Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

Hello there,

By now you’ve registered to attend the 39th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism. You haven’t? Surely you’re planning to attend the state’s premier tourism event March 3-5. It’s a chance to learn a lot about new trends in the industry, to discover how to market to every generation, and to determine how to optimize that marketing with your property’s website. It’s also a prime opportunity to visit with others engaged in bringing more visitors to Arkansas.

Need to register right now? Click here to begin the process. While you’re at it, check out the schedule, learn more about Hot Springs and consider donating an item for the annual Tourism Foundation Auction. Don’t forget to reserve your hotel room; you can do that by clicking here.

Scroll down for information on a few of our featured speakers on the program, plus news about Sunday night’s Early Bird party at “Club 1832” and details on what you’ll find on Aristotle’s “social sofa.” And get your registration in – prices go up $30 on March 1st.

Marla Crider, Deputy Tourism Director

Ira Blumenthal Shares The Power of Change

What does General Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Walt Disney, Hampton Inns, Walmart and your business have in common? If you come to the Governor’s Conference, then you’ll all have heard the advice of nationally known marketing expert Ira Blumenthal.

Blumenthal, who’s an advisor to the companies mentioned above and a food and hospitality industry authority, is one of the keynote speakers at the conference, scheduled March 3-5 in Hot Springs. His session is Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. where his topic is “Change is Inevitable: Growth is Optional.” Prior to his keynote discussion, Blumenthal will lead a concurrent workshop at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday about “Strength in Numbers.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this recognized speaker who has appeared on CNN and featured in USA Today. Learn more about Ira on the Travel Arkansas blog.

Seth Mattison: Marketing to the Generations is Key to Success

Seth Mattison is an internationally renowned expert on workforce trends and generational dynamics. During his two presentations at the 39th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference, Seth will discuss the key trends impacting each generation today. Learn how each generation developed its core values, how those values manifest in the workplace today, and why they can not only operate alongside each other, but can do so with extraordinary success. Seth is featured during the general session at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 4, followed later by a concurrent session at 10:30 a.m. To find out more about Seth, check out the blog on!

Susan Sweeney Knows How To Garner Attention for Your Tourism Website

Susan Sweeney will present two concurrent sessions at the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism. She is a best-selling author, and an internationally-recognized internet marketing and e-business expert. Sweeney is the founder and president of Connex Network Inc., a thriving internet marketing and e-business consulting firm.

As a professional internet marketing speaker, Sweeney has delivered lively keynotes, workshops and boot camps to audiences on four continents. She was recently inducted into the Canadian Speakers Hall of Fame for her outstanding excellence as a professional speaker.

Sweeney is the author of eight internet marketing books, including the highly regarded and successful “101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site.” Now in its 8th edition, it has been translated into German, Spanish and Chinese, and has sold over 77,000 copies. Her book “101 Ways to Promote Your Tourism Business Web Site,” has received rave reviews from many tourism industry professionals. Learn more about her here.

Come Early for the Party

Our host city, Hot Springs, invites you to arrive early and attend “Club 1832,” a special early bird party for the Governor’s Conference. Named the first National Reservation in 1832, Hot Springs National Park has been the place to vacation for generations of visitors eager to sample the baths and enjoy the springs.

The band Midnight Parade will provide the soundtrack for a night of dancing, chatting and people-watching. Food and beverages will be served. The event is Sunday, March 3rd from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Hall A of the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Have a Seat on the Social Sofa

Does Twitter terrify you? Have a frenetic relationship with Facebook? Concerned you can’t go anywhere with FourSquare? Sit down with Aristotle social media experts Jenny Boulden and Rhen Wilson and learn how to develop your social media presence to its fullest. Look for the black couch and sign up for a 15 minute session! Seatings are available both Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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