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:
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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.