2022 Conference Schedule

The 2023 Full Program Schedule will be announced in May!

2022 Digital Marketing Classes

Over the last year, there have been a wide variety of changes in the digital marketing landscape. We are here to help you stay up to date on trends, build useful skills, and employ digital strategies that achieve your goals.
The *** indicates classes specifically designed to help destination marketers AND local businesses, attractions, and experiences.

2022 Day 1


8:00 am Registration – Windsor Ballroom 

8:30 am Networking & Introductions – Windsor Ballroom 

9:00 am Welcome – Windsor Ballroom 

9:15 am 2023 Tourism & Destination Marketing Trends – Windsor Ballroom 
Keynote Presentation, Sarah Benoit
The last 3 years have brought deep, long-term, and powerful changes to the travel and tourism world. Explore digital marketing trends, data, and insights that will help inform your communications, advertising, and marketing efforts in 2023. Learn about online behaviors and strategies that can help your organization, business, or region be more successful.

10:15 am Break

10:30 am Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  1.  Google Analytics Updates*** – Windsor Ballroom
    Sarah Benoit
    For almost 20 years Universal Google Analytics has set the standard for website tracking. This free tool has become incredibly valuable for businesses and organizations of all sizes all across the country. In 2022, Google announced it will launch a new version of Google Analytics July 1, 2023 called “GA4.”  Learn what is changing with your website tracking and how you can be prepared for one of the biggest changes in Google tracking we have seen since 2005. 
  2.  Designing Graphics, Places, and Events People Love*** – Alexander Room
    John Hornsby
    Design is about more than just graphics. It’s about the way you make people feel. Join environmental design expert John Hornsby, owner and founder of Hornsby Creative and Connection Kits, to learn tips for creating graphics that inspire connection, impact communities and increase conversions. Explore the power of using environmental graphics in physical spaces and innovative design strategies to make your events more memorable and engaging.
  3. Ethical Marketing in Tourism – Victoria Room
    Justin Belleme
    As technology evolves, the line that separates ethical from unethical digital marketing practices moves. To avoid embarrassing and costly mistakes, all businesses, especially purpose-driven businesses, need an ethical marketing policy and strategy. But what does it really mean to be an “ethical” marketer today? In this presentation, Justin Belleme will share an overview of the key topics and best practices for ethical, purpose-driven marketing, especially as it relates to local and tourism marketing.

11:45 am Lunch

12:00 pm Media Panel with Asheville Chamber of Commerce – Windsor Ballroom 
Join Erin Leonard from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce as she hosts a media panel with experts from radio, TV, and print to talk about the current state of media and public relations. Learn how things have changed in the last 3 years and how to make your media outreach and pitching more effective.

1:15 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  1. The Power of Great Photography*** – Victoria Room
    David Huff
    There’s an old adage in photography that says “The best camera is the one you have with you” This is more true now than ever since we all have a camera on our phone and most of us, myself included, never leave home without it!  It is also true that more of us know much more about photography than was the case 10 years ago. With the advent of cameras on our phones and the rise of a social media landscape for sharing our pictures, most of us have become pretty good amateur photographers.
    Do you want to up your game and master the potential of your phone’s camera? Learn how the professionals capture great images, when the right time to hire a professional is, and the best gear for you to have.
    Don’t forget to bring your phone, and make sure that it is charged, because we will be taking and sharing pictures in this session
  2. Working with Your Local Government – Alexander Room
    Chris Cavanaugh
    While the pandemic created new opportunities for rapport between tourism and local government, the need for stronger relationships with both elected officials and staff had been growing long before Covid.  Issues such as destination product development, visitor management, public safety, and revenue allocation have increasingly been in the spotlight as opportunities for both resistance and collaboration. Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy Group will discuss these and recommend ways of maximizing relationships between you and your local government.
  3. How to Bring DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) into Tourism Marketing?*** – Windsor Ballroom
    Aisha Adams
    How can you become a leader of diversity, equity, and inclusion? Find out ways you can challenge the old paradigm of DEI thinking as a tourism marketing professional and as an organization, business, or brand. 

2:30 pm Break

2:45 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  1. Tips for Making DIY Reels that Engage People*** – Windsor Ballroom
    Aisha Adams
    Reels have fast become one of the most popular forms of content on the Internet. How can you and your brand make the best use of this medium? Get tips and tricks for creating Reels that have an impact.
  2. Website Usability Basics*** – Alexander Room
    Joao Barbosa
    UX is a growing field focused on putting customers first and making their experience your #1 priority. An important part of UX is website usability, which focuses on the importance of building and managing websites people want to visit. Learn the latest trends and best practices for making your website a place people want to be and take action. 
  3. Google Business Listing Changes & Updates*** – Victoria Room
    Sarah Benoit
    Google Business Listings are an essential tool for any local business that wants to attract local residents and travelers currently nearby. Google Business Listings bring the power of geotargeting, SEO, and customer service together so any brand can attract new and existing customers. Find out how this tool has changed in 2022 and get hands-on tactical support in understanding the different features you have available. 

4:00 pm Closing Remarks – Windsor Ballroom 

4:15 pm Adjourn

2022 Day 2

Tuesday, Nov. 15th

8:00 am Networking

9:00 am Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  1. Data-Driven Content Strategy – Victoria Room 
    Justin Belleme, Mandy Gardner, and Jake Kennon
    Join team members from JB Media Group, a B-Corp certified marketing agency based in Asheville, NC. Learn how their professional content marketing team employs the most ethical and effective approaches to building data-driven digital marketing content strategies. Explore how you can create the content people are looking for and increase your website traffic. Looking to dig more deeply into your own content approach? Have questions? You can also attend Justin’s Tuesday afternoon Expert Q & A where he will explore how to put these principles into action.  
  2. Maximizing Your Marketing Budget – Alexander Room 
    Chris Cavanaugh
    Even after (or maybe because of) a global pandemic, your competition has never been as fierce as it is now.  With a possible recession looming and continued uncertainty about the business environment, Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy Group will present his suggestions for maximizing your organization’s budget—no matter the size–in a volatile climate and how you can beat the competition while delivering higher ROI.
  3. Redefining SEO in Today’s Modern World – Windsor Ballroom 
    Sarah Benoit
    SEO (search engine optimization) is more than just a marketing service or strategy, it’s a mindset. Embracing this mindset means you have committed to putting your customers’ experience and always working to improve the experience people have on your website. Find out what it means to build your authority and optimize your website in 2023.

10:15 am Break

10:30 am Presentations

  1. Tracking Conversions on Google Ads – Victoria Room
    Peter Frisa
    Learn all about conversion tracking with Google Ads. All levels of experience are welcome. We will cover many basic and advanced tips and tricks.
  2. How to Create Successful Relationships between Your Local DMO, Creators, Freelancers, and the Community – Alexander Room
    Whitney Smith
    When it comes to marketing a destination, the opportunities can be endless – and sometimes overwhelming. In this session, learn how to create a sustainable framework for tapping into your local creative network to better tell your destination’s story while providing more opportunities for your partners and local content creators.
  3. Engaging the Right Influencers and Partners – Windsor Ballroom
    Sarah Benoit
    The world of influencers and partnership marketing is always changing and new opportunities are available for many regions. Learn current influencer trends and strategies for connecting with the people and partners you need to increase engagement and build your following.

12:00 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  1. Anticipating the Future of Travel – Alexander Room 
    Chris Cavanaugh
    Think your crystal ball is broken? Rest assured–it’s not working for anyone else, either. But there are some signals out there (some stronger than others) that demonstrate where travel is going and how you can leverage what we know and be prepared for what we don’t. Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy Group gives us his long-term vision for travel post-Covid and how your organization can take advantage of a much-changed marketplace.
  2. Email Marketing Strategies for Tourism and Travel – Windsor Ballroom 
    Sarah Benoit
    Email marketing is one of the oldest strategies in digital marketing, but since the advent of social media and major changes in privacy and security laws, how we handle email marketing has shifted over time. Learn how email can have value for your organization in this current digital ecosystem. Explore trends and strategies you can employ with your own lists. Explore the value of first party data and the value of building customer databases, not just email lists.
  3. Ask an Expert Q & A – Victoria Room 
    Justin Belleme
    As the 2022 DIY Tourism Marketing Workshop comes to a close what questions do you have about your content or advertising strategy? Join Justin Belleme for a special Ask an Expert session focused on content marketing and highlighting social media and Google ads. Come prepared to have a conversation and share what you are working on currently.

3:00 pm Closing Remarks and Adjourn – Windsor Ballroom


I loved the Tracking and Reporting Class with Sarah… she dove in and showed you realtime how Google Analytics worked and what you should be looking for.


2022 Media Panelists