MLTA » Tourism Conference » Schedule

Schedule

Tuesday, March 27 - Thursday, March 29
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The 2018 schedule for the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism is packed with expert speakers, amazing experiences and chances to roll up your sleeves and solve problems. Find details on each day’s schedule below.

Day 1 Tuesday, March 27

Join Michigan Cares for Tourism on a volunteer event at several downtown Grand Rapids parks and a historic building in need of attention.  This is both an an indoor and outdoor event (but, don’t worry about weather) and an ideal way to kick-off our annual conference and build community, give-back, and learn about Michigan’s historic attractions and destinations.  FREE to conference attendees.  Tuesday, March 27 from 9am – noon.  All supplies provided.

 

MLTA Annual Meeting of the Members and Board Meeting

This year, the exhibition space will be the Maker’s Mart. With the Pure Michigan reception taking place within the Maker’s Mart as well as being open throughout the day on Wednesday, you’re in for premier educational and networking opportunities.

Early Bird Rate for Full Conference Only (Before 2/23/2017):
Full Conference Attendee $339
Full Conference + EduTour $369
After 3 registrants with an organization, additional registrants at the reduced rate of:
Full Conference Additional $219
Full Conference Additional + EduTour $249

After Early Bird (2/23/2017), Regular Rates apply to ALL full conference registrants:
Full Conference Attendee $369
Full Conference +EduTour $399

Discover what makes our amazing host-city so special. These local adventures will take you from gorgeous gardens to the vibrant culture and diverse community surrounding greater Grand Rapids.

#1: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

#2: Grand Rapids Art Museum

#3: Black History Walking Tour

#4: Meijer Gardens

#5: Grand River Restoration

#6: Start Garden

#7: Green Collar Farms

#8: Grand Rapids Public Museum

#9: Grand Rapids Brewery Tour

View More Information

Are you a college student or existing hospitality employee interested in earning an industry-recognized certification that will help jumpstart your hospitality career? Or perhaps, you are an employer with a rising stars in your team that can lead the charge for evaluated levels of customer service in your organization?  Guest Service Gold is an internationally recognized training program aimed at teaching staff how to offer high levels of guest service in a proactive way.  This certification adds value to resumes and employability!

Since its debut in early 2017, 20 Monroe Live has become home to live music and Special Events alike. As a new destination for live music, entertainment and special events, 20 Monroe Live features state-of-the-art sound and lights, custom menus and mixology and a uniqueness you won’t find anywhere else. This incredible space is one of the most versatile in the House of Blues Entertainment portfolio, making it a location you won’t forget!

Day 2 Wednesday, March 28

Breakfast in Maker’s Mart

There’s diversity as a buzzword, and then there’s diversity as a life practice. By nature, the essence of travel is to engage with different people, cultures and traditions — finding a piece of others, while also leaving a bit of yourself behind. Nomadness Travel Tribe has been the trailblazer in what is now known on social media as the black travel movement. Approaching 17,000 members, this community and its founder have been the respected voice representing travelers of color from around the world. In this presentation, Evita Robinson — fresh off her TED Talk — travels through stats and stories, explaining why this demographic is a power player in the travel sector, their relevance and why the travel industry should see in color.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

Business will forever evolve alongside mankind, in an ongoing effort to maximize efficiency and achieve success beyond our wildest imaginations. Those big-picture ideas and momentous innovations won’t appear out of thin air; it’s up to us to make our visions a reality – each era comes with its quirks, making things easier said than done. Welcome to the Talent Economy, a 21st century economy characterized by unprecedented innovation, connectivity, disruption and opportunity. Drawing from documented workforce and talent-development research, as well as Sladek’s ongoing study of generational impacts, this presentation cites numerous examples of organizations that have been capable of engaging employees in this era of disruption: what they did, why it worked and how it’s made a difference to organizational outlook and the bottom line.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

Take a deep dive into the strategies and critical thinking that can transform your workplace. These workshops featuring Sarah Sladek, Founder and CEO of XYZ University, will focus on talent generation, and give you strategies and tactics to put in place in your organization.

To stay on track, we need to stick to the trails. Outdoor recreation is one of our great state’s most recognized industries, and thankfully we can witness all its beauty from our seats. Learn what we, the tourism industry, need to know to truly deliver the Pure Michigan trail experience. This panel group discussion will include race promoters, outdoor recreation associations and trail groups, who will discuss the experiences and enhancements that could be made for those choosing to recreate in Michigan.

Technology moves at a lightning pace, and so do our industries! How will you keep up? There’s more to your business’ digital needs than social media. Join us as we take a deep dive into the not-so- known technologies your facility, venue and clients should be talking about. You will have the opportunity to learn about appropriate infrastructure and Wi-Fi needs, mobile apps, web apps, digital media opportunities in your space and audio-visual considerations to maximize the meeting experience at your property or venue. It’s time to leverage the latest and greatest technologies for your benefit.

This panel believes that the future successes of our state will only be achieved by working hard together toward a common goal. The Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast (MACNE), a 501(c)6 Michigan nonprofit corporation established in 2009, is the result of just that very same ethos. As a community forum to promote arts and cultural tourism, MACNE is synonymous for regional collaboration. Comprising well over 300 arts, culture, humanities and historical-related organizations — as well as artists and businesses working together along the 200-mile U.S. 23 Heritage Route — the organization is continually seeking out new ways to optimize the nature of collaboration and foster better results for the region. This session will show you how to duplicate the successes of MACNE and put your region on the map!

Being a team leader in the hospitality business means wearing multiple hats at once. Managing in today’s industry is a juggling act that requires having a diversity of talents – 16 of them to be exact. No one leadership style fits or inspires all, but you could be the type of leader that makes it happen. To learn the nature of the talents needed to meet the needs of your guests and staff, you must think like an owner. Join us for the Leadership Playbook for Hospitality Operations: How to Create Success with the “Sweet 16” Attributes of Winning Teams.

Michigan Women in Lodging is the first professional career-advancement chapter for women in Michigan to gain momentum in the lodging and tourism industries. In this panel get ready to learn leadership skills, remove barriers and find solutions by learning from local leaders who will empower you to unleash your potential.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

The Shirt Sleeve Sessions are new this year, giving you the chance to meet with well-rounded colleagues from across the state. “Roll up your sleeves” and dive deep into the issues important to you. Ask questions, contribute to discussions and share your experiences. These curated sessions broken up by career discipline solve real problems!

  • Executive Leadership
  • Emerging Professionals
  • Human Resources/Workforce
  • Sales
  • Rooms Operations
  • Information Technology
  • Facilities/Engineering
  • F&B/ Catering & Event Management
  • Public Relations/Crisis Management
  • Social Media/Marketing
  • Understanding our Industry’s Legislative Landscape

Take a deep dive into the strategies and critical thinking that can transform your workplace. These workshops featuring Sarah Sladek, Founder and CEO of XYZ University, will focus on talent generation, and give you strategies and tactics to put in place in your organization.

Enjoy the Pure Michigan reception, taking place within the Maker’s Mart.

Join us on Wednesday evening as we gather to celebrate the success of our industry and highlight the stars who have truly stood out over the last year. From hotels to attractions, CVBs to restaurants, you don’t want to miss this wonderful evening!

Day 3 Thursday, March 29

Yoga Class (LIMITED AVAILIBILITY)

Diversity & Inclusion is different for everyone, but a foundation must exist for each person before the puzzle can fit together. Only with these six pieces of the puzzle will one have the foundation to begin his or her journey to achieving the full picture. Hear Amway’s Candace Matthews work through the puzzle while sharing the successes of career, family life, and more.

In this session, guest speaker Jack Johnson gives attendees access to his vault of unrivaled personal experience in developing innovative strategies, policy solutions and civic consensus for government, nonprofits and small businesses. As Chief Advocacy Officer of Destinations International, no one understands the importance of destination-advocacy quite like Johnson.

Hear from Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Using his 15 years of experience with Travel Michigan, Lorenz will give an update on the industry and what’s around the bend in the coming years.

This session will hone in on the origin story of Founders Brewing Co. with Co-Founder Mike Stevens. Stories and insights will be on tap as Stevens takes you on a deep dive into what it takes to find success in an untapped market. The support of community, the acceptance of diversity and the goodwill of great people are just a few of the necessities that have played a role in creating new culture unlike any other!

The Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism is following up last year’s inaugural career fair. We collect a pre-qualified pool of talent that is looking to bring their passion to our industry, and then we match them with organizations whose needs are specific and present. Don’t miss the expanded, second edition of our career fair!

Day 2 Wednesday, March 28

Breakfast in Maker’s Mart

There’s diversity as a buzzword, and then there’s diversity as a life practice. By nature, the essence of travel is to engage with different people, cultures and traditions — finding a piece of others, while also leaving a bit of yourself behind. Nomadness Travel Tribe has been the trailblazer in what is now known on social media as the black travel movement. Approaching 17,000 members, this community and its founder have been the respected voice representing travelers of color from around the world. In this presentation, Evita Robinson — fresh off her TED Talk — travels through stats and stories, explaining why this demographic is a power player in the travel sector, their relevance and why the travel industry should see in color.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

Business will forever evolve alongside mankind, in an ongoing effort to maximize efficiency and achieve success beyond our wildest imaginations. Those big-picture ideas and momentous innovations won’t appear out of thin air; it’s up to us to make our visions a reality – each era comes with its quirks, making things easier said than done. Welcome to the Talent Economy, a 21st century economy characterized by unprecedented innovation, connectivity, disruption and opportunity. Drawing from documented workforce and talent-development research, as well as Sladek’s ongoing study of generational impacts, this presentation cites numerous examples of organizations that have been capable of engaging employees in this era of disruption: what they did, why it worked and how it’s made a difference to organizational outlook and the bottom line.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

Take a deep dive into the strategies and critical thinking that can transform your workplace. These workshops featuring Sarah Sladek, Founder and CEO of XYZ University, will focus on talent generation, and give you strategies and tactics to put in place in your organization.

To stay on track, we need to stick to the trails. Outdoor recreation is one of our great state’s most recognized industries, and thankfully we can witness all its beauty from our seats. Learn what we, the tourism industry, need to know to truly deliver the Pure Michigan trail experience. This panel group discussion will include race promoters, outdoor recreation associations and trail groups, who will discuss the experiences and enhancements that could be made for those choosing to recreate in Michigan.

Technology moves at a lightning pace, and so do our industries! How will you keep up? There’s more to your business’ digital needs than social media. Join us as we take a deep dive into the not-so- known technologies your facility, venue and clients should be talking about. You will have the opportunity to learn about appropriate infrastructure and Wi-Fi needs, mobile apps, web apps, digital media opportunities in your space and audio-visual considerations to maximize the meeting experience at your property or venue. It’s time to leverage the latest and greatest technologies for your benefit.

This panel believes that the future successes of our state will only be achieved by working hard together toward a common goal. The Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast (MACNE), a 501(c)6 Michigan nonprofit corporation established in 2009, is the result of just that very same ethos. As a community forum to promote arts and cultural tourism, MACNE is synonymous for regional collaboration. Comprising well over 300 arts, culture, humanities and historical-related organizations — as well as artists and businesses working together along the 200-mile U.S. 23 Heritage Route — the organization is continually seeking out new ways to optimize the nature of collaboration and foster better results for the region. This session will show you how to duplicate the successes of MACNE and put your region on the map!

Being a team leader in the hospitality business means wearing multiple hats at once. Managing in today’s industry is a juggling act that requires having a diversity of talents – 16 of them to be exact. No one leadership style fits or inspires all, but you could be the type of leader that makes it happen. To learn the nature of the talents needed to meet the needs of your guests and staff, you must think like an owner. Join us for the Leadership Playbook for Hospitality Operations: How to Create Success with the “Sweet 16” Attributes of Winning Teams.

Michigan Women in Lodging is the first professional career-advancement chapter for women in Michigan to gain momentum in the lodging and tourism industries. In this panel get ready to learn leadership skills, remove barriers and find solutions by learning from local leaders who will empower you to unleash your potential.

Refreshments will be served on the exhibition floor, Maker’s Mart. Take time to visit our exhibitors, network, and snack between sessions.

The Shirt Sleeve Sessions are new this year, giving you the chance to meet with well-rounded colleagues from across the state. “Roll up your sleeves” and dive deep into the issues important to you. Ask questions, contribute to discussions and share your experiences. These curated sessions broken up by career discipline solve real problems!

  • Executive Leadership
  • Emerging Professionals
  • Human Resources/Workforce
  • Sales
  • Rooms Operations
  • Information Technology
  • Facilities/Engineering
  • F&B/ Catering & Event Management
  • Public Relations/Crisis Management
  • Social Media/Marketing
  • Understanding our Industry’s Legislative Landscape

Take a deep dive into the strategies and critical thinking that can transform your workplace. These workshops featuring Sarah Sladek, Founder and CEO of XYZ University, will focus on talent generation, and give you strategies and tactics to put in place in your organization.

Enjoy the Pure Michigan reception, taking place within the Maker’s Mart.

Join us on Wednesday evening as we gather to celebrate the success of our industry and highlight the stars who have truly stood out over the last year. From hotels to attractions, CVBs to restaurants, you don’t want to miss this wonderful evening!