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Destination On The Left

Destination On The Left is a podcast focused on the travel and tourism industry that explores successful collaborations, creative marketing ideas and best practices. Interviews are a mix of Destination Marketers, Industry Leaders, Consultants and businesses in the industry. We explore consumer marketing programs and travel trade marketing programs. This podcast provides an opportunity for professionals in the travel & tourism industry to share what they have learned and successes that they have achieved.
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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 22, 2017

In this episode, you will learn how every traveler makes a difference from Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing and The Director of Tourism for the Adirondack Coast Visitor Bureau (ACVB), a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Kristy has been with the ACVB since 2008. In her current role, Kristy leads the Visitors Bureau’s efforts in developing and implementing a yearly strategic marketing plan to increase tourism in Clinton County.

A Plattsburgh native and a graduate of Plattsburgh State University, Kristy was named a Face of our Future by Strictly Business magazine and in 2008 Kristy was named New York State’s Virginia Allan Young Careerist in acknowledgment of her personal and professional accomplishments, writing ability and public speaking. She went on to place in the top 10 in the nation.

Before joining the Chamber, Kristy worked as Office Manager and Marketing Coordinator for
Fesette Realty. Prior to that, Kristy held the role of Marketing & Promotions Coordinator for 95 Triple X and 620am WVMT Radio in Burlington.

Outside of her work at the Chamber, Kristy enjoys listening to live music, exploring the local food scene and creating one-of-a-kind dishes in her kitchen. She is a self-proclaimed Crazy Cat Lady and spends as much time with her better half Shannon and her family as possible including two full-of-life nephews.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why the ACVB doesn’t get caught up in the “heads in beds” mentality and focuses on all travelers – even the ones that don’t stay overnight
  • How every traveler creates their own domino effect for the region
  • The ways ACVB makes the most of their small budget and three person team
  • The locational benefits of going bilingual
  • How the AVCB helps their stakeholders be as prepared as possible by hosting customer service seminars
  • “Where the mountains meet the coast:” the story of how the Adirondack Coast name came to be
  • The integrated social content plan that helped the ACVB use social media reach all their demographics
  • How competing attractions work together to grow the ACVB in a way that helps everyone succeed
  • Why Kristy loves an outside perspective on the ACVB and keeping the master plan updated

Ways to contact Kristy:

Feb 15, 2017

In this episode, you will learn about what can be done to build a destination’s brand from David Holder, the former President of Visit Syracuse.

David Holder did not grow up in Central New York, as you’ll recognize from his slight southern drawl and love of cheese grits. He may not be a native but he is definitely one of the area’s greatest cheerleaders. A love of the outdoors, weather (yes, you heard correctly), great food, and overall quality of life drive David’s passion for the Syracuse area. When he was President, he translated that love into a killer brand position for Visit Syracuse, one of six accredited DMOs in the state of New York, leading the effort to Do Your Thing and amplify awareness of Syracuse for convention planners, sporting event organizers and leisure visitors from around the world. Prior to joining Visit Syracuse, David directed the tourism and economic development efforts for the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia, led the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau in Corning, New York and conducted community based strategic planning for the Texas Tourism Division. He earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science in Tourism Management from North Carolina State University.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • David’s background
  • Looking for opportunistic disruptions: finding how to push your product in unusual ways
  • How David turned Syracuse into the Official Home of Winter to capitalize on the long winters of Syracuse and turn it into a real asset
  • The Snow Angel Challenge: The initiative that Syracuse and The Salvation Army are entering together
  • Why the perception of your residents is just as important as the perception of visitors
  • The importance of getting the community on board with your initiatives
  • Building your brand around emotions when you don’t have one massive asset
  • The support system of destination marketing organizations throughout New York that Syracuse is a part of
  • How David helped improve the relationship between Visit Syracuse and CNY Arts so that they work together
  • Why digging your heels in isn’t the right answer when trying to reach a common goal

Ways to contact David:

Feb 8, 2017

In this episode, you will learn about tracking conversions from Ralph Thompson, President and Chief Brain of eBrains.

Formally trained as in finance and as a CPA, Ralph gained basic experience with Price Waterhouse Coopers and then moved on to NYSE regional banking firm where he advanced to become a top finance and administration executive over 10 years. He took his first entrepreneurial step as co-owner and COO of The Martin Agency (an Ad Age Agency of the Year) where he grew the company from 20 people to 250 over a 10 year period before selling it to Interpublic Group. His next adventure started when he co-founded eBrains to focus on digital marketing in the travel and tourism industry. eBrains is celebrating its 18th year. The company was sold three years ago to a DC marketing holding company and Ralph remains in his role as President and Chief Brain. Ralph enjoys using ample blessings of both sides of the brain to help brands leverage the digital marketing space to drive more measurable incremental ROI. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 48 years, two children, 3 grandchildren and collaborating with friends and colleagues. Ralph enjoys golf, wine, great food and travel.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ralph’s background
  • How Ralph used co-registration with Virginia Tourism to reduce the cost of sending out travel guides from $12 to $2 at a time when co-registration was looked down upon
  • How Ralph has figured out how to track a much higher than average percent of conversions
  • How Ralph used digital strategies to inspire overnight stays in Buffalo and Niagara Falls from nearby Ontario Canada travelers.
  • Why a simplistic measurement is better than no measurement
  • How Ralph encourages his team to invent best practices rather than follow best practices
  • The mobile Cost Per Action (CPA) network that Ralph is working on
  • Why you need to leverage your own resources and develop strategic partnerships to deliver the best possible product
  • How to find the best partners or “co-petitors”
Feb 1, 2017

In this episode, you will learn about working with partners to create a niche culinary trail from Meg Vanek.

Meg Vanek is the executive director of the Cayuga County Convention and Visitors Bureau and has served in this capacity for 20 years. She is originally from the Finger Lakes but left the region at 17, graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and worked in the property management and hospitality industries in southern California and England for 14 years before returning to the region. In addition to her position as executive director of the Cayuga County Convention and Visitors Bureau, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the NYS Tourism Industry Association, the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway, the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council, as well as several other tourism related committees.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Meg’s background
  • How Meg has helped Cayuga County stand out from the crowd by presenting a unique experience for the visitor- The Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail
  • How Meg blended agriculture and culinary assets together in The Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail
  • What’s coming up for the Sweet Treat Trail in 2017.
  • How competitors worked together on the Sweet Treat Trail to grow their own businesses
  • What great partners look like to Meg
  • A business that thought outside of the box in order to be eligible for the Sweet Treat Trail
  • How Meg set realistic expectations for new partnerships
  • The Sweet Treat Trail’s upcoming appearance on HGTV

Ways to contact Meg:

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