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2022 Annual Meeting Workshop: The Journey to Best Practice Destination Brand Management

Oct 3, 2022

Having a really awesome brand and creative look is one thing—extending that brand to become a culture that exudes through everything you print, publish and your people is another.

In this workshop, Valerie Knoblauch will share Finger Lakes Visitors Connection's creation of their brand guidelines book as a journey to destination brand management – and how it is bigger and more impactful at first thought. The brand gives your company, your destination a total, cohesive personality. From the graphic elements to your choice of words to the demeanor of your employees on a zoom call, everything weaves together to make an impression. If your brand could talk, what would it say? What kind of personality would it have? The benefits of branding extend beyond the obvious of a good cohesive look and consumer recognition. Valerie will also show how brand management creates value inside the company as you grow a team and get them involved with something more than just a job. Once the four pillars of branding are established, the true rewards come in on efficiency and effectiveness in operations.

With the right branding, you have the chance to get some control over how people perceive your business. That ultimately is your reputation. Through Finger Lakes Visitors Connection's story of the use of data to inspire the consolidation of a brand and hence, the transformation of company culture, you'll learn that no matter your “job" within a company or destination, you can make a difference.

Why you should attend this session:

  • A brand is more than the pretty stuff of great design, it's also the diligent practice of gathering insights and transporting that insight into a design playbook and cultural guidebook.
  • You'll hear self-confessions of a brand gone awry – and the steps taken to clear up the brand confusion, lose the brand “weight", and become a stylish brand culture.
  • To be reinforced that a brand is a destination; brand management is, however, a journey. As an employee, you can make contributions to develop consumer loyalty and affinity with the culture that they see represented in the company's activities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how you and your company can foster a healthy brand culture to attain business goals in a structured and strategic – and still, “fun because we're in tourism" way!
  • Take away the four framework pillars for brand management
  • Access to a model brand guideline template
  • Learn how to save money, time, and resources by ensuring that your brand is articulated consistently to your vendors, your team, and your customers.

About the Speakers:

Valerie Knoblauch

President and CEO
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Ontario County
Corporate Communications

Valerie, it may seem, has been around since the dawn of tourism in New York. Although it's not been quite that long, she has been around the block (and the state and the country) a few times advocating for New York and especially the Finger Lakes as a great destination. As president of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Valerie leads the team in the mission of “curating, distinguishing, and developing Ontario County's destination brand to inspire travel that creates economic vitality for our stakeholders and communities, and provides quality of life benefits for Ontario County's residents."

She has held various leadership positions both in her community and across the tourism industry. She currently is a member of the New York State Tourism Advisory Council, and a retiring member of the Board of Directors of NYSTIA. She is a proud community leader in the area, having served on the school board and as a recipient of the Athena Award.

Cindy Harris
President and Founder
Harris Studios, Inc.

Cindy Harris of Harris Studios, located in Bloomfield, NY is a specialist in brand-boosting, brand amplification, and brand extension. She has an “ear" for the goals of the client in what they want their brand to say and she will help you “uplevel the brand." She's the author of an e-book, “What Does Your Brand Say." Cindy is also known for her art and in particular, her oil paintings and 'en plein air' inspired scenic, and colorful, soulful still lifes.

More: Although they will not have speaking roles today – here's to the co-conspirators in the development of our brand and its ongoing management. First and foremost, The Finger Lakes Visitors Connection team lives and breathes this brand. And, to our style contributors: Meg Vanek for her writing skills, Lisa Hughes for her grasping of our photo personality, and Dana Kruger, Dana Events, our public conscious as brand ambassadors for Ontario County and the Finger Lakes.