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.
- Plan event promotions like Hobby Lobby and use website, blog and social media to plan ahead for things like Christmas. (Julie / Visit Abilene)
- 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)
- Beat the heat with Christmas in July—music, shopping and bubbles instead of snow. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
- Create postcards with local artists and then share with businesses to help promote your community. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
- Create a fun opportunity for kids with a candy vending machine for only one penny. (Holly / Visit Lindsborg)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Host influencers and take advantage of the cool equipment they have like this wonderful 360 camera. (Andrea / Explore Lawrence)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- Adding to the sports betting don’t forget to promote and use free Wi-Fi. (Jim / City of Parsons)
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- We used leftover gift cards for online trivia with pictures and the first person to answer correctly won a gift card. (Ark City)
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/.
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.
- Anything you have done since last year’s deadline of Sept. 17, 2021 can still be submitted.
- 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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.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.
- You must renew even if you just received your designation last year.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com or call 620-626-0170. We hope to see you on stage receiving your designation in Wichita!
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!
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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!
21 in 2021 — 21 ways to get more involved in tourism this year!
Let’s just get it out of the way. 2020 was awful. Our industry (and many others) suffered one of the worst downturns most of us can recall, and the entire world was gripped by fear, loss and uncertainty. We won’t be looking back at 2020 fondly, but we certainly can take away many lessons from it. We’ll have to push forward with perseverance, grit and determination to create a better year ahead. But, Kansans are always up to the task! As an industry, let’s start with how we can resolve to better support tourism from our own backyard all the way to the White House.
Check out 21 ways to promote and engage tourism in 2021:
- Join or renew your membership in TIAK in 2021. Yes, it is an expense, but it’s actually more of an investment. If you can’t pay all at once, call the office to inquire about monthly or quarterly payments.
- While you’re renewing your own membership, invite a destination, attraction or tourism partner to try the “Taste of TIAK” and then help mentor them during their first year.
- Join a committee. Membership, PAC, marketing, and more! There is a committee for everyone, and getting involved through a committee is a great way to support TIAK.
- Attend association events–virtually, or in person. Annual conference, educational seminars, and Destination Statehouse are all great events to network, learn, and support TIAK.
- Beef up social media efforts on your MOST popular platform and commit to post at least 3 x week. Lessen the pressure to post on all outlets and focus on your top 2-3. While you’re at it, make sure you are following TIAK on Facebook.
- Partner with local media to share tourism in your town on a regular basis. Podcasts, short interviews or a regular column in the paper are great ways to engage the community.
- Reach out to CVB/DMO boards and commissions about what you’re working on. Keep them “in the know” about how you are working to bring guests to town in the future even when travel may still have limitations.
- Recognize those who have manned front lines, taken on extra duties or just exemplified service during the year. So many people have stepped up–recognize those stories!
- Reach out to postponed meetings, reunions, tours, etc. to inquire about their plans to reschedule. Offer a re-booking incentive if you can!
- Create a “local” campaign. Work with your city or county to offer the locals a discount program, special offers or coupons as a way to thank them for keeping your community strong. Let them know their spending counts too and they don’t go unnoticed. Remember, our residents are always visitors first!
- Send an email to your local elected officials on the top five ways your organization continued pushing forward during the pandemic (virtual tours, curbside offers, free masks, marketing campaigns, testimonials from others, etc.).
- While we are still recovering, update your online presence (web, social, etc.) so things are up-to-date and user-friendly. Make sure your Google listing is claimed, updated and accurate. This is also a good time to clean up e-news subscriber lists.
- Plan ahead and get things ready for spring/summer visitors — tourism packets, guides, maps, etc. — if we’re still under travel restrictions, you can always offer those things virtually or via pick-up by appointment.
- Drive around your town to see what needs fixing up. Is there good, visible signage in place? Do things need sprucing up? Potholes need filling? If so, ask for help to make sure these areas are tended to for optimal visitor satisfaction.
- Follow 2-3 new tourism blogs, websites, social accounts. Stay on top of trends, news and updates related to the industry. Bookmark selected sites for easy daily reference.
- Know who your state legislators are and especially those who serve on committees related to our industry. Have their contact information handy so you can fire off a quick email to thank them, ask for their support of an upcoming bill, or invite them to join our upcoming virtual Destination Statehouse. ttps://tiak.org/events/destination-statehouse/
- Participate in the Kansas Tourism Huddles — these online discussions have kept us all connected and updated throughout COVID. As long as they are offered, they’re an excellent resource.
- Make sure you are connected to your region and utilize every single marketing initiative offered. It’s always a good idea to have friends and neighbors helping to share your message. Get started here: https://www.travelks.com/regions-cities/regions/
- Check in and be present even if not in person. Our hotels, restaurants and attractions need to know we are still here and working on their behalf. Ask them what you can do to help. A quick phone call might mean the world to a struggling merchant.
- Travel. When the time is right and safe, get out there and be a traveler yourself. We need to stimulate the economies of other destinations too. Use “National Plan for Vacation Day” on January 26, 2021 as your time to plan for the places you want to visit in the coming year.
- Be a tourism cheerleader. Our industry is stronger when we band together. Let’s start with an outpouring of Kansas Day social media posts on Friday, January 29. The Kansas Tourism team will be releasing plans for an industry-wide celebration soon, so stay tuned in the coming days for more information. To start your planning, use the hashtags #KansasDay2021 and #ToTheStarsKS and tag @TravelKS in your messaging.
Cheers to a better 2021 with all of us working together (hopefully in person soon) as champions for tourism!
–Karen Crane, TIAK Marketing Co-Chair
Merriam Visitors Bureau