Governor’s Conference on Tourism

    About

    The Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism is an annual conference that features a strong line-up of expert speakers, as well as exciting social events to enhance your networking opportunities with top leaders and innovators.

    Save the date for the 2024 Conference, held at Harrah’s Kansas City on October 15-17.


    Room Block: $99/night at Harrah’s Kansas City Hotel & Casino using Group Code S10MG4. Room block closes September 14.

    Questions? Please contact Jadrien.Bopp@ded.mo.gov

    Donate to our 2024 Governor’s Conference Giving Back Project: TBD


    Registration

    Full Conference Pass (meals included) (October 15-17) | $350 Early Bird | $400 Standard

    One-Day Pass (meals included) (October 16) | $300 Early Bird | $350 Standard

    Awards Banquet Pass Only | $100

    Governor’s Lunch Pass Only | $50

    Early Bird Registration pricing ends September 6. Registration closes September 27.


    Destination Experience

    Details coming soon!


    Agenda

    Tuesday, October 15

    10 am – 5 pm

    Registration

    Sponsored by Madden Media

    10 am – 5 pm

    Exhibitor Trade Show Set Up

    11 am – 12 pm

    MACVB Board Meeting

    Invitation only

    12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Destination Experience

    Sponsored by Visit Clay and Visit KC

    *RSVP required

    4 pm – 6 pm

    Marketplace Reception

    Sponsored by Dotdash Meredith

    Enjoy refreshments while networking with conference attendees and vendors.

    6 pm – 8 pm

    Welcome Reception

    Sponsored by Visit Clay and Visit KC

    Wednesday, October 16

    8 am – 5 pm

    Exhibitor Trade Show

    Visit with business professionals and service providers who help support the tourism industry.

    8 am – 6 pm

    Registration

    Sponsored by Madden Media

    8 am – 9 am

    Breakfast

     

    9 am – 10 am

    General Session 

     

    10 am – 10:10 am

    10 Minute Break

    10:10 am – 10:50 am

    Breakout Session

    Unlocking the Power of AI in Tourism Marketing

    Speaker: Jarad Johnson, Mostly Serious

    In this interactive workshop, we will explore how artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the tourism industry and provide practical strategies for leveraging AI tools in your marketing efforts. Attendees will gain a foundational understanding of AI, its various categories, and how it is already being utilized in areas such as search, content creation, digital ads, email outreach and chatbots.

    Through hands-on exercises and demonstrations, we will demystify AI and showcase how tools like ChatGPT can streamline tasks, enhance creativity and improve customer experiences. We’ll discuss best practices for introducing AI into your organization, including guidelines for responsible usage and addressing common concerns.

    Participants will walk away with actionable insights on how to effectively integrate AI into their tourism marketing strategies, ultimately driving efficiency, innovation and growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.

    10:10 am – 10:50 am

    Breakout Session

    10:10 am – 10:50 am

    Breakout Session

    10:50 am – 11:20 am

    Break and Exhibitor Trade Show

    Visit with business professionals and service providers who help support the tourism industry.

     

    11:20 am – 12 pm

    All Breakout Sessions Repeat

    This is your chance to see another breakout session.

    12 pm – 1 pm

    Luncheon

    Sponsored by OBP Agency

    1 pm – 1:40 pm

    Breakout Session

    1 pm – 1:40 pm

    Breakout Session

    1 pm – 1:40 pm

    Breakout Session

    1:40 pm – 1:50 pm

    10 Minute Break

    1:50 pm – 2:30 pm

    All Breakout Sessions Repeat

    This is your chance to see another breakout session.

    2:30 pm – 2:40 pm

    10 Minute Break

    2:40 pm – 3:20 pm

    General Session

    3:20 pm – 3:50 pm

    Break and Exhibitor Trade Show

    Visit with business professionals and service providers who help support the tourism industry.

    4 pm – 5:30 pm

    Missouri Tourism Commission Meeting

    Seating is limited.

    6 pm – 7 pm

    Awards Reception

    Wine compliments of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board.

    7 pm – 9 pm

    Awards Banquet & Presentation

    Wine compliments of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board.

    Thursday, October 17

    8 am – 11 am

    Registration

    Sponsored by Madden Media

    8 am – 9 am

    Breakfast

     

    9 am – 9:40 am

    Breakout Session

    9 am – 9:40 am

    Breakout Session

    9 am – 9:40 am

    Breakout Session

    9:40 am – 9:50 am

    10 Minute Break

    9:50 am – 10:30 am

    All Breakout Sessions Repeat

    This is your chance to see another breakout session.

    10:30 am – 11:00 am

    Break and Exhibitor Trade Show

    Visit with business professionals and service providers who help support the tourism industry.

    11 am – 11:40 am

    Missouri Division of Tourism Update

    Speaker: Stephen Foutes, Missouri Division of Tourism

    During this session, you’ll see examples of MDT’s work to showcase Missouri as a travel destination, hear programmatic updates and get a sneak peek at the Division’s marketing plans for spring 2025 and beyond.

    11:40 am – 12 pm

    Giveaways & Closing Remarks

    12 pm

    Conference Concludes


    Speakers

    Jarad Johnson

    Jarad is the founder and CEO of Mostly Serious, a Springfield-based full-service digital agency that collaborates with leading regional organizations such as CoxHealth, Paul Mueller, and The Community Foundation of the Ozarks. In 2020, he co-founded Habitat Communication & Culture, a consultancy that assists clients in needs assessment, strategic planning, leadership & management training, and custom research initiatives.

    As a dedicated community member, Jarad was the founding board president of Springfield Creatives, a professional organization supporting local creatives. He has also contributed to the Springfield Community Gardens advisory board and served on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Springfield Association and the Galloway Community Improvement District.

    Kathy Nelson

    As President and CEO of Visit KC and the KC Sports Commission & Foundation, Kathy Nelson is a strong believer in the economic, social and community-building benefits of sports. She works to promote Kansas City locally and nationally with the goal of attracting, retaining and facilitating sports events and organizations in the bi-state area. Prior to the KC Sports Commission, Nelson served in senior management roles in marketing, sales and promotions at Time Warner Cable and Metro Sports and held a number of roles at FOX 4/WDAF-TV in Kansas City including creative services manager, producer, reporter and editor. Along her career path, Nelson has received numerous Telly, Emmy and cable television awards for television production, specifically sports production. She was the first woman to win a regional Emmy for the production of an NFL game in the early 2000’s.

    Margaret Faintich

    Margaret Faintich leads cross-agency teams and clients to drive results. She has 20+ years of experience creatively solving business problems and bringing together strong teams. She oversees work for OBP’s Tourism Portfolio, including Missouri Division of Tourism, Morey’s Piers and Southeast Tourism Society.

    Julie Voss Catron

    With over 20 years of experience in public relations and integrated marketing communications, Julie works with clients to enhance brand reputations through compelling storytelling and earned media. She has experience with Fortune 500, nonprofit, and international corporations and organizations. Julie leads the award-winning OBP PR team and also serves on the agency’s executive team.

    Stephen Foutes

    As director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, Stephen leads a dedicated team of marketers, communicators, researchers, program managers, legislative and financial specialists, and welcome center ambassadors focused on promoting Missouri as one of the country’s top travel destinations. A lifelong Missourian, he holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Central Methodist College and has worked at the Division of Tourism in varying roles for more than 10 years.


    Sponsorship

    There are multiple opportunities to make your mark this year. Click below for sponsorship details.

    2024 Sponsors

    417 Magazine

    AAA

    Sojern

    Expedia

    The Rural Agency


    Award Nominations

    Nominations are closed.

    The Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards are open to DMOs, tourism attractions, lodging, restaurants, festivals/events, publications and other entities contributing to the tourism industry in Missouri. Entries should demonstrate exemplary customer service, initiative and have positively influenced the tourism industry.

    Missouri Tourism Hall of Fame
    Presented to an individual who has worked in the tourism industry for a minimum of 10 years and whose contributions have significantly and measurably impacted tourism in Missouri.

    Sen. Emory Melton Legislative Award
    Honors an individual who recognizes the value of tourism to the state and works through the legislative process to support Missouri’s tourism industry.

    Marketing Campaign Award
    Recognizes an effective integrated marketing campaign that results in increased tourism and economic benefit to a region.

    Pathfinder Award
    Recognizes an event or organization that successfully develops a niche tourism market.

    Innovator Award
    Honors a small tourism organization or individual who achieves significant results on a modest budget.

    Navigator Media Award
    Presented to a media outlet that promotes tourism in Missouri and its importance to the state’s economy.

    Rising Star Award
    Honors an individual who has worked for a tourism-related organization less than five years or who has transitioned to a new role and made significant advancements to the organization’s efforts.

    Hospitality Award
    Recognizes an individual, business or organization that has demonstrated excellent customer service.

    Film Industry Champion Award
    Presented to an individual who advocates for the film industry and works to expand its presence in Missouri.