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2018 Annual Conference
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Annual Conference 2018

August 14-16, 2018

All conference activities and accommodations are under one roof! 


Marriott Sugar Land Town Square SOLD OUT!
16090 City Walk
Sugar Land, TX  77479

Courtyard Houston Sugar Land/Lake Point
6740 Creek Bend Dr.
Sugar Land, TX  77478
Group Rate: $139
To reserve your room, click here. (Cut off date is July 23)


Regular member rate = $435
Non-member rate = $500
Student rate (Wednesday, August 15th) = $50
One-day rate (Thursday, August 16th: covers Awards Gala and Business meeting) = $150 

Click here to register for Annual Conference!


Interested in sponsoring? Click here.


Conference Schedule

Tuesday, August 14

8:30 - 11:30 aM: Historical Case Study Tour (Additional $30)

"Sacred Destinations": This tour will highlight Sugar Land's rich religious and cultural diversity.  Stops will include a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple and an Ismaili center for those of the Muslim faith.

1:00 - 4:00 pm: Registration & Information open (bALLROOM lobby)
9:00 - 10:00 am: Committee Meetings

Communications (Palm), Finance (Monarch), TxMET (Azalea), TDM (Pecan)

10:00 - 11:00 am: Committee Meetings

Education (Monarch), Membership (Palm), Young Professionals (Azalea

11:00 am - Noon: Committee Meetings

Annual Conference Committee (Mahagony)

1:00 - 4:00 PM: Exhibitor Move In (sugar land ballroom) & Silent Auction Drop Off & Set Up (cANE 1)
1:00 - 4:00 PM: Destination Marketing Principles facilitated by Marla Roe (Visit Frisco) and dan Quandt (Amarillo cvc) (mAGNOLIA 1-3) 

Destination Marketing Principles is designed especially for YOU.  If you're a local or regional DMO staff member, hotel and attractions partner, elected official, board member, downtown organization, or volunteer and advocate, then this is the seminar for you.  The seminar offers 3 hours of information that is beneficial to anyone involved in promoting a destination to visitors.

1:00 - 2:15 PM: Pre-Conference Session: what makes Idss cyclone different? presented by Mark Lynch (TEMPEST) (Palm)

 More than 170 destinations around the world choose to power their organization with iDSS Cyclone, a cloud-based Customer Record Management (CRM) built for the travel and tourism industry.

 Whether you are in a sales, service, marketing, partnership, visitor experience or management/administrative role, a comprehensive CRM system is a critical foundation to your organization’s success.

 If your bureau has no CRM, uses iDSS, or uses something else, you will find valuable practices in this interactive shirt sleeve style session.

 Some of the areas covered will be:

  • Organizational benefits to
  • Contact Management
  • Task/Trace/Project workflows
  • Website data feeds (APIs)
  • Email communications and email marketing
  • Event registration & housing
1:00 - 2:15 PM: Pre-Conference Session: Master the UNLIMITED NETWORKING of LinkedIn presented by Terry Sullivan (Buzzpro) (Monarch) ADDITIONAL $35

Why should you use LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the proven #1 ranked online business-networking tool that gives business professionals and companies the ability to connect, demonstrate their skills, services and products, and develop meaningful business relationships and sales. With more than 464 million users worldwide, LinkedIn provides unlimited networking and business-building opportunities.  Learn how to harness the power of Social Selling with LinkedIn such as:

Build Better Leads Faster             Connect With The Right People

Build a Great Reputation             ● Manage Your Contacts More Efficiently


1:15 - 3:45 PM: Board of Directors Meeting (mAHOGANY)
2:30 - 3:45 PM: Pre-conference session: Tacvb's texas meetings and events tracking system (txmet) presented by mark lynch (tempest) (Palm)

Tempest will demonstrate the new and improved TxMET system and give us some insight into what's next.  TxMET is a  subscription-based meetings history database with thousands of organizations, meeting contacts, meeting profiles and historical meeting records.  Mark Lynch, Chief Relationship Officer and Derek Mogar, Director of Business Development for Tempest will be on hand to provide demonstrate the features of the new system and answer questions from current and potential TxMET subscribers. Attend this session to learn more about the platform, how to use it to your best advantage, and about the process of keeping it updated going forward. 


2:30 - 3:45 PM:  Pre-conference session: Social Media Content Planning: Build a Social Media Content Calendar for Next Week presented by Sheila Scarborough (Tourism currents) (pecan) ADDITIONAL $35

Who hasn't woken up and said something like, "It's Wednesday, and I have NO idea what I'm going to post on Facebook today?" Let's fix that, at least for next week. Starting with your DMO's overall goals and destination marketing objectives, we'll hammer out a week's worth of relevant posts (including ideas for visuals to go with them) for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, plus maybe a little Pinterest and some blog post ideas thrown in. Get ready for a focused hour of building a real content calendar that you can use when you walk out the door. Join Sheila Scarborough with Tourism Currents for an informative an action-packed session.

5:00 - 5:45 PM: New Member & FIRST TIMER Orientation (BlueBonnet)

Join us for a fun networking session and an overview of TACVB. You'll meet some new friends and colleagues, get to know the TACVB Board and Staff, and learn about how TACVB can benefit you.

6:00 - 9:00 PM: Welcome Reception (Smart financial center plaza)

This year’s Opening Reception will entice your taste buds with more than just sweetness! Reflective of Sugar Land’s global makeup, attendees will experience Sugar Land’s international flare with cultural performances and worldly cuisine all housed within the new plaza adjacent to the Smart Financial Center. A live DJ, mixed with artistic walk around entertainment and other creative acts, will make for an unforgettable night. So get ready for an event sprinkled with flavor, fun and flare!

Wednesday, August 15

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Breakfast & Silent Auction Drop Off & Set-Up (Cane 1)
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Registration & Information Open (bALLROOM lOBBY)
8:00 AM - 9:10 AM: General Session & Opening Remarks (Sugar Land Ballroom)

Customer Experience – The Final Frontier presented by Gary Magenta

Products and services can be knocked off overnight. What can never be replicated is how you make your customer’s feel, the unique brand experience you create based on their needs and wants. Creating and delivering a consistent, satisfying, and differentiated customer experience is tough, but this session defines the obstacles promise a fresh approach to overcome the organizational challenges most companies face when trying to bring their brand promise and customer experience to life.

A highly interactive session, attendees will walk away understanding the canyons preventing organizations from winning the heats of their customers and how to address those barriers by applying the three secrets: Creating a Customer-First Culture, Empowering Managers to Act like Owners and Delivering an Authentic Experience on the frontline that supports the Brand Promise to drive loyalty.

9:10 - 9:25 AM: Coffee & Refreshment Break
9:25 - 10:20 AM: Concurrent Education Sessions

Marketing/PR/Social: It Takes A Village presented by Sarah O'Brien (Downtown Bastrop) and Shane Sorenson (Visit Bastrop) (Magnolia 1-3)

Discover how Bastrop’s Hospitality and Downtown Director, Sarah O’Brien, worked to bring everyone to the table to try and win their place on Season Three of “The Small Business Revolution- Main Street” Original Series on Hulu. You’ll see what went in to activating community stakeholders, industry colleagues and partners, along with local, state and national influencers. From strategically coordinated messaging to bold, spur of the moment ideas that took Bastrop to new heights, this session will show you how putting it all on the table has united the community, increased destination awareness and visitation, and gave the once disaster-ravaged community of Bastrop a new story to tell.

Sales/Meetings: Discover Apps & Plugins for Sales/Prospecting presented by Derek Mogar and Mark Lynch (Tempest) (Cane 2-3)

There are a whole host of tools available for the savvy salesperson to gain intel as part of their prospecting and sales process. Join us for a fun and interactive session exploring many of these applications, plugins, and extensions to pack your sales arsenal and gain valuable insight on people or organizations you are trying to reach. If you are looking to put technology to use for you, this is the perfect session to attend.

Marketing: How should the travel decision funnel be guiding my marketing decisions? #AskingForAFriend presented by Holly Russell (AJR Media Group) (Mahogany)

How do I know if I am maximizing my marketing and advertising budget? Is our media plan reaching our target audience at each phase of the travel decision funnel? How can I explain the value and ROI of our marketing spend to board members and/or stakeholders? How do I know if my team is providing the most relevant reporting for our marketing efforts?

If you have a “friend” who asks questions like these, do that “friend” a solid and attend this session. You’ll be able to inform your “friend” about the most impactful, effective media channels for each phase of the travel decision funnel. Additionally, you’ll gain invaluable insight to help your “friend” educate board members and/or stakeholders on budget allocations and the value and ROI of their efforts. And, in case you are wondering, there will be plenty of time for Q&A, because we know you are there #AskingForAFriend.

Marketing/Sales/Meetings: Maximizing Your Mobile Marketing presented by Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic (Saffire) (Monarch)

Put your phone down for just a minute and listen to THIS: in 2018, more people will be browsing your website from their mobile device than a computer. This means the future of the web is NOW, and it’s in the palm of your customers’ hands. So it's high time we all make it a priority. Jessica is going to tell you about the current state of mobile marketing, what to expect in the near future and why it’s absolutely essential to the success of your organization. We’ll even chat about tools to enhance your very own mobile presence, sites vs. apps and of course, “sticky” strategies that’ll keep meeting planners and prospects coming back for more.


CEO: LinkedIn Branding and Training for CEOs & Executives presented by Terry Sullivan (BuzzPro) (Palm)

Learn how create a memorable brand with the #1 tool on the Internet.  Attend Terry’s presentation and you’ll learn how to create a brand that tells your key contacts who you are, what you do, and how you can help.  You’ll also learn how to take advantage of the unlimited key features of LinkedIn that will allow you to easily find, connect, & develop relationships with your key contacts and prospects.


Sales: Don't Take the Wind Out of My Sale presented by Brett Sterenson (Hotel Lobbyists) (Azelea)

Planner Supplier Relationships: 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.


Sports: Sports Tourism: ESports presented by Matt Wilson (Arlington CVB) (Pecan)

Arlington recently made headlines when they announced plans for a state-of-the-art esports stadium. Designed to draw competitive players and fans from around the world, the 100,000-squarefoot space will be the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country. What was the process behind this decision? What are the future plans for Esports in Arlington? Sit down with Vice President of Sports & Events for the Arlington CVB, Matt Wilson to learn more.

10:20 - 10:30 AM: Quick Break
10:30 - 11:30 AM: Concurrent Education Sessions

CEO: The Un-Bossy Boss presented by Gary Magenta (Root, Inc.) (Sugar Land Ballroom)

Individual contributors are responsible for bringing their best selves to work, while managers are responsible for bringing out the best in others. These are two very different things. Through humor and real-life case studies, Gary Magenta, author of The Un-Bossy Boss, shows how the old “yell and tell” model of managing has become outdated and ineffective, and offers leaders and managers a clear and tangible roadmap to success.

Through this interactive workshop, Gary will highlight the 12 Powerful Questions that help turn traditional manager-employee relationships into something greater and more impactful. Attendees will walk away from the workshop with new skills and knowledge to become even better managers who take a more interactive approach; one that reveals employees’ motivations and beliefs and invites them to be a part of creating solutions so they and the organization can soar to new heights.

PR: Digital, online and radio, OH MY!: One of Texas' travel editors shares what you need to be doing to get journalists' attention presented by Marika Flatt (Texas Lifestyle Magazine) (Magnolia 1-3)

What are some of the top travel trends that Texans are looking for in 2018? How can you best package all that makes your town or destination great, in order to reach the right journalists and pique their interest? What makes a destination interesting to both media outlets and thereby, consumers? Learn from a veteran of the travel industry who knows both sides of the travel PR coin. Marika Flatt has been in PR for over 20 years, running the firm PR by the Book for over 15 years. During the same 15 years, she has been a travel writer for various publications and has served as the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine for the past four years. She oversees both the Jet Setter and Road Trip features in each issue and also writes #TravelTuesday articles for their online magazine. She also has a bimonthly segment called "Weekend Trip Tip" on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard, where she, of course, gives listeners tips for road tripping throughout the state of Texas. Marika can speak from years of experience in both delivering a pitch that will catch media's attention and also how and why she covers properties and destinations for her media outlets.

Marketing/CEO: 2019 Travel Texas Co-op Opportunities presented by Ly Tran & Heather Hager (Proof Advertising) (Cane 2-3)

Learn about the new 2019 co-op opportunities with Travel Texas, designed to maximize your marketing dollars through targeted digital media leveraging the Travel Texas custom data warehouse, email programs and more.

Marketing/Sales/Meetings: What Meeting Planners Want in a DMO Website & How to Ensure Yours Nails It! presented by Mya Surrency (Digital Edge Marketing) (Mahogany)

Does the meetings section of your DMO website look like a puny afterthought? Are meeting planners perusing the leisure section of your site because they can't find what they need? The meetings section of your website is valuable real estate. Don't waste it! This session will discuss what planners are looking for on your meetings website and how you can craft content that will stand out from the rest, create destination appeal and win over attendees.

Sports: Best (and Worst!) Practices in Sports Tourism Marketing Including the Top 10 Sports Tourism Trends of 2018 presented by Jon Schmieder (Huddle Up Group) (Monarch)

What are your competitors doing in the sports market to successfully differentiate themselves?  What is your destination doing that could drive away a potential customer?  In this interactive session, sports tourism industry leaders Jon Schmieder will discuss the best and worst practices of sports tourism sales and marketing (Spoiler Alert: one of the worst practices involves the use of the word “sales”).  Schmieder has served in virtually every role in the sports tourism and events industry, including event rights holder, athlete, coach, sports commission president, NGB board member, and consultant.  These diverse experiences in the sports tourism trenches provide the backdrop for Schmieder to lead attendees through several specific case study examples of destinations that are separating themselves from the pack.  The session will also include the Huddle Up Group’s annual findings (2018-2019) of the 10 critical trends every DMO should consider when marketing their destination, including venue development, use of technology, relationship building, and servicing sports groups.

CEO/Marketing: Lifestyle Marketing 101: If You’re Not Partnering with Economic Development Groups, You’re Doing It Wrong presented by Dariel Curren (Development Counsellors International) (Palm)

While destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and economic development organizations (EDOs) are both in the business of place marketing, for decades they’ve been speaking to different audiences – visitors vs employers. However, in the past three years there’s been a dramatic change in tide. Today more DMOs are partnering with EDOs in an effort to attract and retain talent. Research shows that more than three quarters of people cite first-hand experience as a factor in forming impressions about a place to live. With their firm understanding of consumer marketing, DMOs have the chance to lead the way in these new partnerships and reinforce their importance in helping to position and brand their community. This presentation will outline the importance of partnership between tourism and economic development when it comes to lifestyle marketing and best practices from real communities that have mastered promoting their location from all angles.

Sales/Services: Ask the Meeting Planner Panel facilitated by Megan Flowers (Pearland CVB); panelists Taylor Clark (Accenture); Monica Grinage-Prince (The Hines Center); Christy Spisak (Cosmo Cool Concepts); Dennis Howe (Helms Briscoe) (Azalea)

Four Meeting Planners will discuss what they love and expect when working with CVBs, the sales process, servicing options, site visits, and much more. Come prepared with your questions for this interactive session!

Visitor Services: Selling Your Brand presented by Thomas Wilhelm (Texas State Parks) and Lisa Dalton (Grapevine CVB) (Pecan)

Do you have a Visitor Center responsible for selling branded items? Discover how Texas State Parks and The Grapevine CVB have leveraged this opportunity to drive their brand message and enhance visitor experience with unique items available in their visitor center and park stores.

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM: Lunch Break in Sugar Land's Town Square

Sugar Land's Town Square offers international dining choices, lively events, and specialty shopping. Within a two block radius from the Marriott you'll find 30 different eateries that show off the area's culinary prowess and diversity. Enjoy, explore, and come back ready to learn!

1:30 - 2:30 PM: General Session (Sugar Land Ballroom)

Are You a Social Medium? presented by Tom Martin (Converse Digital) (Sugar Land Ballroom)

What if you could read your prospective visitors’ mind? What if you knew they preferred sunrise to sunset, cocktails to beer and solitude to parties? Could you leverage those insights to create more compelling, engaging and persuasive marketing messages? And they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if you’re using the wrong words?

The simple truth is that If you’re not using the latest social research technology to analyze how your social tourists will respond to potential content marketing messages, you’re missing the opportunity to leverage those insights to predict their future actions. 

And in a world where consumers report that social media posts highly influence future vacation decisions, that could be the difference between keeping and losing those potential visitors and possibly your job. In this fast paced, funny and incredibly insightful keynote, Tom Martin demonstrates how you can use social research to create awareness of, preference for and visitation to your destination. 

2:30 - 3:00 PM: Annual Conference 2019 Presentation & Refreshment Break (Sugar Land Ballroom)
3:00 - 4:30 PM: Shirtsleeve Sessions

CEO facilitated by Marla Roe (Visit Frisco) (Cane 2-3) 

Marketing & PR facilitated by Stephanie Molina (Beaumont CVB) (Magnolia 1-3)

The One-Man Show facilitated by Laura Laurenz (Madisonville CVB) (Mahagony)

NEW! Do you wear every hat in your office at the same time? TACVB has designed this Shirtsleeve Session just for tourism's masterful jugglers tackling sales, marketing, servicing and everything else.

Sports facilitated by Dominique Powell (Experience Bryan-College Station) (Monarch)

Social Media facilitated by Stephanie Weeks (Visit Plano) (Palm)

Sales facilitated by Rebecca Woodland (Beaumont CVB) (Azalea)

Servicing facilitated by Sydney Murrell (Experience Bryan-College Station) (Pecan)

4:30 - 6:30 pm: Meet the Vendors Reception and Silent Auction (Sugar Land Ballroom)

Spend some quality time over an adult beverage getting to know our amazing vendors and learning about how their products and services can help your DMO. We have a truly great lineup of vendors this year, so don't miss out! Plus, the Lone Star Silent Auction will be in full swing during the trade show! So come check out all of our travel packages, services, and other fun items and bid, bid, BID! Proceeds from the silent auction benefit TACVB's scholarship fund.

6:30 - 9:00 PM: Dine Around

It's your night off! Take this opportunity to eat like a local and try one (or more!) of Sugar Land's delicious restaurants.

8:30 - 11:30 PM: OFFSITE EVENT

Thursday, August 16

7:00 - 8:00 AM: Breakfast (sugar land ballroom)
8:00 - Noon: Registration & Information Open (bALLROOM lOBBY)
8:00 - 9:15 AM: Opening remarks & General Session (Sugar Land Ballroom)

Destination Leadership presented by Bill Geist (DMO Proz)

There was a time when Destination Marketing focused on merely playing the cards with which you were dealt. Today, Destination Marketing is evolving into so much more, with DMOs taking on the role of advocate and choreographer of experience. Author of the new book, "Destination Leadership," Bill Geist will share the innovation, in both thought and practice, that is powering today's most successful DMOs.

9:15 - 10:45 AM: Vendor Expo & Refreshment Break (sugar land ballroom)

This is your last opportunity to stop by the vendors and check out the latest in technology, marketing, and other opportunities.

10:45 - 11:45 AM: Concurrent Education Sessions

Marketing: How To Google-Proof Your Content Marketing Strategy presented by Tom Martin (Converse Digital) (Magnolia 1-3)

Pigeon. Panda. Penguin. And all of those unnamed updates. It seems like every time you turn around Google is reminding you that they, not you, will determine who sees your content. And this means Google, not you, controls the top of your potential visitor sales funnel.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By mapping your prospect universe for your key Propinquity Points, you can outwit Google and push your content to your online Embassies and Outposts, the online destinations your prospects most frequent when self-educating about future travel decisions.

Tom Martin, author of The Invisible Sale will introduce you to a world of Painless Prospecting, a counter-intuitive content marketing approach that will Google Proof your content marketing and ensure the right prospective visitors see your compelling content.

CEO: Public Information in the Age of Transparency: How to Comply & Protect Your Information presented by Karen Kennard (Greenberg Traurig Law) (Cane 2-3)

Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are experiencing an increase in community awareness and interest in knowing more information about the activities of their organizations. This increased interest and information-gathering about a DMO’s activities requires a balanced approached to determine what information is available for public disclosure.

This session will explore recent trends relating to the use of public information requests to seek confidential competitive information from destination marketing organizations. The session will provide an overview of applicable public information laws and their requirements, along with guidance on compliance with those requirements. Additionally, participants will be provided practical tools and tips on how to comply with the law while also protecting sensitive confidential competitive information of the organization.

Marketing/PR: Influencer Marketing Panel panelists are Daniel Horsch (Visit Dallas), Stephanie Weeks (Visit Plano), and Wesley Lucas (Visit Frisco) (Mahogony)

In a world where destinations are regularly trying to think outside the box to reach a wider audience, in walks one of the most growing trends in marketing: influencers. To supplement traditional and digital media initiatives, more destination marketing organizations are turning to influencer marketers to supplement their content related needs. Through a partnership between VisitDallas, Visit Frisco and Visit Plano, the three destinations collaborated with a select group of digital influencers and brought them to their respective cities for a 3-day influencer FAM where they spent 24 hours in each city. This session will focus on the case study of the collaboration focusing on the plan, execution, outcomes, what was learned, and key takeaways.

Sports/Servicing: Sports Service: How To Become a Superior Host Destination presented by Jon Schmieder (Huddle Up Group) (Monarch)

Providing superior service to sports groups and tournaments is a key differentiator for the top host destinations.  There are over 500 cities actively working to attract sporting events to their communities.  The destinations that prove most successful year in and year out know that how they work with their event organizer partners is critical to re-book those events and also open the door for multi-year deals.  In this best practice session, industry consultant Jon Schmieder will outline the best practices that can set your community apart with event rights holders.

CEO/Marketing: What DMOs Need to Know About Data Security and Privacy presented by Mark Lynch and Derek Mogar (Tempest) (Palm)

With Facebook’s recent testimony top-of-mind and new European privacy regulations rolling out (GDPR), data security and privacy are under a media microscope. Yet the laws and policies around data and privacy are very antiquated. It is a perfect storm for confusion and mounting risk. Reexamine how you may be collecting, using, and storing data today and learn about the trends and best practices around consent and privacy that will shape this issue going forward This session will include a 15-minute roundtable at the end to discuss what's working and what's not.

Visitor Services: Bring Your Events Back from the Brink presented by Vicky Soderberg (Cygnet Strategies) and Erin Corbell (Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce) (Azalea)

We’ve all been there. A traditional event is losing its luster. Volunteers and enthusiasm are dwindling. Attendance and revenues are dropping. No one is taking selfies or posting about how much fun they’re having. You’ve moved into the dreaded “Spiral of Blah” and your event is a—Been There—Done That—Won’t Be Back—experience.

Don’t give up! It’s possible to revitalize an event in ways that are true to your vision and double, or even triple, the economic impact for your community. We’ll talk about where to start, how to build upon the existing foundation, and the “but we’ve always done it that way” conversation. We’ll even tackle the elephant in the room—what to do when an event has clearly outlived its useful life and should not be continued.

Sales/Marketing: 5 Best Marketing Practices in Driving Convention Sales presented by Karyl Leigh Barnes  and Robyn Domber (Development Counsellors International) (Pecan)

To gain a competitive edge, destination marketing organizations and convention centers worldwide must be increasingly creative and strategically savvy in order to capture the fleeting attention of top meeting planners. In its third edition (fall 2018), A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing expands upon the 2015 report with new insights about the challenges facing the business events industry as well as forecasting future trends, providing destination marketers with an additional tool for competitive advantage.

11:45 AM - 1:15 PM: Awards Gala Luncheon (Sugar Land Ballroom) presented by:

1:15 - 2:15 PM: Concurrent Education Sessions

PR: Social Media Is Not A PR Strategy presented by Taryn Scher (Magnolia 1-3)

Do you often wonder why other destinations are making headlines and top 10 lists, when your destination offers an equally great - if not better- product? The answer is usually simple: public relations. In this session, Taryn Scher will provide you with the tools to pitch journalists and get your destination featured on television, in the newspapers and magazines- all without paying a dime. Key takeaways will include how to pitch a journalist, how to maximize existing opportunities in your destination/market, how to host journalists for site visits and more. No influencers/social media pay to play here- this is all about getting free media coverage! 

Leadership/CEO: Brandelized: How Destinations Have Gotten It Wrong presented by Bill Geist (DMO Proz) (Cane 2-3)

It is one of the most common things upon which destination leaders focus. Whether it’s creating, updating, rebooting or revitalizing a brand, the simple truth is that your brand already exists. DMO consultant and author Bill Geist will challenge how you look at your brand and suggest that more effectively managing the consumer’s experience beats a new logo or tagline any day. You'll learn the art and science behind mining your brand, shaping its messaging and delivering on your destination’s brand platform through examples of those that got it right…and those that didn’t.

Marketing: Getting the Most for Your Digital Dollar presented by Holly Russell (AJR Media Group) (Mahogany)

 Digital ad spending continues to be an increasingly important part of advertising for travel and tourism. In an industry wrought with hidden fees and costs, this session will highlight what information to look for when reviewing a digital advertising proposal. Expect to walk away with new knowledge to negotiate the most impactful digital buy for your brand, best practices for your creative and what transparencies to look for in your reporting. You will also receive valuable tips to ensure your digital dollars are not being wasted.

Sports/Servicing: The Benefits to Managing Group Housing Internally presented by Alan Bradley (Bradley SEH) (Monarch)

 In this session learn how traditional third party housing is changing and how to overcome those challenges by learning tricks and tips that can help you internally manage group housing.

Visitor Services: Event First Aid presented by Vicky Soderberg (Cygnet Strategies) (Palm)

Have an event challenge that seems insurmountable? Need help with how to change/adapt/eliminate an event? This is your opportunity! You’ll have the opportunity to submit questions and issues in advance and then learn from examples and ideas about what might work and what to avoid. This is a conversation so be prepared to participate.

(NOTE: This will be a new type of format. People will submit questions or issues ahead of time and we will compile them and discuss solutions and provide examples of how to move forward.)

Sales: Meeting Planner Digital Voodoo – Reaching Planners Online presented by Craig Richards (Orange 142) (Azelea)

Unlike leisure advertising, meetings marketing is incredibly niche and has an increasingly long sales cycle. This session dives in to the mindset of a meeting planner, how they use a DMOs site for researching their next event and how to capitalize on digital media and online marketing for branding, awareness and ultimately drive RFPs! Learn about different digital media solutions that other DMOs have had success with including geofencing, video podcasts, meetings content activation, email marketing and more! Reaching planners isn’t rocket science but it does help to know a little digital voodoo!

2:15 - 2:30 PM: Refreshment Break
2:30 - 3:30 PM: Concurrent Education Sessions

Marketing: The Science Behind the Art of Storytelling from the Eric Friedheim Institute at the University of Florida presented by Howard Tietjen (Madden Media), Ryan Callison (Visit Frisco), and Dr. Craig Schmitt (Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at the University of Florida)(Magnolia 1-3)

In this session, you will learn about the most recent research completed at the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at University of Florida regarding content marketing and Amplified Storytelling. Multiple levels of expertise and experience will be represented within the panel, including insights from Frisco's award-winning content marketing strategy, insight into the execution of that strategy, and findings from research behind the strategy. You will leave this session with a better understanding of what persuades people to travel and how to incorporate these strategies into your own digital marketing campaigns.

Leadership/CEO: Top 20 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good DMO Website presented by Kimberly Vince-Cruz (Destination Analysts) (Mahogany)

What mistakes are destinations making on their website? How can they more effectively attract visitors and serve their audience needs? Over the past decade, Destination Analysts has overseen thousands of hours of traveler interviews as part of DMO website usability and user experience studies. In this entertaining and thought-provoking session, we will take TACVB attendees inside the psyche of their website's audience and share what we've learned about the common mistakes most DMOs continually make. Using examples taken from attending DMOs, we'll show how to quickly and cheaply improve the website of every DMO in the room. 

PR: Advanced PR Workshop / Roundtable presented by Taryn Scher (Palm)

In this session, we'll go more in-depth and breakdown some of the information we discussed in my first session (Social Media Is Not a PR Strategy). Attendees will have a chance to discuss concepts learned, pitch ideas, ask specific questions, and apply the information from the first session. ** Attendance at Taryn's previous session is a prerequisite.

CEO/Marketing: Leisure Travel To and Within Texas presented by Nate Gieryn (Office of the Governor) (Cane 2-3)

Are you curious about leisure travel trends? This session will review the latest Travel Texas research to highlight visitor profile characteristics of in-state and out-of-state leisure travelers visiting Texas destinations, explore the impact of leisure travel on the state, and provide examples of how these statistics can be used to create research based marketing plans. Come learn about tools available on the Travel Texas industry website that can help you communicate the importance of leisure travel and hear some tips for how survey based research findings can complement other research you may already be conducting.

Sports: Old Problems, New Trends in Sports presented by Dominique Powell (Experience Bryan-College Station) (Monarch)

Tired of the sessions where you listen to the speaker tell you all the cool things they do that never apply to you or your community? Yeah, me too! This is not one of those sessions. In this session you should come prepared to ask questions, bring ideas and have the best discussion on sports to adapt to your marketplace that you will ever have. No one does sports perfect which makes sports so fun and lucrative to your marketplace. So, lets dive into this together in this fun and interactive session.

Sales: How To Thrive in a Digital Group Market presented by Becky Matlack (CVENT) (Azalea)

One Hour Presentation on Group Business industry trends, specific Texas market trends we are seeing on Cvent, and tips and tricks on how to thrive in this digital group market.

CEO/Visitor Services: The Texas Bullet Train: Connecting People, Creating Jobs and a new American Industry presented by Holly Reed (Texas Central Railroad) (Pecan)

The Texas Bullet Train will soon connect North Texas, the Brazos Valley and Houston in less than 90 minutes, utilizing the safest, most efficient mode of mass transportation technology available worldwide. Connecting the country’s 4th and 5th largest and fastest growing regions will be a boon for Texas tourism by increasing travel to Texas, inspiring new adventures, enabling tourists to spend more time seeing and doing all that the Lone Star State has to offer.

3:30 - 3:45 PM: Break
3:45 - 5:00 PM: Annual Business Meeting & Conference Bid Presentations (Sugar Land Ballroom)
6:30 - 9:30 PM: Closing Night Event

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Relax, unwind, and show off your team spirit as we celebrate the end of another successful conference at the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball game! TACVB will take over the covered Wells Fargo Picnic Pavilion along the 3rd baseline - perfect for watching the game and networking with friends. Lots of fun and games are in store, along with plenty of tasty food and drink options. More info coming soon!

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Friday, August 17

8:30 - 11:30 AM: Historical Case Study Tour
(Additional $30)

"Our Sweet History": This historical walking tour will tell the history of Sugar Land as you walk through historic neighborhoods and among its most beloved historic sites. Stops on the tour will include a visit to the oldest business in Sugar Land (Imperial Sugar), the oldest building in Sugar Land (Sugar Land Auditorium, the Main - 7th streets historic district featuring the remnants of the Imperial Sugar "company town", and an old prison built in 1939 that now houses the Houston Museum of Natural Science satellite location.

Click here to register for Annual Conference!

Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus
PO Box 1256
Denton, TX  76202
Phone: 940-999-1002
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