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Texas Travel Summit 2017 - Schedule


2017 Texas Travel Summit Schedule - Subject to Change
(as of 9/18/2017)


12:30pm - 5:00pm 

DMO Empowered for DMO Staff - Day One (Separate registration required - Click Here)

Hall of Fame Rm, 2nd Floor at Sheraton
 Presented by AJR Media Group

 1:00pm – 5:00pm

TxDOT Administration Meeting – M6

 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Vendor Village Table Set-Up – Grand Hall A



*All events held at the Arlington Convention Center unless otherwise stated.

8:00am – 12:00pm 

TxDOT Administration Meeting – M6

8:30am - 11:30am

DMO Empowered for DMO Staff – Day 2 – Hall of Fame Rm, 2nd Floor at Sheraton
Presented by AJR Media Group

9:00am – 5:00pm

Conference Registration – Grand Hall A Pre-Function Area 

Sponsored by Media Group

9:00am – 11:30am Vendor Village Table Set-Up – Grand Hall A

9:30am – 10:30am 

Travel and Tourism Research Association Meeting – M8 

11:45am – 1:15pm  TACVB Board Orientation and Meet & Greet Luncheon – M8 

1:30pm – 1:50pm  Welcome/Opening – Grand Hall A
1:50pm – 2:45pm

Keynote: Markets, He Wrote:  Looking for Clues into the Economy's Direction  – Grand Hall A 
This presentation provides detailed discussions of global, national and regional economies using the most up-to-date data available. Special attention is invested in critical elements of economic life, including the performance of financial, labor, and real estate markets.
Keynote Speaker:
Anirban Basu, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group, Inc. 
Sponsored by SeaWorld/Aquatica San Antonio

2:45pm – 3:30pm

Tourism Cares Initiative Discussion – Grand Hall A 
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Travel Industry Association, Texas Tourism and Tourism Cares have teamed up to develop an impactful and sustainable fundraising effort in support of the travel industry’s members as they clean up and rebuild. Join Dan Decker, chief operating officer for TTIA and Mike Rae, CEO of Tourism Cares as they are joined on stage by impacted destination leaders to provide updates and how our Tourism Cares initiative will help these locations and individuals now and long into the future.
Speakers: Dan Decker, COO, Texas Travel Industry Association and Mike Rea, CEO, Tourism Cares

3:30pm – 3:45pm
Networking Break

3:45pm – 4:30pm 

Keynote: Segmenting the Travel Market – Grand Hall A
MMGY Global predicts little to no growth in both the number of vacations taken or in vacation spending among American travelers in the upcoming 12 months. In order to fully leverage opportunities in this more challenging market, it is important for travel marketers to take look beyond the masses in order to better define their target customers. In this presentation, Steve Cohen will present various microsegments of leisure travelers based on travel behaviors, preferences and demographic, illustrating potentially promising traveler groups.

Keynote Speaker: Steve Cohen, Vice President of Insights, MMGY Global
Sponsored by CrowdRiff

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Keynote: Edelman’s Earned Brand Study – Grand Hall A
Fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue, according to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand study, with 30 percent saying that they make these belief-driven purchase decisions more than they did three years ago. The survey of 14,000 people in 14 countries not only illuminates a rising consumer expectation that brands will help solve societal problems, but also spotlights an enormous opportunity for brands that heed this call to gain new buyers and realize stronger consumer relationships more quickly.
Speaker: Tonia Ries, Executive Director of Intellectual Property, Edelman

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Opening Reception, Recognizing First Timers - Grand Hall A
Sponsored by LCRA and Expedia Media Solutions

8:00pm - 10:00pm

Opening Night Event at Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas and the Arlington CVB are thrilled to welcome TTIA Travel Summit Attendees! Join us at the park for an evening of Desserts, Drinks and Ghouls! Enjoy live music and take a turn on the all new Joker, Riddler or Catwoman – if you dare!
Sponsored by Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau and Six Flags Over Texas

Trolleys will depart Sheraton at 7:30pm and run continuous until 10:30pm


*All events held at the Arlington Convention Center unless otherwise stated.

7:15am – 5:00pm                              Conference Registration – Grand Hall A Pre-Function Area 
Sponsored by Media Group

7:30am – 8:15am  
Networking Continental Breakfast – Grand Hall A

7:45am – 8:15am 

Instagram Tips & Tricks – Grand Hall AB Pre-function Area
Facilitators: Fran Stephenson, APR and Principal, Step In Communication; Kami Watson Huyse, APR, and President, Zoetica Media, and Alice Chase, Thrill of the Chases

8:30am – 9:30am     TTIA Annual Business Meeting  – Grand Hall A
This annual meeting of the TTIA membership includes a vote by the membership to formally elect candidates nominated for "at large” positions on the TTIA Board, announcement of new TTIA Board Officers, and the President’s Report on the Association’s accomplishments and activities over the last year. The meeting will also include a briefing on upcoming initiatives.

9:30am – 10:30am

Keynote: The Power of Perspective
In 1997, "The Masked Magician” revealed to the world secrets from the art of magic; this threatened the very existence of the craft. What took magic to the brink has given it the greatest opportunity to innovate and thrive. Vinh Giang will share with your attendees the power of perspective and how collaboration can help you to create new solutions rather than fix old problems. You’ll learn one of the most powerful tools that will help you craft the future you desire. Hearing Vinh will open your mind to new possibilities, as he takes you on an unforgettable journey through his moving family story, remarkable insights into human psychology, business and the wonderful art of magic.
Keynote Speaker:  Vinh Giang, Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, and Award-Winning Magician

Sponsored by Arrivalist

10:30am – 10:45am  Networking Break
10:45am – 11:45am 

Breakout Sessions:


Working with Travel Influencers: Getting Value from Your Investment – MR1-4
Working with travel influencers and bloggers can be a tricky business. This session will give you a behind the scenes look at how to get the most from your engagements with influencers and will pay off in a BIG way! Lone Star Big!

Speakers: Fran Stephenson and Kami Watson Huyse, community managers for Texas Travel Talk, a membership community for top travel influencers from the Lone Star State, they know a thing or two about getting the most out of your relationships with influencers.

They have helped many destinations, attractions, hotels and other travel brands activate unique influencer outreach programs without the hassle of building their own ambassador program. Find out how this community works and how you can navigate the treacherous waters of working with influencers.

In this session, you will learn:
• How to get authentic and high-quality branded content from travel influencers
• Where to find influencers that resonate with your brand
• How much to pay influencers, or if you should pay at all
• What you should do before, during and after an influencer activation

Kami Watson Huyse, APR, and President of Zoetica Media, is at the forefront of developing, managing and measuring social campaigns for tourism clients like SeaWorld of Texas, Downtown Galveston, the Galveston CVB as well as dozens of national nonprofits.

Fran Stephenson, APR and principal of Step In Communication is embedded in the Texas travel scene, having worked on behalf of Visit Plano, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau, SeaWorld of Texas, Phillips Entertainment, Visit The Woodlands, Hill Country Science Mill, to name a few.


Travel Research – MR5-6

This session will include brief discussions from each of the distinguished panelists on how and why they use research, followed by a Q&A to answer questions that participants have related to how research could benefit their organizations and the means to get the research done.
Moderator: Jim Petrick, PhD, Professor, Texas A&M University, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences
Panelists: Nate Gieryn, Tourism Research Manager, Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism; Matt Clement, Director of Marketing, Arrivalist; Tim Morrow, CEO/Executive Director, San Antonio Zoo; and Kim Phillips, VP/Director, Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau

  Headaches, Heartaches and Hardships of Early-School Start Dates in Texas – MR7-8
Former Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott, national school calendar expert Tina Bruno and Dan Quandt, vice president of the Amarillo Convention and Visitors Council for the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, discuss the issues in the school calendar debate, debunk the myths leading to the school calendar creep in Texas, share why it is such an important issue to every Texas destination and attraction and answer audience questions.
Session moderated by TTIA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Homero Lucero.

12:00pm – 1:20pm   

Networking Luncheon – Grand Hall B
Sponsored by Galveston Island CVB
Scholarship awards to be presented during luncheon.

1:40pm – 2:40pm 

Breakout Sessions

  Is Travel Better than Chocolate?: The Benefits of Tourism to You and Your Community – MR5-6
In this session participants will learn about the benefits of travel beyond economics. Additionally, the health, educative and relationship benefits to the individual will be discussed as well as ways to position these benefits with funding and legislative stakeholders. The session will conclude with an explanation of tourism investment strategies and how to communicate information to tourism markets.
Speaker: Jim Petrick, PhD, Professor, Texas A&M University, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences

  Repeat Breakout: Working with Travel Influencers: Getting Value from Your Investment – MR1-4
Speakers: Kami Watson Huyse, APR, and President of Zoetica Media; and Fran Stephenson, APR and principal of Step In Communication

Marketing to the BIG Three - MR7-8
Learn how Texas Tourism is reaching travelers through marketing, public relations and social media in the state’s three largest markets – the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. In this session you will learn:
• Texas Tourism domestic public relations activities and how you can participate
• How to leverage Texas Tourism’s domestic social media promotion
• Mexico Market Update and Texas Tourism cooperative opportunities
• Canada Market Update and Texas Tourism cooperative opportunities
Ronnie Ramirez, U.S. Marketing Communications Specialist, Texas Tourism
Morgan Taylor, Latin America Marketing Specialist, Texas Tourism
Rosalyn Hunter, Director, Public Relations and Communications, VoX International

3:00pm – 3:45pm

Texas Tourism Update: Reduced Budget Roadmap & New Advertising Agency – Grand Hall A
FY 2017 was an eventful year and Texas Tourism will bring you up-to-date on the latest developments with the program and the successful results of the 2017 marketing and advertising campaign. Get a preview of FY18 planning and meet the new advertising agency that will be helping Texas Tourism promote the Lone Star State.
Speakers: Brad Smyth, Tourism Director of Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism, Tim Fennell, Tourism Deputy Director of Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism, and Bryan Christian, President/Co-Owner, Proof Advertising.
Sponsored by AAA Texas Journey and AAA Living/AJR Media Group

3:45pm – 4:15pm Afternoon Break and Networking with Vendors – Grand Hall A 

4:15pm – 5:00pm

TTIA National Partner Panel – Grand Hall A 
TTIA works closely with several national segment partners including attractions, zoos and aquariums and overall travel. Join us as Dan Decker COO of TTIA leads a panel of national partner executives including Richard Jackson, VP or North American Operations of (IAAPA) the International Amusement Parks and Attractions Association and Rob Vernon, Senior Vice President of (AZA) the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The panel will discuss each of the association’s unique priorities and challenges. You won’t want to miss this session as it is the first time TTIA has ever hosted this level of national partner executives in one meeting.
Panelists: Richard M. Jackson, Vice President, North American Operations, IAAPA and Rob Vernon, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Moderator: Dan Decker, COO, Texas Travel Industry Association

5:00pm – 5:45pm 

Leadership Development Committee Mixer - on the Terrace (outside the Gallery area)

5:00pm – 6:00pm

Vendor Village Table Teardown – Grand Hall A

6:30pm – 7:15pm Cocktail Reception - Grand Hall B Prefunction Area

7:15pm – 9:15pm 

TTIA Awards Gala  – Grand Hall B
Presented by Madden Media

*All events held at the Arlington Convention Center unless otherwise stated.

8:00am – 8:45am 

Networking Continental Breakfast and Roundtables– Grand Hall A

8:30am - 4:30pm

DMO Empowered 2.0 for DMO Executives (Separate registration fee required - Click Here)
– World Series I & II Rm, 2nd Floor at Sheraton
Presented by AJR Media Group , Supported by Texas Meetings+Events

9:00am – 10:30am

Bright New Shiny Marketing – Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality & What’s Next for Destination Marketing - Grand Hall A

Join Ryan Thompson of The Atkins Group and Odyssey as we explore the bleeding edge of marketing.  Take a deep dive into virtual reality with an on-stage live experience, see how leading destinations are using augmented reality to produce big results, discover how livestreaming on Twitch and Facebook are engaging younger audiences and much more.  In this 90-minute session, we’ll explore the what’s next in marketing AND how to begin planning and implementing today.  We’ll review trends, case studies of success and provide 10 tangible takeaways for you to integrate in your marketing planning.  

Speakers: Ryan Thompson, Partner/VP Growth, The Atkins Group and CEO, Odyssey

10:30am - 10:45am
Closing Remarks and Adjourn


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