Agenda

Governor's Conference Logo

April 15–17, 2018

Big Sky Resort | Big Sky
50 Big Sky Resort Rd.
(800) 548-4486


Agenda

The following agenda is a work in progress and may be subject to change.

Breakout Session Tracks

To help you maximize your Governor's Conference experience, we've organized breakout session content into four optional tracks: MARKETING, DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT, RESEARCH & TRENDS, and BUSINESS. Each track features three unique breakout sessions. Attend all three of a single track, or mix and match from multiple tracks.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

9:00 AM–NOON | TOURISM ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING


10:00 AM | FAMILIARIZATION TOURS

Included with the cost of registration. Pre-register to guarantee a space.

Freeheel & Wheel into Yellowstone (Capacity: 12) (Also Offered at 1:30 PM)

Can you imagine Yellowstone without cars? Now you don't have to. You can experience it firsthand with this “bucket list” opportunity to bicycle into the park before it opens to vehicle traffic and watch wildlife in a very unique way. Join your guides from Freeheel and Wheel for a round-trip ride from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction. There will be two times: 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM (maximum 12 people per group). Tours will leave from Freeheel and Wheel across from the visitor center in West Yellowstone. Bring your own bike or use a complimentary rental. Water and snacks will be provided. Participants are encouraged to stop here before going to Big Sky or carpool from the resort, as no bus service will be available.


NOON–8:00 PM | REGISTRATION


1:30 PM | FAMILIARIZATION TOURS

Included with the cost of registration. Pre-register to guarantee a space.

Freeheel & Wheel into Yellowstone (Capacity: 12) (Also Offered at 10:00 AM)

Can you imagine Yellowstone without cars? Now you don't have to. You can experience it firsthand with this “bucket list” opportunity to bicycle into the park before it opens to vehicle traffic and watch wildlife in a very unique way. Join your guides from Freeheel and Wheel for a round-trip ride from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction. There will be two times: 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM (maximum 12 people per group). Tours will leave from Freeheel and Wheel across from the visitor center in West Yellowstone. Bring your own bike or use a complimentary rental. Water and snacks will be provided. Participants are encouraged to stop here before going to Big Sky or carpool from the resort, as no bus service will be available.


2:005:00 PM | FAMILIARIZATION TOURS

Included with the cost of registration. Pre-register to guarantee a space. Transportation will be provided from Big Sky Resort.

The Gallatin Way to Yellowstone (Capacity: 35)

Big Sky is rich in history, particularly in the development of the Gallatin Canyon as a result of tourism to America’s first national park: Yellowstone. Join us for an excursion to the 110-year-old 320 Guest Ranch homestead to hear about the history of the Gallatin Way, otherwise known as US 191, with long-time local and author Duncan Patton. His new book, "The Gallatin Way to Yellowstone," will be released in late May 2018, so join us for an insider’s sneak peek. Later, quench your thirst with a spectacular view of the Gallatin River with drinks at the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill. You will truly find yourself in paradise with a view.

Homesteads to Huntley (Capacity: 35)

Learn how Big Sky evolved from frontier homesteads and sheep ranches to a summer and winter outdoor recreationist’s dream—all under the visionary guidance of native Montana journalist Chet Huntley. Join us as we follow in the footsteps of history, with a stop at the Historic Crail Ranch Homestead Museum and then on to Lone Peak Cinema to view the documentary "Homesteads to Huntley" in the heart of Big Sky’s Town Center. The theater hosts a full bar, so feel free to enjoy a libation during the event. The tour concludes at Beehive Basin Brewery, a local watering hole we think Chet might have enjoyed, before returning to the lodge that still today bares him name.

Big Sky Trail Trek (Capacity: 35)

Join Visit Big Sky, the Gallatin River Task Force, and Big Sky Community Organization for a guided hike to the iconic Ousel Falls. This 1.6-mile round trip hike meanders through impressive woods over the scenic Gallatin River and ends at the 100-foot waterfall. Learn about the ecological history of the area with your guides, and stop to take plenty of photos along the way. Afterward, enjoy a refreshing beer at one of Big Sky’s local breweries, Lone Peak Brewery.

Ranch & Relaxation (Capacity: 50)

Named as one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Lone Mountain Ranch is full of Big Sky spirit. Join us to unwind your body and mind with vinyasa style yoga in the original B-K Lodge with breathtaking views of the spectacular wilderness. Following the relaxation session, experience some warm and welcoming hospitality with ranch-style spirits and locally sourced, farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres on the outdoor patio of The Saloon.


3:305:30 PM | BED & BREAKFAST ASSOCIATION MEETING


5:306:30 PM | FIRST-TIME ATTENDEES "PRECEPTION"

Presenters: Dax Schieffer, Director, Voices of Montana Tourism; Jan Stoddard, Industry Services and Outreach Bureau Chief, MOTBD

If you're attending the Governor's Conference for the first time, then you're invited to this exclusive "preception" to the Welcome Reception. After a brief introduction to the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, learn how to get the most from the Governor's Conference before enjoying time to chat with MOTBD staff and other first-time attendees.


7:0010:00 PM | WELCOME RECEPTION: LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a costume contest, and games at this Winter Olympics-themed opening social event of the 2018 conference. A photo booth will be available to capture the memories. Details of the costume contest and games will be available closer to the event.

Monday, April 16, 2018

7:30 AM–5:30 PM | REGISTRATION


8:309:45 AM | FEATURE PRESENTATION: TALK TRIGGERS - TURN YOUR CUSTOMERS INTO VOLUNTEER MARKETERS

Presenter: Jay Baer

In this fast-paced, timely, dynamic presentation, Jay combines expert marketing strategy with his customer experience excellence framework, to showcase how any business can turn customers into advocates.

With hilarious and poignant storytelling, Jay teaches attendees the three primary ways to use customer experience to trigger word-of-mouth marketing, illustrates mistakes to avoid, and inspires audiences to put new strategies into practice immediately.


9:4510:15 AM | EXHIBIT BREAK

Enjoy a snack while you network with exhibitors and other attendees.

Or stop by the Resource Lab for a meet and greet with experts representing a variety of programs and subjects.


10:1511:15 AM | BREAKOUT SESSIONS

MARKETING - International Market Update

Moderator: Marlee Iverson, International Travel Trade Manager, MOTBD
Presenters: Jenni Bridgman (United Kingdom); Caroline Davidson (Australia, New Zealand); Susanne Schmitt (Austria, Germany, Switzerland)

MOTBD's international representatives work closely with tour operators and media from their respective markets. This session features updates from UK, Australian, and German representatives on the latest travel trends of international visitors, as well as a Q & A session. Learn what appeals to international visitors and best practices to reach them.

MARKETING - The Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Plan (Also Offered Monday at 2:45 PM)

Presenter: Aaron Nissen, Digital Marketing Strategist, Simpleview

The most successful digital marketing plans include six steps: research > creation > optimization > amplification > testing > reporting and analysis. This session will focus on the most challenging part of the digital marketing cycle: creation and amplification. Take your digital marketing plan to the next level with a mix of new and traditional strategies designed to encourage engagement, build influencers, and grow your online audience.

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT - Destination Development Recipes for Success

Moderator: Jan Stoddard, Industry Services and Outreach Bureau Chief, MOTBD

Destination development via tourism product and infrastructure development is increasingly recognized as vital to long-term sustainability. Learn from the stories of four very different (but all successful) destination development initiatives that have made an impact in their communities.

RESEARCH & TRENDS - The Latest in Montana Tourism: Trends, Economic Outlook, Spending, and the Value of Recreational Trails (Also Offered Tuesday at 10:15 AM)

Presenters: Dr. Norma Nickerson, Director, Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR); Dr. Jeremy Sage, Economist and Associate Director, ITRR; Kara Grau, Assistant Director of Economic Analysis, ITRR

The team at the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research will walk you through the latest Montana travel findings, including a look back at 2017, the outlook for 2018 and visitor spending, as well as a brief view of the value recreational trails can provide local communities and economies.

BUSINESS - Buy the Numbers: Understanding Cash Flow and Break Even

Presenters: Shandy Hanks, Regional Director, Wolf Point SBDC; Julie Jaksha, Regional Director, Butte SBDC

A business needs to know how much to produce in order to cover its costs and make a profit. This course will discuss the importance of understanding the financial health of your business through break even and cash flow analysis.


11:30 AM12:45 PM | KEYNOTE LUNCHEON 

Presenters: Rachel VandeVoort, Director, Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation; Beth Shumate, Division Administrator, Montana State Parks; Casey Lozar, Business Technical Assistance Bureau Chief, MOTBD

Hear the latest updates from the new Office of Outdoor Recreation, Montana State Parks, and tribal tourism.


1:002:15 PM | FEATURE PRESENTATION: REI

Presenter: Marc Berejka, Director of Government and Community Affairs, REI

Description coming soon.


2:152:45 PM | EXHIBIT BREAK

Enjoy a snack while you network with exhibitors and other attendees.

Or stop by the Resource Lab for a meet and greet with experts representing a variety of programs and subjects.


2:453:45 PM | BREAKOUT SESSIONS

MARKETING - The Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Plan (Also Offered Monday at 10:15 AM)

Presenter: Aaron Nissen, Digital Marketing Strategist, Simpleview

The most successful digital marketing plans include six steps: research > creation > optimization > amplification > testing > reporting and analysis. This session will focus on the most challenging part of the digital marketing cycle: creation and amplification. Take your digital marketing plan to the next level with a mix of new and traditional strategies designed to encourage engagement, build influencers, and grow your online audience.   

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT - Becoming Film Friendly to Attract Production (and Revenue) to Your Community

Moderator: Allison Whitmer, Commissioner, Montana Film Office
Presenters: Will Brewster; Rob Story; Gayle Fisher, Executive Director, Central Montana; Deb Kowalzek, General Manager, Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge

Film, including commercials, television, and features, is a year-round, multimillion-dollar business in Montana. A warm welcome and expert assistance may help your community to be "film friendly." Hear from Montana location scouts and resident experts on how to translate your grand vistas and close-up adventures into revenue.

RESEARCH & TRENDS - Engagement Redefined: Capturing Attention in Our Voice-First, Audio-Led World

Presenter: Laura Fernandez, Director of Tourism, Pandora 

We live in a world where voice is the new touch thanks to advancements in technology such as smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, and connected cars. Seventy-nine percent of audio consumption now takes place where visuals cannot reach consumers. Laura Fernandez, Director of Tourism at Pandora, will discuss what this means for marketers and why DMOs need to embrace new technologies to drive visitation.

BUSINESS - Tax Reform: Be in the Know!

Presenters: Lorene Hintz, Business Advisor, Billings SBDC; Dena Johnson, Regional Director, Billings SBDC

This course will give insight into the new tax law and how it could affect your business. It will discuss strategies to help you optimize your plan with best practices going forward.

BUSINESS - Optimizing Your Online Presence (Also Offered Tuesday at 10:15 AM)

Presenters: Alex Evans, Regional Director, Miles City SBDC; Jason Nitschke, Regional Director, Great Falls SBDC

This course discusses best practices as well as details related to setting a budget, understanding your customer, where to locate online, and how to craft a message that motivates action.


3:454:15 PM | EXHIBIT BREAK

Enjoy a snack while you network with exhibitors and other attendees.

Or stop by the Resource Lab for a meet and greet with experts representing a variety of programs and subjects.


4:155:30 PM | INDUSTRY NETWORK BREAKOUT

Attendees will divide into groups by industry segment for a focused and guided conversation about opportunities and challenges for their specific part of the tourism and recreation industry.

DESTINATIONS AND ATTRACTIONS

LODGING AND HOSPITALITY

OUTDOOR RECREATION

TRIBAL TOURISM

VISITOR SERVICES


6:007:00 PM | MONTANA TOURISM AWARDS RECEPTION


7:009:00 PM | MONTANA TOURISM AWARDS BANQUET

Presenter: Lt. Governor Mike Cooney

Special guest Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will deliver brief remarks before the Oscars-style presentation of the 2018 Montana Tourism Awards. Some attendees choose to dress up for this celebratory event, but no specific attire is requested.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

7:3011:15 AM | REGISTRATION


8:309:45 AM | FEATURE PRESENTATION: DISCOVER THE MOMENT

Presenters: Erin Francis-Cummings, President/CEO, Destination Analysts; Emily Dold, VP/Media Director, Hoffman York; Raylee Honeycutt, Consumer Marketing Manager, MOTBD

See how science and creativity come together to make the state’s tourism marketing campaigns a success. MOTBD and its partners will present on audience research, creative decisions, and fine-tuned media strategies that have built the most recent tourism marketing campaigns.


9:4510:15 AM | EXHIBIT BREAK

Enjoy a snack while you network with exhibitors and other attendees.

Or stop by the Resource Lab for a meet and greet with experts representing a variety of programs and subjects.


10:1511:15 AM | BREAKOUT SESSIONS

MARKETING - Crisis Communications in a Wild World

Presenters: Lisa Jones; Brian Schott

The public relations team of Lisa Jones and Brian Schott have learned the ropes of crisis communications over the past 20 years. But 2017 took the cake for the most challenging year in Whitefish. It included the threat of a Neo Nazi armed march through town, historic wildfires impacting businesses and visitors, and cyber terrorist death threats to school staff and students. This seasoned duo will share PR lessons and tips on how to deal with your crisis du jour and share 10 steps for any business or organization to prepare for crisis communications.

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT - Agritourism: Connecting Tourists to Agricultural Experiences

Moderator: Steph Hystad, Marketing Officer, Montana Department of Agriculture

Agritourism: the intersection of agriculture and tourism, Montana’s largest industries. 2017 was a big year for Montana agritourism: HB342 added agritourism to the state’s inherent risk clause, and AERO published an agritourism resource manual. So what is agritourism, and how are farmers, ranchers, and tour operators involved in Montana, across the nation, and around the globe? Join us to learn from practitioners and resource providers from across the state!

RESEARCH & TRENDS - Montana Insights from Arrivalist

Presenters: Matt Clement, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Arrivalist; Joe Ramler, Senior Economist, MOTBD; Benjamin Gill, Economist, MOTBD

Real-time analytics tools are gleaning new insights into the state’s tourism marketing strategy. Learn how the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development is utilizing research tools like Arrivalist to craft and analyze effective and efficient marketing strategies.

RESEARCH & TRENDS - The Latest in Montana Tourism: Trends, Economic Outlook, Spending, and the Value of Recreational Trails (Also Offered Tuesday at 10:15 AM)

Presenters: Dr. Norma Nickerson, Director, Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR); Dr. Jeremy Sage, Economist and Associate Director, ITRR; Kara Grau, Assistant Director of Economic Analysis, ITRR

The team at the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research will walk you through the latest Montana travel findings, including a look back at 2017, the outlook for 2018 and visitor spending, as well as a brief view of the value recreational trails can provide local communities and economies.

BUSINESS - Optimizing Your Online Presence (Also Offered Monday at 2:45 PM)

Presenters: Alex Evans, Regional Director, Miles City SBDC; Jason Nitschke, Regional Director, Great Falls SBDC

This course discusses best practices as well as details related to setting a budget, understanding your customer, where to locate online, and how to craft a message that motivates action.


11:30 AM12:45 PM | KEYNOTE LUNCHEON

Special guests to be announced.


MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | P.O. BOX 200533 | HELENA, MT 59620-0533 |  T: 406.841.2870 |  F: 406.841.2871 | TDD: 406.841.2702