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2019 Focus on Tourism Workshops


Need a social media boost? Interested in becoming a marketing guru? Want to make the best of your resources and skills? Our Focus on Tourism workshops are perfect for you! With information on marketing, communications, customer experience management, search engine optimization, promoting and creating video and photo content, and so much more, our workshops will put you at the top of the travel industry. Scroll down for more information on specific topics.

Based on the industry digital survey, as well as feedback from last year's sessions, the Ohio Travel Association continues to offer affordable one-day workshops to boost your skills and to keep your marketing fresh and relevant.

Each session includes networking time, as well as industry updates and behind-the-scenes offerings at some of our state's fascinating experiences. Registration includes the option to select multiple workshops. Do not forget to invite others in your organization or community.


Here's what some of our attendees had to say:

"The workshop and one-on-one with Peter were excellent. I got validation on things we are doing right, solid recommendations on digital spend and strategy, and good advice on things we need to improve on our website." - Drew Tanner, Marketing Director at Peoples Bank Theatre

"My staff and I were so glad we took time out of our busy schedules to attend this Focus on Tourism workshop. It was well worth the time out of the office and we were able to implement some of the recommendations the next day to improve our online marketing strategies." - Beth Carmichael, Executive Director at Trumbull County Tourism Bureau

 

We Hope to See You at Our Focus on Tourism Workshops!

Keep Scrolling for More Information on This Year's Workshops!

Rates:

OTA Members: $65
Non-Members: $85


Register Here


Who Should Attend These Workshops:


These workshops are crafted specifically for travel and tourism professionals whose responsibilities include any of the following - marketing, communications, leadership, management, sales or technology. Topics presented will help guide business goals and measurements all the way down to day-to-day responsibilities.


Regional Workshops at a Glance:


*All workshops are held from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm with lunch included


 

 

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65% of internet users view video content when choosing a destination and nearly 60% of business/leisure travel arrangements are made online.

It’s critical in today’s market to understand your audiences’ behaviors, know how to effectively articulate your brands value, position your messaging, create effective content assets, and know what digital channels to drive engagement through.

Do you have a strategic plan in place? Does your “why statement” attract the right audience? Learn how to define your audience, create the right message through video content, and how to amplify your marketing efforts by understanding how to push your targeted video content through effective digital channels.

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Andy Hollander, Think Media Studios

Andy Hollander has over 13 years’ experience as a marketing strategy professional including print, digital, social media, SEM and SEO, event sponsorship and video. He is currently the Director of Business Development at Think Media Studios where he has, over the past four years, successfully and strategically grown new business for a company that provides the highest quality video production for regional and national clients. In addition, Hollander currently serves as VP of Communications for Cleveland SHRM, the regional SHRM chapter that serves HR professionals, and received the Member of the Year award last year (2018) for his outstanding achievement in the role.

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Jason Plavic, Knox Marketing

A marketing professional for more than 12 years, Jason Plavic has led many companies in successfully creating digital strategies and holistic marketing campaigns. His expertise is partnering with companies to build custom, integrated strategies that effectively engage customers and set them apart from competitors. Plavic’s experience has spanned various industries including media, retail, manufacturing, automotive, B2B, ecommerce, and has provided those businesses the knowledge that they need to succeed in this ever-changing marketing environment. Currently the Director of Digital Strategy at Knox Marketing, Plavic helps the organization and its clients to grow sales through brand awareness and engagement. In addition, Plavic currently serves as the President of The American Advertising Federation of Cleveland and received “Director of the Year” (2018) award for his success in the industry.

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Special Event: Go Wild at the Toledo Zoo

Go wild at Ohio Travel Association’s Focus on Tourism workshop at the Toledo Zoo on Tuesday, April 30! Attendees will get to hand-feed a tower of Masai giraffes!* We guarantee you will never forget the look and feel of their 18 inch long, black tongue as it reaches out to enjoy the tempting treat in your hand. Slobber is the season’s hottest accessory! In addition, plans have been made for a secret surprise live animal photo opportunity. Here’s a hint… hang in there, don’t worry and don’t hurry. Sign up now… everybody’s Zooin’ it! *weather permitting


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As destination marketers, you spend a good amount of money and a lot of time trying to woo visitors to your destination. One of the main ways you do this is through an online presence. You labor over your audience to ensure you’re showing them the best version of your location, while still ensuring your members have equal and effective representation online. But did you know there’s another audience that you may not be considering that is equally, if not more, important for online success – Google.

You can have the most beautifully arranged and carefully crafted website custom built to entice visitors to your destination, but if you aren’t making Google happy, you’ll never reach your audience in numbers that really matter. Google is very particular in what it wants out of a website, and if you aren’t making Google happy, you’ll lose out to competitor destinations who know the secrets and are playing by Google’s rules.

In this seminar, you’ll learn the most common mistakes we see when working with destination marketing websites. You’ll find out why Google may hate your site and what to do about it. If you can make Google happy your site will flourish online and your destination will reap the rewards.

In the afternoon, we’ll explore what we’ve learned and experiment with different concepts to see what works and what doesn’t with your website. It promises to be an engaging exercise with lots of takeaways you can implement right away.

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John Daters, Quest Digital

John Daters is Director of Digital Strategy at Quest Digital, a local digital marketing company and website development company located in Cleveland, Ohio, and an extension of Great Lakes Publishing. Daters began his career as a content manager on Colorado.com, the official tourism website for the state of Colorado. Since his travel and tourism origins, Daters has worked to improve the presence of MetroHealth, one of the largest hospitals in Northeast Ohio, and led the strategic rebuild of Cleveland Metroparks’ entire digital footprint from the ground up. Prior to Quest Digital, Daters was Director of SEO for Fathom in Independence, OH. There, his clients included multinational corporations with digital presence across the globe, as well as local companies looking to expand their digital efforts in all business environments.

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Special Event: Certified Angus Beef Culinary Center

Certified Angus Beef Brand defines the standard by which all beef is measured. These standards came into being by a group of farmers who, in the 1970s got together and said collectively, “We can do better. We can produce beef that’s extremely tender, juicier and always packed with flavor.”

Culinary Tourism is on the rise and an important part of all of our tourism product. The private Certified Angus Beef Culinary Center is built to deliver a memorable experience that engages all the senses, sparking exhilaration and new ideas. You will learn about the Certified Angus Beef brand and where each cut of beef comes from. Discover the “tricks of the trade” for grilling the perfect steak and get some new ideas on preparing beef dishes.


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Too many marketers have an either/or mindset when it comes to print and digital. These marketing channels are not mutually exclusive. Instead, today’s marketers should stop focusing on the medium and remember to focus on the message. We use print for advertising and marketing to reach an audience and send a message, the same is true with digital. But as any casual observer can tell you, consumers are not limiting themselves to a single engagement channel, instead they’re splitting their attention between marketing channels, where both print and digital coincide.

Imagine embracing digital and print as a unified front in digital messaging. Instead of starving one channel to feed another, look at how they interact with one another. Print still carries a large, targeted audience footprint; don’t forsake that user base completely. Get smart about your ad buys and marketing material with data. Data taken from digital ads is readily available, testable, repeatable and highly informative when it comes to understanding user engagement. I’ll show you how to set up your digital strategy to leverage your offline brand more efficiently and merge your messaging across platforms.

Following the morning presentation, we’ll break into groups to discuss common challenges and opportunities related to the interface of your digital and print advertising strategies. Each group will tackle a few tough questions, then we’ll share what we discovered with all attendees.  This is a great chance to dig deep into your specific issues.

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John Daters, Quest Digital

John Daters is Director of Digital Strategy at Quest Digital, a local digital marketing company and website development company located in Cleveland, Ohio, and an extension of Great Lakes Publishing. Daters began his career as a content manager on Colorado.com, the official tourism website for the state of Colorado. Since his travel and tourism origins, Daters has worked to improve the presence of MetroHealth, one of the largest hospitals in Northeast Ohio, and led the strategic rebuild of Cleveland Metroparks’ entire digital footprint from the ground up. Prior to Quest Digital, Daters was Director of SEO for Fathom in Independence, OH. There, his clients included multinational corporations with digital presence across the globe, as well as local companies looking to expand their digital efforts in all business environments.

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Special Event: Kingwood Center Gardens Tour

Enjoy complimentary access to the gardens, historic mansion, and greenhouse at Kingwood Center Gardens after the workshop. Throughout 2019, Kingwood will be displaying Lea Grey's Paper Gardens Exhibit inside the Assembly Room of Kingwood Hall. The mansion is open until 5:00pm, and the gardens are open until 7:00pm. Comfortable walking shoes suggested. See more at www.KingwoodCenter.org.


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Thank You Education Sponsors and Partners!

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