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Oklahoma Travel Industry Association - Event Information

Event Name:Oklahoma Conference on Tourism
Description:The Oklahoma Conference on Tourism is an annual event that helps Oklahoma's tourism industry work together to grow our attractions and communities. With the help of a line-up of experts, attendees are kept abreast of the latest trends, tactics and tools needed to maximize opportunity, energize marketing efforts and set the path to sustained growth. They gain insight into current and coming travel trends, share best practices with industry peers, and get real ideas on how to reach more prospective travelers every day. The Oklahoma Conference on Tourism is held in conjunction with the RedBud Awards.

Quick Links:
Event Date:5/16/2016 - 5/17/2016
Location:Meinders School of Business at OCU
NW 26th Street
(NW 26 & McKinley, west of Classen)
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

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Monday, May 16
12:00 - 5:00pm Exhibitor move-in / set rooms / AV check
Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University
3:30pm OTIA Board of Directors and Annual Meeting (Open to all members)
Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University
5:30pm Transportation departs from Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center to Welcome Reception
6:00 - 8:00pm Welcome Reception
hosted by Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau
University of Central Oklahoma CHK Central Boathouse 
732 SE 6th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
(in boathouse district, downtown OKC)
Tuesday, May 17 - DAYTIME
Meinders School of Business @ Oklahoma City University
2501 N Blackwelder Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Attire: Business casual/logo-wear
8:00am Registration, Exhibit Review, and Continental Breakfast
8:30am Welcome by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, and 
Keynote Presentation: The Naked Brand
presented by Phil Bruno, The Naked Brand

Destinations are learning that the way to win more visitors is – surprise! – total transparency. How naked are you? No more beauty shots. No more glorified flourishes of copy. Transparency is here and you have one choice–will transparency happen to you (could get ugly) or will you participate?
10:00am     Break & Exhibit Review
10:30am   Concurrent Workshops

• Building Great Guest Experiences
presented by Phil Bruno, President, Treat 'em Right
The Experience Economy is here and now. If you don’t know what that means, you need to slap yourself and dial in to this enlightening presentation. In this session you’ll learn the competitive advantage of building experiences, not just offering products and services. Success stories from Phil’s own experiences with Fortune 500s, family owned businesses and not-for-profits will have you leaving this seminar with new ideas on creating memorable guest experiences that will keep them coming back!

• How to Work the Motor Coach Market – It’s Not Your Grandma’s Fall Foliage Tour Anymore
including panelists Todd Stallbaumer, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department; Sandy Price, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau; Max Paty, Be Native Tours

A panel of industry professionals will give you the lowdown on the latest tips and trends to bring group tours to your destination.  Are you building relevant itineraries that stand out above the rest? What are some of the most sought after group travel experiences? Today’s motor coach customers are “experiential,” and view travel not as a luxury, but as a necessity. Learn how to develop and promote inspiring, enriching itineraries that exceed the expectations of this ever-changing market. 

Placemaking – Using Unified Branding, Urban Planning, and Cooperation to Design & Create Destinations
presented by Ryan Thompson, The Atkins Group
Are destinations discovered or made? Learn how places can be intentionally – and authentically created. Thompson will share case studies and strategies for placemaking including why walkability matters, how marketers should work with urban planner, how to create effective public-private partnerships, why unified branding is the glue and how to lead with vision to drive change.

• Mobile App or Responsive Site
presented by Adam Weber, Co-Founder, Bluebridge
Why do I need both an app and a responsive site? What unique role does each play in my strategy? Why are both of them important? Adam's talk will answer these questions and give an overview on how to get the best out of both tools. Learn how to leverage their strengths to create a mobile strategy that turns the 'or' into 'and.’
11:30am  Break & Exhibit Review
12:00pm General Session

Luncheon Keynote: Operation Gen Y – Attracting Young Urban Travelers
presented by Crystal Washington, Social Media Marketing Strategist
Attracting savvy Gen Ys requires creativity and innovative strategy. Throwing money into the newest technology fads is what many companies are doing—without any measurable results. In this session attendees will discover the key to becoming a Gen Y magnet!
2:00pm Break & Exhibit Review
2:30pm     Concurrent Workshops

• Top Tour Apps for Providers and Customers
presented by Crystal Washington, Social Media Marketing Strategist
Popular apps have made travelling easier, cheaper, and more fun! Are you up to date with the apps your clients are using? What about those for tourism site and tour providers? In this high-energy talk, Crystal will show you the very best apps for trip planning and entertainment!

Amped Up! How Social Media Can Help You Line’em up at the Gate for Festivals & Special Events 
presented by Sheila Scarborough, Tourism Currents
Get people talking online about your festivals and events; with the right techniques, they will even help you spread the word beforehand. During the event, ensure that shared attendee experiences across the social web will make people wish they were there, and then continue the buzz afterward to build a community of fans and sustain interest throughout the year.  Sheila will show you how social media marketing can raise visibility and attendance for your events, with plenty of examples plus a marketing checklist handout to take with you.

• Creating a Comprehensive Mobile Strategy
presented by Adam Weber, Co-Founder, Bluebridge
With 80% of the world having a smartphone by the year 2020, most organizations are not doing enough to connect with their audience through mobile. Don't lose out on reaching your visitors - be where they are by creating a solid mobile presence. Adam will give actionable advice and strategies for CVBs and DMOs to create a comprehensive mobile plan to engage visitor's throughout their lifecycle and across devices.

• Incorporating Agritourism into your Destination Mix
presented by Stacy Tomas, PhD, OSU School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration
Agritourism provides unique opportunities for tourists to connect to the rural lifestyle, local foods, and the heritage of an area.  This session will cover some of the latest statistics and trends on agritourism from around the country.  Strategies to build agritourism as part of your destination mix as well as local partnership opportunities will also be discussed.
3:30pm Break & Exhibit Review
4:00pm Closing Keynote Presentation: 10 Ways OTRD Can Help You Get Noticed
presented by Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department promotes Oklahoma attractions to more than 8 million people a year – stateside and abroad.  Meet the OTRD team and learn about all of the latest trends, research, and partnership opportunities available to industry members. 
Tuesday, May 17 - EVENING
Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Attire: Business professional
5:30pm Transportation to Oklahoma History Center for Redbud Awards Gala
6:00 - 7:00pm Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
A silent auction will be held during the RedBud Awards Gala. Proceeds will benefit tourism education programs. Auction item donations can be confirmed via the online registration form or by downloading this form
7:00 - 9:00pm Dinner and Presentation of RedBud Awards

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Transportation back to Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center



Full Registration
Includes Monday evening welcome reception, Tuesday daytime educational sessions, all meals, breaks, and Tuesday evening RedBud Awards Gala.
  • Members - $255
  • Non-members - $295
RedBud Awards Gala ONLY
  • Members - $125/ticket
  • Non-members - $150/ticket

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Overnight Accommodations, May 15 and 16
Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center
741 N. Phillips Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
(405) 239-3900 • book online

$119/night, single/double; $129/night, triple/quad
Cut-off: May 5, 2016    
You must identify yourself with the Oklahoma Conference on Tourism room block.
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Lt. Governor Todd Lamb
State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma elected Todd Lamb as Lt. Governor on November 2, 2010. With a campaign focused on job growth and economic development, Lt. Governor Lamb achieved an overwhelming victory and quickly began putting his forward-thinking ideas and agenda in place. He was appointed to the Governor’s cabinet as the advocate for Oklahoma’s small business. Lamb was reelected as Lt. Governor in 2014.

An Enid native, Lamb played football at Louisiana Tech University, then returned to Oklahoma earning his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University and his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law.

In 1993, Todd Lamb worked on the campaign staff of gubernatorial candidate Frank Keating. Upon Keating's election, Lamb worked alongside the Governor for four years. During his time in the Governor's office, Lamb traveled to all of Oklahoma's 77 counties, almost half of the United States, and 2 foreign countries promoting Governor Keating's pro-growth economic agenda. Lamb served in the Keating Administration from 1994 until 1998.

In 1998, Todd Lamb became a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. He was elected president of his Secret Service Academy class and graduated with special recognition. During his U.S. Secret Service tenure, Lamb investigated and made numerous arrests in the areas of counterfeiting, bank fraud, threats against the President, and identity theft. His duties included domestic and international protection assignments during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. In 2000, Lamb was a site supervisor for George W. Bush's presidential campaign. In early 2001, he was appointed to the national Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he received training and briefings at the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.  After the terrorists' attacks, he was assigned to portions of the 9-11 investigation. 

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb was elected to his first term in the Oklahoma Senate on November 2, 2004 by the voters of Senate district 47 representing NW Oklahoma City and Edmond. Lamb was re-elected without opposition in 2008.

In 2009, Lamb became the first Republican Majority Floor Leader in state history. He has worked as a landman in Oklahoma's energy industry, and in addition to his Senate service, was General Counsel for an energy and wireless company in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Lt. Governor Lamb is the Chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governor’s Association (RLGA), the immediate past Chairman of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association (NLGA), and Vice-Chairman of the Aerospace States Association (ASA).

Todd Lamb and his wife Monica have been married 19 years and have two children, Griffin and Lauren.  The Lambs are active members of Quail Springs Baptist Church, where Lamb serves as a church deacon. He has been a member of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association where he officiated high school football. He is active in many other civic and political organizations. In his spare time, Lamb enjoys fishing, hunting, reading, and spending time with his family.

Phil Bruno
President, Treat ‘em Right

Phil Bruno, professional speaker, trainer and consultant, works with organizations to exceed internal and external customer expectations. He does this through engaging keynote speeches and training sessions. Bruno began his professional career in Corporate America looking for ways to meet the needs of his own organization, Anheuser-Busch, but his appreciation for excellent customer service began much earlier.

Bruno was raised on "The Hill," a famed Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis known for its sense of community, hospitality, and great Italian restaurants. Bruno's first jobs included helping with his father's painting business and working as a bus boy for Cunetto's House of Pasta. Both were small family-owned businesses that survived purely upon quality of product and exceptional service.

In 1980, Bruno graduated from Parks College of St. Louis University with a B.A. in Travel, Tourism and Transportation, essentially a business degree with an emphasis on service. While in college, he developed a relationship with Anheuser-Busch and, for the next 17 years, applied what he had learned in a series of hospitality management positions with the Fortune 500 giant.

He managed tour & gift shop operations in Florida and New Hampshire, progressing with larger staffs, more budget and responsibility culminating at the Anheuser-Busch Corporate Tour Center at AB world headquarters and then for 6 years at Grant's Farm, the Busch family estate and original Busch Gardens. His trademark strength was increasing employee satisfaction with large staffs that in turn led to excellence in Guest satisfaction.

Since 1999 Phil has worked independently as a speaker, trainer and consultant throughout country, with hundreds of clients and thousands of audience members spread across all industries.

Bruno says, "We are way beyond satisfaction now. The Experience Economy is upon us and if you don't know what that means, you need to slap yourself and dial in before it's too late... If you are not satisfying customers, you're just not in business anymore. People rate their entire experience when purchasing products or services between competitors. The new breed of employee is doing the same thing with their employment experience. You can't exceed customer expectations until you provide a very positive experience for your employees. "The answer, Bruno found, came from one of his clients who simply said you have to "Treat 'em right." Thus the name of his company, Treat 'em Right, The Total Customer Experience.

Sheila Scarborough
Co-Founder, Tourism Currents

Sheila Scarborough is a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. She’s written for many blogs and print publications and is also a certified Navy Master Training Specialist, with years of experience as an instructor.

Along with Leslie McLellan and Becky McCray, Sheila is part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person training in social media for tourism and hospitality.

Winner of the Austin American-Statesman Texas Social Media Award and an AWC (Association for Women in Communications) Clarion award, Sheila trains and speaks regularly about social media to a variety of audiences including public relations and marketing professionals, tourism and economic development experts, and Chambers of Commerce.

She is on the National Professional Development Committee for the AWC, co-founded and still writes for the award-winning Perceptive Travel blog, and serves on the Programming Committee for SXSWi (the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference.) She is also part of the organizing team for #tourismchat, a monthly online Twitter chat about a variety of topics related to destination marketing.

A U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two children, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan because there’s one winner, one loser and no whining.

Ryan Thompson
Partner & VP, Growth, The Atkins Group

A lifelong entrepreneur, Ryan Thompson began working at age 11 with a paper route in Ada, Oklahoma and by age 18, he was managing a multimillion dollar event budget and traveling the world to produce conferences and tradeshows. By 21, Ryan had visited more than 30 countries and logged 1,300,000 airline miles – earning lifetime status on American Airlines among others.

In 2000, Ryan decided to combine his love of marketing, technology and experience design with his passion for travel and Aria was born. Over 15 years, Aria became nationally known for destination-focused branding and technology-enabled marketing solutions that engaged consumers in ways that paid advertising could not. 

In July 2015, Aria was acquired by The Atkins Group, a 52-year old agency in San Antonio. Today, Ryan is a partner in The Atkins Group and responsible for growth strategic, consulting and marketing.

Ryan is a nationally recognized public speaker on topics relating to tourism, strategy, consumer behavior, destination marketing and digital advertising.  In 2013, Outskirts Press published Ryan’s first book Disruption – Destination Marketing in the Post-Advertising Age available at booksellers nationwide.

Stacy Tomas, PhD
Asst. Professor, OSU School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration

Stacy is an assistant professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK.  For more than 15 years, she has worked with small businesses, landowners, farmers and communities to develop and promote sustainable tourism in the areas of agritourism, nature-based tourism, and cultural and heritage-based tourism.  In collaboration with community leaders and business owners, she has worked to develop sustainable tourism as a means for community and economic development.  She has also assisted landowners and business owners explore entrepreneurial opportunities relating to tourism.  Her research focuses on consumer behavior and tourism marketing, as well as tourism development and the economic impacts of tourism.  From her research, she strives to contribute to the understanding of what constitutes satisfying tourist experiences and to provide managerial suggestions on engineering positive experiences for guests.

Crystal Washington
Social Media Marketing Strategist

Crystal’s career began in corporate sales. As the youngest manager in her company, she immediately shot to the top, closing contracts with Fortune 500 firms previously unattainable by her company, exceeding aggressive sales goals, and leveraging relationships and creative strategies to gain lucrative contracts. The result? By age 24, she was overseeing a staff of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

While Crystal was enjoying success in corporate America, she had a desire to start her own marketing firm to leverage the power of a new online phenomena - social networks. Now bit by the entrepreneurial bug, she set out on her own to start her marketing firm. For the next three years she helped hundreds of organizations leverage social media marketing to increase their bottom line through consulting, marketing services, special events, webinars, and products.

Crystal hosts a weekly technology segment on Houston’s Fox television affiliate and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence and She has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Associated Press, and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe as a social media expert. Additionally, she is an international keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who has impacted companies, associations, and entrepreneurs all over the world. 

Crystal is the author of the new book, The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business.

Adam Weber
Co-Founder/VP Sales, Bluebridge

As Vice President of Sales and a founder of Bluebridge, Adam Weber leads all new business growth at Bluebridge. Adam’s strengths lie in building predictable processes that create valuable interactions for potential customers, beginning with initial interactions and growing into long-term customer relationships based on trust and solving customer challenges.

Adam formerly held roles at web design firm SpinWeb, where he was Director of Business Development, and was a pastor and co-founder of Commonway Church in Muncie, IN, which is now home to more than 600 members.

Adam holds a bachelors degree in sociology and masters degree in organizational communication from Ball State University and currently lives in Zionsville, IN with his wife and two sons.
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5/16/2016 - 5/17/2016
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