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2018 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism a Success!

May 17, 2018
View photos from the Conference
View/download speaker presentations
Read about the RedBud Awards Gala
 
2018 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism a Success!

Tourism professionals from across the state gathered on May 14 and 15, 2018 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 on May 14, with a special seminar on Destination Marketing & Management presented by Mark Thompson, Visit Plano and Cristy Morrison, Visit Stillwater. Attendees then moved to the OTIA Board of Directors and Annual Meeting, welcoming OTIA’s newest officers and giving old friends a chance to catch up 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. Lt. Governor Todd Lamb opened the Conference, speaking about his passion for Oklahoma and welcomed the Keynote Presenter, author Piyush Patel, who talked about ways to overhaul a company culture and make your office a place everyone loves to work.

Mid-morning, attendees were able to choose between four concurrent workshops, and all were jam packed. Jon Skelly of Journey Media explained how to identify identify the heroes, villains, and a few surprise characters as you write your organization's "story." Gary Alexander of Huddle Up Group, LLC spoke about best and worst practices of sports tourism marketing in a session sponsored by the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Casey Burdsall of ADARA covered “Metrics That Matter” and how to evaluate your marketing program's success, and Lindsey Wilkes with Orange142 went over strategies for reaching audiences in the age of connected-TV devices.

Hardly a seat was empty as OTIA Chair Maria Gus and past Chair Kin Thompson opened the luncheon by introducing the keynote speaker, Pam Inman of the National Tour Association, who discussed group travel marketing tactics.

The afternoon was filled with four more concurrent workshops. Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic of Saffire gave a great presentation on maximizing your mobile marketing. Smirk New Media’s Mike Koehler demonstrated the changes in algorithm tweaks and audience expectations as related to digital marketing and social media. Madden Media’s Addy Coleman went over the basics of creating effective cooperative marketing programs, and Holly Russell of AJR Media Group showed attendees how to get the most bang for your digital advertising buck! 

The afternoon wrapped up with a Keynote Presentation featuring Jennifer Mullins with the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, who showed everyone how to use data to track marketing effectiveness and the economic impact to Oklahoma.

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 2018 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:
  • American Road 
  • Ardmore Tourism Authority
  • Certified Folder Display Services, Inc.
  • Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
  • Choctaw Nation Tourism
  • City of Pauls Valley
  • CrowdRiff Inc.
  • Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Green Country Marketing Association
  • McAlester Tourism
  • Meredith Corporation
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
  • Oklahoma Travel Industry Association
  • Ponca City Chamber of Commerce
  • Saffire
  • Sapulpa Chamber & Visitors Bureau
  • Skirvin Hilton Hotel
  • The Oklahoman 
  • VisitNorman
  • Woodward Convention & Visitors Bureau

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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What's Happening
05.16.18
Tourism professionals from across the state gathered on May 14 and 15, 2018 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 (presentations available for download), a trade show, networking opportunities, and the RedBud Awards gala, attendees had a great time!
05.16.18
The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) held its annual RedBud Awards gala at the Oklahoma History Center on May 15, 2018. Open to all Oklahoma tourism entities, the RedBud Awards represent the highest honor given in the Oklahoma tourism industry.
05.03.18
The dates and featured chefs for Odyssey de Culinaire 2018 have been set! The first dinner will be Thursday, July 12 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in OKC, and the second dinner will be Thursday, July 19 at River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa. We hope to see you at one or both of these unique dinners benefitting the Oklahoma ProStart® program!
05.08.18
The ORA has launched its new Oklahoma Hospitality Buyers’ Guide - a valuable, easily accessible, year-round resource featuring updated and expanded supplier and product listings, in addition to other information relating to the hospitality industry. The Guide provides users with an efficient way to browse for goods and services and offers hospitality suppliers and companies exceptional visibility by showcasing their products and services to a targeted, industry-specific buyer group.

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