AUGUSTA – March 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Registration is open for the 2015 Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism to be held this month on March 17 & 18 at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta. Members of the tourism industry and interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend this critical professional development and networking event.
“This conference offers tourism industry professionals a forum to receive and share information that will positively impact their businesses and the Maine economy,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.
“Tourism plays a huge role in the success of Maine’s economy by helping attract new visitors, investment and career opportunities for Maine people.” The theme of the 2015 conference, “Know Your Audience to Craft Your Story”, focuses on the shift to values-based marketing and customer engagement needed to influence today’s travel audience.
The conference opens on Tuesday, March 17 with an optional afternoon of workshops on best practices for the industry including how to increase online visibility through listings on the VisitMaine.com website, marketing grant opportunities, and updates on tourism-related programs in Maine. An opening reception will be held Tuesday evening at the Augusta Civic Center from 5:30pm-7pm.
Presentations during the full conference day on Wednesday, March 18 will include a report on the results of a 2014 segmentation study contracted by the Maine Office of Tourism with the goal of identifying the leisure travel segments of highest potential value to the Maine tourism industry; advice from industry experts on strategies to engage this audience, and a roll out of the Maine Office of Tourism 2015 marketing plan.
Jonah Sachs, CEO of Free Range Studios, will give the keynote address, “Telling Your Story”. Sachs is an internationally recognized storyteller, author, entrepreneur and marketer who has helped hundreds of major brands and social causes break through using an empowerment marketing approach that fuses storytelling techniques with digital media.
Additional sessions include a Maine business panel moderated by Kathleen Fleury, editor in chief at Down East Magazine, and advice on how to engage travelers online to drive visitation by Mark Preston, TripAdvisor DMO Marketing Sales Manager for the Northeast. Governor’s Tourism Awards for Leadership & Growth, Innovation, Creativity, Marketing & Promotion, Originality, and Excellence in Tourism will be announced at an awards ceremony and luncheon during the full conference day on March 18.
This year’s conference will include a silent auction of items donated by members of Maine Made and the Maine Crafts Association. Proceeds will be donated to the Margie Wright Scholarship Fund. Scholarships for complimentary registration to the conference are also given annually to recommended students enrolled in Maine hospitality programs.
This year, students from six different Maine colleges and universities will attend the conference. Additional information and registration for the workshops, welcome reception and full conference day program is available online at www.mainetourismconference.com, or by contacting Jodi Connors at stageharborme (at) gmail (dot) com.