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2015 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism a Success!

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2015 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism a Success!

May 20, 2015 - Tourism professionals from across the state gathered on May 18 and 19, 2015 for the Oklahoma Conference on Tourism, an annual event that helps Oklahoma's tourism industry work together to grow our attractions and communities. Between OTIA's Annual Meeting, eleven educational sessions, a trade show, networking opportunities, and the RedBud Awards gala, attendees had a great time!

The event kicked off with a fabulous Welcome Reception hosted by Chickasaw Country and Exhibit C, followed by a Hospitality Suite hosted by the Woodward Convention & Visitors Bureau. Attendees were able to visit and network in relaxed settings before an early morning the next day.

The beautiful Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University served as the setting for Tuesday's daytime educational schedule. Board member Kin Thompson served as emcee, beginning the opening session by welcoming attendees to the Conference and introducing the Keynote Presenter, Daniel Levine, Director, The Avant-Guide Institute. Daniel shared powerful traveler information about new trends, simple strategies, and remarkable insights and tactics attendees could immediately put to use.

Mid-morning, attendees were able to choose between four concurrent workshops, and all were jam packed. Meredith Dillon, Regional Sales Director, Sojern, explained “How Behavioral Targeting is Changing the Travel Industry.” Cubic’s VP/Chief Creative Officer Winston Peraza shared insights into branding smaller destinations. Jennifer Kalkman, Principal, Digital Generator LLC, presented “Seven Things Every Tourism Organization Should Be Doing Even on a Small Budget,” focusing on digital marketing, and Howard Tietjen and Daryl Whitworth of Madden Media provided an overview of “Digital Marketing Through Storytelling.”

Hardly a seat was empty as Lt. Governor Todd Lamb spoke about his passion for Oklahoma and welcomed Luncheon Keynote speakers Amy Anderson and Shaun Aukland of Google, who explored how the Internet has changed storytelling with the help of creative examples, and how travel companies can adapt to these changes.

The afternoon was filled with four more concurrent workshops. Google’s Amy Anderson and Shaun Aukland continued their luncheon presentation by including a panel of in-state marketers that have found success in digital marketing. Santiago Jaramillo, Founder/CEO, Bluebridge, covered the basics of mobile strategies, outlining current trends and providing actionable tips guaranteed to jump-start even the most basic strategy. Rebecca Eastham, PhD, Director Business and Industry Services at Meridian Technology Center, presented “Hitting a Hospitality Homerun! Creating a Culture of Service in your Organization,” where she focused on building strong teams. Rounding off the group was Brecca Farr, PhD, GCDF, Human Services Career Consultant with Oklahoma State University, who walked attendees through the process of “branding” their LinkedIn profiles. 

The afternoon wrapped up with a Keynote Presentation about adaptability by Bluebridge’s Santiago Jaramillo, who explained how quickly a destination can make changes or course-correct will ultimately be a major determining factor in that destination’s overall success, sharing his own experience with adaptability.

More than twenty exhibitors were set up throughout the building, happy to visit with conference attendees and review their products and services during the breaks. The 2015 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism would not have been made possible without the help of these exhibitors or our many wonderful partners. Thank you all so much for helping to put on a successful event. 

Thanks also to our many Silent Auction Donors:
AAA Oklahoma
Ardmore Chamber
Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Certified Folder Display Service
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
Choctaw Nation Tourism- Choctaw Country
City of Guymon
CTM Media Group
Duncan Convention & Visitors Bureau
Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau
Elk City Chamber of Commerce
Enid Convention & Visitors Bureau
Green Country Marketing Association
Madden Media
McCormick Armstrong
Missouri Life
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Oklahoma Grape Industry Council
Oklahoma Travel Industry Association
Ponca City Tourism Bureau
Riverwind Hotel
Southern Living
Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau
Visit Claremore
Visit Norman

The day wrapped up around 4:30, when attendees were released to make their way to the Oklahoma History Center for the annual RedBud Awards Gala



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