Annual LEAD: Tourism Conference sponsored by Western Carolina
University brings together tourism stakeholders from all across
western North Carolina, East Tennessee, North Georgia and beyond to
address issues that impact both the industry and communities.
Pre-Conference Workshop on Monday,
February 27 / 1pm - 5:30pm
Fundamentals of Operating a Tourism Development
Main Conference Agenda -
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Conference Theme: Growing Partnerships with
Outdoor Tourism and Local Communities
8:00 AM - 9:00
Registration, Coffee and Pastries
AM - 9:15 AM Welcome
and Opening Remarks
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Keynote Address: Outdoor Travel Trends and Factors Impacting the
Future Demand for Outdoor Adventure Travel. Learn the
latest trends in travel and how the future of outdoor adventure
tourism fits into the market demand for 2017 and beyond. Presenter: Berkeley Young,
President, Young Strategies, Charlotte, NC
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Western NC County Tourism
Economic Fact Sheets. Back by popular demand. Receive
your customized county Tourism Economic Fact Sheet. Available for all
26 counties in Western NC. Compiled and reported by senior students
in WCU's Hospitality and Tourism program in the College of
Business. | Dr. Steve Morse and WCU Hospitality & Tourism
Students, Western Carolina University
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Networking Break with Vendors
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Concurrent Breakout Sessions. choose one of the following sessions to
attend. Sessions repeated in the afternoon
1. Development and Branding a Small
Destination for Big Outdoor Tourism: Two Fish Stories.
Learn how two small rural destinations successfully developed,
branded and marketed their community for outdoor tourism activities
on a shoe-string budget.
Presenters: Dennis Tumlin, Exe Director, Rhea Co. Economic &
Tourism Council, Dayton, TN; Julie Spiro, Executive Director, Jackson
Co. NC Chamber of Commerce; and Nick Breedlove, Director, Jackson Co.
NC Tourism Development Authority, Sylva, NC.
2. The Power of Selling Outdoor
Tourist Experiences over Geographic Places.
Learn about the five essential strategies you need to know to
successfully sell the outdoor tourist experience instead of selling
the geographic place.
Presenter: Roger Brooks (video), Seattle, WA
3. Developing, Branding and Marketing
the NC Blueways Program and the Roanoke River Region.
Learn how the NC Blueways program in western NC, and the Roanoke
River Region in eastern NC were successfully developed across
multiple county lines to showcase the growing outdoor tourism market
Presenters: Betty Huskins, Exec. Director, Smoky Mountain Host, and
Executive Committee, NC Blueways, Franklin, NC (Western NC). Carol
Shields, Executive Director, Roanoke River Partners, Scotland Neck,
NC (Eastern NC)
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Riding the Wave of Demographic Change: Preparing for Future Outdoor
Tourism Guests. Like many industries, outdoor
recreation in western North Carolina is facing a massive change in
audience demographics over the next two decades. Learn about
these changes and how to prepare for outdoor tourism guests than may
look very different in the future.Chris Cavanaugh,
President, Magellan Strategy Group, Asheville, NC.
2:45 PM - 3:15
Networking Break with Vendors
3:15 PM - 4:00
PM Developing Effective Tourism
Partnerships With Outdoor
Tourism Providers and Communities. Since most
tourists seeking outdoor activities don't know and don't care where
county lines are, learn how the most effective branding and marketing
campaigns are well designed partnerships among multiple county and
community-based regional tourism marketing groups. John Whisenant, Director of
Tourism, Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association, Nashville, TN
Interested in promoting your tourism related
business or service? Vendor/Exhibitor tables are available.
A vendor booth registration of $175.00
includes the following:
6ft table (draped)
x 10 booth space with pipe and drape dividers
can set up on Monday afternoon or before by 8:30 on Tuesday.