On the Move: Six Tourism Conference Takeaways


Every year, tourism industry leaders, legislatures, attraction owners and vendors from around South Dakota gather in Pierre for three days in January to discuss the current state of travel.

Before this year’s event, I had never attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. It was a fact made clear by the purple ribbon attached to my conference lanyard. Printed on the ribbon, in big gold letters, were two words: “First Timer.”

The designation made me feel a little self-conscious. After all, some of those in attendance had been making the trip to Pierre for years. But by the end of the three-day long gathering, it was a title I had come to embrace.

Even if I was a new face, I left feeling like part of the community. My proclivity for introversion was overtaken by the fact that everybody in attendance was just so darn nice. They were excited to talk about tourism in South Dakota. They were happy to be together. The feeling was contagious. And the conference experience itself did not disappoint. 

From entertaining keynote speakers to informative breakout sessions, each day was filled with fun conversation and invaluable insight. Every member of Team L&S left the conference feeling better informed and absolutely energized.

To fuel that momentum, I talked with our team here at the agency and collected their biggest takeaways from the conference.  I even included my own. Hopefully they help inspire you to get on the move in 2018.

Carrie BiondiCarrie Biondi, VP of Client Service & Business Development
"70% of decisions are made based on emotions. It's a great reminder for us to think about as we try to influence potential visitors on an emotional level."

Laura MitchellLaura Mitchell, VP of Digital
Why should we hire you? "I recognized again that, if you truly love what you do for work, it's not really work but just a lot of fun. It continues to be a joy to partner with some of the state's best and most enthusiastic travel experts."

Tara LockeTara Locke, Creative Director
"Great FACES. Great Places. It is our people that make this state so great and make it a destination our visitors come back to again and again."

Paige SchwittersPaige Schwitters, Senior Account Coordinator
"A single moment can create momentum, which ultimately affects results. Recognize moments where you can go above and beyond to create a positive moment for someone else."

Erin WeinzettelErin Weinzettel, Account Executive
"Create warm welcomes and fond farewells with those you encounter day-to-day. Those are moments that need to be created to be remembered."

Brett SummersBrett Summers, Associate Creative Director
"You can tell South Dakota's tourism industry is like one big family. The environment is welcoming and is undoubtedly a contributing factor of all the state's success in visitor and economic growth."


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