2024 KTC registration is open!

Get ready to celebrate the travel and tourism industry at the Kansas Tourism Conference in Olathe, October 21-23, 2024. 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 2nd and each submission may only be entered once. For submission requirements and registration, please visit the Marketing Awards page.

We look forward to celebrating travel and tourism at the 2024 Kansas Tourism Conference! Register today.

Celebrating Excellence: Winners of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas 2023 Marketing Awards

In 2023, TIAK continued its tradition of recognizing outstanding marketing campaigns that have not only showcased the beauty of Kansas but also drawn visitors from far and wide. We are thrilled to present three remarkable winners of the TIAK 2023 Marketing Awards, who have demonstrated the power of storytelling, creativity, and visitor engagement in promoting their destinations and the beautiful Sunflower State.

For a complete list of all winning entries, please click here.

For a press release, please click here.

Small Budget – Online Media


Chase County has been recognized as a marketing award winner in the category of “Small Budget, Online Media” for its exceptional work in creating a new website, www.heartoftheflinthills.com. Their innovative and visually engaging website effectively captures the essence of the Flint Hills region, offering visitors an immersive and informative experience. They have successfully showcased the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unique attractions and events of Chase County, Kansas, making them a deserving recipient of this award.

Medium Budget – Community Awareness


Visit Abilene secured a well-deserved marketing award in the “Medium Budget, Community Awareness” category for their remarkable achievement in creating the world’s largest belt buckle, a notable attraction showcased at https://abilenekansas.org/worlds-largest-belt-buckle. This innovative project not only stands as a testament to the community’s creativity and heritage but also serves as an extraordinary draw for visitors from all around.

Large Budget – Visitor Guide


Visit Topeka has garnered the marketing award in the “Large Budget, Visitor Guide” category for their exceptional work in creating a captivating visitor guide, available in both English and Spanish versions. This comprehensive guide, accessible at https://www.visittopeka.com/plan/visitors-guide/, has significantly enriched the visitor experience by providing valuable information about the Topeka community, its events, attractions, amenities, and more! The team at Visit Topeka has demonstrated a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, making it easier for a broader audience to explore and enjoy all that this vibrant destination has to offer. Their dedication and excellence in this endeavor have rightfully earned them this award.

These three winners have not only excelled in their respective categories but have also set an inspirational standard for marketing within the travel industry. As marketing award judge Katie Olson, Assistant Professor of Advertising & Public Relations at the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication at Kansas State University highlighted, “It truly is a pleasure to get together with diverse industry professionals to review and reflect upon what everyone in the state of Kansas is doing to promote travel and tourism. It’s fun to see how the different areas are using exciting creative strategies to promote Kansas, and I love that I can stay in touch with this area of the industry and speak to the trends in my classes!

Additionally, Karen Crane, 2023 Marketing Committee Chair commented “The TIAK marketing awards are always a highlight of the tourism conference and provide attendees with great ideas for consideration in their future marketing campaigns, events, and promotions. We are fortunate to have a well-established program with capable and dedicated judges, amazing and inspiring entries, and a committee that works hard to make sure the awards program runs smoothly. It is my privilege to have served as the chair of this great committee alongside Allison Calvin and Christina Hayes.”

In 2024, Christina Hayes with the Great Bend CVB will take the reigns of the marketing committee!

>> Click here to view all of this year’s award winners!

>> Here are some changes coming to the awards program in 2024

  • Events — You can’t submit a conference for consideration unless you’re the official organizer or creator of that conference. In other words, you can only submit conferences/events that you’ve actually been responsible for creating. (Example: you may not enter the Society for American Travel Journalists conference/convention because that conference belongs to SATJ and your community only bids to receive it and assists with hosting).
  • Analytics – We’re going to create a dedicated section for marketing analytics in each entry. The judges find it valuable to have access to data related to the entry, such as the number of attendees, economic impact, reach, and distribution numbers. This additional space is being added because we have a word limit for the entry description, and we want to ensure this important information can be included.
  • Entries must have already happened or already been released. For example, if you create a campaign that got delayed or hasn’t taken place yet, you cannot submit it until you have actually run the campaign. Similarly, if you’re organizing an event, like a Halloween gathering which is currently being marketed for the present year, make sure to include the details of the previous year’s event. This is necessary because the event must have occurred before it can be evaluated for any awards. We can’t recognize or reward an event or campaign that hasn’t actually happened yet.

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. 


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!

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.