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Southeast Tourism Society Puts Focus on Sports at North Carolina Meeting, Youth sports alone are a $9 billion industry nationwide

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 2015) – The intersection of sports and tourism is the focus of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Spring Symposium. Dates are March 30-April 1 in Charlotte, N.C., a destination heavily influenced by sports-hungry visitors.  (READ FULL RELEASE)






ITourism and Sports Get in the Game
Presented By
Southeast Tourism Society & Southeast Chapter, TTRA


Spring Symposium 2015

March 30 - April 1, 2015  Charlotte, North Carolina









The Keynote...

Colin Clark, Vice President of Brand Marketing Ripken Baseball  Inspire through remarkable experiences - The Ripken Way.  Sounds like tourism, doesn't it? Ripken baseball has a wonderful story - and lessons to share keeping in mind their four core pillars:  Keep it Simple; Explain the Why; Celebrate the Individual; and Have Fun: Joy shatters the limits of what we can achieve- the game is supposed to be fun.





Sports Tourism is a leading market share in our industry for many destinations.
We have assembled an exceptionally strong panel to tell you all about it.

Whether you currently have a thriving Sports Tourism market in your destination, or one struggling to get off the ground, perhaps you aren’t in the game at all, these sessions will keep you thriving, help you make the necessary corrections to be successful, and ask yourself how do we get in the game? Don’t miss it!

Sports Tourism Overview

Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, National Association of Sports Commissions takes us for a 30,000 foot view of the Sports Tourism Industry, from the history of the industry to where it has grown today and how to get in the game!

Jon Schmieder, Founder + CEO of the Huddle Up Group dives a little deeper on if you should get in the game as well as “Worst Practices” to avoid when trying to build a successful Sports Tourism program

John David, CEO, USA BMX then takes us on a behind the scenes look as Sports Tourism thru the Events Rights Holders eyes.

Sports Tourism Industry Panel Discussion

After having heard the Sports Tourism Overview and letting it soak in, it is time to get your questions answered. Our 3 member panel will answer your questions regarding the Sports Tourism Industry as well as give us their insights on what the future holds for this market. No questions are out of bounds when it comes to the Sports Tourism Industry.



"Howl At The Moon"at the EPICENTER Sponsored & Hosted by  


Special Roundtable from Southeast Chapter Travel & Tourism Research Association

Join SETTRA members for a dynamic and transformative session that will include TED style presentations showcasing how research (and the research process) helped organizations make an improved marketing decision; before the session closes, we’ll go round-robin style – giving attendees a chance to share the types of research they find valuable, and need to know more about as the year unfolds.



Training Session

Chris Cavanaugh, President,
Magellan Strategy Group

  Strategic Planning: What, Who, How, When, Where, WHY!




RAPID FIRE - Three speakers, 20 minutes each, take home knowledge that you can learn to

"Use What You Have"  - Your Backyard, Your Story - It Sells!

I.  “Staying on Track: The importance of accelerating and managing tourism growth”
Donna Carpenter, President/CEO, Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau

While a CVB’s primary duty is marketing, it should also play an active role as the community’s destination management organization. Research, strong partnerships and persistence are key to creating a cohesive experience visitors won’t find anywhere else. Known as “Where Racing Lives,” Cabarrus County, North Carolina is the nation’s premier motorsports destination with a high concentration of visitor activity at Exit 49 off of Interstate-85 in Concord. Learn how implementing a long term plan has allowed the Cabarrus County CVB to stay top of mind with local and state officials and progress toward achieving enhanced safety, mobility and sense of place—all while keeping the destination’s character and culture in focus.

II. "Unleashing the Potential of Equine Tourism."
Libbie Johnson, Tyron Horse Country
A look at how communities can take existing activities and expand it into growth opportunities for sports, leisure recreation, arts, history and heritage with emphasis on the dollars created.

III.   Farm to Mug.
The Unique Farm to Mug Cycle between Hop Growers and Local Breweries.
Kevin Sandefur, BearWaters Brewing

often can you say that the fine craft beer you’re sipping on was created with locally harvested hops from right up the road? A wide variety of hops are now being grown in many farming communities with the sole purpose of sustainably supporting local craft breweries. This opens the door to the opportunity of promoting the unique agritourism concept commonly referred to as the Farm to Mug cycle. Locally grown hops are harvested and obtained by neighboring breweries with the purpose of creating a one of kind craft beer that pays tribute to the local soil from which the hops came from. In most cases, the remnants of the spent grain are often returned to the local agricultural community to be used for various reasons such as compost or to feed livestock. This method is often referred to as the “foam-to-farm” concept and thus completes the entire Farm to Mug cycle.






 BREAKOUT WORKSHOPS - An opportunity to Fine Tune Your Skills

The Game of Sense Branding - EXCLUSIVE TMP ONLY SESSION*
Presented by Steve Chandler, ChandlerThinks
Creating a strong branded destination is not dependent on your marketing budgets, it 
requires your ability to engae visitor senses. The sports world has been widely successful using the fundamental premise of “sense branding”. Here we’ll discuss how it can also work for your destination and help create true FANS!

II. Sports and Faith Ministry Travel -The Intersection of Sports, Media, Destinations

John Garner, Belmont Heights Community Church 
Chad Payn, Sports and Recreation Minister,
Sherwood Baptist Church

Ever wonder about the research of sports and faith ministries? Perhaps now it is time to consider as it is a booming and lucrative segment of our market. Join with us and get in the conversation. Research presented commissioned by Lifeway Christian Resources.

III. IPSC World Shoot event - A $7,000,000 Economic Impact
Al Snow, Communications, Visit Central Florida/Central Florida Sports Marketing
The IPSC World Shoot event is a great case study for DMO’s how a high profile event drives visitation, and drives economic benefits in both the long and short term.





Sports Events Travelers - Who They are and What They Want
Steve Cohen Vice President, Research and Insights, MMGY

Who is the American sporting events traveler? What sports are they willing to travel for? This presentation will provide the demographic and travel behaviors and preferences of the American sports traveler, ranging from school groups to collegiate and professional sports enthusiasts. The session will include information about travel service booking preferences, and sources of information they consider throughout the travel planning cycle. Special emphasis will be given to Millennial and affluent (annual household income of $125,00 or more) travelers to sporting events, in addition to travelers with children.



“STATE OF THE SETTRA REGION”  Regional Research Review 

 A Panel presentation of Southeast Research Professionals with regional insights from a research perspective including findings for our 12-state region; state travel expenditures; travel-generated employment; taxes attributed to travel and tourism and putting research in the proper context to engage in the data.  Special line-up of presenters including

Cheryl Schutz, D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd.;
Dr. Steve Morse, Western Carolina University;
Heath Dillard, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority; and
Aaron Szyf, U.S. Travel Association

Moderated by
Tom VanHyning,






Marketing College Graduation Luncheon

Marketing College Class of 2014 Awarded Travel Marketing Professionals Certification



Join us for Monday Evening
Reception / Dinner

"Howl At The Moon"at the EPICENTER

Sponsored & Hosted by



TMP lapel pins will be unveiled and given to every graduate who
has earned their TMP designation!


DESIGNED By Mikula | Harris


NEW THIS YEAR: STS TOP 20 Champion - Recognizing the “Top of the Top 20”

Will your Festival or Event be recognized at this year’s STS Spring Symposium?  Here is what the judges will be looking for this year:  1) A Top 20 Winner in 2014 (January-December Events).  2) Use of the STS Logo in Marketing Material. How did you promote your Top 20 Win? (website, print materials, billboards etc.)

There is no fee to qualify, we just want to ensure we know all the work you’ve put into promoting your event, since winning your Top 20 Award.

Travel Media Meetup

Immediately following STS Spring Symposium Presented by Pineapple Public Relations 

Stay connected with what is going on at #STSSpring15    Facebook      Twitter     LinkedIn



Support the companies that believe in what you do every day - STS Corporate Partners

            Charles Ryan & Associates     


This is the first in a series of special sessions designed specifically to build on Travel Marketing Professional certification. 
This special breakout at Spring Symposium is for travel professionals who have earned Travel Marketing Professional Certification

































































































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