2018 Agenda

The conference is scheduled for Sunday, August 26 - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, GA.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE SCHEDULE updated August 8, 2018:

The conference will begin at 1pm on Monday and conclude by 1:30pm on Wednesday at the end of the Governor's Lunch & Awards Ceremony.

Sunday, August 26th - early exhibitor move in, early registration check in

Monday, August 27th - regular exhibitor move in, pre-conference meetings, conference begins at 1pm

Tuesday, August 28th - conference sessions continue all day

Wednesday, August 29th - conference concludes at 1:30pm

All sessions take place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Avenue 
Atlanta  Georgia  30303 

Sponsors and exhibitors have the option of setting up their tabletop exhibits on Sunday from 1-5pm or Monday from 8:30am - 12:30pm. Sponsors and exhibitors cannot break down until 10:30am on Wednesday.

Attire for the conference is business casual.  Attire for Monday evening is favorite college team. 
Attire for the Wednesday Governor's Luncheon is coat & tie.
 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Time Session
All day

Early arrivals

1:00pm - 5:00pm

Registration Open - International Foyer

1:00pm - 5:00pm

Early Sponsor/Exhibitor Setup - International 4-7

5:30pm 

2nd Annual GACVB Scholarship Benefit BBQ & Cornhole Tournament
sponsored by Atlanta Journal Constitution
WSBTV Headquarters, 1601 W. Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Join us for a casual evening with friends and colleagues supporting the GACVB Scholarship program!  $50 Dinner ticket includes Dinner and Beverages - All proceeds go to scholarships!  
Cornhole Tournament Registration is $25 per person / $50 for a team.  Limited to 32 Teams.
First Place Team wins $100.
If you missed the inaugural dinner and tournament during the 2017 Governor's Tourism Conference on Jekyll Island, you don't want to miss this networking event on the eve of this year's statewide tourism conference! Come support our education scholarships, visit with old and new friends, and throw some cornhole against Georgia's CVB teams and industry peers.  Separate ticket required - event is not included in conference registration.  Register Here

Monday, August 27, 2018

Time Session
8:30am - 5:30pm Registration Open - International Foyer
8:30am - 12:30pm Sponsor/Exhibitor Setup - International 4-7
9:00am - 10:00am GACVB Board of Directors Meeting - International B
10:30am - 11:30am RVIC Steering Committee - International B
10:30am - 11:30am Georgia Tourism Foundation Board of Directors Meeting - International C
11:30am - 12:00pm First Time Attendees Meet & Greet - International 8
1:00pm - 2:15pm

Conference Begins - Presentation of Colors
Opening General Session - Magnanimitas: The Wonder of You and the Power of Team
Speaker:  Coach Bill Curry
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
Magnanimitas is a Latin word that means greatness of spirit and soul.  It recognizes the fact that every human being is different.  No matter who you are, you are unique, precious, and have something wonderful inside: your Magnanimitas.  Every person can discover his or her greatness of spirit and soul; develop and nurture it; and then use it for the benefit of self, team, and others.  When this happens, you are reminded that there is nothing like being part of a real team, a group of people who care about each other so much that their performance exceeds the apparent sum of the team’s component parts.  Teams become great only because each member is too committed to let his or her teammates or colleagues down.

2:15pm - 2:30pm Stretch Break - Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
2:30pm - 3:30pm

General Session - Trend Watch 2019
Speaker:  Shawna Suckow, The Buyer Insider
Sponsored by 365 Degree Total Marketing
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
There’s one constant in tourism: Change! These are great times to be in the tourism industry, but keeping on top of trends is more of a challenge than ever. Technology constantly evolves, consumer behavior continuously confounds, and there’s more non-traditional competition (think Airbnb) than ever before. Join Shawna as she shares her latest findings on the major and minor shifts that will impact the industry in the year ahead.
• Learn which regional, national and world trends can impact tourism in 2019 and beyond.
• Discover new technologies that can help you do your job with less frustration
• Learn what types of marketing are getting the attention of today’s traveler

3:30pm - 4:15pm Afternoon Break - International 4-7
Sponsored by Atlanta Journal Constitution, Booking.com and Carrollton CVB  
GACVB Silent Auction Opens
4:15pm - 5:15pm Afternoon Breakout Series - International Level
4:15pm - 5:15pm 

Technology Track:  The Motivations and Mindsets of Travelers
Speaker:  Derek Price, Expedia Media Solutions
Sponsored by Sojern
International 8
Travel is not a one size fits all experience, and traveler motivations, preferences and priorities vary around the world. A new study commissioned by Expedia Media Solutions and conducted by Northstar Research Partners illustrates the complex and time-consuming purchase journey of digital travelers in the United States, the United Kingdom and China, comparing their digital behavior trends and uncovering the motives and emotions behind their consideration set as they search, discover, explore and book travel.

4:15pm - 5:15pm

Advocacy Track:  Accommodations Tax 101
Speaker:  Eric Lopez, Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs
International 9
This session by the Department of Community Affairs provides CVBs, hoteliers, and local governments what they need to know about reporting, audit disclosure, and general compliance requirements, as well as clarification of the allowable uses of the tax.

4:15pm - 5:15pm

Marketing Track:  How to be More Memorable Today in Destination Marketing
Speaker:  Shawna Suckow, The Buyer Insider
International 10
There’s never been a time where our culture has been more saturated with marketing messages from every angle, every minute of the day. Translation:  there’s never been a more challenging time for marketing departments trying to get planners, procurement departments, and F.I.T. travelers to focus on their destination.

As consumers, we’ve all grown savvier about blocking and ignoring what we deem to be irrelevant messaging, and grown intolerant with interruption marketing.  How can you break through this cluttered marketing landscape to get the attention of your desired audience? Join Shawna Suckow, CMP, in this eyeopening session that will leave you will fresh ideas to address the new marketing landscape. She was a multi-million-dollar meeting and incentive planner for over 20 years. Today, she studies buyer behavior to uncover the latest trends, which she shares with the industry all over the world.
• Experience several real case studies from brands that created successful marketing campaigns on a budget
• Discover what is working today to gain attention on social media and in print
• Learn what’s not working, so you can re-purpose valuable resources more effectively

 4:15pm - 5:15pm

Leadership Track:  #Winning - Enhancing Your Leadership Effectiveness with Myers-Briggs Part 1 (Tier 2 - Organizational Excellence)
Speaker:  Cathy Alford, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University
Sponsored by Pineapple Public Relations
International C
Leaders for the 21st Century must understand that leadership requires enhancing relationships and creativity among team members. Caring, showing interest, fairness, demonstrating trustworthiness, and understanding while at the same time managing ambiguity, diversity, and system complexity are directly related to the success of the 21st century leader. Using MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) participants will understand their own leadership psychology. Participants will gain insights into the needs of those around them who are essential to fulfilling organizational goals. Participants will learn that failure and success are primarily tied to developing constructive relationships among members of the team; having effective communication between leader and team members; and demonstrating the value of human differences.  *You must attend both parts 1 & 2 of this session to earn LEC credit.*

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Transportation provided from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis to the College Football Hall of Fame
Buses depart from the International Level

6:30pm - 9:00pm

Evening Event - College Football Hall of Fame
sponsored by the Atlanta CVB and Atlanta Magazine Custom Media
250 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, GA  30313
Just in time for college football season!  Enjoy a tailgate style dinner on the playing field at Atlanta's most interactive event facility.  Kick a field goal and close a deal in the same space!  Attendees will receive an all-access pass to experience three floors, five themed galleries and over 50 interactive exhibits, including a 45-yard football field and a three-story wall of over 750 college football helmets.  You can sing your school's fight song, show off school pride with digital face painting, even share screen time at the interactive ESPN College Gameday Desk - then review the plays over and over again with your all-access pass after the event.  Attendees will be given two drink tickets to use at the cash bar.  Attire:  your favorite college football team's colors/t-shirt/jersey.

8:00pm - 9:30pm

Transportation provided from College Football Hall of Fame to the Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Time Session
7:30am - 8:30am

Georgia Travel Association (GATA) Board of Directors Meeting - International B

8:00am - 5:00pm

Registration Open - International Foyer

9:00am - 10:00am

General Session - Georgia’s Got Game!  Keeping Score with GDEcD 
Speakers:  Kevin Langston and Lisa Love, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Sponsored by Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Langston and Division Director Lisa Love present the annual playbook for GDECD’s Tourism division, as well as review the scorecard for the state of the industry. In sports, it is often said that “teamwork = dreamwork,” and Kevin and Lisa will share details of their team’s ongoing strategic planning process and future goals. 

10:00am - 10:45am Morning Break - International 4-7
Sponsored by Hoffman Media, STR and The Fox Theatre 
10:45am - 11:45am Morning Breakout Series - International Level
10:45am - 11:45am Technology Track:  Content Marketing 101
Steak Shapiro, Bread N Butter Content Studio
Sponsored by Sojern
International 8

In this session, Steak will explain in detail how the best way to engage with a target consumer in today's media landscape is for brands/DMOs to think and act like publishers. Using visuals he will define content marketing as the overlap of the "brand objectives" of the destination with content that is relevant to the target consumer. In addition, Steak will give examples of content marketing (blogs, Podcasts, print publications, Vlogs, etc) and why DMOs should be investing in more content marketing efforts. Eye-opening statistics regarding the effectiveness of content marketing and great examples of DMOs using content marketing practices to drive business results. This portion of the presentation will be highly immersive and relevant showing real world examples from both small and large DMOs.

10:45am - 11:45am Marketing Track:  Visitor Profile Research
Speaker:  Cheryl Schutz, DK Shifflet & Associates
International 9

A review of the most recent Domestic Visitors report and what it means for tourism partners in Georgia. Ms. Schutz will also provide national and regional context to give partners a better understanding of overall domestic visitation in the United States.
10:45am - 11:45am 

Advocacy Track:  Legislative Policies & Priorities - Hosted by Georgia Association of CVBs
Partner Representatives:  Jay Markwalter, GACVB; Kelsey Moore, Georgia Travel Association (GATA); Karen Bremer, Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA); Jim Sprouse, Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association (GHLA)
Moderator: Marcus Margerum, VP Government & Community Affairs, Atlanta CVB, VP GACVB, Chair GACVB Public Policy Committee, GATA Board Member
Public Affairs Panelists:  Karen Bremer, GRA; Lee Hughes, Hughes Public Affairs/GACVB; Cosby Johnson, GATA; Jay Morgan, J.L Morgan Company/GHLA
International 10
Georgia's tourism, arts, and hospitality industry voice is amplified now more than ever at the State Capitol, but it takes strategy and a collaborative effort of agencies and hospitality industry partnerships to affect our laws and policies. Join this update from partner associations and a panel of their public affairs professionals regarding the successes and obstacles of 2018 and goals and best practices for our hospitality industry's effective engagement in 2019. Georgia association partners in hospitality will share their individual legislative agendas and priorities for 2019 and positions on key issues.  GACVB will also offer federal policy updates as GACVB and GA DMOs support the Southeast Tourism Society as a national industry leader in Washington.  

10:45am - 11:45am Leadership Track: #Winning - Enhancing Your Leadership Effectiveness with Myers-Briggs Part 2 (Tier 2 - Organizational Excellence)
Speaker:  Cathy Alford, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University
Sponsored by Pineapple Public Relations
International C
Leaders for the 21st Century must understand that leadership requires enhancing relationships and creativity among team members. Caring, showing interest, fairness, demonstrating trustworthiness, and understanding while at the same time managing ambiguity, diversity, and system complexity are directly related to the success of the 21st century leader. Using MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) participants will understand their own leadership psychology. Participants will gain insights into the needs of those around them who are essential to fulfilling organizational goals. Participants will learn that failure and success are primarily tied to developing constructive relationships among members of the team; having effective communication between leader and team members; and demonstrating the value of human differences.  *You must attend both parts 1 & 2 of this session to earn LEC credit.*
12:00pm - 1:15pm Leadership Luncheon
The Draw of Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Speaker:  Rich McKay, President & CEO, Atlanta Falcons
Sponsored by Meredith Travel Marketing
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
President and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, Rich McKay will give insight on the vision for an iconic facility:  Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Host for the Super Bowl in 2019 and the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2020, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the $1.5 billion state-of-the-art home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer's Atlanta United. With its elaborate eight-panel retractable roof and its awe-inspiring 1,100-foot, 360-degree halo scoreboard, Mercedes-Benz Stadium draws millions of visitors, bringing economic energy to the city, region and state.
1:45pm - 2:45pm

Afternoon Breakout Series - International Level

1:45pm - 2:45pm

Technology Track:  Traveler Social Media Preferences and Habits
Speaker:  Jody Farrar, previously with Chute
Sponsoredy by Sojern
International 8
To keep up and reach consumers where they are, all travel brands are moving more budgets to social media marketing. However, there are still many questions around what content best performs on which platform and influences decisions. During this talk, Jody Farrar will share the latest data from the new 2018 Social Media Traveler Preferences Report. This annual report looks at what matters most for today's travelers to better understand their preferences and opinions on travel brands' social presences and to also to get a better understanding of their personal sharing habits.  Attendees will leave the talk with data to back up their digital strategies and tactics to implement post-event to reach digitally savvy travelers.

1:45pm - 2:45pm

Advocacy Track:  Accommodations Tax 201
Speaker:  Eric Lopez, Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs
International 9
This session will give attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into specific examples of proper and improper uses of the tax and what avenues exist for reporting misuse.  You can even send the speaker a question or case study prior to the conference by emailing [email protected].  

1:45pm - 2:45pm

Partnership & Collaboration Track:  Georgia's All-Star Outdoors Economies - Learn How To Activate Yours
Moderator:  Tracie Sanchez, GDEcD
Panelists:  Lindsey Brown, DNR - Wildlife; 
Brent Buice, East Coast Greenway; Laura Buckmaster, Georgia Conservancy; Shatakshee Dhongde, Georgia Institute of Technology
International 10
Talk about a booming industry…in Georgia, outdoor recreation generates more than $27.3 billion in consumer spending annually and supports more than 238,000 direct jobs! Tracie Sanchez, Tourism Product Development Manager at GDEcD, moderates a panel of experts representing water trails, greenways, wildlife, and more to discuss research, trends, and case studies in outdoor recreation and share opportunities to activate the outdoor economy with product development and promotion.

 1:45pm - 2:45pm

Leadership Track:  Make it a Win/Win:  Conflict Resolution Part 1 (Tier 2 - Organizational Excellence)
Speaker:  Kim Cantrell, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University
Sponsored by Pineapple Public Relations
International C
People don’t leave work, they leave people. The toughest part of any job is dealing with the people around you. Using Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument participants will understand the process of conflict and its resolution. Conflict is not fun for most of us but avoiding it can cause irreparable damage to you and your team. Clarifying the facts, the players, and the positions in the conflict are key to the start of a REAL discussion on the most workable options to move to the most positive outcome and answer what are the legitimate needs and concerns of the people involved.  *You must attend both parts 1 & 2 of this session to earn LEC credit.*

2:45pm - 3:30pm Afternoon Break - International 4-7
Sponsored by Georgia Magazine, Miles Partnership and Take 5 Media Group 
3:30pm - 4:30pm

General Session - Gubernatorial Candidate Forum
Hosted by Georgia Association of CVBs
Speakers:  Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
Don't miss the opportunity to hear the candidates for governor discuss their experience and positions on issues that affect the tourism and hospitality industry in Georgia.   

5:00pm - 5:30pm

Transportation provided from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis to SunTrust Park
Sponsored by Cobb Travel & Tourism
Buses depart from the International Level

6:00pm - 10:00pm

Evening Event - Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays at SunTrust Park
Sponsored by the Atlanta CVB
755 Battery Avenue, Atlanta, GA  30339 

Take me out to the ball game!  Tourism's Winning Team is headed to the beautiful new SunTrust Park in Cobb County to watch the Braves beat the Rays!  Our group will enjoy dinner, the game and some major league networking on the Hank Aaron Terrace.  Named in homage to our home run king, this spot in the park is perched above left field and features indoor (air-conditioned) and outdoor seating plus private restrooms.  We'll have a full ballpark buffet including burgers, dogs, chicken, bbq, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, even the cracker jacks!  Cash bars will be available.  Game time is 7:35pm.

9:30pm - 11:00pm

Transportation provided from SunTrust Park to the Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Sponsored by Cobb Travel & Tourism

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Time

Session

8:00am - 12:30pm

Registration Open - International Foyer

9:00am - 9:45am

General Session - The Next Big Things In Digital Marketing
Speaker: 
 Amrita Gurney, CrowdRiff
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level
The future of destination marketing will require a mix of creative storytelling skills and technology mastery. In this session we’ll share what’s on the digital marketing horizon, separating major shifts from passing fads. Learn how modern day travelers make decisions, what Facebook and Google’s forays into the travel sector mean for DMOs, why new formats like Stories are here to stay, and whether technologies like AI and VR are helping or hurting marketers.

9:45am - 10:30am

Morning Break - International 4-7
Sponsored by Blue Sky Agency, Georgia Travel Association and Southern Living
GACVB Silent Auction closes at 10:30am

10:30am - 11:30am

Morning Breakout Series - International Level

10:30am - 11:30am

Partnership & Collaboration Track:  Coming Together So We Can Remain Strong
Speakers:  Kate Skidmore and Caitlyn Blizzard, Destinations International
International 8
The tourism industry is faced with an ever-changing landscape of political controversies, terrorism, the weaponization of travel (travel boycotts and bans), challenges in funding and natural disasters.

Leadership, collaboration and resources are key during these challenging times and CVBs need to be armed with resources and the ability to bring together community stakeholders to accomplish what no one can do alone. Community, advocacy, research and education are all critical tools for your toolbox. This session will be an interactive hour of learning the current trends and issues facing our industry as well as what Destinations International is doing to ensure we remain stronger together.

10:30am - 11:30am

Marketing Track:  How to Hit your Influencer Marketing Campaign out of the Park
Jade Broadus, Travel Mindset
International 9
In an engaging session packed with actionable advice, Jade will explore influencer marketing campaigns from beginning to end.  Jade will discuss campaign strategy and setting measurable objectives, detecting fake followers and the influencer selection process, sponsorship models and pricing, FTC guidelines and best practices for working with influencers, and using data to evaluate a campaign's return on investment.  Session attendees will come away with a greater understanding of influencer marketing's role in the tourism industry and how they can get the most out of an influencer marketing investment.

10:30am - 11:30am

Advocacy Track:  House and Senate Joint Committee on Economic Development & Tourism
Speakers:  Chairman Mike Dugan, Georgia State Senate and Chairman Ron Stephens, Georgia House of Representatives
International 10

10:30am - 11:30am 

Leadership Track:  Make it a Win/Win:  Conflict Resolution Part 2 (Tier 2 - Organizational Excellence)
Speaker:  Kim Cantrell, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University
Sponsored by Pineapple Public Relations
International C
People don’t leave work, they leave people. The toughest part of any job is dealing with the people around you. Using Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument participants will understand the process of conflict and its resolution. Conflict is not fun for most of us but avoiding it can cause irreparable damage to you and your team. Clarifying the facts, the players, and the positions in the conflict are key to the start of a REAL discussion on the most workable options to move to the most positive outcome and answer what are the legitimate needs and concerns of the people involved.  *You must attend both parts 1 & 2 of this session to earn LEC credit.*

11:45am - 1:30pm

Governor's Lunch and Tourism Awards Ceremony
Sponsored by AAA - The Auto Club Group & AAA Living
Speaker:  Governor Nathan Deal, State of Georgia
Marquis Ballroom AB, Marquis Level

1:30pm

Adjourn
GACVB Silent Auction Checkout - Marquis Ballroom Prefunction, Marquis Level