron Barker of Chair 8 Media

Read Hana's Bio

Hana leads Inspire PR Group’s southern office from Asheville, North Carolina, as well as the agency’s digital practice, including social media strategy, influencer engagement, SEO and digital marketing and advertising. She is committed to using digital tools and tactics to design creative campaigns for clients that effectively tell their individual story and deliver results. Hana has planned 30+ digital campaigns that have won national and regional awards.

Hana regularly works with many prominent national bloggers and influencers on behalf of clients and has presented on social media and influencer relations at conferences and workshops hosted by BlogHer, the Public Relations Society of America, GroupHigh, and various food and agriculture groups. She regularly leads social media trainings and contributes to publications including PR Daily and SmartBrief.

Hana has more than 10 years of public relations experience, primarily working with food, restaurant, nonprofit and agriculture clients. She also oversaw communications at a national children’s advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.

Hana serves on the board of Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina, where she leads the organization’s PR and marketing efforts. An avid runner, she has helped plan many running events, including 5k events for Girls on the Run and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Hana is also active member of the Public Relations Society of America and served on the fundraising and awards-planning committees for her local chapter. 

Hana grew up in Cincinnati and has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, with a specialization in Political Science, from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She enjoys finding new running trails, any new fitness challenge, hiking, traveling at every chance and catching live music.

Read Amanda's Bio

Amanda Ensinger serves as a senior associate at Inspire PR Group with a focus on media relations. A former reporter turned PR professional, Amanda has more than seven years of agency experience. Using her media connections and eye for the news, Amanda has leveraged her media relations skills to ensure her clients’ voices are heard. 

From coordinating experiential blogger trips to radio blitzes to satellite media tours, Amanda has experience working with all types of media in a variety of settings. A pro at public relations strategy, local and national pitching, social media strategy and event planning, Amanda can help any client tell their story through earned editorial coverage.

Read Hart's Bio

At Chair 8 Media Hart’s always searching for fresh & unique ways companies can interact, engage, and gain exposure with creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics. During his tenure in Telluride, Colorado, Hart worked as Digital Marketing Manager for Telluride.com and brought new life to the company’s tourism and marketing strategy with incredible content and powerful marketing campaigns.

Read Cameron's Bio

Cam pushes the disruptive limits of fresh marketing campaigns to help businesses grow at Chair 8 Media. He’s a techie at heart, loves fly fishing, and is intrigued by innovative and unique ways to capture an audience. His experience in tourism and hospitality marketing extends back to his time as Digital Marketing Director for one of Conde Nast’s Top Ski Hotels in America where he helped lead the Hotel’s first brand overhaul and spearheaded their digital marketing efforts.

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