President’s Article June 2022

It’s a great day in Kansas!

Are you really in tourism if you aren’t frantically writing a column on your laptop in an airport on the way to a conference? Tourism professionals know how to work in any environment and have more on their plate than time to complete.

I’m writing this on my way to the Midwest Travel Network Conference, where I’m speaking about “How to Make Big Things Happen in a Small Town.” As I look across the state, anyone in the Kansas Tourism Industry could easily share their story. Kansas tourism leaders know how to do this best; we know how to stretch budgets, make a big media splash, develop assets, create positive economic impacts in our communities and have fun!

So, as I work on this column and my presentation… I will share some of my not-so-original tips:

  1. Believe – You must believe in your product to sell it. What makes your community unique and interesting? What are your “only, best, largest, oldest, tallest, longest, #1s?”
  2. Invest – Invest in quality over quantity, be strategic rather than utilizing a bazooka approach. (P.S. Thanks to Kansas Tourism for the Datafy co-op for helping many of us with this one!)
  3. R&D – Rip-off and duplicate – see something neat? Make it your own. There are no original ideas, only original people.
  4. Celebrate with Swag – t-shirts, yard signs and over-the-road banners are my favorite way to celebrate good news. And – celebrate a successful project by entering it into TIAK’s Marketing Awards!
  5. Be positive – you are your community’s best cheerleader. I challenge you to say one nice/positive thing about your community weekly on social media.

Stay strong, keep swimming, and keep rocking everything you do!

To the Stars,

Julie Roller Weeks
Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau director / 2022 TIAK president