UMCVB Fall Conference Agenda


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (Pre-Conference/Conference Day 1)

8:00 am – 5:00 pm | Registration

Dacotah Bank Center – Main Lobby

9:00 am – 2:00 pm | Exhibitor Set-Up

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

10:00 am | Brookings Optional Activity

Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center

Meet us at the state-of-the-art Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center for a backstage tour. The Oscar is located on the South Dakota State University campus, 1601 University Blvd. Sign-up here.

10:00 am- 12:00 pm | Stress Break Massages

Dacotah Bank Center – Main Lobby

We know travel can be tough on us, thankfully HealthSource Chiropractic has our back, literally. They are offering quick 15-minute stress break sessions at the Dakotah Bank Center (formerly the Swiftel Center) between 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday September 11. Spaces are limited so signups are required. Reserve your spot here. 

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Lunch on your own

Downtown Brookings

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Conference Welcome

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

Welcome to the 26th annual UMCVB Fall Conference!

Presented by:

  • Brent Cory, President & CEO of Enjoy Eagan and the UMCVB Board President
  • Laura Schoen Carbonneau, Executive Director of Visit Brookings
  • Jim Hagen, South Dakota’s Sectretary of Tourism

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm | Opening Keynote

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

Rise Up, Be Resilient and Shine as Travel Destinations and Advisors

Burnout is a buzzword these days and many in the travel industry are experiencing stress due to high expectations of customers. According to TravelAge West “Need to Know” survey – 56% of travel experts feel customers are more demanding now than before the pandemic. In this session we will explore the importance of reframing, creating positive experiences for ourselves, colleagues, suppliers, & guests. We will also participate in discussions and activities to promote self care, increase support networks, and share best practices in hospitality when faced with challenges.
Key Takeaways:

  • Identify burnout – Build internal scripts to move through stress
  • Ways to meet the demands of guest/customers/colleagues
  • Partner Pair Share/Small Team Activities to increase positivity for the industry

Presented by: Lisa Schaefer, MSE, Speaker | Coach | Consultant, Shine With Schaefer

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm | Break & Visit Exhibitors 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm | Concurrent Sessions 1

Daktronics B

ChatGPT and Generative AI – What it means for you

You’ve probably heard a lot about AI this year, join Dave Carruthers as he breaks down the impact AI will have on our industry and provides clear examples, use cases and tools that can help you master this essential skill and transition from a doer to a thinkers mindset. Dave will cover the basics of ChatGPT as well as a variety of other AI powered solutions that can 10x you and your team’s productivity all in an engaging, informative and non-techy talk that will leave you feeling more knowledgeable and excited about the opportunity AI presents.

Presented by: Dave Carruthers,  Red Beard

Daktonics Conference Room

Leverage Your Strengths in Sales

Hear from your peers in this session, discussing how they leverage their strengths to be selected as a host committee.  They will share how they create dynamic site visits and lessons learned over the past couple. 

Presented by: Tyson Steiger, Visit Rapid City

Daktronics C

Data Driven Decision Making in Sports Tourism

Join Huddle Up Group Founder + CEO, Jon Schmieder, for this interactive session discussing the Sports Tourism Index. The Sports Tourism Index evaluates sports destinations in four areas: Facilities, destination strength, organizational structure, and events. The benchmarks used by the Sports Tourism Index are the result of surveys and interviews with the top event rights holders and National Governing Bodies across the United States. The data that comes from the Index can be used to benchmark a destination, its facilities, and to deliver a SWOT analysis of that market’s DMO, CVB or sports commission.

Attend this session to measure how your destination stacks up and learn where you can enhance your current efforts in the growing sports tourism market.

Presented by: Jon Schmieder,  Huddle Up Group

Daktronics D

CEO Roundtable

 What is Keeping You Up At Night? Come to this open forum to discuss your biggest concerns and challenges with your peers.

Moderated by: TBA

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm | Break & Visit Exhibitors 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm |  Refresh at hotels

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm | Travel to Opening Reception

Transportation: Shuttle service will run between the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton and McCrory Gardens from 5:30 – 6:15 pm. 

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Let’s Go Meet Opening Reception

McCrory Gardens

Kick off UMCVB 2023 at McCrory Gardens, the prettiest spot in Brookings. Enjoy live music, lawn games, great food and drink. It’s not your Grandma’s garden party!

Menu: Heavy appetizers, beer and wine available

Transportation: Shuttle service return trips will run between 7:30 and 9:00 pm from McCrory Gardens back to the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton.

Sponsors: Destination Marketing Professionals of South Dakota, City of Brookings

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (Conference Day 2)

6:00 am – 8:00 am | Breakfast at Hotels

Breakfast is available at both Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn

7:00 am – 5:00 pm | Registration

Dacotah Bank Center – Main Lobby

7:30 am – 8:30 am | Visit Exhibitors & Coffee

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

8:30 am – 8:45 am | Welcome & Announcements

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

8:45 am – 9:45 am | Morning Keynote

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

A concerning trend: What happens when someone wants your funding?

As DMO budgets grow, elected officials and community members may want to redirect DMO funding. So, how do you protect yourself from this and are there other more stabilized funding streams available?

Presented by: Julie Hart, CEO/President, CFO by design

9:45 am – 10:15 pm | Break & Visit Exhibitors, enjoy refreshments

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

10:15 am – 11:00 am | Concurrent Sessions 2

Daktronics B

Strategies for Tapping Into the Adaptive Sports Economy

You can become adapted sport allies by helping shift both the disability and adapted sport narratives from a charity focus to a business case. The annual adapted sports economic impact totals nearly $78 million. The movement is more than a subjective “feel good” narrative – it is an economic driver that positively impacts the bottom line and creates inclusive communities where all have access to participate. Come away with a deeper understanding of the disability community and its intersectionality along with strategies for hosting adapted sport events. Become an ally that transforms the disability narrative and amplifies adapted sport as an impactful economic contributor within your community.

Presented by: Dawna Callahan, All In Sport Consulting

Daktonics Conference Room

Turning Insights to Outcomes  for the Community (Evolving Data to Quality of Life)

Unless you apply your data and insights to actual outcomes for your community, you’re just looking at bar charts and pie graphs. Destinations now have the opportunity to utilize real time insights from events, movement and spend for the betterment of the community, the improved experience for the visitor and transformation of the organization. If these tools are available, which DMOs are using them the best?

This session will have destinations tell their stories about completely new insights and how they evolved the DMO and created outcomes for the residents, the visitors and their stakeholders.

Attendees will learn:

  • To Identify what data streams and insights are most valuable to the DMO
  • How to recognize data that does not help the destination tell its story
  • Ways to better tell the entire story of the DMO’s total effect on the visitor economy
  • Ideas over how to communicate proactive outcomes with stakeholders, community and staff the opportunities from events, visitor flow and resident/visitor ratios
  • Processes for cutting through the data clutter to simplify the narrative. Every CEO, researcher, marketer and staff member can easily craft a narrative from the data when they know where to look

Presented by: Adam Johnson, Zartico

Daktronics C

Protecting Your DMO

We’ve all seen the headlines and wondered “how could that happen?”. Come learn about some cautionary tales in our industry and what could have been done to prevent the headlines.

Presented by: Julie Hart,  CFO by design

Daktronics D

10 Things Event Planners Wish DMOs Knew

Event planning is about collaboration. This session will share valuable insight into various ways DMOs can collaborate with event planners to strengthen partnerships, showcase their destinations, and create memorable events.

Presented by: Ellie Highstreet, SD Event Connection

11:00 am – 11:15 am | Break 

11:15 am – 12:00 pm | Concurrent Sessions 3

Daktronics B

Content Publishing Best Practices

In this session, our content experts will share how to properly structure content within the architecture of your website for major SEO impact, while also covering if your content should be a page or a blog, and other digital content best practices.

Presented by: Sarah Bellamy, Tempest

Daktonics Conference Room

Multi-Cultural Diversity Advertising

Learn how to reach and engage diverse audiences through multicultural marketing. Leverage the important role of data and analytics, learn best practices for effective campaigns, and discover the latest trends and innovations in multicultural marketing. Gain valuable insights and practical tips to enhance your multicultural marketing efforts and drive new visitation.

Presented by: Cliff Ward, Orange142

Daktronics C

Youth Sports Tourism

Hear from Visit Quad Cities and Sioux Falls Sports Authority how they approach sports tourism and join the discussion on how you can utilize your community assets to bring in sports tourism.

Presented by: Dave Herrell, Visit Quad Cities & Thomas Lee, Sioux Falls Sports Authority

Daktronics D

Sales Roundtable

Let’s talk about tradeshows! What tradeshows are you attending now? What have you dropped? What works, what doesn’t? Open discussion format with your peers.

Moderated by: TBA

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm | Lunch Buffet & Visit Exhibitors 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm | Luncheon Keynote

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

Cultural Tourism Panel

Representatives from the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance & North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance will be joined by The George Washington University to discuss how communities can work with their local tourism alliance organizations. 

Moderated by: Beth Wright, Program Manager, International Institute of Tourism Studies, The George Washington Univeristy School of Business

Presented by: Stacey LaCompte, Les Thomas, & Tamara St John with the North Dakota Native Toursim Alliance and Frank Kills in Water & Tianna Yellow Hair with the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm | Break & Visit Exhibitors, enjoy refreshments 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm | Concurrent Sessions 4

Daktronics B

Drive Your Data into the Future

Strategic destinations demand data. Set your destination up for success by getting a glimpse into the future of data with a business intelligence suite and warehouse that provides DMOs with highly reliable, accessible, and digestible data. Simpleview Data Engine centralizes reporting and data models, provides direct access to robust reports curated by industry experts, and allows DMOs to incorporate their own unique data. This session will give attendees an in-depth look into how they can elevate their destination’s strategies and guide data-driven decision-making.

Presented by: Chris George, Simpleview

Daktonics Conference Room

The 12 Laws of AI: A Practical Guide for DMOs

Law 1: Do not let machines overshadow your humans
“AI is a tool, not the craftsman. Let it assist, but never overshadow.”

Navigating the complex world of AI can be both exciting and daunting. If you’re seeking to understand its core, maximize its potential, and be alert to its pitfalls, it’s essential to have a guide. How are your visitors engaging with it? What implications does it hold for them, your team and your destination? The 12 Laws of AI, presented by Madden Media’s Matt Clement, will help provide clarity and direction as you navigate this ever-evolving frontier.

Presented by: Matt Clement, Madden Media

Daktronics C

The Power of Authenticity: Amplifying Destination Appeal with User-Generated Content

The influence of content creators in shaping consumer behavior and travel decisions cannot be understated. Join us as we delve into the captivating realm of working with content creators for destinations and uncover the myriad of benefits and considerations for these exciting collaborations.

Highlighting successes from over 300 creator visits in destinations of all sizes, we’ll explore the invaluable benefits of partnering with content creators. From bolstering brand awareness and amplifying reach to fostering authentic connections with target audiences, we will demonstrate how these collaborations pave the way for immersive experiences and long-lasting memories.

Presented by: Chris Lukenbill, shrpa

Daktronics D

Advocacy Roundtable

In the ever changing, more digital world, how are you advocating for your community? How do you partner with small businesses? How do you appeal to the more traditional elected leaders but still stay up with trends in tourism and appeal to a different audience? Discuss with your peers the struggles and successes you are experiencing.

Moderated by: TBA

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm | Refresh at hotels

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm |Travel to Experience Tours

Shuttles will depart for the experience tours at 3:45 pm from the Holiday Inn Express. Shuttles will go directly from the Experience Tours to the Let’s Go Play Reception at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Visit Brookings Experience Tours

Tour #1: Dana J Dykehouse Stadium

Let’s Go Jackrabbits!

Tour the home of the 2023 FCS National Football Championship team. The experience includes a stadium tour plus a look at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, the largest indoor practice facility in Division 1 sports.

Tour #2: South Dakota State University Dairy Bar & South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum

Let’s Go Eat Ice Cream!

Want to see where Cookies and Cream ice create was invented? Get a taste and tour of the famous SDSU Dairy Bar then explore South Dakota’s historic rural way of life.

Menu: Ice cream and South Dakota made products available for purchase

Sponsor: Visit Watertown

Tour #3: Shade Vineyard & Winery

Let’s Go Drink Wine!

Set amid stunning rolling prairie scenery, Schade Vineyard was designed to not only bring you the finest South Dakota wine, but a taste of South Dakota itself.

Menu: Wine available for purchase

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm | Let’s Go Play Brookings Pre-Dinner Reception

Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Celebrate your inner child at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota! Climb the cloud, harvest corn, and come face to face with Mama, our life-size animatronic T-Rex. Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from play.

Menu: A variety of appetizers and finger food featuring Brookings and South Dakota based products. Beer and wine available

Transportation: Shuttles will go directly from the Experience Tours to the Let’s Go Play Reception at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. Continuous round-trip shuttle service between the Children’s Museum of South Dakota and Holiday Inn Express available between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm

Sponsor: Visit Brookings

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Dine Around Brookings

dinner on your own


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 (Conference Day 3)

6:00 am – 8:00 am | Breakfast at Hotels

Breakfast is available at both Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn

7:00 am – 12:00 pm | Registration

Dacotah Bank Center – Main Lobby

7:30 am – 8:30 am | Visit Exhibitors & Coffee

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

8:30 am – 8:45 am | Welcome & Announcements

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

8:45 am – 9:45 am | Award Presentations

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

Session Details TBA

9:45 am – 10:15 am | Break & Visit Exhibitors, enjoy refreshments 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Lobby/Concourse

10:15 am – 11:15 am | Closing Keynote 

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

The Richest Man in Town

Inspired by the actions and growing popularity of an elderly cashier at a local Walmart store, speaker V.J. Smith sent a letter to the CEO of the big box store and alerted corporate headquarters to their budding superstar – Marty. That letter changed the lives of both Marty and V.J. and created a lasting friendship. Marty’s story has been shared more than 3,500 times throughout the country and is the basis for the best-selling book, The Richest Man in Town. It’s a story about the power of gratitude.

Presented by: V.J. Smith, Speaker | Author

11:15 am – 11:30 am | 2024 Welcome Presentation

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A

Next Host of UMCVB TBA

11:30 am – 12:00 pm | Conference Closing

Dacotah Bank Center  – Daktronics A