NEW Destination Statehouse Opportunity

From Jim Zaleski
TIAK Advocacy Chair
Hello TIAK friends,
It’s that wonderful 5th season of the year again – political season!
It won’t be the same without our good friend Kevin from Shawnee, but he would have loved this new opportunity being given to us during the evening event at our Destination Statehouse on February 8. The new venue, The Beacon, will not only allow more room and more tables, but it also allows us to bring in our own adult beverages as another way to represent our regions!
There are a few stipulations in place, such as you cannot serve from your own booth. However, the catering agreement allows us to stock the bar with specialty drinks, libations and regionally produced liquors, wines or beers. Simply fill out the registration form and click the yes box that you will bringing a local libation. The TIAK offices will coordinate between those donating to the cause and the caterer to arrange for your special beverage to be offered during the evening event.
This is a great opportunity to showcase some locally made spirits while entertaining our legislative guests. The event is one of the most well-known and best attended legislative events of the year and we look to continue building upon this great tradition. Of course, we encourage you to look at traditional sponsorships since they are what have made this event such an industry-wide affair.
As I mentioned, more space means more booths. We want to welcome our coalitions and specialty groups from across the state to this year’s evening event. Simply register to attend the event and let the TIAK office know you will be needing a table for your group.
Each region will have its own booth as usual and all cities within that region will once again be required to be part of their region. We have extra space, but not enough for every city in the state. Thanks for working within your region for a wonderful cooperative display.
Once we have an idea of the number of tables needed and the space allowed, we will send out a map of the evening event. Set up will start sometime near 3 PM on the day of the event.
Thanks, everyone, for making this event such an ongoing success!

2022 KTC 30 in 30

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.

  1. Plan event promotions like Hobby Lobby and use website, blog and social media to plan ahead for things like Christmas. (Julie / Visit Abilene)
  2. Use AlphaMac to help with your marketing materials and data; it’s $2,500 per year, helps in an easy-to-read manner, and worth every penny. (Jim / City of Parsons)
  3. Beat the heat with Christmas in July—music, shopping and bubbles instead of snow. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
  4. Create postcards with local artists and then share with businesses to help promote your community. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
  5. Create a fun opportunity for kids with a candy vending machine for only one penny. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
  6. Get temporary tattoos for your trade shows–all you need is a spray bottle and some paper towels and then you have walking billboards of kids with your logo all over them. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
  7. Highway 36 had the best pie contest for each county. Don’t be afraid to do the best burger, best soup or beyond. It’s great publicity and promotion for your restaurants. (Kylee / Seneca)
  8. If you have two attractions that could connect, print vinyl banners and exchange to cross-promote each other. For example, our museum placed a banner at the waterpark this summer and vice versa; the CVB paid for the banners and it’s a dual promotion. (Melissa / Hays)
  9. Recruit and raise awareness of the younger population with field trips to different locations inside your area. You can also use the website sign-up genius as a helpful tool to keep everything organized. (Lucille / Mitchel Co. Tourism)
  10. Our gift shop now sells farm fresh eggs. We also serve food at our meetings and gift people plants for an easy fun freebie. (Susie / Cloud County)
  11. If you’re tired of negativity on social media, share rewarding, positive quotes and giveaway goodie bags from the CVB to those people who respond positively. It doubles as a promotion and an extra reward for followers. (Visit Ark City)
  12. Host influencers and take advantage of the cool equipment they have like this wonderful 360 camera. (Andrea / Explore Lawrence)
  13. For national travel and tourism week we nominated our favorite frontline employees by using a QR code to nominate them. Two winners were awarded, and we’re thrilled too, because now they promote even better information about our community. (Dodge City)
  14. We purchased 10 portable picnic tables with a trailer and rent out for events. It’s easy seating and creates pride. We even have community members pick them up with their own truck; it’s practical and provides community engagement. (Hesston)
  15. We created a scavenger hunt which attracts kids and engages parents to go on a hunt ending at the art center. We give away a postcard or candy to those that finish and it brings in many visitors we would’ve never had otherwise. (Lucas Grassroots Art Center)
  16. We use a project management system called Base Camp; it’s free to sort and create projects and gives notifications and keeps everything all in one place with the app. (Teresa / Wichita Art Museum)
  17. We hid 100 glass blown orbs and hid them in every town in our county over the summer. For visitors to play along, we had them upload images so we could track people hunting; it was popular and different. April / Jackson Co. Tourism Council)
  18. We created a statue trail which highlights all of our attractions in the walking tour in an attempt to help count steps by miles which promoted health and wellness too. (Michelle)
  19. If you’re interested in hosting travel writers but can’t afford them, Colby is looking for contacts all the time and she is free and will include information in the newsletter so feel free to reach out to her with Kansas Tourism.
  20. We did a Kansas day bingo card; we created a bingo sheet and encourage them to go visit a business attraction and put stamps with a box on the outside of such locations. It’s a free option and we gave away prizes to encourage lunch, shopping and exploration of our community. (Kylee / Seneca)
  21. With Kansas now being a sports betting state, don’t forget to use your sports bars and create mini events–all they need is a cell phone and app to create fun sports betting in your Kansas destination. (Alan / Visit Kansas City KS)
  22. We created a 10 parks 10 weeks promotion highlighting a different park each week in Merriam. We created fun park badges and hosted a contest where park visitors could tag us and our promotion, then be entered for a parks prize upon completion; it helped with engagement and gave us some great photography to use in future guides and publications. (Karen / Explore Merriam)
  23. We at our field station didn’t get people to listen to the credentials to earn stamps so we had them name a member and get the kids engaged. Then, as the kids were named out loud, they were welcomed to the team publicly while they were collecting stamps. (Garion / Field Station Dinosaurs)
  24. At Cedar Bluff Reservoir fireworks are not allowed, so we canceled the display and made it a firework-free zone instead celebrating with a parade. This helped to reduce anxiety in veterans and pets (vets and pets), and invited people to come and enjoy this area with no fireworks.
  25. Adding to the sports betting don’t forget to promote and use free Wi-Fi. (Jim / City of Parsons)
  26. As a cross promo with data, don’t forget to use Geo-fencing so you can get a full number of people where they’ve been and where they went by using cell phone data and marketing.
  27. We promote our longest sculpted brick mural by measurements (for example: it is so many Patrick Mahomes to get to the other area). (Susie / Cloud County)
  28. To help build murals, there’s a base grant for seed money and we used a T-shirt project to help fund it which provides money and promotions. (Lucille / Mitchell Co. Tourism)
  29. To prepare for our NHRA nationals, there was an openly gay driver who had no sponsors. So, to promote our pride event we promoted him as a driver and positively share the sponsorship for the LBTQ community. (Sean / Visit Topeka)
  30. We used leftover gift cards for online trivia with pictures and the first person to answer correctly won a gift card. (Ark City)

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/.

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!

TIAK Board Spotlight July 2022

TIAK BOARD SPOTLIGHT

Our July board member spotlights feature folks from Leavenworth and Lindsborg! Read more below and be sure to say hello at a future TIAK event.

Be sure to check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Kristi K Lee, Tourism Director – Leavenworth Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

You get to meet people from all over the state and travel to their cities to explore and meet. We all share a common interest of promoting our state to others and it brings a lot of comradery to our industry and a willingness to work together for the common good.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I enjoy going to auction sales and finding something that you really “need”, bidding on it and winning it! LOL

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Don’t be afraid to talk to other members and ask questions.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

I love to read so my current favorite writer is James Rollins. Mystery and History all rolled into one.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I enjoy doing remodeling projects around my house and watching HGTV.

Holly Lofton, Director – Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

Helping people fall in love with Kansas!

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I am a great goat milker, thanks to a stint on the Kansas State Fair Board!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Use TIAK members as a valuable resource! Always reach out for answers to questions! If we don’t know the answer, we most likely know who does!

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Out of Africa

Anything else you’d like to share?

We moved to Lindsborg 21 years ago because we loved visiting here. Proof that tourism is also community development!!!

TIAK Board Spotlight June 2022

TIAK BOARD SPOTLIGHT

Our June board member spotlight features a Hays superstar! Read more below and be sure to say hello at a future TIAK event.

Check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Janet Kuhn, Sales Manger – Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The thing I love most about working in the travel industry is the lifelong friendships I’ve gained over the years.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I cannot finish an entire bag of microwave popcorn by myself.

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Attend the Kansas Tourism Conference and get involved.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Tuesdays with Morrie, Dirty Dancing, fajitas, and traveling through Kansas with my children.

Anything else you’d like to share?

One of my favorite sights is seeing a John Deere combine harvesting wheat. I’m a dog lover. And, I’m very proud my hometown is Hays, Kansas!

TIAK Board Spotlight May 2022

TIAK BOARD SPOTLIGHT

Our May board member spotlights feature folks from Great Bend and Rooks County! Read more below and be sure to say hello at a future TIAK event.

Be sure to check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Christina Hayes, Director – City of Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

I love being able to promote the communities that I love and help families create memories in our wonderful state!

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I love gardening and make an average of 98 big jars of salsa each summer!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions and be willing to help, cause it’s fun!

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

I love almost all music, all food, and love ANY vacation in the sun!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m a proud mom of an 11 year old boy who loves football, baseball and being a boy mom is the BEST JOB EVER!!!

Roger Hrabe, Director – Rooks County Economic Development

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The thing I love most about working in the tourism industry is the people.  Tourism people are so fun to be around and are always looking to have a good time.  I used to teach Geography, so I also really enjoy traveling and seeing new places and historic attractions.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I have visited over 50 micro breweries and collected coasters from most all of them.  Someday I will have a shirt with all of them on it.  It will look like a refrigerator at a brewery.  I was also Homecoming King at Plainville HS in … a couple years ago.

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Get to know as many TIAK members as possible and stay after hours.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

I have had some great trips, but my favorite was visiting a classmate in Europe.  We traveled to Venice, Rome, Paris and Geneva.  But what I enjoy the most is sitting by the stream and having a glass of wine at a rental cabin in Estes Park, CO.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I always look forward to meeting with all my TIAK and Tourism friends and helping promote the great state of Kansas! To The Stars!!!

TIAK Board Spotlight

Beyond the boardroom, there’s a lot of work that goes into keeping TIAK a well-respected and impeccably running association. While our staff, Natalie, Marlee, and Amy keep things going on a daily basis and surely make the board member roles easier, we want to give a big shout out to our board of directors for the tireless efforts and support they lend to this association, their own communities, and the tourism industry!

Let’s take a look at two of our board members who hail from tourism roles in Olathe and Coffeyville with this TIAK Board Q&A.

Be sure to check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Allison Calvin, Destination Services Manager – Olathe Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

Traveling has always been a hobby of mine, so when I had the opportunity to promote Olathe, the KC metro, and our beautiful state, it was a dream come true!  I have really enjoyed taking my knowledge from my Travel, Tourism, & Hospitality Management degree and growing tourism in our state.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I played college soccer in Florida and professionally played the piano for 5 years!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Make connections and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Favorite food- sushi, favorite vacation- Disney World

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am the NEKS rep on the TIAK board and have enjoyed promoting NEKS and our beautiful state!

Amy Dollar, Tourism Director – Visit Coffeyville

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The ability to learn, teach, promote and preserve history.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I love history!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

I am new myself, but everyone is welcoming and informative.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Favorite book – Rebecca

 

 

Make the Most of Destination Statehouse

MAKE THE MOST OF DESTINATION STATEHOUSE

If you’ll be traveling to Topeka on February 9 for Destination Statehouse, be sure to make the most of your time for this jam-packed day of tourism lobbying and networking with elected officials and colleagues. Check out the tips below to make the most of your day at the Statehouse and learn more about the day’s agenda here.

  • Dress warm (or in layers) and wear comfy shoes. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking. Also, bring a mask just in case a specific area of the capitol or legislative office requires masking.
  • If you’ve never done it, be sure to take the state capitol tour. Tours take place every hour. If you’re interested, just meet at the Kansas Visitor Center at the Statehouse entrance at the top of the hour.
  • Schedule appointments with your legislators in advance. Click here for more tips on being an advocate for tourism.
  • TIAK members will deliver small bags of popcorn to each legislator. These bags will have a reminder about the evening event as well. Please stop by the registration area to deliver gifts to your legislators’ offices, and maybe take a few more to help with the delivery workload.
  • Plan to stop by the new offices of Kansas Tourism between 1:30-3:30 for an open house with the Department of Commerce (located at 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 100).
  • Bonus – if you have time before or after Destination Statehouse, try to take in a local attraction or grab a coffee and a snack for the drive home at a local bakery, coffee shop or restaurant. Explore https://www.visittopeka.com/ for a list of attractions, shops, restaurants and more!

–Karen Crane
TIAK Marketing Chair