Wacky Wichita!

If you’re heading to Wichita in October for the annual tourism conference, make plans to check out the offbeat and wacky things to see and do! Seen through the eyes and exploration of travel writer Megan Bannister of Olio in Iowa, she loves to find offbeat attractions, and had no trouble finding unusual and wacky fun in Wichita. Learn more about what she discovered in her article, Offbeat and Unusual Things to do in Wichita.”

Speaking of the tourism conference…

  1. Don’t forget to register for the conference at: https://tiak.org/events/kansas-tourism-conference/registration/
  2. Book your hotel room: https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1637706168075&key=GRP&app=resvlink
  3. Submit your marketing entries for the awards ceremony: https://tiak.org/marketing-awards-open-through-august-5th/

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.