2019 Workshop Schedule

Learn about our presenters.

Day 1

MONDAY, NOV. 18TH

8:00 am Registration

8:30 am Networking & Introductions

9:00 am Welcome

9:15 am Presentation

THE FUTURE OF TOURISM AND LOCAL MARKETING

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

Communications technology and digital marketing are changing constantly. There are new online tools for planning a night out or a week long vacation launched every few months that impact your audience’s behavior and influence the trends. Find out what has shifted in 2019 and what tourism and local marketing professionals can expect in 2020. Learn what trends are worth paying attention to and why.

10:15 am Break

10:30 am Concurrent Breakout Sessions

CONVERSATION IS KING: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY AND BEST PRACTICES

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

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. Getting to the top of the news feeds is harder than ever, so brands are using social media for more one-on-one communication. Engagement is the key to success. Learn tips and strategies for increasing social activity and conversions.

Google Ads 101 – Getting the Most Out of Search Advertising

Peter Frisa of JB Media Group

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 since its founding in 2010. 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.

HOW TO CREATE A MARKETING PLAN

Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy Group

It may be considered old school, but a good marketing plan is still essential in a new school world. We’ll discuss the process for creating a marketing plan (or writing an even better one). This class will identify the most desirable components of a comprehensive marketing plan, look at the best ways of delivering the plan, and delve into examples of good marketing plans. You’ll learn about best practices, and even a few examples of common mistakes and what not to do.

11:45 am Lunch Panel Discussion: PR, User Experience, and Local Marketing

1:15 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions

IMPLEMENTING PARTNERSHIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA, EMAIL, AND SEO SUCCESS

Justin Belleme of JB Media Institute

When planning trips to new places, tourism destinations, or even your own home town, people often build itineraries featuring multiple experiences and activities. This kind of planning opens an opportunity for uniquely positioned travel, tourism, and local businesses to collaborate and create effective partnerships. These partnerships can help to grow your social media following and reach, expand your email list, and improve your search engine and referral traffic. Explore real-world examples of creative marketing partnerships, social media cross-promotions, collaborative content marketing, and effective list building. Learn best practices to implement and execute authentic tourism and local marketing campaigns with both your existing relationships and to develop new, mutually beneficial, long-term relationships.

FACEBOOK AND INSTRAGRAM ADVERTISING 101

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

Facebook and Instagram advertising strategies help brands reach people with messages that are relevant, useful, and entertaining. Most Facebook and Instagram pages with  small budgets for social media ads are still willing to test out various audiences, ad types, and mediums in order to find out what their audience really wants. As the social advertising landscape gets more competitive and expensive, up-to-date strategies are needed to remain relevant and stay visible. Explore the current best practices for social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

LEVERAGING STRONG INFLUENCER RELATIONSHIPS TO BUILD AWARENESS AND INSTAGRAM ENGAGEMENT

Led by Hana Bieliauskas and Amanda Ensinger of Inspire PR

The power of influencer partnerships for travel and tourism continues to grow. Influencers and bloggers, who have large and engaged networks of social followers, are the new travel agents. Instagram is today’s travel guide, especially for millennials. Learn how to identify and form strong relationships with the right national and regional influencers and turn them into ambassadors of your destination. Find out how to get the most out of investing in influencer partnerships—how to ensure they share quality social and online content and exceed expectations. Know what’s okay (and what’s not) to ask of an influencer—and for them to request of you. Get tips for leveraging top influencers’ Instagram accounts to share compelling, authentic content that fuels wanderlust and creates visitors.

2:30 pm Break

2:45 pm Concurrent Breakout Sessions

GOOGLE ANALYTICS FUNDAMENTALS: HOW TO QUANTIFY WEBSITE SUCCESS

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

Google Analytics is a tracking and monitoring tool every website should be using. It is free with any Google account and provides information about how people arrive on your website and what content they look at when they visit. Digital marketing reporting is an essential part of strategic planning and decision making, especially when it comes to managing online campaigns and driving website traffic or conversions. Learn the basics of how to quantify your brand’s success.

MAXIMIZING YOUR OUTSOURCING BUDGET

Justin Belleme of JB Media Institute

Managing the balance of internal team resources and outsourced vendors support is a challenge for tourism organizations and businesses of all sizes. This class will explore key questions and considerations that small destination marketing organizations and local tourism businesses need to consider when hiring and managing outsourced marketing services. We will discuss which areas of marketing are easiest to outsource and which are better to keep in-house. You will also learn how to evaluate results, how to measure return on investment from outsourced support, and how to avoid feeling trapped in your vendor relationships.

10 Dos and Don’ts for Better Website Conversions

Led by Wolf Hoelscher and Nick Romanos of Status Forward

Getting ranked in Google and attracting traffic to your website is only useful if people visiting your site are taking the actions you want them to take. We’ll explore 10 actionable tips for your home page (or landing page) that will get tangible results.

4:00 pm Closing Remarks

4:15 pm Adjourn

4:30 pm Optional Happy Hour and Networking – sponsored by Magellan Strategy Group

Day 2

Tuesday, Nov. 19th

8:00 am Networking

9:00 am Concurrent Breakout Sessions

BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST WITH CONTESTS AND GIVEAWAYS

Justin Belleme of JB Media Institute

Organically growing an email list can be a very slow process, especially for businesses and organizations that rely primarily on simple email newsletter signup forms to capture new subscribers. During Justin’s 16 years of experience in travel and tourism marketing, he’s discovered that nothing has performed better than a well-executed travel giveaway or sweepstakes for building an email list quickly. Learn the best practices for building, launching, and marketing an effective travel contests to both build your list and to grow the brand awareness and overall excitement for your destination or tourism business.

MANAGING REVIEWS AND LOCAL SEO

Led by Rich Owings of Local Is Where It’s At and a special presentation by iHeartMedia

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, and how your website impacts local SEO. Additionally, we’ll look at the concept of “Google as the new home page” and what to do about the fact that 60% of mobile searches do not result in a click through to a website.

PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF OUTSTANDING BRANDING

Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategy

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 Improve Google Authority

Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute

Tourism websites and local business listings have unique opportunities to improve a brand’s overall Google rankings, traffic, and authority when managed strategically. Pages, posts, infographics, videos, and more about the local region, attractions, amenities, landmarks, etc are all natural places to have strong keyword architecture, clear calls to action, and excellent usability so the content you create has more impact. Learn how to make the most out of the content you create and make the best impression on Google and other search engines.   

TOURISM DIGITAL MARKETING PLANS: CASE STUDIES AND EXAMPLE PLANS

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.

How to Craft a Winning Social Video Marketing Strategy
Led by Chair 8
 
It’s no secret that video is becoming the most popular way to consume and convey messaging. So what are you doing about it? Key takeaways from this presentation will include why video has to be part of your marketing plan in 2019 and beyond, understanding differences between video viewing behaviors on social platforms, and tips & tricks to jump start your social video campaigns.

12:00 pm Lunch Panel Discussion with Local Experts in Travel and Tourism

1:30 pm Presentation

Interactive Strategy Development Session - Marketing Managers Unite

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 ideas come to life. The plans will then be shared with the group, allowing for cross-pollination and further exploration.

TOURISM LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE

Tourism leaders face unique challenges that come with managing a variety of stakeholders including local tourism businesses, internal staff, and boards or oversight committees. This roundtable of executive directors, CEOs, and other key decision makers will explore several key topics while also leaving time for authentic conversations and connections to emerge out of a spirit of collaborative learning and peer support. Topics will include strategic planning, advanced metrics to quantify the value of the DMO websites and social media efforts, and other topics.

3:00 pm Adjourn

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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.

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