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Oklahoma Conference on Tourism
5/14/2018 - 5/15/2018
Event Registration
Event 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:
Don't forget to use the hashtag #oktourismconference!
Meinders School of Business at OCU
NW 26th Street
(NW 26 & McKinley, west of Classen)
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

click here for Google Maps
Monday, May 14
12:00 - 5:00pm Exhibitor move-in / set rooms / AV check
Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University
1:00 - 4:00pm Destination Marketing & Management (Limited to first 50 OTIA members to sign-up for FULL REGISTRATION package)
presented by Mark Thompson, Visit Plano and Cristy Morrison, Visit Stillwater

The Destination Marketing and Management session is relevant to those directly, and indirectly, involved in tourism and visitor development for a community, county, or region. It is designed for DMO/CVB team members, hospitality industry partners, board members, elected officials, volunteers, and members of the media. Cristy and Mark will share their combined 50 years’ experience promoting their respective destinations to visitors in a very conversational format conducive to as much Q&A as necessary to help as many industry peers as possible.
4:15pm OTIA Board of Directors and Annual Meeting (Open to all members)
Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University
6:00pm     Open Evening for Networking with Friends
Tuesday, May 15 - 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 Opening Keynote Presentation
Create a Culture that Matters

presented by Piyush Patel, Author, Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work
Determined to overhaul his company into a place where everyone loved to work, Piyush Patel put a series of tools in place to energize his company's culture. As a direct result of his system, Digital-Tutors blazed new trails with a culture envied by anyone who encountered it, almost no turnover, millions of fanatic customers around the world and was more profitable than ever.

With more than 20 years of experience, Piyush works with leaders of fast growing companies, and has won numerous other awards acknowledging his trend-setting entrepreneurship. He has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Entrepreneur, recognized as a three-time Innovator of the Year and many more. Today, he is a speaker and the best-selling author of Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating a Culture That Matters.

Let Piyush inspire you to build a tribal culture that enables greatness.
10:00am Break & Exhibit Review
10:30am         Concurrent Workshops

• Writing Your Tourism Story
presented by Jon Skelly, Journey Media
sponsored by Norman Convention & Visitors Bureau

Every location, event, and community has a story, but we often make some critical mistakes as we "write" them. Using centuries of storytelling principles as a guide, learn how to identify the heroes, villains, and a few surprise characters...and what that means for your guests and your organization.

• Best (& Worst) Practices in Sports Tourism Marketing
presented by Gary Alexander, Huddle Up Group, LLC 
sponsored by Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
In this interactive session, sports tourism industry consultant Gary Alexander will discuss the best and worst practices of sports tourism marketing.  The session will also include the Huddle Up Group’s 2018 list of the 10 critical trends every community should consider when marketing their destination.

• Metrics That Matter
presented by Casey Burdsall, ADARA
There isn't a one-size-fits-all metric for DMOs as they all have their own unique goals and stakeholders. This session will explore the new and innovative ways DMOs are evaluating their marketing program's success which aid in securing and justifying their budgets. We’ll look at various DMOs who are each using different metrics successfully.

• What is Connected (Digital) TV Advertising and How Does it Relate to Tourism?
presented by Lindsey Wilkes, Orange142

Adults in the U.S are consuming more digital media, but less live TV each day than ever before. Meanwhile, the number of households with a connected-TV device has take a sharp incline to almost 70 million, according to the 2017 Nielsen Audience Report. Why does this matter for tourism marketers? Those homes with connected-TV devices are younger, more affluent, more likely to have kids, and more likely to have budgets that allow for leisure travel.

Join Lindsey, as she explores the reasons why viewing habits are changing, information on the channels and platforms consumers are using, and the many new and exciting ways that tourism marketers can reach their primary audiences in 2018!
11:30am Break & Exhibit Review
12:00pm General Session

Luncheon Keynote: Head 'em up; Move 'em in!
presented by Pam Inman, President, National Tour Association
Group travel is a little bit like a cattle drive, with group leaders herding visitors. And Oklahoma should work to move these groups in to their state. You’ll learn how.
2:00pm Break & Exhibit Review
2:30pm Concurrent Workshops

• Maximizing Your Mobile Marketing

presented by Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic, Saffire
Put your phone down for just a minute and listen to THIS: in 2018, more people will be browsing your website from their mobile device than a computer. This means the future of the web is NOW, and it’s in the palm of your customers’ hands. So it's high time we all make it a priority. Jessica is going to talk to you about the current state of mobile marketing, what to expect in the near future and why it’s absolutely essential to the success of your organization. We’ll even chat about tools to enhance your very own mobile presence, sites vs. apps and of course, “sticky” strategies that’ll keep your customers coming back for more.

• Storytelling, Engagement and Empathy: How Digital Marketing Has Been Transformed in 2018
presented by Mike Koehler, Smirk New Media
sponsored by Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau

Digital marketing and social media are more important than ever for a brand’s success in 2018. But the rules for what works for organizations has changed, thanks to algorithm tweaks and audience expectations. This is the biggest shift in digital strategy in years.

So now what? Smirk New Media founder Mike Koehler explains what deep data and customer feedback tell us - and what best practices have emerged. 
• "Coopetition," Not Competition
presented by Addy Coleman, Madden Media
Smart cooperative marketing extends budgets and delivers valuable exposure to brands, some who might not otherwise be able to participate. Are you creating co-opportunities for your partners? Are you leveraging your assets to the best of your ability? Learn the impact of effective cooperative marketing programs, the benefits they deliver, and the elimination of competition a solid strategy provides.

• Getting the Most for Your Digital Dollar
presented by Holly Russell, AJR Media Group
Digital ad spending continues to be an increasingly important part of advertising for travel and tourism. In an industry wrought with hidden fees and costs, this session will highlight what information to look for when reviewing a digital advertising proposal. Expect to walk away with new knowledge to negotiate the most impactful digital buy for your brand, best practices for your creative and what transparencies to look for in your reporting. You will also receive valuable tips to ensure your digital dollars are not being wasted.
3:30pm Break & Exhibit Review
4:00pm Closing Keynote Presentation: Using Data to Track Marketing Effectiveness and Economic Impact to Oklahoma
presented by Jennifer Mullins, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department (OTRD)
Tourism is an integral part of the Oklahoma economy. It generates hundreds of millions in tax receipts, and its employment provides jobs that support the state’s economic health. Research helps us make informed decisions regarding product development, enhances the industry’s marketing efforts, helps track trends and performance at state and national levels, and provides performance measures for the agency and the industry. Discover how OTRD is using research to track economic impact, visitation, advertising effectiveness, and other core methodologies to bring more people to the state and how you can put our research to work for you.
Tuesday, May 15 - EVENING
Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Attire: Business professional
5:30pm Transportation departs from Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center 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 and returning this form
7:00 - 9:00pm Dinner and Presentation of RedBud Awards
Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and Jenifer Reynolds will once again co-emcee the awards recognizing outstanding marketing efforts by leading organizations from across the state, including the Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by AAA Oklahoma/AAA World.

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Transportation back to Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center


Full Registration
Includes Tuesday daytime educational sessions, all meals, breaks, and Tuesday evening RedBud Awards Gala.
  • Members* - $265
    *Additionally, a limited number (50) of OTIA member attendees purchasing the FULL REGISTRATION package will have an opportunity to attend a special Destination Marketing and Management session from 1-4 pm on Monday, May 14. 
  • Non-members - $295
RedBud Awards Gala ONLY
  • Members - $125/ticket
  • Non-members - $150/ticket
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Overnight Accommodations    
Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center
741 North Phillips Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
405-239-3900 • 800-445-8667

Group Name: Oklahoma Conference on Tourism/OK Travel Industry Assn.
Rate: $126 single/double
Cut-off Date: April 27, 2018

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Lt. Governor Todd Lamb
State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma elected Todd Lamb as Lt. Governor on November 2, 2010.  After a term in which Lamb successfully advocated for workers’ compensation reform, higher pay for Oklahoma’s Troopers, and growing Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry, Lamb was reelected in 2014, winning in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.  

An Enid native, Lamb has spent many years in public service to his state and nation.

He served in the Keating Administration, and worked on the staff of United States Senator Don Nickles

Lamb became a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service where he was elected president of his Secret Service Academy class and graduated with special recognition.  His duties included domestic and international protection assignments during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.  

In 2004, Lamb was elected to serve in the Oklahoma state Senate.  Lamb was re-elected in 2008 and in 2009 became the first Republican Majority Floor Leader in state history.

Lt. Governor Lamb was elected chairman of the National Lt. Governors Association (NLGA). Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Republican Lt. Governors Association (RLGA). Lamb has worked in the private sector as a landman in Oklahoma's energy industry, and was General Counsel for an energy and wireless company in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Todd Lamb and his wife Monica have been married 22 years and have two children, Griffin and Lauren.

Gary Alexander
Principal, Huddle Up Group, LLC

Gary is a longtime sports administrator whose career has taken him to positions with the United States Olympic Committee, the Nashville Sports Council (NSC), and the Music City Bowl.  He served as the Executive Director of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four, where he led the community in its role as host.  This work earned him the honor of being named the NSC Community Spirit Award recipient for 2014, an award voted on by the Nashville media.
Alexander is a former Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions, having served on the Board for eight years.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University, where he was inducted into the ASU Sports Hall of Fame.  Gary also holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado.  An energetic presenter, Gary excels in leading collaborative efforts towards a singular goal.
Unique Fact: Alexander is a member of the National Gymnastics Judges Hall of Fame, having judged the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

Casey Burdsall
Senior Manager - Tourism Analytics, ADARA

With a sales career working with and helping many small to mid-size business owners, founders and professionals, mainly in the technology space, Casey serves as Senior Manger - Tourism Analytics for ADARA. She helps the dedicated professionals of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) through the use of revolutionary technology that is changing the KPIs of this industry and putting more power and control into their hands.

Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic
Director of Partnerships, Saffire

Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic has a comprehensive background in online marketing, social media, and website strategy. In 2007, she joined Wright Strategies, managing online projects for clients including KEEN Footwear, Nike and Frito Lay. Two years later, the Wright Strategies team created Saffire, providing events, venues and destinations with websites and ticketing in a simple integrated platform.
Since 2009, Jessica has played a key role in planning and developing many aspects of Saffire. She has served as the Director of Marketing, Director of Client Experience and is currently a Director of Partnerships.
She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MA in Education from National-Louis University in Heidelberg, Germany. In her spare time, she and her husband pursue their love of films, as co-owners of an indie film production company and annual film festival.”

Addy Coleman
VP Client Success, Madden Media

Addy Coleman is Madden Media's Vice President of Client Success. He's been with the company since 1998 and has maintained a focus on online strategy and digital marketing throughout his career. For the past ten years, he has dedicated his attention solely to partners in the travel and tourism industry.

Pam Inman, CTP, CAE, IOM, CMHS
President, National Tour Association

Pam Inman, CTP, CAE, IOM, is president of the National Tour Association, a member-based organization of travel professionals who serve the North American market—to, from and within the continent. The membership of NTA, founded in 1951, comprises tour operators, destination marketing representatives and tour suppliers (hotels, attractions, restaurants and transportation companies) from North America and 40 countries worldwide. Inman oversees the NTA headquarters staff in Lexington, Ky., and guides the association’s strategic direction.

Prior to taking the helm at NTA in September 2014, Inman was executive vice president and COO for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. In this position, Inman worked with the association’s partner state associations, corporations and multiunit management companies to develop programs to solicit and retain members, as well as develop strategies for retaining and growing property, allied, international, student, and faculty membership. In addition, Inman worked with the business development division to create revenue streams and value-added membership services, as well as overseeing the association’s marketing/communications and conventions/events functions.

Before joining the AH&LA staff in 2004, Inman served as president and CEO of the Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association and the Greater Nashville Hotel & Lodging Association. As TH&LA’s CEO, Inman lobbied for issues supporting the hospitality industry. She is credited with building TH&LA’s strong membership base and political action fundraising capability.

Inman has nearly 30 years of experience in the hospitality and trade association industry in leadership positions at the national and state level. In addition, she held executive positions in state government including two gubernatorial offices, tourist development, environment, and labor agencies. Inman also has more than 15 years’ experience working on political campaigns and 25 years in lobbying to the state legislature and members of Congress on tourism issues.

A graduate of Tennessee State University, Inman earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication. She is a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Notre Dame, received the designation of Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives and the Certified Master Hotel Supplier designation from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

In 2017, Inman was named to Women in Travel & Tourism International’s Top Women in Travel Industry Leadership list and currently serves on its Advisory Board. She recently earned her Certified Tour Professional credentials with NTA.

Inman resides in Washington, D.C., and Lexington, Kentucky.  

Mike Koehler
Founder, Smirk New Media

Mike Koehler is the founder and chief strategist at Smirk New Media in Oklahoma City, a digital marketing firm launched in July 2010.  For more than 20 years, Mike has helped tell stories and transform the way content is delivered to consumers. 

At Smirk New Media, Mike and his team help companies connect with their audiences online using great content and proven strategies. The Smirk New Media team consists of experts in writing, digital advertising, leadership, visual content and online customer service. Smirk is recognized as one of the fastest-growing digital consulting firms in the region. 

Smirk’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies and national brands to mom-and-pop retailers and nonprofits. Smirk believes in giving companies a voice online, regardless of their size.

Mike speaks around the country about how to brands can use storytelling and content strategy to win. He recently spoke at the NCAA National Convention in Washington DC and the 140 Characters Conference in New York, the first national conference on the impact of Twitter on business.

Cristy Morrison
President & CEO, Visit Stillwater

Cristy has served as the President and CEO of Stillwater’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) since 1995. She began her career within the Stillwater economic development team as Vice President of Marketing and Community Development for the Chamber of Commerce following graduation from Oklahoma State University in 1989.  
Cristy grew up in Ponca City, Oklahoma in a Conoco expat household which allowed her the opportunity to attend high school at the American School in London and her first year of college in Northern England. She then transferred to Oklahoma State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing.

Cristy has been keeping the community up-to-date on locally held events on Stillwater radio stations since 1998 and by co-hosting Tv-31’s “The Morning Edition” live weekday mornings since 2003. She also writes a monthly column for the Stillwater News Press to spotlight destination marketing as an integral component of local economic development efforts.    

Cristy is past President of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association Board of Directors and has served on the Board since 1995. She served as the President of Frontier Country Marketing Association – twice – and also served on the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau (TACVB) Board of Directors.  She is a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) – the highest designation awarded to destination marketing organization professionals, Texas Destination Marker (TDM), and Certified Tourism Executive (CTE).       

Jennifer Mullins
Director of Travel Promotion, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

Jennifer Mullins joined the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department as the Director of Travel Promotion in July of 2015. She has 15 years experience in marketing and advertising for the private sector and comes to OTRD from Jordan Advertising where she served as the account supervisor for the Oklahoma Tourism account and senior copywriter for the agency. The Travel Promotion division of OTRD includes Oklahoma Today, Discover Oklahoma,, Fulfillment, Consumer & Trade Marketing, the Tourism Information Centers, as well as the state tourism branding campaigns.

Piyush Patel
Author, Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work

As an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, Piyush Patel became an innovator in corporate culture as he grew his company, Digital-Tutors, into a leader throughout the world of online training, educating over 1.5M students around the globe along the way. Piyush is an avid member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Oklahoma, sits as an Advisory Board Member of Regent Bank, and continues to advise and speak at local universities and companies around the country. He has won numerous awards acknowledging his entrepreneurship as a trend-setter in our community. When he’s not mentoring new entrepreneurs, you can find him playing video games with his son, Nick, cooking something delicious in the kitchen or planning a fresh adventure with his wife, Lisa. For now, Piyush’s current business journey takes him to wine country in California where he and Lisa are proud owners of Conclusion Wines in Napa. Every bottle of their high-end wine makes a difference to Oklahoma nonprofits. His hope is to leave a positive, lasting mark on those who cross his path.

Holly Russell
Media/Marketing, AJR Media Group

Holly Russell is a media and marketing expert who partners with destinations and brands to execute strategic, integrated media campaigns to reach their target audiences at the right time, on the right platform. With over 13 years of PR and marketing experience in a number of industries, she has a deep understanding of managing both small and large advertising budgets and the knowledge of what truly drives conversions.

Holly has led nationally and internationally-acclaimed, award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns. In addition to her extensive PR and marketing experience, Holly has served as an adjunct professor in communications and advertising at Texas Tech University.

Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism and public relations from Texas Tech University.

Jon Skelly
Founder/Chief Storyteller, Journey Media

Jon Skelly is the founder and chief storyteller at Journey Media, a consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and organizations become masters of the story skill. As a former Fortune 500 Chief Marketing Officer and current head of digital experience at one of the nation’s largest privately-held banks, Jon has helped executives, business owners, sales professionals, and other leaders harness the power of storytelling as they build customer experiences, new products/programs, and their overall brands.

Additionally, Jon is an award-winning screenwriter and copywriting consultant. He has spoken at events across North America, helping people understand the simple, centuries-old principles of a good story (and why that matters to their career and their company), as well as the critical, common mistakes that most organizations make.

Mark W. Thompson, CDME, CMP
Executive Director, Visit Plano

Mark Thompson has served as the Executive Director of Visit Plano since May 1998. Prior to this, Mark was the executive director of the South Padre Island CVB and vice president of the Tyler CVB. He has been a part of the Texas tourism industry for over 30 years.

Mark has established himself as a well-respected leader in the tourism industry and is a recipient of the Texas Travel Industry Association’s “Tall in Texas Award” and the Texas Travel Industry Association’s “Mark of Distinction” recognition. He is the past chairman of both the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Tourism Council (DFWATC) and the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (TACVB). Mark currently sits on Texas Travel Industry Association, TTIA, Board of Directors and sits on the DMA west education committee and has served on and chaired a number of committees for TTIA and TACVB. He has also served on the Destination & Travel Foundation Board of Trustees, Co-Chair of the Certified Destination Marking Organization Task Force, served on the Destinations International Education Committee and their Business Intelligence Task Force.
Mark is a Certified Meeting Professional, Destination Marketing Executive and Tourism Ambassador. He is an active member in the National Tourism Association (NTA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) and the American Bus Association (ABA). 

Mark is a native of St. Joseph, MO and a graduate of Missouri State University and last year he became a grandpa for the first time.

Lindsey Wilkes

Lindsey is a digital media and marketing professional with Orange142, that partners with destinations, agencies, and businesses to execute digital media strategies across a variety of targeted and engaging solutions. She is an expert at creating multifaceted campaigns that target niche audiences, while creating brand awareness and forcing a conversion. Lindsey’s background in social media planning/execution and website strategy has aided in her 5+ years of business development experience in travel and tourism, where she has worked with brands across the U.S. and internationally, and has formed a deep understanding of the most impactful marketing techniques and reporting tactics for a variety of budget levels.

Lindsey is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, holds a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Business Administration, and is well versed in technology and digital media including social media, search, display, video, content, and email.

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5/14/2018 - 5/15/2018  

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