Sunday March 15th
|3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m||Governor’s Council on Tourism Meeting
Join your representatives on the Governor's Council on Tourism during their quarterly meeting to discuss issues facing the tourism industry, review ongoing programs and strategic plans with the Department staff and the Council's committee chairs. Conference first-timers are encouraged to attend this informative meeting and receive a personal welcome and introduction from the Council Chair Paul Upchurch and Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett.
|6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.||Opening Reception|
Monday March 16th
|8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m.||Kickoff Breakfast
Join us for a scrumptious breakfast and welcome from our Tourism Deputy Sarah Klavas and our La Crosse hosts.
|9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.||Opening Address
Governor Scott Walker and Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett will open the conference with a brief look back at some of the significant events and achievements from the previous year and share their vision for the future.
|10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.||Keynote Presentation -
Life Would be Easy… if it weren’t for Other People!
Imagine what you could accomplish if you could decode the mystery of human behavior and truly understand what makes people do what they do and say what they say (including yourself!) Research shows that the number one key to success is the ability to get along with other people. With laugh-out-loud humor, killer take-away strategies and her tell-it-like-it-is delivery, Human Relations expert Connie Podesta will take you right inside the minds and personalities of the people you deal with every day–bosses, colleagues, partners, customers, friends, and family– so you can act, rather than react to whatever life throws your way. Get ready for less stress and more success!
|11:45 p.m.–1:00 p.m.||Lunch/Program (JEM Video)|
|1:15 p.m.–2:15 p.m.||Breakout Sessions
Creative Place Making (Arts Track Session)
This workshop will feature a short walking tour of La Crosse with a focus on creative place making. Highlights of the tour will include the new mural on the Pump House (and the resulting arts events), the Weber Center, and the downtown arts district. All sites will be within a five minute walk of the conference center, and the session will be moved inside in case of weather.
Exploring the Physiology and Psychology of Travel: Building Sales through Experiential Communication
Join Dana Johnson, business consultant and adventure concierge of Open Leaf Excursions, for an expedition through the mind and body of a tourism customer. Learn how digging deeper into the personality and physiology of customers can help you understand why humans make the choice to travel and how they act while traveling. Understanding the actual physiology and psychology of these nuances will give you the edge of trust and better help you with selling to the new generation of tourists. This presentation will be interactive and can benefit all sectors of the economy dealing with customer relations.
Leadership Like You’ve Never Heard Before with Connie Podesta
Connie Podesta has empowered thousands of leaders worldwide with the attitudes, mindsets and strategies necessary to create a team that’s willing, able and excited to get the job done the right way. With her signature blend of comedy and “tell-it-like-it-is” delivery, Connie takes you inside the minds of even your most difficult employees so you can turn negative attitudes into positive, entitlement into accountability, complacency into productivity, complaining into solutions and “that’s not my job” into ownership.
|2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.||
Multi-cultural Communities (Arts Track Session)
What exciting things can happen when you bring together more than one culture within a community? Learn from the La Crosse area’s bringing together of the Native American and Hmong communities and Sheboygan’s work with the Hmong, German, and Latino communities.
Multi-cultural Marketing Session with Lauren Banks
The multicultural market represents one of the most powerful growth opportunities for the tourism industry. However, if you want to reach these audiences effectively, you need to know how. Whether you manage a hotel, an attraction, or a destination, you’ll learn how to craft compelling messages that will help you gain a competitive edge with the most brand-loyal consumers in America.
Talking Tourism with Wisconsin Legislators
Wisconsin legislators and Tourism Federation of Wisconsin leaders share tips on how to advocate for your tourism issues, and why advocacy is in the best interests of your tourism business or organization. Also, learn about the hot issues this year impacting the industry and even have a chance to win awesome Wisconsin tourism swag.
Technology Trends Changing Consumer Behavior with Kyle Lacy
Technology trends should be extremely important to every aspect of your business. Nearly every industry is impacted by technology and it is becoming increasingly more apparent that the consumer journey is being impacted as well. If you thought social media was disruptive, get ready for the next frontier. Uber announces a valuation of over $10 Billion. They said it was a fad, yet Airbnb procures a million guests a month. That's 33,333 a day, or 1,388 an hour —all without owning a single bed, bath, or room. Not to mention, sensor use in products is growing at a 30% clip year over year and consumer mobility is transforming the Internet.
|3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.||Marketplace/Taste of Wisconsin|
|6:00 p.m.–?||Open Night
Enjoy a free evening to enjoy dinner and a night to explore La Crosse.
Tuesday March 17th
|7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.||Wisconsin Tourism Partnership Breakfast (Sponsors and John McHugh, Kwik Trip)
Fuel up for the last day of the conference with a delicious breakfast and hear from our sponsors, as well as, Local Legend John McHugh. The high caliber of first-class keynote speakers and expert breakout sessions wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors. They support WIGCOT because of the incredible value it provides to the entire industry, encouraging leadership, growing businesses, and strengthening the tourism product across the state. John McHugh, Manager of Corporate Communications, Leadership Development, and Training for Kwik Trip, Inc, will bring home this message with his talk.
|9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.||Opening Program—Shawn Achor
The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance
Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. Shawn explains what positive psychology is, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge.
|11:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.||Keynote Presentation - Lee Fisher|
|11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.||Local Legends Presentation—Don Weber
The Local Legends program showcases unique individuals from the conference destination or surrounding area that have a passion about their career, company, and community. Don Weber is an entrepreneur and philanthropist and is the founder and CEO of Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI). He was awarded the highest honor given to an employer by the U.S. Department of Defense in recognition of the company’s support of its Service member employees. He is a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam War Veteran and has received many awards for his service and his continued support for the military, veterans and national security.
|12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.||Lunch|
|1:45 p.m.–2:45 p.m.||Breakout Session Workshops
Arts & Tourism Working Together (Arts Track Session)
This panel will discuss how arts groups and local tourism groups can lay the foundation for a long and strong relationship. How do you start the conversation with your local CVB or arts group? What must be done to nurture the relationship? In what ways can the arts and tourism work together to creatively grow earned income?
Creating a City You Can’t Wait to Get to and Never Want to Leave with Lee Fisher
As President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, Lee leads a national network of cross-sector urban leaders who share the smartest ideas and practices for city economic success. CEOs for Cities curates smart ideas and practices for city success, connects cross-sector urban leaders and changemakers, and catalyzes change in cities. The main focus of CEOs for Cities’ work and research is in four areas: connecting physical, human, social, and digital capital ; innovation and entrepreneurship; talent development, attraction, and retention; and the distinctiveness of a city.
Data Privacy and Security for Businesses
The news headlines have been filled with data breaches by companies across the nation. Learn how to ensure data privacy and security for your Wisconsin business. Hear about Wisconsin’s data breach notification law and what personal information is covered. By understanding the leading causes of data breaches and major risk factors, you will be better prepared to protect yourself and your valued customers. DATCP will walk through recent data breaches and how to minimize your risk. Receive guidelines to set security practices that will benefit your business. If a data breach does happen, find out the next steps to make sure your personal information is not compromised further. Presenters will share helpful resources to take with you, including a guide for small businesses and the ten top cybersecurity tips.
The Art of Social Media Marketing with Kyle Lacy
With billions of people across the world on social media, social advertising is a great way to reach tons of people at a relatively low cost. And after new ad programs rolling out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes – you are left with a variety of ways to reach your consumers. Maybe you’re already doing some social advertising (good for you and your brand!) and maybe you’re not. Either way, now is better than never to start looking into social networks and devising your strategy. Still struggling to use social media effectively? Join Kyle and learn how to successfully incorporate social into your marketing strategy. Discover which networks work best and learn how to use them to build an engaged community.
|3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||
Roundtables by Topic Segment
Share your ideas and actively participate in an interactive session facilitated by the Department's industry relations team.
Data Driven Marketing Decisions: Understanding Your Visitor
In today’s competitive travel market, destinations must understand their customer and tailor their marketing messages to attract them. This roundtable session will bring together tourism marketing professionals to discuss best practices in information gathering and how to use the information to make data driven marketing decisions.
Department of Tourism Resources for the Arts (Arts Track Session)
This roundtable will focus on the programs and services the Department of Tourism has to help promote art businesses, events, and attractions. Learn about grant programs, marketing and PR resources, regional tourism specialists, and cooperative advertising. After you’ve discovered what the Department can do for you, find out what you can do for the Department.
Enhancing Bike Tourism in Your Community
Wisconsin is ranked the number three Bike Friendly state by the American League of Bicyclist and is home to over a dozen certified Bike Friendly communities. This session will present information and statistics to show why bike tourism and development is growing nationally and why bike tourism is valuable to your destination, discuss sector growth, sector trends, statistics and data, success stories, and best practices for growing bike tourism in Wisconsin.
Marketing Your Community’s Waterway Assets
Wisconsin’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters are used for many different forms of recreation. Some recreational activities take place in or on the water, such as swimming, boating, whitewater rafting, and fishing. Other activities may simply be enhanced by proximity to water. This session will share examples of water-related events, activities, success stories, planning and approaches from four panel members.
Sports Marketing Program
This interactive session will focus on the value of pursuing the sports market and exploring the potential for bringing sporting events to your community. Learn how the sports market works, how it’s different, and how to identify the strengths and assets of your community.
Visual Social Media
As humans, we connect emotionally to images—more than video, audio or text. People make decisions and take action quicker when prompted by images, and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. We are wired to take in visual content faster and more effectively than we are words. Session will share examples of great photography, and how to not only capture those images, but how to properly prepare them and when and where to share them.
|5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.||Dinner Reception
|6:45 p.m.–9:00 p.m.||Governor’s Dinner and Awards Celebration
Presented by the Governor and sponsored by the Governor's Council on Tourism, the Governor's Tourism Awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin's travel and tourism industry. These awards are designed to acknowledge those individuals and businesses that have shown dedication, creativity and excellence. Presentation of the awards will be made during the dinner and celebration.