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

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your TIAK Membership This Year!

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your TIAK Membership This Year!

Whether you’re new to TIAK or have been a member for years, it’s always a good idea to take stock of just how involved you are and how you can maximize your membership investment in our state tourism association! Check out these five tips below on how to get the most out of your TIAK membership in 2022!

  • Attend functions – there’s no better way to meet new people, exchange ideas and seek input than to network with others. TIAK offers several face-to-face opportunities for you to do just that—from Destination Statehouse in February to the annual educational seminar in April to the tourism conference in October! Pick one or all and get involved!
  • Serve on a committee – do you have a passion for advocacy and legislative topics? Maybe you’re more drawn to sales or marketing. Or, your end goal is to serve on the board. Whatever your preference, TIAK can put your talent to work. The association is managed by professionals but cannot survive without volunteer committee and board members. Just ask—there’s always a need!
  • Keep informed via the TIAK monthly e-news and social media posts! Engage in the comments, reply and share. Great discussions begin when members start to work together toward common goals.
  • If you are new to TIAK, find a mentor! Reach out to someone who’s been a member for awhile and ask questions. If you don’t know who to ask, email the TIAK office and they’ll have a host of names to share with you.
  • Start working on or finish that KDS certification! Now is the time to add “Kansas Destination Specialist” to your professional achievements. It’s a fun and easy way to learn more about tourism, hospitality, leadership and explore Kansas in the process. Visit https://tiak.org/resources/kds/ to learn more! (Current KDS folks—it’s a renewal year, just a friendly reminder).

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.