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MondayMarch 2nd, 2020
2:00 PM4:00 PM
2:00 PM4:00 PM
4:00 PM5:00 PM
Opening Keynote Session: Thank You for Eating the Cake: Lessons in Employee Training and Recognition

We’ve often heard the saying, “A little recognition goes a long way.” This is certainly true when we consider consistent recognition as a tool that reinforces reasons for both employees and guests to be engaged in our organizations. Although employees and guests might not directly solicit attention and recognition for a job well done or for choosing to engage uUs in business, studies have confirmed how encouraged and engaged people feel when that spontaneous, unexpected recognition is received. A recent article in the Washington Post reported that 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving. The article also went on to state that 65% of North Americans report that they didn't receive recognition at all in the previous year. In this opening keynote, participants will review modern day recognition homeruns, hacks and fails while realizing the domino effect down to the P&L bottom line.

Speakers Brian Simmons
5:30 PM7:30 PM
TuesdayMarch 3rd, 2020
7:30 AM9:00 AM
8:00 AM4:00 PM
9:00 AM9:45 AM
10:00 AM11:00 AM
Executive Session: Open to ITA Board and Session Sponsors

Headline News for the Wrong Reasons: We’ve all seen the headlines about our DMO counterparts and have wondered “what happened?” In this session, we’ll look at case studies from the headlines and then provide guidance on DMO accountability, fiduciary responsibility of the board and best practices to protect your organization. Come with your questions! 

Speakers Julie Hart, President, CFO by design, Alison Best, CDME, Partner, CFO by design
10:00 AM11:00 AM
Breakout Session I: Brand Storytelling in an Increasingly Digital World

Wondering if your content distribution strategy is working? There’s a chance you might be thinking about it all wrong … Join us for a deep dive into how to reverse-engineer your content strategy by starting with the most important - but often overlooked - input: your audience. In this thought-provoking talk, Jake Myers will explore the ever-evolving role of media in today’s storytelling space, and share insights into how to create content that appeals to, and resonates with, those for whom it was designed to reach. 

Speakers Jake Myers, Vice President of Digital Revenue, Gatehouse Media+Thrivehive & Adjunct Professor in the OSU Fisher School of Business MBA Program
11:15 AM12:00 PM
Breakout Session I: Building Client Relationships in a Digital Age
Speakers Kristin McGrath, Visit Albuquerque
11:15 AM12:00 PM
Breakout Session II: Google Analytics 101

Google Analytics tracks data from your website to asses audience's reactions to your messages and your marketing efforts. If you are new to Google Analytics this session is a helpful intro. You'll receive tips to interpret GA data efficiently and meaningfully for tourism marketing.

Speakers Jocelyn Vare, Propeller Marketing
11:15 AM12:00 PM
Breakout III: I Didn't See That Coming: Preparing for & Reacting to Issues Online

We’ve all been blind-sided by the comments online. Maybe we shared a video of a local high school band, the latest local headlines or a photo of a beloved family member or pet and the comment string took a strange turn. The online environment has radically changed interpersonal communications and it has opened up new risks to our businesses and organizations as well. It’s no longer aimed only at Fortune 500 companies either. Let’s take time to talk about how this environment has shifted for us, what causes it and how we can help our employers take action that helps limit our exposure and, in fact, let’s us flourish. Getting ahead of it... being prepared before the issue comes up is by far the best strategy. We’ll walk through what that looks like and how even the smallest organization can be better prepared.

Speakers Janice Person
12:00 PM1:00 PM
1:00 PM1:45 PM
Breakout Session I: Board Engagement - Creating a Board that Moves Your Destination Forward

An informed board is a powerful vessel for building community alignment and positioning the DMO as the leader in destination development. This session will focus on ways to make your board more effective and more informed so that they can advocate for the DMO in the community. We will look at tools for governance excellence, while exploring ways to leverage the influence of your board with elected officials and community stakeholders in order to make your destination more successful.

1:00 PM1:45 PM
Breakout Session II: Connecting with Google Trends and Newest Opportunities

The world of Google is an ever-evolving and critical space for every segment of Indiana's tourism industry. This session will highlight the latest trends and newest opportunities in Google Travel that destination marketers and other segments of the industry should know. In the last year, destinations around the country have become participants in the Google DMO Partnership program to actively influence their presence om Google's search and travel planning products beyond paid research and traditional SEO. Learn how their efforts have improved their market's representation and created new value for industry constituents. 

Speakers Kim Palmer, Miles Partnership
1:00 PM1:45 PM
Breakout Session III: What is Your Communities Story?

Every community has a story. Why it matters and how it’s told relates to concepts such as engagement, pride and place attachment. A good story is authentic and integrated. It impacts residents and influences visitors. What is your community’s story? Consider the possibilities during this hands-on session.

Speakers Brian Blackford, Indiana Communities Institute
2:00 PM3:00 PM
General Session: The World Belongs to The Encourager

Life is hard and challenging, especially with change as our constant companion. However, there is one relationship tool that will never become obsolete -  "Encouragement”. In this motivational talk, Erick shares a compelling real-world story of rags to riches and will invite the audience to embrace the idea of becoming an encourager and show them why it’s their greatest investment for success.

Speakers Erick Rheam, Speaker and published author.
3:15 PM4:15 PM
Breakout Session III: Changing the Broken Landscape of the Digital Marketing Coops

Travelers move rapidly across websites and devices during their travel planning. With abundant amounts of data, sorting through the noise and investing in the right place while proving economic impact is crucial. Digital DMO marketing has never been better positioned to be more sophisticated to match travelers’ paths to purchase. Join Jason Manges of Sojern, as he deep dives into the evolution of destination marketing co-ops, how to get the most out of your current co-op programs and what the future looks like.

Speakers Jason Manges, Sojern
4:30 PM5:00 PM
6:15 PM7:00 PM
7:00 PM7:45 PM
7:45 PM8:30 PM
8:30 PM9:00 AM
After Party Sponsored by Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Following the awards enjoy live music and dancing with the band The Crashers. 

WednesdayMarch 4th, 2020
7:30 AM9:00 AM
9:00 AM10:00 AM
General Session: Laughter is the Best Medicine

Kristin & Danny Adams are viral video creators, best known for their funny lip-sync mashups. They are passionate about finding the funny in life and relationships, and when they aren’t making family-friendly online videos, they are traveling the country as speakers and emcees, entertaining audiences with their “Date Night With Kristin And Danny” and “Laughter Is The Best Medicine” programs.

Speakers Kristin and Danny,
10:00 AM10:15 AM
10:15 AM11:15 AM
Breakout Session I: Lead Without Speaking- The Importance of Nonverbal Communication

Solid communication skills are paramount if you desire to gain buy-in from your colleagues, leadership, friends, and family; however, your words are only part of your communication repertoire. Studies show that 55% of communication is nonverbal and two people will signal over 800 nonverbal cues over the course of a thirty-minute conversation. In this highly entertaining and informational presentation, Erick Rheam that teaches the principles and applications of body language and techniques that can be used immediately to enhance communication and influence.

Speakers Erick Rheam, Speaker and published author.
10:15 AM11:15 AM
Breakout Session II: Are You Talking to All Meeting Planners the Same? Why It’s Time to Change Your Meetings Marketing Strategy & How to Effectively Do So

It’s time to reevaluate what is classified as meetings marketing & start utilizing digital marketing to reach the right planner with the right message at the right time. Determine who is the right fit for your destination and start utilizing digital marketing techniques to reach planners across channels, devices & platforms. Start implementing meetings marketing strategies that deliver real measurable results. Content of Presentation:The presentation will incorporate recent research on what meeting planners needs, how they differ across segments & how DMO’s can start reaching them more effectively. As a meetings focused DMO digital agency, we have the privilege of working with a variety of DMOs on their meetings marketing efforts. The presentation will incorporate lessons learned, best practices and examples from Park City, UT,Atlanta, GA and Travel Portland to name a few.

Speakers Mya Surrency, Digital Edge
10:15 AM11:15 AM
Breakout Session III: What is New with Visual Storytelling

Visuals are still the most impactful type of content that DMOs can share to inspire travelers to visit a destination. Across the tourism industry, many brands are telling the same stories that don’t stand out from the crowd or reveal what is unique about a destination. Learn how to help your team create and share stories that make travelers stop, notice and take action. From content ideation to working with partners and professionals, to tapping into new Instagram and Google trends, you’ll leave this session with helpful tactics to use with your team. CrowdRiff will share best practices and inspiration from the best brand storytellers, both within travel and other industries. Prepare to get hands on in this fun and interactive session!    Attendees will learn:

New techniques for content and campaign ideation.

Tips for sourcing and curating visual content from professionals, the public, influencers and partners.

How to use new products from Instagram, Facebook and Google to reach and influence more travelers.

Speakers Julia Manoukian, CrowdRiff
11:30 AM12:30 PM
Closing Lunch

Enjoy lunch and a preview of the 2021 Indiana Tourism Conference 


To see the list of speakers at the conference, please check out the Speakers page!


    Tuesday Dinner Sponsor
    Host City Sponsor
    Tuesday Lunch Sponsor
    Wednesday Lunch Sponsor
    Vendor Booth
  • Group Tour Media
  • Indiana State Festivals Association
  • Sojern
  • Midwest Living
  • Indiana Office of Tourism Development
    Charging Station Sponsor
    Friend Sponsor
  • Longwoods International