Wisconsin Department of Tourism Hosts Annual Conference in Appleton

Posted on: 2/13/2018

MADISON, Wis. – Members of Wisconsin's tourism industry will gather in Appleton for this year's Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT), March 11-13. The annual premier educational networking event for the tourism industry will be held at the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center & Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. Governor Scott Walker will provide the opening address for this year's conference that features keynote remarks from entrepreneur and author Chris Gardner, whose inspirational book The Pursuit of Happyness was the basis of the movie starring Will Smith.

Registration for the conference is now open. Innkeepers, restaurateurs, tourism marketers and educators, attraction operators, state and local officials, media and other representatives of the hospitality industry are encouraged to attend.

"We're excited to partner with Governor Walker to offer Wisconsin's tourism industry an exceptional conference that gives them the tools to keep the tourism economy growing," said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. "WIGCOT continues to be the premier tourism conference in the state, with top speakers providing insight that can immediately be implemented by our industry partners."

Event details, including a full agenda, information on accommodations and online registration can be found at www.wigcot.org.

Monday, March 12 Conference Highlights

Governor Walker and Tourism Secretary Klett will kick off the conference with an opening address highlighting significant achievements from the previous year and their vision for the industry's growth and impact on Wisconsin's economy. In addition, Secretary Klett will debut the Department of Tourism's 2018 summer ad campaign.

Milwaukee-born Chris Gardner will talk about the obstacles he overcame to create the life he wanted. He'll discuss the concept of Spiritual Genetics and the Universal Dream, an idea that where you are in your spirit is more important than where you are on the planet. Gardner will also identify the importance of the "P’s" in our life: Promises, Passion and Planning.

Keynote speaker Elise Roy is an expert and passionate proponent in human-centered design and practices to create barrier-free environments inclusive to all people regardless of ability. She has given talks at Microsoft, the U.S. Institute for Peace and the United Nations.

Tuesday, March 13 Conference Highlights

On Tuesday, Emmy Award-Winning TV media veteran Katrina Cravy will share her media experience and provide an insider's perspective on how to earn free publicity. Following Cravy's keynote presentation, Joe Veneto, known as The Opportunity Guy, will lead a general session on driving visitation and creating economic development within Destination Marketing Organizations.

Governor Walker will close out the conference by presenting The Governor's Tourism Awards at Tuesday evening's closing dinner. Sponsored by the Governor's Council on Tourism, the awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin's tourism industry. The five award categories include: Legacy, Rising Star, Service Excellence, Stewardship, and Arts, Culture & Heritage.

The Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism is an annual three-day education and networking event for Wisconsin innkeepers, restaurateurs, community tourism officials, tourism attraction operators, state agency officials, tourism educators and other representatives of the hospitality industry.