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Session 1: 
Engineering Unforgettable Visitor Experiences: 
Presented by: Joe Veneto, Veneto Collaboratory

Experiences are the currency of 21st century consumers. To be successful,
destinations, attractions, lodging companies, cultural sites, culinary venues, and
retailers must engineer unforgettable visitor experiences that turn customers into
brand ambassadors.
Discover the Experience Formula™ to impact and influence customers’
emotional bank accounts. Uncover the levels of experiences to create engaging
and immersive new offerings. Understand the five stages of every experience to
create meaningful customer connections. Finally, learn about successful
business case studies and models to create sustainable tourism success.

Session 2: 
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Advocating Your Policy Priorities: How to Engage Successfully with Legislators and a Deeper Dive into the State of Michigan Per Diem Reimbursement Rate
Presented by:  Matt Sowash, Michigan Legislative Consultants

Legislative success at the State Capitol can often begin with engagement locally with your state legislators. Being able to effectively advocate starts with telling your story and how policy will impact you positively or negatively. Becoming comfortable meeting with legislative officials is a challenge for many. This session provides tips and the building blocks to form a solid rapport with your legislators.  

Government officials and employees utilize state set per diem rates when booking travel for their employees. Learn details about the State of Michigan per diem rating system, how the rates vary statewide and when the state updates the rates.

Session 3: 
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Designing and Developing Unforgettable Visitor Experiences:
Presented by: 
Joe Veneto, Veneto Collaboratory 

Destinations and Travel Partners must focus on developing and innovating their
offerings into compelling experiences for visitors. Drill down on the strategies
presented in the keynote session to design and develop your new experiences.
Learn the best product types to leverage your existing content and assets into
engaging and immersive experiences. Discover strategies and experiential filters
that will nurture your brand narrative. Tap into the power of stories and enable

customers to amplify your message, drive referrals and generate revenue!
Create your experience action plan to innovate your customer experience.

Session 4: 
DMO Panel:  Crisis Management

Floods, tornados, drinking water contamination, and other disasters are happening in our communities.  How can we best prepare for unexpected misfortune?  A DMO panel will lead us through some of their recent steps from logistics to public relations.  Learn best practices and some “weaknesses” will be shared as well.

Panelists:  Paul Beachnau, Gaylord Tourism Bureau; Janet Korn, Experience Grand Rapids; Annette Rummel, Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB; Alaina Wiens, Explore Flint & Genesee; Amy VanLoon, White Lake Visitors Bureau, moderator

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Session 5: 

The 'New Normal' for Modern Travelers - Using data to understand the impact of short-term rentals in Michigian

Jaime Kamps-Duac, AirDNA


AirDNA, a global leader in short-term rental analytics, will present short-term rental key metrics, particularly Airbnb and VRBO, comparing and contrasting  Michigan to national and regional data. Information will include supply/demand, occupancy rates, leisure and convention market trends, length of stay shifts, booking lead times, ADR and guest preferences. The session will provide Michigan market outlooks, and challenges and opportunities short-term rentals present for DMOs and traditional hotels. 

Session 6: 

 DMO Panel:  Responsible Recreation Initiatives

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Now more than ever, leisure travelers are seeking to experience the benefits of outdoor recreation. However, the rush to get outside is has placed intense pressure on some destination’s most beloved scenic places, communities, and public safety response teams. From proper signage to cell service to accessibility – how can DMOs effectively promote the Great Outdoors while addressing community concerns and helping visitors understand the need to enjoy these treasured places safely and respectfully?  This MACVB-member DMO panel will discuss best practices from practical experiences and will have an engaging discussion with the audience.

Panelists:  Brad Barnett, Visit Keweenaw; Susan Estler, Travel Marquette; Kathy Morin, Cadillac Area CVB

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