Wisconsin Department of Tourism Hosts Annual Conference in Milwaukee

MADISON, Wis. – Members of Wisconsin’s tourism industry are set to gather in Milwaukee for this year’s Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT), March 12-14. The annual premier educational networking event for the tourism industry will be held at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. Governor Scott Walker will provide the opening address for this year’s conference that features keynote remarks from actor, travel writer and television director Andrew McCarthy and many other world-class presenters. Registration for the conference is now open.

“We’re excited to once again partner with Governor Walker to offer Wisconsin’s industry an exceptional conference that gives them the tools to keep growing the tourism economy in our state,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “For 30 years, WIGCOT has been the premiere tourism conference in the state, and this year will be no different, with top speakers providing insight that can immediately be implemented by our industry partners. The right mix of business, pleasure, and a little Wisconsin fun, help create a networking event that attendees can use to grow their businesses and better promote their destination.”

Event details, including a full agenda, information on accommodations and online registration can be found at http://www.wigcot.org.

Conference Highlights

Governor Walker and Tourism Secretary Klett will kick off the conference with an opening address highlighting significant events and achievements from the previous year, as well as their vision for the industry’s growth and impact on Wisconsin’s economy. Building off of the conference theme, “Sense of Place”, the opening reception will be held in the Harley-Davidson Museum, one of Wisconsin’s most iconic brands.

Actor, director and travel writer Andrew McCarthy will give the first keynote presentation on Monday, March 13. McCarthy is an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler magazine and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many other publications. McCarthy’s extensive travel writing experience will provide key insights and immediate takeaways to Wisconsin tourism industry partners.

On Tuesday, Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, a world leader in social media research, shares valuable information on social media metadata and how it is used to gain consumer insights. With a TED talk named one of the most powerful talks of 2014, Dr. Golbeck provides a look at the rise of social networks and data analytics and how they impact the future of business, as well as the tourism industry.

Governor Walker will close out the conference by presenting The Governor’s Tourism Awards at Tuesday evening’s closing dinner. Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin’s tourism industry. The five award categories include: Legacy, Rising Star, Service Excellence, Stewardship, and Arts, Culture & Heritage.  

The Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism is an annual three-day education and networking event for Wisconsin innkeepers, restaurateurs, community tourism officials, tourism attraction operators, state agency officials, tourism educators and other representatives of the hospitality industry.

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