Presentations and Sessions


Keynote Address - Traversing the Disruption
It certainly may not feel like it on the surface, but disruption is what powers consumer desire and consumption. Destination Marketing consultant and author Bill Geist shares examples of how changing up the status quo can create media buzz, brand awareness and visitor trial. In this fast-moving presentation, you'll realize the opportunities before you to be the disruptors…and not the disrupted.

  • Bill Geist, President, DMOproz

Creating the Ultimate Bicycle Tourism Brand
Whether a tour operator, non‐profit or a tourism agency, a strong brand is key to achieving success. We firmly believe that your brand is not your logo, it's your product. Our presentation will illustrate how to develop and grow your brand by focusing on user experience.

  • Doug Haney, Co-Director, Cycle Adirondacks
  • Matt VanSlyke, Co-Director, Cycle Adirondacks

Digital Advertising Best Practices and How to Measure the Success of a Digital Media Campaign
This presentation focuses on the different ways to measure the success of a digital advertising campaign including, paid search, social advertising, banners, video ads and more. How to measure conversions, track time on page and best utilize Google Analytics to measure engagement and success rates with advertising campaigns.

  • Lee Warnock, Business Development Manager, Orange142

Digital Tourism 2020
Description TBA

  • Anna Pakman, Director, Digital Strategy, Empire State Development/I LOVE NY

Essential Elements: How Truth, Vision and Amplification Can Maximize Virtual Reality (and Other New Technologies)
A discussion about the importance of knowing your brand, your audience and your business objectives before committing to new technology.

  • Tait Wardlaw, Senior Director, Creative and Client Strategy, Adworkshop

How Thinking "Branding First" Captures Today's Travelers
If you're not thinking "Branding First" you're already slipping behind your destination marketing competitors. The largest companies in the world think branding first and marketing second. Learn why you must think "Branding First" to capture today's traveler in the age where traditional media is dying. Josiah Brown, or the New York Sherpa as he is called, will take a quick dive into the science of branding at its core. You will take away the principles of how to think "Branding First" and how to chase the attention and engagement of today's travelers.

  • Josiah Brown, New York Sherpa, New York Welcomes You

Impact of Technology on Tourism
Advances in technology including robotics, artificial intelligence, platform technologies, and cloud computing have a great impact on many industries including hospitality and tourism. This presentation will outline some of the strategic impacts of these technologies on the industry, currently and in future. We will explore how the industry can prepare for the evolving technological future.

  • Karthik Namasivayam, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Rochester Institute of Technology

Marketing the Adirondacks to Millennials: The Adirondacks and the Next Generation (Panel Presentation)
The millennial generation now makes up an impressive one-quarter of the U.S. population. So, where are they?
Why don't we see more of them in the Adirondacks? Noticing the lack of millennials visiting the region, The Wild Center commissioned Schireson Associates to study this trendy generation's travel patterns and needs, hoping to get some answers.The findings help us better understand how to compete in today's economy, providing insight on what businesses in the Adirondacks can do to appeal to this ready-to-spend group on the rise! Participants are encouraged to read the study at

  • Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Director of Philanthropy, The Wild Center (with Trampoline Design)
  • Amanda Magee, Principal, New Business Development, Trampoline Design
  • Sean Magee, Partner, Brand Strategy, Trampoline Design
  • Stanzi McGlynn, Digital Content Fellow, The Wild Center

Somewhere Beyond the Rainbow: Current Trends in LGBT Tourism (Panel Presentation)
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism landscape has changed since this travel segment was first targeted in the early 1990s. While many LGBT travelers have often sought larger, urban destinations and specific LGBT neighborhoods, these trends are expanding to include any destination that has unique cultural tourism opportunities and experiences, regardless of size. In this panel, you'll hear from various-sized TPAs and I Love New York on how they are reaching out to the modern LGBT audience, and tips on how your destination can make an effective invitation to the LGBT community.

  • Roberta Byron-Lockwood, President/CEO, Sullivan County Visitors Association
  • Patrick Kaler, President/CEO, Visit Buffalo Niagara
  • Ross Levi, Vice President, Marketing Initiatives, Empire State Development/I LOVE NY
  • TBA

The Craft Beverage Industry Impact on Tourism - It's Bigger Than You Think! (Panel Presentation)
Four NYS craft beverage leaders discuss how their industries have had a substantial tourism impact on the economies of the biggest cities and smallest towns across the state. They will discuss why it's important to get on board if you're not already, and if you are benefiting from the industries historic growth currently, then they will discuss why it's important to continue to support it, and discuss what the future looks like in New York State.

  • Paul Leone, Executive Director, New York State Brewers Association
  • Brian McKenzie, President, Finger Lakes Distilling
  • Paul Thomas, Executive Director, Seneca Lake Wine Trail
  • TBA

Trail-Making Along the Hudson River Valley and Champlain Canal Corridor
The presentation will educate tourism professionals of the trail planning efforts underway from New York City to the Canadian border along the Hudson River and Champlain Canal. We will convey the story of one continuous recreation trail that will create a powerful tourism tool for communities along the corridor. The presentation will show how various existing, planned and considered trail segments will be pieced together and how it will make critical trail linkages to waterfront sites, linear parks and other local, regional, state and federal trail systems. The project will describe the significant local, regional and statewide economic development power that can occur from the development of a continuous interconnected trail along a historically significant route through many different landscapes. Create a meaningful visitor experiences and draw international visitors.

  • Tracey Clothier, Senior Planner, The LA Group, P.C.
  • Jeff Olson, Registered Architect, Alta Planning & Design