Right off the bat I have to say, “eTourism Summit is one tourism conference you really should attend!”  While we all attend a variety of tourism conferences and educational events throughout the year, eTourism Summit is different.  It’s intimate, only 200 can attend. Because of the small number of in attendance,  you are immersed in the stellar education offered and you get to really connect with others in tourism.

This year I was able to share my experience marketing the resort destination of Lake Arrowhead, CA. for 2 years with no budget, primarily via Twitter.  I shared the session with Melissa Barnes, Marketing Strategy, from Twitter and Ali Daniels, Director of Marketing, Seattle CVB and from all accounts our Twitter session rocked!

eTourism Summit visit to Facebook

A special field trip was arranged for some eTourism Summit attendees!

Jake Steinman, founder of eTourism Summit, offered something very special to some of us the day before eTourism officially started and that was a trip to Facebook headquarters.  Approximately 60 people attended.  We were in 2 groups that  participated in a workshop and had time for lunch on the “campus” too.  It was really something getting a glimpse of what it’s like to actually work there.  And, by the way, according to an employee there, Mark Zuckerberg feels that Facebook is only “1% percent finished with its journey.”  How about that?

The two days of the actual conference had 3 separate tracks (you could choose any track at any time) filled with sessions such as:

Brand USA's presentation at eTourism Summit

Keri Hanson, Digital Marketing Manager, Brand USA and Chris Adams, VP Research, Miles present at eTourism Summit

How Facebook Has Evolved and What it Means to Tourism Marketers

The State of Mobile Marketing from a Tourism Marketer’s Perspective

The Changing Role of Travel Bloggers from Journalists to Paid “Wanderers-in-Residence”

Paid Advertising Programs on Digital Platforms. Options Coop/PPC vs CPM, which is more relevant?

The Super Panel: Experts from all four leading digital media brands – Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – offer their insights and perspectives on how travel companies can best use their platforms.

eTourism Summit offers a great deal of content for attendees – all levels of experience learn here.  There is a speed-dating component where those in attendance can connect one on one with presenters as well as each morning you can take part in moderated roundtable discussions during breakfast.  The first morning I moderated the “Kissing Up to Bloggers” roundtable and brought those who participated up to speed regarding TBEX and how to work with bloggers on their terms.

With the size of the conference limited (which means you must register early for this event each year) the opportunities for networking as well as the educational component are exceptional and once again let us say ~ This is a conference that you should put into your budget and plan on attending.  eTourism Summit is so worth it!