Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Vermont Tourism Summit! The schedule is subject to change (as of March 27, 2019). Please check back for updates.

  • The conference schedule is hosted in SCHED which allows you to search within the schedule, and filter the schedule to show items only occurring on a certain date or within a track.
  • To view only a certain type of presentation or track, locate the heading "Filter By Type" in the navigation bar. As an example, try clicking on "Marketing".
  • The default view for the schedule is "Simple" which only shows the start time and title of the agenda item. Hover over the button that says "Schedule" to see the different view options. The "Expanded" option will show start and end times, room location, and session description, if there is one.
  • You can build your own schedule by creating a free account with SCHED by selecting "SIGN UP." Watch the "how-to" video to learn more about using Sched.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Adding agenda items to your schedule through this app does not sign you up for a session. If an agenda item says "pre-registration required" or charges an additional fee, you need to add the item to your registration through the online registration system.
Wednesday, April 3

9:00am EDT

Burlington Area Attractions Familiarization (FAM) Tour - Hosted by the Vermont Attractions Association
Open to all; advance registration required.

VAA welcomes you to a special tour of attractions in Burlington/Shelburne. These visits will help you to get to know these popular attractions that welcome tens of thousands of visitors annually and are a vital tool to enhance promotion of your destination.

Location: Tour will depart at 9am from the DoubleTree Hotel Burlington

Timing: 9:00am‐5:30pm. At 5:30, we will make a stop at the Green Mountain Railroad for those attending the Welcome Mixer. We will then return to DoubleTree for all other attendees (estimated arrival is 6:00pm).  PLEASE NOTE: you may leave the tour at any time and find your own transportation back to your car or the conference.

The tour will include FAMiliarization visits to these attractions:
  • Lake Champlain Cruises Spirit of Ethan Allen
  • ECHO, Leahy Center
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Magic Hat Brewery
  • Shelburne Farms
  • Shelburne Vineyard
  • Wild Hart Distillery
  • Shelburne Museum
  • Vermont Teddy Bear
  • Plus step‐on from other area Attractions

Wednesday April 3, 2019 9:00am - 5:30pm EDT
Offsite - Meet in Hotel Lobby

3:00pm EDT

5:30pm EDT

Roaring 20’s Welcome Mixer aboard the Green Mountain Railroad
Join us for cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres aboard the Green Mountain Railroad! All are encouraged to come dressed for our Roaring 20’s theme. The train will depart from One Main Street on the Burlington waterfront. Parking is available nearby. Boarding begins at 5:30pm and the train will depart at 6:00pm sharp. We'll return to the station at approximately 7:15pm. Open to all; fee of $15 to participate.

Wednesday April 3, 2019 5:30pm - 7:30pm EDT
Offsite - Green Mountain Railroad One Main Street, Burlington

7:30pm EDT

Dinner - On Your Own
Take the free hotel shuttle downtown, or stop by the registration desk for a list of recommendations.

Wednesday April 3, 2019 7:30pm - 10:30pm EDT
Thursday, April 4

8:00am EDT

Vermont Inn and Bed & Breakfast Association (VIBBA) Meeting
Open to VIBBA Members and Associate Members, as well as non-members interested in joining.

Thursday April 4, 2019 8:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Diamond 1

8:00am EDT

8:00am EDT

8:30am EDT

Vermont Tourism Network (VTN) Meeting
Open to VTN Members and non-members interested in joining.

Thursday April 4, 2019 8:30am - 11:30am EDT
Emerald Ballroom 2

11:00am EDT

Meet & Greet for First-Timers
Learn how to make the most of your time at the Vermont Tourism Summit. Meet fellow first-timers, and get to know members of our Board of Directors and Planning Committee!

Thursday April 4, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

12:00pm EDT

OPENING SESSION & KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Coloring Outside the Lines: Creating a New “Tourism” Experience
Sponsored by Yankee Publishing

Sarah Morris, Vermont Tourism Summit Chair and Basin Harbor

Vermont Governor Phil Scott

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Coloring Outside the Lines: Creating a New "Tourism" Experience
Jeff Tobe, Coloring Outside the Lines
Sponsored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce

This high-energy, participatory, humorous session has received outstanding reviews from diverse tourism groups around the world. Certified Speaking Professional, Jeff Tobe, challenges you to step outside your comfort zone in positioning yourself more creatively than ever before. He provides the insight you require to give yourself the ‘competitive edge’ for which we all strive in the tourism industry/profession today!

To be effective in today’s marketplace, you must force yourself to look at your organization’s EXPERIENCE from a different perspective.

Tobe is not just entertaining—he provides real ‘tools’ to creatively ENGAGE your internal and external ‘customer’. Whether you are a venue, an event, a CVB or a government official, this keynote gets you to stop looking your rearview mirrors to see how things have been done in the past. Jeff believes that “we need to start looking through our windshields to see what is coming down the road ahead in the tourism profession”.

He believes in the power of creativity to look at business from a new perspective and accept that customer service is no longer the bar that distinguishes us from our competitors. We now have to consider our internal and external customers' EXPERIENCES from the minute they make contact with us to the minute they are done!

Jeff encourages you to “start considering every one of your TOUCHPOINTS--those opportunities you or your people have to influence the customer experience. Allow people to ‘tweak’ their own touchpoints and, collectively, change the experience."

He addresses the concept of seeing the world through their eyes—from their perspective! Most important, his sessions are upbeat, interactive and FUN!

avatar for Governor Phil Scott

Governor Phil Scott

State of Vermont
Governor Phil Scott became the 82nd Governor of Vermont on January 5, 2017. He previously served three terms as Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor, and as a Senator for Washington County. As Governor, he has committed to making a difference in the lives of Vermonters by growing the state’s... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Tobe

Jeff Tobe

Founder, Coloring Outside the Lines
Certified Speaking Professional, Jeff Tobe’s credentials are impressive. Insider Magazine dubbed him “The Guru of Creativity” and readers of Convention & Meetings Magazine chose him as one of the top 15 speakers in North America. He is a creativity and customer experience expert... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 12:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 3

1:45pm EDT

Thursday April 4, 2019 1:45pm - 2:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom Promenade

2:00pm EDT

(EXPERIENCE) Seeing The Forest: How to Craft a Remarkable Experience (60 minute session)
Have you ever tried to experience your company like a guest or customer would? Businesses often isolate and design individual outreach efforts and micro moments across the organization. It's no surprise that they end up delivering just that to their customers: a series of disjointed and often inconsistent encounters. What really sticks with customers is the totality of their visit, stay, or adventure with you. Intuitively this makes sense and behavioral science backs it up. How they felt, their state of mind, the accumulated memories that linger as they drive or fly back to reality. Every element of their encounter with you weaves together and creates a picture that they share with others and grows stronger over time. Yet, we’re all guilty of losing sight of that landscape, that wide forest, to nurture a sole tree. In this interactive workshop, learn (a) why it’s essential for all organizations to see and plan for the metaphorical forest of customer experience (CX) and (b) how to simultaneously plant and grow the tactical trees. We’ll begin with brief examples demonstrating the power of embracing a CX approach in the travel industry to strengthen brand positioning, loyalty, and ultimately ROI. Next, we’ll go hands-on and guide attendees through mapping important touchpoints in a customer journey and how to zero in on the most pivotal. Finally, we’ll close with tips on how to ensure that these touchpoints create a seamless, consistent, and memorable experience—the forest for the trees.

Target Audience: Advertising, marketing, customer service, on-site customer management roles and any other attendees who have some familiarity with customer engagement.


Jessie Angus

Crowd Proof
The simple truth that customers are the heart of business success drives Jessie’s work in marketing research, strategy, planning, and implementation. A Professional Certified Researcher, Jessie’s abilities center on understanding human motivation, desire, and behavior to help... Read More →

Eric Segalstad

Crowd Proof
Eric is the former director of marketing for Country Walkers and has worked with more than a dozen tourism and hospitality clients on lead generation, brand positioning, and storytelling—from Adventure Canada to Stowe Mountain Resort. Drawing from 20 years of marketing experience... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Diamond 1

2:00pm EDT

(CASE STUDY) Building Your Brand with Local Talent
Learn how the regional chamber representing the Shires of Vermont brand has aligned writers, social influencers, photographers, videographers and more the create a hyper regional brand in a world of noise.

Target Audience: Small business owners, nonprofits and community organizations


Matt Harrington

Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce
Matt Harrington is the executive director of the Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce in charge of The Shires of Vermont brand. Matt has transformed the brand into a social, digital, content-rich powerhouse growing their website visits, Instagram followers, Facebook friends and... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

2:00pm EDT

(GRAB BAG) Vermont Tourism by the Numbers
The 2017 Benchmark Study showed some increases in the number of visitors coming to Vermont. New information will show how 2018 shaped up. This presentation will show the patterns of visitor spending, in terms of time trends as well as how visitors spend their money and where those visitors come from. Each season in Vermont draws a different kind of visitor and this presentation will also describe those differences.

Target Audience:  All attendees welcome, marketing firms and individual property managers.


Ken Jones

Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development
Ken Jones is the Economic Research Analyst at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. He is the author of the biennial Vermont Tourism Benchmark Study.

Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 2

2:00pm EDT

(MARKETING) Workshop: Create a Successful Marketing Plan in 90 Minutes (advance RSVP required)
Marketing: A swirling chaotic mess of buzzwords and technologies. If this is how you feel whenever you think about marketing for your business, then bring coffee and your laptop as we unravel the mysteries of successful marketing. Bring your A game and be ready to work because you’re going to create your own marketing plan in 90 minutes! In this session we’ll unpack the key building blocks to a successful marketing plan. We’ll talk about the tools, marketing pieces, strategy, audiences, and measuring your success. You’ll learn, step-by-step how to create and implement an effective marketing plan based on your own data and tools all in one 90 minute session!

Learning Outcomes:
- How to define and understand your audiences using data gathering tools like Google Analytics, email list services (MailChimp, Constant Contact, et al), surveys, and easy to implement data collection techniques.
- How to segment & profile your audiences. Create your own set of audience profiles called avatars.
- How to write effective sales copy.
- How to bring it all together in a step-by-step plan you can use over and over again to create effective communications your audiences want from you and that deliver the message you want them to have.

Please note: This session is included with conference registration, but required advance RSVP as space is limited.

Target Audience: Vermont small businesses looking to get started or refining an existing marketing plan


Gregg Banse

Gregg is an experienced marketing and digital professional with extensive experience in website development, brand development, leveraging online services, social media, search engine optimization, and using digital communication strategies to achieve goals. He’s a native Vermonter... Read More →

Tom Remp

Billings Farm & Museum
Tom Remp is the Marketing manager at Billings Farm & Museum, an award-winning history museum and dairy farm in Woodstock, VT. Originally from Scotland, he has lived in Vermont for the past four years, and believes passionately in the importance of promoting VT agriculture as a vital... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Diamond 2

3:30pm EDT

4:00pm EDT

(GRAB BAG) Off-Season Content Strategy
“Content”, it’s everywhere you look, all year round. It comes in many forms and we see it everywhere – Video, Blogs, Facebook, Metadata, Emails and more. But what’s the point of it all? Using successful organizations as our guide in this session, we’ll pick apart their approach to off-season content strategy and identify a few of the most effective content strategies that will nurture your current leads and transform current users into brand champions that can advocate for your organization all year round.

- Framework approach to off-season content strategy
- Gain perspective on how key organizations are engaging new leads and enrolled leads in the off-season
- How to keep track of your ROI with content strategy

Target Audience: All tourism businesses


Dineke Bernier

829 Studios
As a Strategic Account Manager, Dineke successfully partners with clients to bring their ideas and projects to life. From concept to launch, she serves as a primary client liaison for project-based accounts working closely to understand organization goals, define solutions, and ensure... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Diamond 1

4:00pm EDT

(CASE STUDY) Building Cross-Border Partnerships: Lessons from the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail
Strong partnerships across international and interstate borders are critical for attracting tourists willing to travel long distances for unique and memorable destinations – and they encourage visitation from nearby states and Canada. The first international culinary trail, the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail, is an emerging partnership linking farm, food, and drink experiences around the Lake Champlain Basin. Collaborators from Quebec and the Adirondacks will share their experiences developing this partnership, including challenges around branding, marketing, funding, and border crossing issues. Learn how you can benefit from this new initiative and how to develop these types of collaborations in other parts of Vermont.

Target Audience: Tourism professionals and businesses with an interest in culinary experiences and developing trails


Lisa Chase

University of Vermont
Lisa Chase is the Director of the Vermont Tourism Research Center and a Natural Resources Specialist with University of Vermont Extension. She has worked with tourism and recreation enterprises in Vermont for the past 16 years. Prior to working in Vermont, Lisa conducted research... Read More →

David Gillespie

Canadian/American Exchange
David Gillespie is a farmer on Allumette Island in the Pontiac region of Quebec. He is also Chair of the Canadian/American Exchange (CANAMEX), an initiative with the goal of promoting sustainable agriculture, the first phase being agritourism. Dave has been involved in agriculture... Read More →

Hilary DelRoss

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
As the cultural heritage and outdoor recreation specialist at VDTM, Hilary works with organizations to develop and promote their cultural, historic, artistic, recreational and agricultural tourism experiences while providing technical assistance to partners navigating marketing tools... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

4:00pm EDT

(EXPERIENCE) Creative & Meaningful Design is Good Marketing
In today's diverse and competitive hospitality world, it's more important than ever to understand that a creative and meaningful design is important to your guests. With easy access to reviews, your experiences and unique design that show off your lodgings' personality, have never been more important. Creative elements, genuine design touches, and real connections, are the elements that guests talk about and share.

Target Audience: Lodging owners and marketing audience


Joanne Palmisano

Joanne Palmisano Design
Joanne Palmisano has recently been named as “one of the top creative people in the nation” by Country Living Magazine. She is an award-winning designer who specializes in unique, boutique-style properties and projects. She is the author of three internationally acclaimed interior... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Diamond 2

4:00pm EDT

(MARKETING) Social Influencers: Holy Grail or Fool’s Gold?
The term “social influencers” is a buzzword that sparks equal amounts of hope and skepticism among marketers.  Just because some person (or some dog?  Or pig? Or fox?) has more than a million followers on Instagram, does that mean a post on their account can truly influence their audience into being interested in you?  And if so…how much is that worth in terms of fees allocated in your marketing budget?  Social influencers are often self-proclaimed and not always legit, so it’s essential to evaluate each opportunity, set parameters, establish goals, and (most important) take risks.  But first…you must decide if working with social influencers is the right marketing match for your brand.  In this session, you’ll get all the facts necessary to cultivate your own informed point of view, and you’ll come away with clear evaluation tools to approach the process with more confidence.

Target Audience: All tourism businesses, anyone who manages or executes the marketing role


Christina Miranda

Chris is a passionate experience junkie, which fuels her expertise as a global tourism marketer for some of the largest – and smallest – travel brands in the world.  She’s the principal and cofounder of Redpoint, a NYC-based agency that offers marketing, PR, consulting, and... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 2

5:00pm EDT

Awards Celebration and Cocktail Reception with Sponsors
Celebrate the success of our peers and their contributions to our industry through the years! (view awards) Cash bar available.
"Pearsecco" Toast Sponsored by Woodchuck Hard Cider
Reception Sponsored by Adara

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom Promenade & Emerald Ballroom 3

7:00pm EDT

Dinner Event
Thursday April 4, 2019 7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT
Petit Dejeuner

8:30pm EDT

Night Cap Social
Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thursday April 4, 2019 8:30pm - 10:00pm EDT
252 Tavern
Friday, April 5

8:00am EDT

Breakfast with Sponsors
Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 8:00am - 9:00am EDT
Emerald Ballroom Promenade

8:00am EDT

9:00am EDT

KEYNOTE: Update from the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
Wendy Knight, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, will update the industry on the department’s key initiatives this past year, including It’s Time for Vermont advertising campaign, social media and content strategy, international marketing, Hospitality Workforce Workgroup, Stay to Stay Weekends, VOREC, and the ThinkVermont economic development marketing initiative followed by a brief Q&A session.

avatar for Commissioner Wendy Knight

Commissioner Wendy Knight

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
Wendy Knight has been the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing (VDTM) since May 2017.In her current role, the Commissioner oversees an 8-person marketing team and a $3M budget to market Vermont to visitors and prospective residents, largely from out-of-state... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 9:00am - 9:45am EDT
Emerald Ballroom 3

9:45am EDT

Friday April 5, 2019 9:45am - 10:00am EDT
Emerald Ballroom Promenade

10:00am EDT

(MARKETING) I Got Algo-rithm – Training Your Website for Google
In the immortal words of Ella Fitzgerald, “I got rhythm…Who could ask for anything more?” – But do you have Algo-rithm? Mike Lannen of Eternity, a website and digital marketing agency located in Burlington and Barre will review how you can best leverage the Google Algorithm for gaining additional site traffic and increasing conversions. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the holy grail to success in the highly competitive tourism market. Effective SEO is the first step in helping guests or customers find (and eventually book) you. He will also review 5 tools that you won’t want your competitors to know about!

Target Audience: Marketing Managers, Executive Directors, Business Owners

avatar for Mike Lannen

Mike Lannen

Founder and an Eagle Scout, Mike is on a mission to make the web a better place. Developing a successful website can seem like a complex undertaking, but Mike and his team make it easy with a unique step-by-step process and a focus on ROI. When he's not working closely with clients... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Diamond 1

10:00am EDT

(CASE STUDY) Farms & Forests: Sharing the Stories of Vermont's Working Landscape to attract Tourists to Vermont from Tree to Table
Vermont's working lands and our green mountains is what brings people to our wonderful state. Eating locally grown food while visiting a farm, drinking craft brews, or sipping wine at a cheese tasting are all obvious allures to tourists. We would like to take that one step further, a step into the forests of our state and how some of the initiatives that Vermont woodworkers are doing can attract more tourists into the state with positive stories, focused on the tree. The Naked Table Project, formed by Shackleton Thomas, is a key example. “The Naked Table is naked of ego, stripped to its essentials as the centerpiece of the home — and is made in the most simplistic and time-tested manner. We invite friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested from the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park tree farm we visit during the workshops — inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the nation, or the world. Using Vermont Natural Coating’s whey-based finish in our workshops, the table is completely non-toxic with the most minimal environmental impact. Since the start of the project in 2008, the table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.” This example, and others can be shared to demonstrate how to connect tourists to our beautiful working lands of farms and forests.

Target Audience: All attendees welcome


Charles Shackleton

Charles Shackleton is a renowned Vermont furniture maker and designer who was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Trained in the traditional styles of handmade furniture making, Charles has been recognized by the Vermont Senate as Vermont Woodworker of the Year, is one of the founding... Read More →

Ben Machin

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Ben received a Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in 1996 and a Master’s in Forestry from the University of Vermont in 2003. Prior to joining Redstart Forestry in 2001, Ben was employed as a firefighter/smokejumper with the USDA Forest Service, parachuting and fighting fires... Read More →

Brent Karner

ClearLake Furniture
In 1985, Brent Karner graduated from North Bennet Street School in Boston where he learned the art of fine woodworking. After graduating from North Bennet, prior to starting ClearLake Furniture, he spent many years crafting 18th and 19th century reproductions as well as contemporary... Read More →

Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Woods Studios
After weathering Hurricane Katrina and losing her job teaching a distance learning program at Tulane University, Peggy did what any social entrepreneur would do: start a company to help save the planet. Her passion for forest conservation and the Vermont furniture industry inspired... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Diamond 2

10:00am EDT

(MARKETING) Take Control of Your Story
There are a lot of mediums to tell your brand/business' story these days. What's the most effective, cost-conscious, and efficient way to tell your story? How should you do this? This session will explore social media influencers, brand journalism, and use of newsletters. You'll leave the session with solid tips and tricks for you to try on your own.

Target Audience: All levels welcome. Appropriate for those with some marketing background


Nicole Junas Ravlin

People Making Good PR
Nicole Junas Ravlin is a co-founder of People Making Good, a public relations and communications firm located in Burlington, VT and Boston, MA working with consumer brands and non-profit organizations across the US, Canada, and Europe. She has extensive experience in crisis and reputation... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Emerald Ballroom 2

10:00am EDT

(MARKETING) Top 25 Facebook Pro Marketing Tips
Learn the top Facebook secrets a social media pro leverages to drive customers to her clients. This basic level presentation is for business owners who have a business page, but aren't sure what to do with it. In this 60-minute talk, attendees will learn how to leverage their existing Facebook business page to create a buzz and increase foot traffic. How should I use my business page? What should I post about? How do I boost a post? Come to this hands-on workshop and walk away with ideas and inspiration for how to engage your target customer and grow your business. We recommend you set up your Facebook business page prior to this workshop.

Target Audience: Business owners and marketing professionals


Julia Scott

JScott Marketing & PR
JSM founder Julia Scott is a seasoned communications and marketing expert who is passionate about making marketing and PR easy for her clients. Julia grew up in California and moved across the country three times before settling in Vermont. She received her B.A. from Barnard College... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

11:00am EDT

Refreshment Break - Visit with Sponsors and Auction Bidding
Last chance to bid on auction items and thank the sponsors for their support! The auction will close at 11:30am. 

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
Emerald Ballroom Promenade

11:30am EDT

(GRAB BAG) Growing a Culture of Engagement and Collaboration
Many businesses are redefining their vision and direction as they realize the impact employee engagement has on business success. Today, Culture Rules! More than ever before, company culture has become one of the most important tools for attracting and retaining employees. Lisa gives you the keys to creating a meaningful company culture that drives actions, results and purpose as well as profits. In this workshop you’ll discover:
  • When we celebrate our employees, we improve the customer experience. 
  • Tips for achieving higher levels of employee cooperation and collaboration. 
  • The connection between engaged employees and the customer experience. 
  • A simple weekly ritual that creates more engaged, productive and collaborative teams.

Target Audience: Business


Lisa Danforth

Lisa Danforth Coaching
A firm believer that business doesn’t have to be so hard, Business Strategist, Lisa Danforth, helps entrepreneurs and business owners to grow and scale with more control, less overwhelm and no apologies. Lisa has been dubbed by her clients as ‘the hand holding butt kicker’...just... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

11:30am EDT

(CASE STUDY) Tourism and the Creative Economy: Creating a Virtuous Circle
The creative sector is a vital part of the state's identity, economy, and the quality of life of its residents. The creative sector –including arts experiences, artistic goods for sale, artisanal foods, and cultural sites— drive significant tourism to the state. And likewise, much of the creative sector relies heavily on the tourist market. In this session, we'll explore the role of the creative economy in Vermont—specifically new research on the creative economy in the NEK, the challenges it faces, and some the strategies to connect the creative sector with the tourism market.

Target Audience: Attendees interested in the arts and culture as an economic driver and/or residents of the Northeast Kingdom


Amy Cunningham

Vermont Arts Council
Amy is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Council, working to bring the organization’s strategic goals to fruition. She directs the programs team and manages the Vermont Creative Network. Amy has worked for more than 15 years in leadership positions in Vermont cultural... Read More →

Jody Fried

Catamount Arts
Jody Fried has led Catamount Film and Arts in St. Johnsbury since 2009, just after the opening of a new space in the Masonic Temple. Under his leadership, the Catamount has become a vibrant community arts center with partners reaching through Vermont and into New Hampshire. Fried... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Diamond 2

11:30am EDT

(MARKETING) Getting Involved - Marketing Your Offer to the International Visitor
Getting onto the radar of international travellers can seem like a daunting, and expensive proposition. However, you may not realise that you already have a team of professionals in place and ready to assist you at little or no direct cost whatsoever. Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing funds outreach to a number of key international inbound destinations including Europe, Australia/New Zealand and now Japan and South Korea. The Department is always looking for new suppliers to connect with tour operators, highlight to front line travel agents and partner with for international travel writer visits. This presentation will get you started on the road to international outreach. Topics covered will include;
  • How and why are key markets selected? 
  • What will the international visitor offer, and how will that income complement my current domestic marketing? 
  • What will the international visitor expect from me in return? 
  • How do I get started and what can I expect from my international reps? 
  • What costs might I incur on this journey?


Caroline Donaldson-Sinclair

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
Caroline Donaldson-Sinclair has represented the State of Vermont in the international tourism market under various guises for more than 15 years. Now as an independent consultant based in the UK she undertakes both travel trade representation, direct to consumer outreach and media... Read More →

Shoko Hirao

Global Consulting
Shoko Hirao is a native of Japan with over 30 years of marketing and PR experience in the Japanese travel, trade and press industry. She was a marketing manager for Asia with Massachusetts Port Authority’s International Marketing and Route Development Department, managing activities... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Diamond 1

11:30am EDT

(MARKETING) Video Marketing Basics
Should your homepage hero image be a video? How long should your social media videos be? Does anyone actually use YouTube when researching their travel destination? This presentation will answer most (maybe all!) your questions about your organization's most powerful communication tool: online video.

Target Audience: Businesses and organizations that rely on their online presence to attract customers.


Luke Stafford

Mondo Mediaworks
Luke is the owner of Mondo Mediaworks in Brattleboro, Vermont. Mondo is a video production studio with a rich background in digital marketing. They specialize in working with other marketing agencies and internal marketing departments in industries ranging from travel and tourism... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 2

12:30pm EDT

CLOSING SESSION & KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Iconic Vermont Businesses: Their Impact, Opportunities and Challenges Now and into the Future
Sponsored by the Vermont Convention Bureau

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Iconic Vermont Businesses: Their Impact, Opportunities and Challenges Now and into the Future
Bill Shouldice IV, Vermont Teddy Bear Company and Vermont Futures Project; Win Smith, Sugarbush Resort
Sponsored by Arrivalist
The Vermont Futures Project has created an economic vision and action plan for the future. Bill will present the data behind the goal of recruiting 10,000 new workers a year. Both Bill and Win will present the economic value these two iconic businesses offer to their communities and to the State and share with attendees the challenges they face currently and the opportunities Vermont can gain into the future. At the end, Bill and Win will take your questions.


avatar for Win Smith

Win Smith

President, Sugarbush Resort
Win Smith is Chairman and CEO of Summit Ventures NE, LLC, which owns Sugarbush Resort. He also serves as President of Sugarbush and oversees daily operations year round. Win serves on the board of the Vermont Ski Areas Association and is Chair of the National Ski Areas Association... Read More →
avatar for Bill Shouldice IV

Bill Shouldice IV

President & Chief Bear Officer, Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Bill Shouldice IV is president and CBO (Chief Bear Officer) of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company which is one of the largest producers of teddy bears in the world, handcrafting 300,000 bears a year in Shelburne. Previously, Bill served as the president and CEO of The Vermont Country... Read More →

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Friday April 5, 2019 12:30pm - 2:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 3
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