February 21st - 23rd!
2016 Wyoming Governor's Hospitality and Tourism Conference Celebrating a Century of Park Adventures

Hurry, Register today. $399

This incredible conference is attended annually by over 400 industry representatives and has grown into a “must attend” event dedicated to celebrating and educating Wyoming’s second largest industry. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with industry leaders and buyers from across the state.

Join the conversation on social media using #WyGovCon

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Sunday, February 21, 2016
12:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Conference Registration

Registration is open at Little America.

Sponsored by: Visit Cheyenne

01:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Wyoming Office of Tourism Board Meeting
01:00 PM – 5:00 PM – WLRA Board Meeting at the Nagle Warren Mansion
03:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Visitor Center Network Session

Exchange ideas and best practices with Wyoming Visitor Center enthusiasts.  This is your opportunity to hear challenges and solutions from other centers and kick the conference off right with a healthy dose of brainstorming and connecting with peers.

06:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Conference Registration at the Cheyenne Depot

Pick up your registration information & join us for the Welcome Reception at the Cheyenne Depot.

06:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Live the Legend Welcome Reception (Cheyenne Depot)

Live the Legend Welcome Reception

The Depot tells the story of Cheyenne beginnings during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Union Pacific Depot and the railroad it is named after.  The Depot celebrates the spirit, teamwork and sacrifices of the men and women who build the Union Pacific Railroad, the Cheyenne Depot and the City of Cheyenne.  Trolleys will pick guests up outside the main entrance of Little America and do round-robin drop-offs and pickups until 8:30 pm.

Cheyenne Depot , Capital Ave, Cheyenne, WY
Sponsored by: Visit Cheyenne
Trolleys provided by: Visit Cheyenne

Monday, February 22, 2016
07:00 AM – 8:00 AM – WTIC Board Meeting
07:30 AM – 7:00 PM – Conference Registration

Join us outside the ballrooms at Little America.

Sponsored by: Visit Cheyenne

08:00 AM – 9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Session – That’s WY Brand Revealed, Diane Shober, Executive Director, Wyoming Office of Tourism

That’s WY Brand Revealed

It’s time to tell Wyoming’s story. Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, will unveil the new brand strategy and marketing campaign that is thoughtfully and strategically centered on using storytelling to connect personally with potential visitors. She’ll reveal the insights that informed the strategy and will unveil the new brand, That’s WY, and the media plan set to launch this spring.

Sponsored by: Miles

08:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Wy-Fi Internet Cafe

Stop by the café to check your email, network with fellow attendees, or update your social media with free Wi-Fi in the cozy Internet Café. While there, ask about a complimentary website SEO analysis and take away a checklist of tasks to improve your site performance.
Sponsored by: KeyMedia Solutions

09:30 AM – 10:15 AM – General Session – The Universal Power of Storytelling, Peter Sherman, Executive Vice President, Omnicom Group

Keynote General Session

Over the decades, best practices for connecting with consumers have changed drastically. Every day, marketing tactics are evolving and media outlets are mutating. Only one thing has remained constant in every category, language and demographic: the power of storytelling. Peter discusses insights and experiences surrounding this core engagement tactic from both a global and personal perspective and highlights storytelling opportunities for the industry in today’s environment.

Sponsored by: Yellowstone National Park Lodges – Xanterra

09:30 AM – 4:30 PM – One-on-One Appointments with Young Strategies

One-on-one appointments are being offered during the conference with Young Strategies.  Take advantage of this opportunity for personalized consulting to help maximize the marketing efforts of your destination or organization.  Appointment required.  Contact britney.butler@wyo.gov for appointment availability.

10:29 AM – 11:30 AM – Breakout 1 – WY Am I Here? – Personal Storytelling, Victoria Simmons, VP Group Director, BVK/ Screen Door Porch

WY Am I Here?

We fall in love with people when we’re given the chance to understand their stories. The same can be said for places. When the story of a destination is told through the personal experiences of the people who love it, connections and aspirations are ignited at a human level. Victoria demonstrates how Wyoming’s latest marketing efforts are utilizing the power of personal stories, like those shared by Screen Door Porch, to bring the destination to life.

Sponsored by: BVK

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Breakout 2 – Active Shooting, Jay Hart, Director, Force Training Institute

Active shooter incidents often occur in small- to medium-sized communities where police departments are limited by budget constraints and small workforces. Although active shooter scenarios are difficult to consider, it is imperative the lodging and restaurant industries prepare and plan for these types of events.

Mr. Hart of the Force Training Institute will present a strategic primer on active shooter incidents in a variety of workplace environments. We will also critically review current operational safety plans, relay information necessary to deter, detect, and deny active shooter access to the clients’ facility, while enhancing the safety of employees and customers in the immediate area of the threat.

Attendees of this event will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to implement strategic low-cost and no-cost solutions to enhance facility safety and employee performance during critical situations, namely, active shooter events.

Sponsored by: First Interstate Bank

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Trade Show

Meet the vendors that support tourism and hospitality at the largest industry trade show in the state.

Entertainment Provided by: Screen Door Porch

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM – Legislative Briefing & Lunch – The Halo Effect, George Zimmermann, Chairman of Longwoods International USA

The Halo Effect

George Zimmermann of Longwoods International USA presents groundbreaking research on the halo effect tourism advertising and visitation has on a destination’s image for the benefit of economic development. As former Vice President at Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Zimmermann shares insights obtained from leading one of Forbes’ top ten tourism promotion campaigns worldwide for Pure Michigan.

Chris Brown, Executive Director of WLRA, reviews hot topics and major issues facing the industry today.

Sponsored by: Sysco

01:30 PM – 3:00 PM – Visit the Legislature (via trolley)

Board the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley for a trip to the Jonah Business Center to visit with legislators and watch the House and Senate in action.  Participants will gain insight on what’s in store for the hospitality and tourism industry and will have an opportunity to interact with lawmakers about proposed industry-related legislation.  Trolleys will pick up participants at the Grand Ballroom entrance at Little America.

Please do register for this optional event if you would like to join us and see the location of Wyoming’s Legislature for the next few years.

03:00 PM – 4:30 PM – General Session – WY Not ? – Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone, Jeremy Whitt, Media Director, BVK

WY Not?

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got. WY Not try something new? Gain a deeper understanding from BVK Media Director, Jeremy Whitt, of emerging media tools, techniques and approaches that work to break through today’s cluttered media environment. He’ll outline what really works and shed light on what’s just industry hype.

Sponsored by: Heartland

06:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Legislative Reception in the Trade Show

Join your industry peers as we host your Wyoming legislators for a night of food, music and networking during the largest industry trade show in the state. Experience the beauty of our great state as the Wyoming Office of Tourism debuts their latest video production.. Entertainment provided by Jackson’s Screen Door Porch, featured in The New York Times for their “entrepreneurial gumption in founding the multi-act WYOmericana Caravan Tour, a traveling concert circus,” while Paste Magazine recently called the band “an impressive musical discovery.” Screen Door Porch is featured in the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s national ad campaign, including a TV commercial, a music video, and an extensive band video profile for the state’s website.

Sponsored by: Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition, Wyoming Retail Association and Wyoming Automobile Dealers Association

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
07:45 AM – 7:00 PM – Conference Registration

Find us outside the ballrooms at Little America.

Sponsored by: Visit Cheyenne

08:00 AM – 9:15 AM – Breakfast Keynote – Growing Visitor Volume Internationally and Domestically – James Hagen, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Tourism

Breakfast Keynote

James Hagen, Secretary of South Dakota Department of Tourism and member of the National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, speaks to the opportunities for attracting new international markets and increasing overseas visitation. He’ll share how South Dakota is embracing destination storytelling and will discuss how creating a market place rich for the domestic travel market is beneficial to destinations. James will touch on USTA’s Project Time Off advocacy initiative, where you will learn the impact just one day can have on the tourism economy.  “WY not take one more day off?”

Sponsored by: Madden Media

08:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Wy-Fi Internet Cafe

Stop by the café to check your email, network with fellow attendees, or update your social media with free Wi-Fi in the cozy Internet Café. While there, ask about a complimentary website SEO analysis and take away a checklist of tasks to improve your site performance.
Sponsored by: KeyMedia Solutions

09:15 AM – 4:30 PM – One-on-One Appointments with Young Strategies

One-on-one appointments are being offered during the conference with Young Strategies. Take advantage of this opportunity for personalized consulting to help maximize the marketing efforts of your destination or organization. Appointment required. Contact britney.butler@wyo.gov for appointment availability.

09:30 AM – 10:30 – Breakout 1 – WY Now? Creating a Sense of Urgency – Berkeley Young, President, Young Strategies, Inc.

WY Now?

Time is of the essence. Berkeley Young speaks to the importance of seizing the moment. Learn how to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities such as special events and promotions in order to drive incremental business. Walk away with tangible examples of how your business could be leveraging state-level strategic partnerships, such as Disney®/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.

Sponsored by: Fahlgren Mortine

09:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Breakout 2 – Three Mistakes You Are Making In Your Search Campaign That Are Costing You Money & “How To Correct Them” – Korena Keys, Founder, KeyMedia Solutions

Three Mistakes You Are Making In Your Search Campaign That Are Costing You Money & “How To Correct Them”

“Over the last five years, we’ve identified three very common mistakes companies make that are negatively impacting the effectiveness of their paid search campaign and costing them money. In this session, I will show you what the most common – and costly – mistakes are and show you how to correct them.”

Sponsored by: KeyMedia Solutions

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Trade Show
12:00 PM – 1:45 PM – Industry Spotlight Luncheon – WY Indeed – Q&A Panel Discussion, Neil Mortine, President & CEO, Fahlgren Mortine

WY Indeed. A Celebration of our State’s Treasures

Neil Mortine, President & CEO of Fahlgren Mortine facilitates a discussion of the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s marketing efforts in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Joined by a panel of key National Park Service superintendents, this session approaches the impact of Wyoming’s icons today and tomorrow.

Sponsored by: Food Services of America

02:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Transportation to Closing General Session – Capitol Theatre

Transportation to Closing General Session

Buses pick up attendees from Little America (Grand Ballroom entrance)  en route to the closing General session: Capitol Theatre

02:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Closing General Session – The Power of Visual Storytelling, Shaun MacGillivray, President/Producer, MacGillivray Freeman Films

The Power of Visual Storytelling

Stories are what inspire us, make us care, make us act. In their newest film, National Parks Adventure, Shaun MacGillivray tells the story of some of America’s most treasured landscapes. Words work to move people, but when coupled with striking visuals you can make an even bigger impact.  Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to view the film during this session!

Sponsred by: Admiral Beverage

04:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Transportation Back to Little America

Transportation from Closing Session back to Little America

Buses pick up attendees from Capitol Theatre en route back to Little America

05:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Salute to the Industry Reception

Salute to the Industry Reception: This is your chance to bid on premium vacation options, culinary delights and more during the silent auction while you enjoy hors d’oeuvres prepared by students from WLRA’s ProStart program.  Learn how the program prepares  high school students for careers in the restaurant and food-service industry and celebrate with current and past program graduates at the 2016 Wyoming Governor’s Hospitality & Tourism Conference finale.

Entertainment provided by: Leslie Tom.
Entertainment sponsored by: BMI (Broadcast Music Inc)

06:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Salute to the Industry Gala

An evening of elegance and celebration that includes a live auction as well as a decadent meal prepared by the Little America culinary crew.  The proceeds from this event support the goals of the WLRA Education Foundation, which was developed to serve the educational needs of the lodging and restaurant industry in Wyoming by working to train, recruit and retain our valuable workforce and by offering programs and partnering with other institutions on educational and mentoring initiatives.  Governor Mead will present our industry’s biggest award – The Big Wyo – to a private sector individual who had done an outstanding job of promoting tourism for the State of Wyoming.

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Speaker Lineup
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superintendent-Angela-Wetz

Angela Wetz

Superintendent of Fossil Butte National Monument

Angela Wetz has served as the superintendent of Fossil Butte National Monument since ...
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superintendent-Dan-Wenk

Dan Wenk

Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park

Dan Wenk assumed his duties as Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park in February, ...
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Superintendent-David-Vela_headshot

David Vela

Superintendent

A 25-year career veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), David Vela began his tenure ...
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Superintendent-Sue-Skrove_headshot

Sue Skrove

Administrative Officer @ Devils Tower National Monument

Sue Skrove is a 25 year veteran of the National Park Service. She currently serves as ...
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Superintendent-John-Bundy

John Bundy

Superintendent

John Bundy transferred from Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee in August of 2014 ...
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Superintendent-Tom-Baker_headsihot

Tom Baker

Superintendent

Following fifteen years of being a private business owner who was simultaneously involved ...
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Korena-Keys_headshot

Korena Keys

Founder, Key Media Solutions

A true small-town girl, Korena earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications ...
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George-Zimmermann_headshot

George Zimmermann

Chairman, Longwoods International USA, Inc

George Zimmermann joined Longwoods International USA Inc. as Chairman in October 2014. He ...
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Berkeley-Young_headshot

Berkeley W. Young

President, Young Strategies, Inc

Berkeley Young has over twenty years of experience in the travel industry, and leads ...
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Neil-Mortine_headshot

Neil Mortine

President and CEO, Fahlgren Mortine

Neil Mortine is president and CEO of Fahlgren Mortine, one of the largest independently ...
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Shaun-MacGillivray_headshot

Shaun MacGillivray

President/Producer

Shaun’s been on filming expeditions around the world since he was in diapers, but it ...
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Jim-Hagen_headshot

James Hagen

South Dakota Secretary of Tourism

James Hagen has served as South Dakota’s Secretary of Tourism since 2011. Secretary ...
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Jeremy-Whitt_headshot

Jeremy Whitt

Media Director, BVK

While “media” appears on his business card, Jeremy fancies himself as more of a ...
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Victoria_Simmons_headshot

Victoria Simmons

VP Group Director, BVK, Travel & Tourism

In her sweet, authentically southern way, Victoria brings almost 20 years of account ...
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Peter-Sherman_Headshot

Peter Sherman

Executive Vice President, Omnicom Group

Peter knows that innovation and collaboration are paramount. They are the pillars he uses ...
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Diane Headshot 2014 Full Color

Diane Shober

Executive Director, Wyoming Office of Tourism

“Do what you love and love what you do.” With a passion and zest for all things ...
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JHart

Jay Hart

Director

Jay Hart is the director of the Force Training Institute and has worked with numerous ...
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