The Indiana Tourism Conference agenda is subject to change. To print a copy of this document, please click the print button below. 

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MondayMarch 4th, 2019
4:00 PM5:00 PM
Opening Keynote Session: Alyssa Dver

Indiana Confidence – Using Brain Science to Motivate Yourself & Visitors Confidence is the key to unlocking everyone’s potential – allowing us to be engaged and achieve success. Confident people are more innovative, more resilient, and overall happier. They are better teammates, more productive and create positive cultures. They make the best leaders, recruiters, presenters and role models – as well as friends. Good news – no one is born confident. It can be learned by anyone at any time. In this interactive, entertaining and immediately applicable session, you’ll gain Higher Power Thinking™ using ACI’s brain science-based tips, tools and techniques. Learn what boosts and busts confidence in yourself and others. You’ll be able to give and get more satisfaction at work - and at home - and entice visitors to enjoy the beautiful state of Indiana!

Speakers Alyssa Dver, American Confidence Institute
5:15 PM7:00 PM
Opening Reception

Make N’ Mingle #inHendricks Opening Reception hosted by Visit Hendricks County Join us to eat, drink and be crafty! Complimentary motorcoach transportation to the CRG Event Center at the Shops at Perry Crossing begins at 5:15pm. At the reception enjoy food stations highlighting local cuisine from Boulder Creek, Bru Burger, Stone Creek Dining Company and Charbonos. Enjoy make-n-takes from local artisans including an Indiana Home project, a stamped metal tag, a calming essential oil roller and even a surprise for your four-legged friends. From the reception you will be steps away from the dine around locations.

7:00 PM10:00 PM
Dine Around

Shops at Perry Crossing Dine Around  Stop by the Visit Hendricks County booth on  Monday between 12:00 and 4:00 PM to make arrangements for reserved  seating at one of the four locations available for dinner included  Stacked Pickle, Bru Burger, Stone Creek Dining Company and  the Claddagh Irish Pub. Menus will be available. Seats are limited,  first come first serve. For recommendations on other local options, see  Tracy Whetstone. Complimentary transportation will be provided from the  Shops at Perry Crossing back to the host hotels  until 10:00 PM. 


TuesdayMarch 5th, 2019
6:30 AM7:15 AM
Yomosa Session

Enjoy yoga and mimosas! Get your workout in early with an all levels vinyasa flow. The class will be a combination of a variety of yoga poses and deep breathing to get the blood flowing. This class will leave you feeling peaceful, energized and ready to start your day. Bring your own yoga mat and sign up for the free yoga session when you register for the conference. 

7:45 AM8:45 AM
8:00 AM4:30 PM
8:00 AM9:00 AM
9:00 AM9:45 AM
General Session:

Googles New DMO/Partnership Programs Understanding and Maximizing Google’s Tools for Your Destination and your members.

Speakers Matthew Focht, Truly360, Wendi Paden, Truly360
9:45 AM10:00 AM
Break and Vendor Booths open

Morning break sponsored by Visit French Lick West Baden

10:00 AM11:00 AM
Breakout Session I: Brett Sterenson

Don't Take the Wind out of Your SALE This program will highlight key areas of the planner supplier relationship, how to enhance negotiation techniques, increase ROI, handle delicate issues and understand the external influences which affect the buying process.

Speakers Brett Sterenson, Hotel Lobbyists
10:00 AM11:00 AM
Breakout Session II: John Daters

Voice Search Voice search is proving to be a disruptor in online search. Today’s travel and leisure customer is ever-more likely to start and/or supplement their digital search with a question to Siri, Alexa or Google. With voice search rising in usage and adoption how does your brand and location stay relevant and accurate? We’ll explore how voice search results work, what’s expected from users and emerging strategies you can employ today to increase your rank for this growth-oriented search trend.


Speakers John Daters
10:00 AM11:00 AM
Executive Session: Open to ITA Board Members and Session Sponsors

Digging Deeper to Raise Confidence Even Higher: Brain Science-Based Methods Alyssa Dver, from American Confidence Institute, will provide a deeper dive and specific to do’s to increase and sustain confidence in yourself – and how to coach it in others. Various brain training exercises, tools and techniques will be experienced that can be used every day, by anyone.

11:00 AM11:15 AM
11:15 AM12:00 PM
General Session: Jamie Bennett

ArtPlace America is a national collaborative initiative created by some of the country's largest investors. It has invested more than $100 million over the past 7 years in communities of all sizes that are enlisting artists as allies in shaping the future of their communities. Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, will share national examples of projects where artists have contributed toward livability, economic development and tourism.  

Speakers Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace America
12:00 PM1:00 PM

Lunch Sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development

1:00 PM1:45 PM
General Session: Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow

“Red Ocean Traps- How to Avoid Mind-Sets that Undermine Market Creating Strategies" Is your business competing in saturated markets filled with fierce competition? To successfully create new demand and capture new markets, business managers must avoid getting trapped in the murky red oceans of competing enterprises. But how? In this session you will learn: .  What are "Red Ocean" traps of competing enterprises and how to avoid them. 2. What are "Blue Ocean" strategies that create new markets and profitable growth? 3. How to develop and implement "Blue Ocean" strategies. 

Speakers Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, M.Ed., J.D.
2:00 PM3:00 PM
Breakout Session: Denise Miller

Research- Questions Answered Join Denise Miller from Strategic Marketing and Research, Insights as she discusses various types of research including economic impact, advertising, STR and website. You won't want to miss learning the different strategies, approaches and implementations each study offers.

Speakers Denise Miller
2:00 PM3:00 PM
Breakout session: Lisa Barham

Million $$$ Prospecting: How to use the internet to find group business to drive meetings and events to Indiana .

* Learn what groups are going to your competitor locations and the rates they are paying

* Learn how to find groups slated to hold an event in your area but haven’t selected a venue

* Find organizations by market segment with all of their details including history on their past events

* Find catering and networking groups’ calendars and find their open dates

* Use industry specific search engines to find all of the upcoming events

* Learn how to make your Linkedin profile sell for you

Speakers Lisa Barham
2:00 PM3:00 PM
Breakout Session: David Shaw, Megan Carrico

Connecting with the Community:  Air Travel and Visitor Experience   Indianapolis  International Airport (IND) is ranked, year after year, as the best  airport in North America and the nation! Learn what’s behind those accolades and the importance of community partnerships, the visitor experience, and how nonstop flight connectivity helps get  visitors into your community. 


Speakers David Shaw, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Megan Carrico, Indianapolis Airport Authority
3:15 PM4:15 PM
Breakout Session I: Travel Writer's Panel

Travel Writer's Panel Growing your tourism base has never been easier than it is now in the world of digital marketing. Travel writers in the Midwest Travel Network value the partnerships that they build with Midwest destinations. They will share best practices on how you can partner with a travel writer to bring new money into your communities. Together, we can grow Indiana tourism, one experience at a time.

Speakers Sara Broers, Leah Yoder, Cindy Ladage
3:15 PM4:15 PM
Breakout Session II: Brian Matson

How to Leverage Facebook and Instagram for Content Marketing Success Help your business leverage social media to gain maximum results. Learn valuable strategies to help promote your business on two of the most influential networks around today.  

Speakers Brian Matson
3:15 PM4:15 PM
Breakout Session III: John Daters

Drawing An International Audience to Your Website: How To Optimize Your Site for International Organic Search Capturing an internal audience online isn’t as easy as just changing the language of your website. We’ll explore how you can optimize your website to help search engines bring your website across international borders to a wider audience.



Speakers John Daters
6:00 PM6:45 PM
6:45 PM8:00 PM

Dinner sponsored by Midwest Living

8:00 PM8:30 PM
Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony sponsored by Indiana Connection, Gerry Dick, Emcee

9:00 PM11:00 PM
After Party

Following the awards enjoy live music and dancing with the band The Doo! 

WednesdayMarch 6th, 2019
7:30 AM9:00 AM
9:00 AM10:00 AM
General Session

Gary Varvel, Back Home in Indiana A cartoonist's view of the Hoosier State highlighting its beauty, sports successes, challenges, history and future.

Speakers Gary Varvel
10:15 AM11:15 AM
Breakout Session I: Brian Matson

Data - Driven Campaigns: Turn your Analytics into Action When is the last time you really took a deep dive into Facebook and Google Analytics Data? Are you running online campaigns based on assumptions or facts? In this session we'll uncover valuable data hiding in plain view and walk through how to use data to enhance your digital marketing campaigns. 

Speakers Brian Matson
10:15 AM11:15 AM
Breakout Session II: Growing Trail Tourism in Indiana

Bicycle tourism is an $83 Billion industry in the US. Discover Indiana’s trails and how they can help attract new tourists of all ages & activities to your region. Learn how your community can start or grow their trail system and subsequently it’s trail-based tourism with Next Level Trails, a new $90 million state funded trail development grant program. 

Speakers Amy Marisavljevic
11:30 AM12:30 PM
Closing Lunch and Announcement for 2020

Sponsored by Harrison County Convention and Visitor Bureau.


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


  • We don't have any sponsors yet for this year. If you're interested in sponsoring the conference, please check out our Sponsorships page!