AGENDA

Register today and don’t miss out on an action-packed conference, full of inspiring workshops, diverse array of exhibitors and great networking opportunities.

Breakfast Sponsored by:

Foxwoods Mohegan Sun

Registration Sponsored by:

Connecticut Lodging Association

8:00 – 8:45

REGISTRATION / BREAKFAST / EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE

8:45 – 10:15

OPENING SESSION / KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Doug Lansky
Travel Writer and Speaker

Featured in National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian and Skift, and traveling to over 100 countries, Doug Lanksy will provide attendees with the most effective hooks to motivate travelers to visit their destinations and the visitor experience quality they need to keep them coming back.

10:30 – 11:30

SESSION 1 WORKSHOPS

Optimizing Your Free Partner Listing on CTvisit.com

[View Presentation]

As a tourism business in Connecticut, you’re likely eligible for a robust free listing page on CTvisit.com, complete with opportunities to share videos, display your TripAdvisor ratings, feature your events and share your social media feeds. But have you truly optimized your listing yet? Get dozens of actionable, data-driven tips on how you can optimize your listing and attract your share of the 4.2 million visitors who came to the site each year!

Christine Castonguay, Director of Branding, DECD/Office of Tourism

Jean Hebert, Web Site Administrator, DECD/Office of Tourism

New Wine in Old Bottles: Making Your Standard Offering New

[View Presentation]

Studies have shown that 50% of a business’ revenues come from its “new” products. But as a tourism business — particularly one involved in arts, culture and history — how do you create new offerings? Moderated by CCSU’s Dr. Richard Benfield, who teaches New Directions in Tourism, this session will showcase examples of how cultural tourism organizations repackaged existing assets into exciting new offerings and then promoted them into tourism blockbusters. Sure to provide some new inspiration for your new initiatives!

Dr. Richard Benfield, Professor of Geography, Central Connecticut State University

Tammi Flynn, Director of Marketing, Florence Griswold Museum

Curt Cameron, President, Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Save

Capturing More of Your Share of International Travelers – Part I

[View Presentation]

They stay longer and spend more. And now they’re coming to Connecticut in even bigger numbers — thanks to the fact that Aer Lingus and soon Norwegian Air are paving the way for Bradley International Airport to become the “New Gateway to New England.” Learn from this expert panel what motivates international travelers to select a destination, how they book their travel and which steps you need to take to capture their attention — and their business.

Lori Harnois, Executive Director, Discover New England

Christiane Bender, German Rep / Account Executive, Discover New England

Content Marketing: Making it Work for You

[View Presentation]

It’s all the buzz. Nearly 90% of all travel marketers are using content marketing to engage their audiences. But what exactly is content marketing? What kinds of content are people most interested in seeing in the travel industry? Which formats are most engaging? Where should you post it? And how can you maximize the number of people who will actually see, like and share the content you’re spending time and energy to produce? Get answers to all these questions and more from this panel of content marketing experts.

Jeremy Kressmann, Author & Contributing Writer, Skift

Matthew Higgins, Content Marketing Specialist, Taboola

11:30 – 12:00

EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE

Lunch Sponsored by:

Foxwoods Mohegan Sun

12:00- 1:00

GOVERNOR’S WELCOME / LUNCHEON / GOVERNOR’S TOURISM AWARDS

To kick off our luncheon, Governor Malloy and other key leaders will share some opening remarks. Also included in this session:

  • Presentation of the Connecticut Governor’s Tourism Awards
  • Review of the state’s tourism integrated marketing campaign results to date

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor, State of Connecticut

 

1:00 – 2:00

DESSERT / EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE

2:00 – 3:00

SESSION 2 WORKSHOPS

Taking Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

Many tourism businesses think they offer a great customer experience, but are often surprised by just the little things that could make it so much better. In this highly interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to spot issues and develop creative ways to enhance every visitor touch point. Through ample examples and Q&A, you’ll be able to tap into the creativity and experience of our keynote speaker – internationally acclaimed travel journalist and consultant Doug Lansky — as well as the entire room of industry professionals.

Doug Lansky, Travel Writer & Speaker

How to Take / Select Great Photos on Little / No Budget

Studies show that great static photographs are the #1 most engaging way to attract visitors online. While professional photography is ideal, this workshop is for anyone who wants to take/select better photographs with little or no budget. Using lots of inspiring examples, this creative panel will share easy-to-deploy tips on what types of photographs get more likes/shares, how to frame and crop your photos to maximize interest, how to maximize available lighting and so much more.

Bill Knight, Executive Creative Director, Adams & Knight

Romy Lee, Photographer, Romy Lee Photography

Alycia Chrosniak, Founder and Editor-In-Chief, CT Eats Out

Save

Save

Save

Grow Your Meeting Business with Cvent

[View Presentation]

More organizations use Cvent to manage their events than any other software solution in the world. But few are maximizing its capabilities to actually increase their group business. Learn how you can leverage best practices as well as this platform’s robust new features to more effectively target group prospects, more successfully market your meeting services and dramatically improve the conversion of prospects into leads.

Becky Matlack, Cvent, Regional Account Manager

The Latest New England Travel Trends

[View Presentation]

Jerry Henry, head of travel research firm H2R, will share the latest insights and emerging trends impacting New England travel. You’ll learn who is traveling to New England and why and which marketing methods are producing the most targeted, cost-efficient results for tourist destinations of all sizes. So much more than just great data, you’ll get actionable tips on how to leverage these insights to enhance your own marketing strategy.

Jerry Henry, CEO, H2R Market Research

3:15 – 4:15

SESSION 3 WORKSHOPS

How to Enhance Your Reputation on TripAdvisor

[View Presentation]

It’s now the world’s largest travel site. And millions don’t plan a trip before checking its online reviews. In this session filled with TripAdvisor insights into domestic travel trends as well as practical demonstrations, you’ll learn best practices for enhancing your TripAdvisor listing, driving more visitors, responding to guest reviews, encouraging more reviews and maintaining a positive online reputation.

Mark Preston, Sr. Destination Marketing Manager, TripAdvisor

Save

Capturing More of Your Share of International Travelers — Part II

[View Presentation]

They stay longer and spend more. And now they’re coming to Connecticut in even bigger numbers — thanks to the fact that Aer Lingus and soon Norwegian Air are paving the way for Bradley International Airport to become the “New Gateway to New England.” Learn from this expert panel what motivates international travelers to select a destination, how they book their travel and which steps you need to take to capture their attention — and their business.

Lori Harnois, Executive Director, Discover New England

Succeeding at SEO/SEM: Easy Wins for Any Business

[View Presentation]

Many of the advances in the digital world have leveled the playing field, making it possible for smaller businesses to compete head to head with those with deep pockets. Come learn the best ways to ensure the millions of people who are searching for things to do can find you online — and will click through to your offerings. In this tips-packed workshop, you’ll learn how to leverage search engine optimization and search engine marketing to market more effectively for less money.

Mark Casali, SEO/SEM Specialist, Adams & Knight Search

Taking Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

Many tourism businesses think they offer a great customer experience, but are often surprised by just the little things that could make it so much better. In this highly interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to spot issues and develop creative ways to enhance every visitor touch point. Through ample examples and Q&A, you’ll be able to tap into the creativity and experience of our keynote speaker – internationally acclaimed travel journalist and consultant Doug Lansky — as well as the entire room of industry professionals.

Doug Lansky, Travel Writer & Speaker

4:15 – 5:00

NETWORKING RECEPTION / EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE