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.