Home » Uncategorized » OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM – Event Agenda

OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM – Event Agenda

OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM – Event Agenda

OHTO's 2013 Tourism Conference & AGM
2014.09.10
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OHTO's 2013 Tourism Conference & AGM

Thank you for your interest in OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM. To register for the event, please click here. To view the Event Agenda for October 27, 2014, please click here.


 

Workshops

October 28, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


 

Workshop Descriptions & Presenter Bios

Animating the Experience: The Path to Cultural Connections

Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park
Location: Off-Site (Transportation Provided) 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Session Details: Storytelling is an integral part of building experiences that captivate visitors and create a compelling reason to visit a destination. This off-site, interactive workshop will bring tourism to life through targeted activities that will help to reveal the hidden stories in Ontario’s Highlands, and equip you with the tools necessary to discover your own story.

In this session, you will join Fred Sheppard, a National Park interpreter of 15 years, and Barrie Martin, an Experience Broker with Yours Outdoors, on an engaging and interactive hike through our host community, #MyHaliburtonHighlands, to learn how to tap into the powerful tool of storytelling to share what is unique and authentic about your business in a way that resonates with visitors. We will visit locations that naturally lend themselves to storytelling, such as haunted spaces and the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, but also explore how a simple cup of coffee is an opportunity to engage in a conversation or share an aspect of your cultural community and history in a memorable way. Off-site, round-trip transportation will be provided

Presenter Bio: Fred Sheppard has been sharing stories with visitors to Gros Morne National Park for the last 20 years.  He has worked with the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism, crafting experiences that connect hearts and minds and has presented at provincial, national, and international workshops on innovative approaches to engage audiences. He is a 4-H kid at heart and lives by the motto, “Learn to do by Doing”, which sometimes creates wonder and beauty and magic, and sometimes, just makes a big mess!  He holds a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University in British Columbia. In 2012, he received an authentic Shawinigan Handshake, the Parks Canada CEO Award of Excellence, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, all for Creating Memorable Visitor Experiences.

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We are Storytellers: Connecting with Travel Media

Hélèna Katz, Travel Journalist and Tourism Copywriter

Location: Minden West Room
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session Details: Everyone has a story – and so do you. This hands-on workshop will help you find, develop and pitch your story to various travel media, from newspaper and magazine editors, to online writers and even bloggers. Join Hélèna Katz, travel journalist, tourism copywriter and former president of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) in a discussion that covers: the benefits of working with travel media, 10 ways to tell a captivating story, tips for creating vivid and experiential pitches that will pique the media’s interest, how to host journalists at your business, and tips for collaborating with partners to create even stronger stories.

Presenter Bio: Travel journalist and tourism copywriter Hélèna Katz was in such a hurry to explore the world that she was born two weeks early. She picked up her first newspaper at the age of 18 months. More than 20 years later, she became a reporter for the Montreal Gazette. She began freelancing in 1993 and her work has appeared in many publications including Readers Digest, Homemakers, Canadian Geographic and AOL Travel. In 2006, she traded in the sidewalks of downtown Montreal for life on an alpaca farm in the Northwest Territories. She has delivered travel media relations training for Parks Canada, Travel Alberta, Northwest Territories Tourism and the Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation. She manages Travel and Try, a Facebook page dedicated to the growing trend of experiential, hands-on travel. She is also the former president of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).  

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Ontario’s Highlands Success Stories: Industry Panel

 

Various Industry Stakeholders & Business Owners
Location: Kinmount Room
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


Session Details
: Join a panel of your industry peers to celebrate and discuss the strategies behind some of our region’s tourism successes over the last year. Find out how the Classic Theatre Festival in Perth adapted to market changes and grew its tourism businesses using a visitor-centric approach through a discussion with Laurel Smith, Artistic Producer. Strap on your helmet and join Chris Hughes of BC Hughes as he guides you through the region’s two-wheeled success stories; and chat with Michael Bainbridge, OHTO’s Recreational Geology Coordinator, to hear how “the story of our Earth”can enhance nearly any nature or heritage-based experience in Ontario’s Highlands. You will also hear from Trevor Telford, owner of the Black River Retreat in Tweed, about the potential impact that digital and social media can have on your business, especially when it comes to building and maintaining relationships with guests. Claudia Van Wijk, of Madawaska Kanu Centre, will also join the panel to discuss how partnerships can be used to enhance your offer, reach a broader market and bring more people to your business. The session will end with a Q&A period, providing tourism stakeholders in the region with an opportunity to ask questions and learn how to become OHTO’s next success story!

Presenter Bios

  • Laurel Smith, Artistic Producer, Classic Theatre Festival
  • Chris Hughes, Co-Owner, BC Hughes Destination Development
  • Michael Bainbridge, OHTO’s Recreational Geology Coordinator
  • Trevor Telford, Owner, Black River Retreat
  • Claudia Van Wijk, Madawaska Kanu Centre

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Need Financial Assistance?: Ontario Ministry Funders Panel

Various Representatives from Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Location: Kinmount Room 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session Details: There are a number programs aimed at supporting tourism growth in Ontario.  This is your chance to hear directly from those who actually administer and deliver the Ontario Government’s five most important tourism-related financial assistance programs –  the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, the Tourism Industry Partner Program, the Tourism Events Marketing Program and the Tourism Development Fund and Celebrate Ontario. Come and find out what’s planned for 2015, what the program priorities are and what’s required to apply.  This seminar will help your event or business to be better prepared when it comes time to developing an application and will improve your chances for success.

Presenter Bios:

  • Kathleen Sharpe, Executive Director, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
  • Nicole Papineau, Partnership Development and Sales Manager, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation
  • Enza Chiappetta, Partnership Programs Coordinator, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation
  • Beverley Quirt, Tourism Industry Advisor – Peterborough, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Jonathon Harris, Tourism Industry Advisor – Ottawa, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

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Score Five Stars with Your Visitors: Direct from TripAdvisor

Andrew Wiens, TripAdvisor
Location: West Guilford Room 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session Details:
Customer reviews are becoming increasingly important to travel planning. Join Andrew Wiens, TripAdvisor’s International DMO Manager for a practical session on how to best leverage TripAdvisor for your business and manage your digital reputation across the social space. The presentation is appropriate for hoteliers, tour operators, and restaurateurs, be it frontline, Social media managers, or C-suite staff. Over the course of an hour, you will cover the scope and reach of TripAdvisor, why customer review sites matter, how to manage your listing, best practices in responding to users, and where to access free assets.

Presenter Bio: As the International DMO Manager for TripAdvisor since 2012, Andrew has spoken about digital media, travel marketing, and reputation management in destinations as far flung as Gander, Newfoundland and Sao Pablo, Brazil. Andrew’s media background includes working with large country level DMOs down to small local city level partners as well as non-endemics like; Toyota, Nissan, Patagonia, and United Airlines.  When not traveling, Andrew calls Los Angeles home. He is a self-admitted tech addict that revels in the integration and evolution of technology in everyday life.

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Engaging Employees: It’s Easier Than You Think!

Barry Chapman, Senior Partner, TwoGreySuits
Location: West Guilford Room 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Session Details:
Human Resource management may not be a top of mind priority for small to medium sized organizations. A full-time HR person can be costly and perhaps not fully utilized or warranted with few employees and limited resources. However, it is important for managers to be well versed in HR functions as HR mistakes due to a lack of understanding of the current human resources environment can be costly, time-consuming and may have legal implications. Join Barry Chapman, Senior Partner with TwoGreySuits, a unique on-line human resources service specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses, to learn more about how employee engagement can make it easier for you to run your business, keep your customers happy, and increase your profits. In this interactive workshop you will learn:

  • Why engagement is critical to your success
  • The five key drivers of employee engagement
  • How to implement them in your organization
  • How you can deal effectively with day-to-day people management issues
  • How you can ensure you are legally compliant

Additionally, the OHTO is exploring options related to providing ongoing and affordable HR support to members. This workshop provides the opportunity to share your HR needs and interest in an HR partnership program with us so that we can consider cost-effective HR solutions.

Session Details: Barry Chapman has spent over thirty years in Human Resource Management holding executive positions in the Health Care, Communications and Training industries. Since leaving corporate life, he has led his own TQM consulting firm, ran a dynamic training organization and continues to consult extensively to small/medium sized businesses on strategic and operational HR challenges.​

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Animating the Experience: The Story of Our Earth

Fred Sheppard, National Park Interpreter
Location: Off-Site (Transportation Provided) 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Session Details: Storytelling is an integral part of building experiences that captivate visitors and create a compelling reason to visit a destination. This off-site, interactive workshop will bring tourism to life through targeted activities that will help to reveal the hidden stories in Ontario’s Highlands, and equip you with the tools necessary to discover your own story.

During this workshop, you will experience new ways to connect with nature and come to know the story of our Earth through an interactive journey that incorporates Ontario’s Highlands’ rich geological story. You will join Fred Sheppard, a National Park interpreter of 15 years, and Michael Bainbridge, OHTO’s Recreational Geology Coordinator, on an exploration of one of the richest and most diverse geological environments in all of Canada, and learn how this special geology is at the heart of how we live, work and play here in the Highlands. You will discover ways to engage in this theme, whether you offer recreational geology product or want to know how your business can tap into this unique regional differentiator. Join us as we experience the natural wonders that abound in #MyHaliburtonHighlands; find new ways to look and listen to the landscape and gain practical methods of making your programs more experiential and engaging.

Presenter Bio: Fred Sheppard has been sharing stories with visitors to Gros Morne National Park for the last 20 years.  He has worked with the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism, crafting experiences that connect hearts and minds and has presented at provincial, national, and international workshops on innovative approaches to engage audiences. He is a 4-H kid at heart and lives by the motto, “Learn to do by Doing”, which sometimes creates wonder and beauty and magic, and sometimes, just makes a big mess!  He holds a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University in British Columbia. In 2012, he received an authentic Shawinigan Handshake, the Parks Canada CEO Award of Excellence, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, all for Creating Memorable Visitor Experiences.

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The Perfect Pitch: One-on-One Sessions

Hélèna Katz, Travel Journalist and Tourism Copywriter
Location: Blairhampton Room 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (One-on-one 20 minute appointments)

Session Details: Are you looking for the right story to hook travel media and stand out from the crowd? Need help fine-tuning your writing style? Want to know how you could make the information on your website sing? Feel like brainstorming some ways to promote your business? During a one-on-one coaching session with travel writer and tourism copywriter Hélèna Katz, discuss how your tourism operation can generate more media coverage and reach more of your target visitors.

Presenter Bio: Travel journalist and tourism copywriter Hélèna Katz was in such a hurry to explore the world that she was born two weeks early. She picked up her first newspaper at the age of 18 months. More than 20 years later, she became a reporter for the Montreal Gazette . She began freelancing in 1993 and her work has appeared in many publications including Readers Digest, Homemakers, Canadian Geographic and AOL Travel. In 2006, she traded in the sidewalks of downtown Montreal for life on an alpaca farm in the Northwest Territories. She has delivered travel media relations training for Parks Canada, Travel Alberta, Northwest Territories Tourism and the Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation. She manages Travel and Try, a Facebook page dedicated to the growing trend of experiential, hands-on travel. She is also the former president of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).  

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Master Digital Without a PhD: Simple Strategies for Connecting With Your Visitors

Gaylene MacDonald and Marc Whitehead, Karo Group
Location: Minden West Room 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Session Details: The internet, digital tools and social media are changing the way consumers learn about, shop for, buy, and boast about their favourite brands, products, services and experiences. The travel industry is just as affected by these changes as anyone. But how can smaller, independent travel and hospitality businesses benefit from tapping into these new consumer behaviors, without feeling the need to become an Internet expert? Come and learn how OHTO as an organization, and you as an individual member and business owner, can participate in the growth of digital and social marketing.


Presenter Bio:
Gaylene Macdonald’s dedication to helping brands connect with consumers while driving results is well documented. An expert in Digital Leadership with Karo Group, she is digitally native, and has over 16 years of experience advising Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, lululemon, Starbucks, and Paramount Pictures. She has also worked with Cause We Care, a Vancouver-based charitable foundation created by women for single mothers and their children in need. A terrific collaborator, she drives our “digital at the core” mandate. Marc Whitehead has 25 years’ experience being first. First to new technologies. First to new strategies. First to the big idea. On every scale, from multi-national agencies to independent communications firms, introducing new products, services and brands from Apple, Frito-Lay, Oral-B, ManuLife Financial, Wrigley and others. 

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Reach Your Best Customers: A Deep Look at Your Target Visitor

Kathryn Forgacs, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC)
Location: West Guilford Room 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Session Details: Target marketing can stretch your marketing dollars further by effectively reaching your best potential customers. In this hands-on workshop you will learn about a new tourism segmentation model specifically developed for Ontario and the Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO) that can give you a deeper look into the travel motivations and interests of your target visitors. You’ll learn how to design appealing packages that speak to the needs of your target markets, effectively reach them by understanding their media habits, and create captivating imagery that appeals to them directly. As a take-away, you will be provided with all the research information needed to target these segments.

Presenter Bio: Kathryn Forgacs started her career in international marketing in Europe. After immigrating to Canada, she found a new passion in marketing research, working both on the research supplier and research user side. Currently she is Research Manager for the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, focusing on interpretation and implementation marketing research. She manages all aspects of research for the organization from concept testing to performance evaluation. In 2013, Kathryn was presented the Client-side Researcher Impact and Effectiveness Award from the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.

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Take Off with Travel Trade: An Introduction to Engaging with Domestic & International Travel Trade

Holly Blefgen, /Ontario Outdoor Adventures
Location: Kinmount Room 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Session Details: In today’s global economy, how do you access, build and potentially sell your tourism products, services or a membership of tourism related businesses to marketplaces beyond your local, regional market reach? How do you fill a sales ‘gap’ in off-season or manage fluctuations in marketplaces and currencies? Welcome to the intriguing world of travel trade. This condensed workshop will de-mystify ‘Travel Trade’: what it is, why it exists and the key role it plays within the tourism industry worldwide and prospective benefits to you. Your participation will help discern if your business, representative organization or partnership is ready to engage in travel trade relations, learn and understand the process to prepare for such engagement and the investment required to determine if it fits into your future marketing, sales strategy and initiatives.

Presenter Bio: Holly Blefgen began her foray into tourism in 1988 with an outbound adventure tour program to Japan and Asia.  She then became actively engaged in the development of Japanese tourism to Ontario, operating a receptive tour operation, Ontario Outdoor Adventures (OOA).   OOA delivers SIT, FIT and customized tours offering four season programs that showcase Ontario’s cultural, heritage and natural attributes that now include Ontario’s Highland’s.  Holly’s expertise in travel trade and hospitality services has facilitated the execution of numerous public, private partnerships that generate sales and creative marketing opportunities for tourism businesses and destination marketing organizations to enter the global marketplace.        

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Meet Your MC!

A passionate, experienced entrepreneur and educator, for over 18 years, Jennifer has designed and facilitated highly interactive and engaging training sessions and provided targeted services in a variety industries, including Tourism. Working with diverse groups and environments from youth-adult learners, First Nations, and New Canadians to community and corporate learning environments, Jennifer’s breadth of experience and motivational attitude allows her to successful guide others in developing innovative thinking and strategies to succeed.

 

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About Us

The Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is one of 13 Regional Tourism Organizations created by the Ontario government to increase tourism to the province. The OHTO covers a large region in eastern Ontario which includes the counties of Frontenac, Haliburton, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, and Renfrew.

Government of Ontario

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Address:
Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization
9 International Drive, Suite 129
Pembroke, ON K8A 6W5

Phone: 613-629-6486

Toll Free: 855-629-6486

Fax: 613-629-6488

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