KEYNOTE SPEAKER: DR. NELS LINDBERG

Registration is open for the 2022 Kansas Tourism Conference (KTC) and organizers are pleased to announce Dr. Nels Lindberg as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s conference!

Dr. Nels Lindberg is a KSU alumni known for his expertise in consulting for the beef and cattle industries, while leading the veterinary practice, Animal Medical Center, in Great Bend, KS. He is also a managing partner in Production Animal Consultation, an international based protein consulting firm that consults over 25% of all the cattle on feed in the United States. In addition to building his reputation as a leader in the veterinary industry, Dr Nels is a sought after public speaker on life, leadership and business. He recently launched his first book, “The Ultimate Real World Guide to Hiring and Firing.”

Dr. Nels will help tourism professionals at the KTC “Build & Lead Better Teams” and explain his leadership passion through hard work, and tactical and strategic partnerships in combination with the challenges of the real world. Dr. Nels is a proud Kansan who has learned through challenges, and is determined to build a wonderful life experience for his family, church and community. You won’t want to miss learning about how the small and big pieces in your team can make a huge impact!

Be sure to register for the Kansas Tourism Conference which works to support tourism professionals in developing opportunities for their communities throughout the state. Register at https://tiak.org/events/kansas-tourism-conference/.

Kansas Destination Specialist reminders

As the Kansas Tourism Conference approaches, some of you may be thinking about Kansas Destination Specialist (KDS) designation or renewal.

NEW KDS SEEKERS–Here are details you need to know to receive KDS:

1. The deadline for submissions this year is September 16, 2022.

2. Check https://tiak.org/resources/kds/ for the list of how many points you have so you know what you need for completion. If your name is highlighted in red—you are almost there. Just need those book reports. If your name is in green—you are close to having 25 points. Knowing where you are in the process will help you decide if you can make it happen by the deadline.

  1. Anything you have done since last year’s deadline of Sept. 17, 2021 can still be submitted.
  2. All TIAK educational offerings you register for and attend automatically give you points without you needing to complete any follow-up paperwork. Any other educational offering must be submitted on the Education Session Follow-up Form.
  3. There is a recommended book list but it is hard to keep up-to-date with all the new books being published. If you have a book that falls into one of the three categories (Kansas, Leadership, Marketing) and think it is a great option then send me an email (tourism@cityofliberal.org) with a brief synopsis to get it approved for use.

KDS RENEWALS–Here are details you need to know about renewal:

1. Renewals are required on even numbered years.

  1. You must renew even if you just received your designation last year.
  2. Only two of the listed requirements are needed for renewal. If you attended the Kansas Tourism Conference in 2021, then you already have one requirement met. Often people will renew without even trying if they attend the travel industry events such as Destination Statehouse during the year.
  3. If you have not completed your requirements by early August, you will be getting an email to remind you to do so.

If you have a question you do not see covered, email Sally Fuller at tourism@cityofliberal.org or call 620-626-0170. We hope to see you on stage receiving your designation in Wichita!

–Sally Fuller

KDS Chairwoman

KTC FEATURED KEYNOTE: JACKIE STILES

The KTC (Kansas Tourism Conference) Committee is gearing up for an amazing conference in Wichita this October, and the keynote speakers are ones you won’t want to miss, especially central Kansas native, Jackie Stiles! Kansas knows Jackie from her historical roots in Claflin, KS where she led the county in women’s basketball scoring, then rewrote the NCAA women’s basketball record at Southwest Missouri State, and onto her professional career in the WNBA! Jackie is not only an inspiration to sports lovers, but to anyone who sees value in teamwork, leadership, hard work and passion. She believes in big dreams, enthusiastic effort, and overcoming life’s trials and tribulations with dedication and hope.

Jackie has impacted millions through her love of basketball and coaching, but now she inspires others through camps and professional speaking adventures! You won’t want to miss this women’s basketball Hall of Fame member as she connects with people of all kinds, ages, and all walks of life during Tuesday’s keynote session at the KTC.

Register today for the KTC and learn how Jackie’s legendary work connects to the dedication we have in our own communities and Kansas overall!

Wacky Wichita!

If you’re heading to Wichita in October for the annual tourism conference, make plans to check out the offbeat and wacky things to see and do! Seen through the eyes and exploration of travel writer Megan Bannister of Olio in Iowa, she loves to find offbeat attractions, and had no trouble finding unusual and wacky fun in Wichita. Learn more about what she discovered in her article, Offbeat and Unusual Things to do in Wichita.”

Speaking of the tourism conference…

  1. Don’t forget to register for the conference at: https://tiak.org/events/kansas-tourism-conference/registration/
  2. Book your hotel room: https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1637706168075&key=GRP&app=resvlink
  3. Submit your marketing entries for the awards ceremony: https://tiak.org/marketing-awards-open-through-august-5th/

Marketing Awards Open Through August 5th

It’s time to share your marketing genius!

Do you have what it takes to promote your organization? If so, then plan to enter the TIAK Marketing Award contest!

Our goal is to recognize the outstanding marketing efforts of tourism throughout Kansas. This program is limited to TIAK member organizations only. Also, Coalitions may enter but the Coalition must be a member of TIAK. To enter your marketing campaign, join TIAK today!

The Marketing Awards have been updated to accommodate varying community sizes. Also, Coalitions may enter but the Coalition must be a member of TIAK. Each entry will be broken out according to the organization’s annual marketing budget (NOT project budget) with one winner per overall budget category:

  • Large Community marketing budget (over $100,000)
  • Medium Community marketing budget ($20,000 – $100,000)
  • Small Community marketing budget ($19,999 and under)

The Marketing Awards are focused on overall marketing initiatives and judged on outstanding and innovative efforts. There are no entry fees. Only one submission per organization eligible for entry in each category – no duplicates, please.

Note that all awards are given at the discretion of the judges and judging feedback will be highly encouraged. 

 ENTER YOUR SUBMISSION HERE

Submissions due:
August 5, 2022 at 12 PM 

One winner from each marketing budget category will be announced for each award category below at the Kansas Tourism Conference on October 19, 2022.

Marketing Award categories include:

  • Visitors Guide: In-House Design & Outsourced Design (must be submitted both electronically and in hard-copy to the TIAK office by August 12, 2022)
  • Online Marketing: Digital advertising, social media, e-mail marketing, website
  • Print Marketing: newspaper ads, magazine ads, brochures, direct mail, inserts, anything print
  • Event: various events, meetings or conferences
  • Destination (Community) Awareness: community events, community promotions, etc.
  • People’s Choice: This category is open only to applicants who set up displays at the Conference and will be judged only by those attending the Conference.

Also this year: Best Overall Award. This award will be chosen by the judges from the winners of all the categories (except People’s Choice).

Please contact the marketing award committee members with questions: Allison Calvin (allison@olathe.org).

Best of all, there are NO entry fees! 

Click here for a link to last year’s TIAK Marketing Award Winners.

Thank you to our 2022 Marketing Awards Sponsor: Greensburg Tourism!

30 Ideas in 30 Minutes – Kansas Tourism Conference

30 Ideas in 30 Minutes — Kansas Tourism Conference

Thanks to everyone for participating in the 30 ideas in 30 minutes session at the Kansas Tourism Conference! A lot of great ideas were shared, and a couple even won a prize! We’ve compiled them all, plus a few from the idea box. Please forgive any errors as it was quite a challenge jotting things down so quickly!

  1. Lucille, Mitchell County – In January, they visited the area schools and gave each 4th grader a copy of the Kansas Travel Guide. They also created a project page for classes to vote on their favorite “To the ________” for their class to post (in support of the To the Stars Kansas Day campaign).
  2. Holly, Lindsborg – Got a couple of grants during the pandemic, worked with the 4th graders outdoors to put a monarch garden along the trail in Lindsborg.
  3. Holly, Lindsborg – Half sheet of what the CVB is working on in the community went to all businesses to spread the word during the pandemic on how they were still promoting Lindsborg.
  4. Galena – Route 66, painted white stakes that separate the State line, then made a yellow brick road to let travelers know they were entering KS.
  5. Melissa, Hays – During shut down they designed a children’s placement/coloring activity sheet that promotes the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. 
  6. Sady, Dodge City – Boot Hill Conf Center – During the last 6 months, they marketed their conference center as “space friendly” for people to spread out.  Maps, etc.  no extra cost and booked five new pieces of business.
  7. Ally- Downtown Hays – Adding SNAP and double up food bucks to the Downtown Hays market helped attract new customers, support vendors, and serve low-income families.
  8. Susie, Concordia – Made pies on Sunday (personally) and invited people to come sit on the outdoor screened-in porch as people drove by and came to visit.
  9. Susie, Concordia – Visited cemeteries, documenting families, dates, etc. They are half done with those in their area.
  10. Christina, Great Bend – Giveaway – All grand prize winners are getting a free year subscription to KS Magazine.
  11. Alexis, Mahaffie – Only shut down for 6 weeks, so they let people write letters to the animals campaign.  Animals would write back! Over 225 letters from multiple states and they received a lot of local press coverage.
  12. Marcie, KS Sampler – Pancake flip on social media, everybody got to try. They couldn’t have the race due to the pandemic.
  13. Jill, Ark City – Festival last year didn’t happen, so they had a scarecrow contest downtown (from the light poles), “adopt a scarecrow”. Kids enjoy walking downtown seeing the scarecrows.
  14. Sara, Downtown Hays – Sweet treats for your teach! A gift card program to honor teachers and support local businesses Buy a $10 gift card and Downtown Hays matched it with popcorn and candy for FREE. Over 180 teachers were honored. Generated over $2,000 for the businesses plus buying popcorn and candy from the local businesses.
  15. Jim Z, Parsons – New chamber director works on Christmas floats and the normal parade was cancelled due to covid. Instead, they parked floats around the football field so people could drive around floats to create social distancing.
  16. Norton Chamber – Partnered with community foundation (anonymous 10,000 donation) to create a “bingo” game in the community. When you got BINGO you won $100 to spend within 30 days. Bingo campaign engaged 1,000 winners who spent 10,000 in the community within 30 days.
  17. Mahaffie- Drive live, visitors guide, website, list of events.  Encouraged people to keep coming back to the downtown area.
  18. Karen, Merriam — Created a coaster for local bars and restaurants to place on tables instead of the normal ones supplied by vendors. Coasters included the CVB website and list of summer/fall events in an attempt to encourage people to come back for those events.
  19. El Dorado – Foodie tour, helped restaurants locally. They came in for a special meal for one week; used a passport to promote the tour. 
  20. Kylie, Seneca – Partnered with the library to have a book walk. Double page spread of a children’s book to display in windows downtown. Walk through, read books through the storefront windows and end at the library. Participants were entered into a drawing for prizes.
  21. Wakeeney Travel and Tourism – Christmas city of high plains, metal trees, trees in front of historical homes that share history. This year they took eight of the trees to put in a concentrated area (1.4 mile block), and hosted a wine walk at this area serving wine at each house. The walk had  45 participants.
  22. Jessica, Visit Wichita – During pandemic they partnered with Threshold 360 to do virtual tours of attractions, restaurants and hotels for meeting planners.
  23. Lindsay, Visit Wichita – Wicked Brew tour (coffee and brewery). They also launched an attraction tour with a passport. Passports were entered to win an annual membership to each attraction and could be redeemed for a t-shirt. 
  24. Marcie, KS Sampler – Networking and bonding at the annual tourism conference (food trucks, air museum, etc.)
  25. Topeka – Attractions and restaurants donated to the Springfield community foundation to set up a fund for displayed workers in Springfield MO, so he brought the idea to Topeka  and helped create the program with the Greater Topeka Partnership.
  26. Holly, Finney County  – During December they were trying to get people to shop local in their downtown so they created Merry Monday and Wednesday specials. She would showcase Christmas items or gifts, and made videos for social media to promote it for shopping or curbside pickup.
  27. Jony, McPherson- Community building was restored right before pandemic and her job was to bring events to this facility. Due to the pandemic, not a lot of business was coming. She created a wine event which filled the center!
  28. Mandy, Liberal – Post on Facebook with restaurants, menus, delivery information.  Pinned post on the Facebook page.
  29. Melissa, Hays – Cross promotion at summer attractions: designed banners to advertise the Sternberg Museum, placed them at Hays Aquatic Park and vice versa. CVB paid for banners and both attractions benefited!
  30. Sara, Downtown Hays – 20 year anniversary celebration, hosted a “homecoming to Hays” event to admire how far our downtown has come and the tourist attraction that it is now. Included a kids fest, free cake, free concert and more!
  31. Melissa, Hays – Interactive art at seasonal art walks. Set up a sign that said “Chalk art station. Grab some chalk and have fun.” Provided tubs of sidewalk chalk for art walk attendees to get creative in public spaces.

5 First Timer Tips: How to get the most out of Kansas Tourism Conference

Conferences are a great way to connect with people in your industry and learn from the best in the field.  The Kansas Tourism Conference (#KTC21) is THE conference to do just that and more!  You’ll love the motivational speakers, the free swag, networking with peers, awesome food and off-site experiences.   Here are some tips we’ve gathered to help make your first conference experience enjoyable and successful:

  1. Chart your course: It can be overwhelming and incredibly easy to get lost in the flow of events.  Before the conference, review the agenda in advance and pick out which sessions interest you the most focusing on areas of your role.  This will give you an idea how to structure your day and help you know where you need to be and when.  Find the tourism conference agenda here: Kansas Tourism Conference – Travel Industry Association of Kansas (tiak.org)
  2. Come prepared: Bring a small notebook, pen, business cards and your game face.  Throughout the conference you will get plenty of great ideas worth jotting down.  You’ll also meet many new people you may want to stay connected with after the conference.
  3. Be engaged: It’s hard to be fully engaged at the conference if you are constantly checking in with work and responding to email and phone calls.  Get the most out of the conference by minimizing “office work” and keeping non-conference activities to a minimum.  Focus and immerse yourself to gain from the session you are attending.
  4. Network: The whole point of a conference is communicating with people!  Don’t be afraid to attend social hour and off-site activities – hanging out and making conversations with complete strangers can be scary, however the majority of people at the conference are there to connect with like-minded individuals, too.  Many of these events also give you the opportunity to experience the conference host city like a VIP.
  5. Visit the vendors: Review the list of exhibitors before you arrive and highlight the vendors you need to meet. Seek out companies with opportunities that help improve your services.  This will help to use your exhibit time to your best advantage.  It’s also the best place to pick up some cool conference swag!

On your way to KDS? Five tips to help you get there by conference 2021!

Are you just mere steps away from obtaining your Kansas Destination Specialist designation? Maybe you have a book report to complete, or need to visit an attraction and write a quick report—click here to see where you’re at in the KDS journey!

Make 2021 the year that you go from seeking your KDS to joining the ranks of others who have earned this state-wide designation for tourism professionals. Let’s take a peek at certification requirements as a quick refresher (keep in mind this is not a renewal year, so only new KDS seekers are being awarded in October).

  • Earn 25 points by attending education conferences, seminars, webinars, trainings, etc. Points accumulate as follows: half point for webinar or seminar; one point for half-day session; two points for full-day session; and three points for two or more days. TIAK events are automatically awarded credit. For all other educational events, candidate must submit the Education Session Follow-up Form within the same year as the event was conducted.
  • Read and complete three book reports – one from each category. Categories include: Kansas, Marketing and Leadership. Click here to see the approved reading list!
  • Visit a Kansas attraction, 50+ miles from home, and submit the visiting attraction form. Earn one point for each attraction.

Here’s five tips to help you finish up those last requirements so you can call yourself a Kansas Destination Specialist this year!

  • Know where you stand and what is left to complete your designation.
  • Set aside time each week to finish each task, or if you need to visit an attraction more than 50 miles away, plan the day you’ll go and make a day-trip out of it! Take notes while you’re visiting so writing your report is easier. And, write that report ASAP when everything is still familiar!
  • Now that in-person meetings and events are mostly back in person, seek out potential trainings or seminars that could count toward your designation.
  • While there are dozens of book titles on the approved reading list, if you see one that falls into any of the categories, but isn’t on the list, just send the title, a brief summary and ask if it can be considered. Most of the time, it will be approved!
  • You’d be surprised at how fast those points can add up if you take advantage of all the TIAK and state tourism offerings hosted throughout the year. Destination Statehouse and the annual conference automatically count if you attend those events. Find a few more training options in travel, tourism, leadership or Kansas-centered topics, and you’ll be well on your way to KDS!

TIAK Marketing Awards: Top 10 Tips for an Award-Winning Entry

  1. Whether this is your first submission, or you have submitted for 10 years straight, these tips can help you create and submit the best TIAK marketing entry yet. We know you’ve got your eye on first place! Here’s a surefire way to make it happen…
    Start the process early!  You are already on the right track by reading these tips and starting to think about what you will submit this year.
  2. Check the basics before you submit. Be sure to read over the entry rules to submit into the correct categories.  The categories are separated by both budget and marketing project type.
  3. The more details the better. Include as many statistics in your reporting as possible.  (Examples: events- how many people attended? Websites- how many views?) When the judges have two entries with similar rankings and results, the more statistics on your project will possibly help you get ahead in the rankings.
  4. Partnerships are becoming so important; if you are working with someone local, don’t forget to include that! Whether it’s your local printer, museum, school, historical society, chamber, development cooperation, other communities, city/county or someone else, please include information on how they helped you and what monetary or voluntary aid/partnership you were provided.
  5. If the work was done by an internal team, REALLY emphasize that. If you are using an outside agency, describe your team’s input and direction in shaping the project you’ve entered. The judges like to see what you’ve contributed even when the work outsourced.
  6. Do not overlook something that has been done for years. The judges sometimes see important information being forgotten in the application.  The judges need to see all the details including partnerships being used, how resourceful the applicant was, photos, charts, testimonials, etc.
  7. Think outside of the box. There are so many possibilities for award submissions besides a website or visitor guide. Did you have a community festival that generated a ton of visitation? Maybe you had a great social media campaign that earned a lot of online traction? Consider everything from campaigns to printed publications, audio tours or profiles. With five categories, plus the people’s choice award, there’s surely something fitting for your marketing efforts!
  8. Make a report. Don’t just submit a few sentences in the text box.  Attach a document with project graphics, statistics, and how it positively impacted your community.
  9. Did you submit last year? Do not forget to go back and read the judges’ feedback. They give great information to help with future projects and submissions. Also, have another peer review your submission to give tips before you click send.
  10. You can’t win if you don’t submit! Be sure to get your entries in before the deadline of Friday, August 13. Click here for more information.

Registration is open for the 2021 Kansas Tourism Conference

What a year! Get ready to celebrate the travel and tourism industry at the Kansas Tourism Conference in Liberal, October 18-20, 2021. Be a part of the Kansas tourism industry’s “don’t miss” conference of the year. Registration is now open! Enjoy inspiring speakers, valuable educational information and fun networking opportunities. Kansas has so much travel and tourism talent and we can’t wait for you to meet each other!

For more information, and to register, visit the Kansas Tourism Conference event page. Be sure to look around and see what this year’s conference has to offer: a dynamic lineup of speakers, a silent auction, marketing awards, and so much more. When you’re ready to sign up, simply click “Register Now” in the Conference Dates section and get ready to celebrate. Registration is easy and you may select to complete your payment by using either credit card or check. But don’t forget to make your hotel reservation – the link is on the KTC event page.

Think you can dazzle your tourism peers even more? Share your talent in the TIAK Marketing Awards! Join TIAK in highlighting your skills in conjunction with the Kansas Tourism Conference. Entries must be submitted by August 13th and each submission may only be entered once. One winner from each overall budget category will be presented at the Awards Banquet. For submission requirements and registration, please visit the Marketing Awards page.

We look forward to celebrating travel and tourism at the 2021 Kansas Tourism Conference! Register today.