Thank you for your interest in OHTO’s 4th Annual Tourism Conference & AGM. To register for the event, please click here.
AGM & Keynote Sessions
October 27, 2014 @ 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- 9:30 Registration
- 10:00 AGM Presentations and Voting
- 11:00 AGM Closes
- 11:00 Networking Break
- 11:30 OHTO Recap – “Successful Destinations & Current Challenges”
- 11:35 Keynote Speaker – Dorothy Payne, President and Chair, Synergy Louisbourg
“Synergy Louisbourg: A Community Engagement Case Study”
- 12:30 Lunch
- 1:30 Keynote Speaker – Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park
“Speaking with an Authentic Voice: Sharing Stories that Connect Hearts and Minds”
- 2:30 Networking Break
- 3:00 Keynote Speaker – Marc Whitehead, Karo Group
“Making the Shift: Realizing Our Potential”
- 4:00 Closing Remarks and Draw Prizes
Keynote Sessions & Presenter Bios
Synergy Louisbourg: A Community Engagement Case Study
Dorothy Payne, President and Chair, Synergy Louisbourg
11:35 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Session Details: Join Dorothy Payne, President and Chair of the Synergy Louisbourg Development Society, as she shares a community case study of how embracing visitor-centric, experience-based tourism development has helped a destination similar to Ontario’s Highlands, Louisbourg, NS, activate community support around tourism and keep the momentum going. The region’s “success story” is one of mobilization and collaboration, building support and addressing challenges that operators in Ontario’s Highlands region will be able to relate to.
Louisbourg, at the eastern edge of Nova Scotia, had a problem. Even with the internationally-renowned Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site as an anchor attraction on its doorstep, the area was self-described by residents and business leaders as being at the end of a dead-end road! In a major redevelopment in 1995, the main street was ‘beautified’ and traffic flow to the Fortress was improved, but many visitors still failed to notice the spectacular harbour which attracted the French more than 300 years ago. Lost, too, was the invitation to experience the Coastal Trail and the historic Lighthouse (on the site of the first Lighthouse built in Canada in 1734). Visitors also bypassed the community’s shops and services, diminishing the economic return to Louisbourg from tourism and causing some businesses to close their doors.
By 2012, there were fewer visitors to Cape Breton and most were no longer stopping in the community of Louisbourg. A group of citizens convened to challenge the status quo. They developed, and are now implementing, a strategy based on vision, research and the development of new product, all focused on establishing Louisbourg as a destination. This is their story.
Presenter Bio: Dorothy Payne has an affinity for “The Highlands”. Born and raised in the lee of Gros Morne Mountain in Newfoundland, her approach has been heavily influenced by the landscapes and people that continue to surround her. With her mother coming directly from the Highlands of Scotland, and blessed as Dorothy is now with living in the midst of the Cape Breton Highlands, she artfully combines her love of place and land with community, forging new paths based upon inclusion and involvement. Never one to shy from a task or a good debate, Dorothy has worked in the mining industry, municipal affairs, education – as a teacher, coordinator and specialist – and she has been asked to provide strategic advice in many areas at local and national levels within Parks Canada. She holds Degrees in Arts and Education as well as Certificates in Professional Development and Change Management, and in Executive Development (Leadership and Management). Dorothy is the current President and Chair of the Synergy Louisbourg Development Society. She is proud to live in Louisbourg and happy to maintain her lifelong connection to the Highlands where the Mountains meet the Sea – Cape Breton Island!
Speaking with an Authentic Voice: Sharing Stories that Connect Hearts and Minds
Fred Sheppard, Park Interpreter, Gros Morne National Park
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Session Details: Visitors love a good story and they love a good storyteller even more. Join Fred Sheppard, a National Park interpreter who has spent the last 15 years leading groups, as he shares his expertise in creating compelling visitor experiences through the incorporation of storytelling into the travel offer. Through strategies that inspire you to be proud of the work you do and the place you are from, Fred will demonstrate how tapping into the hearts and minds of guests can foster a deeper connection to your destination and ultimately increase new and repeat visitation. Want to learn how to create authentic experiences that visitors will pay for? Don’t miss this session.
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.
Making the Shift: Realizing Our Potential
Karo Group & OHTO
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Session Details: During the past four years, the OHTO, jointly with our valued stakeholders, has invested in understanding the potential for tourism in Ontario’s Highlands. With the help of KARO, an award winning marketing agency and specialists in experiential marketing, the OHTO is excited to present our new visitor-centric, experience based brand platform that will act as our common vision towards realizing our potential collectively. This presentation will visually communicate the essence of the Ontario’s Highlands travel offer from the perspective our ideal guest and that offer will become the reference point guiding our product development and promotional efforts, how tourism partners and businesses can support those efforts, and which metrics will be set out to evaluate and measure the region’s level of success.
Presenter Bio: Karo Group is an integrated creative agency committed to creating Persuasive Experiences™ for the digital age. Fiercely independent and privately owned, Karo was established in Vancouver in 1971, making it one of the longest serving agencies in Western Canada. From their offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, Karo serves clients across a range of sectors including packaged goods, retail, education, banking, energy, health food and travel & tourism. While working with Travel Alberta, they were the “brains” behind the organization’s well-known “Remember to Breathe” campaign. 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.
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.
Please click here for the Event Agenda for October 28, 2014.