Unvarnished Comments From E-Tourism NYC

1. The summit stayed true to its promise of bringing 28 leading experts with direct tourism industry experience, all in one place! That was what caught my attention originally! 2. I learned new angles and ideas that I put into action immediately upon my return. No lag time whatsoever. 3. By attending this summit I was able to clearly define my plans for 2010…so…it gave me some answers I was seeking and helped me zero in. The result is that now in mid October I am working on next year not thinking about next year.

Andrea L. Burke, Burke Communications

1 – Great lecture from Peter Barresi regarding You Tube 2 – On the first day in the social media workshop, I found it much more helpful to listen to a panelist rather than have them come around the room and try to answer people’s questions personally. 3 – Might be helpful to open conference with a group overview and introduction of what is on the agenda, who’s who, get a sense for everyone’s level of current participation in E-marketing, etc. Thanks again, Kate Chinn Marketing Manager Top of the Rock Observation Deck

It was a pleasure to participate in the Summit. Three comments: 1. I learned a lot of new things that were very interesting. 2. The workshops were very interesting and choosing one out of three was not easy. 3. On Tuesday the Summit ended pretty late. I am looking forward to receiving and answering the survey.  Alexander Kontogouris, Marketing & Media Relations , Greece Office of Tourism

Great conference,with ideas and strategies to implement immediately. -Top notch speakers straight from the “source”! -Nice mix of DMO’s and companies with cutting edge technology and solutions. -Nice format and timing of conference. Any thought to Downtown Minneapolis? Jan Kroells,Vice President of Marketing, Destination Bloomington Once again thank you for hosting the e-tourism summit – I enjoyed attending it. -A lot of valuable information was shared, great insight into the latest trends and developments. – The second day contained some overlap with the info that was presented on day one – maybe something to try to prevent. – Obviously I’m interested to have more international tourist boards attending to share their experiences in the current market + their market outlook. – Most of the speakers were enthusiastic and engaging – nice to listen to. I was blown away by the lunch interview with USDM – great. Kind regards, Thijs de Groot ,Marketing Director ,Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions

Even though social media is almost a “been there done that” subject, I feel E-summit was able to pull out the real stars and allow us to gain a better insight in using these mediums to further our own campaigns. It was interesting to hear how to target your social media campaigns to better your return on investment and call to action. Many times destinations myself included are just posting and not really sure how to harness our message without coming off as a sales pitch or too unprofessional. Deidre Jackson, Website Specialist, Florida Space Coast Office of Tourism Great event. I really enjoyed myself. -The travel network workshop was phenomenal -The presenter on i-phone applications was a big disappointment -I prefered the smaller breakout sessions to the larger ones. Jonah Siegel,Planet Eye

 1. First day was too long but great sessions. 2. Second day – many sessions were a repeat of what was presented in 1st day breakout sessions. 3. Problem when speakers cancel – know this cannot be helped but filling in last minute with others may not be the best way to resolve this problem. MATHILDA SHEPTAK, Vice President/COOPocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau

Unfortunately, only went to the one search marketing workshop but loved it because of 1. Hillary Bressler 2. Robyn Levin 3. Came away with understanding of the latest trends and how I can implement them. 24 karat gold!!! Thanks and regards, Beth Wildstein, Associate Director Tourism and Group Sales,American Museum of Natural History -I thought the content was excellent, stimulating and motivating. -I hope to take the passion and ideas from the conference back to work with me. -I came away with many, many ideas that are worthwhile and inexpensive that can be implemented immediately by almost anyone with a beginner’s knowledge of social media, websites, search engine marketing ,optimization and email marketing. A fairly experienced “eTourism” expert would also have learned what’s next. It was very useful to meet the “experts” all in one place that can help an organization implement a more sophisticated Social Media Marketing Plan. Sheelagh Wylie,Director of Tourism & Groups, Xanadu Meadowlands

The Conference was extremely well organized; Content was very relevant and informative Presenters (with one or two exceptions) were interesting and engaging I really enjoyed the two days and learned lots – am already planning to attend next year! Orla Carey, Manager – Advertising & Direct Marketing , Tourism Ireland

Fabulous conference – I have already stated to implement!!!! Cathy Doran,Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

– Most informative – great presentations on relevant and worthwhile topics – Using social media as promotional vehicles seems to require a toe-in-the-water mindset and internal champions who sleep, eat, breathe, live, tweet to succeed (as distinct from strategic planners, emphasis on ROI etc) – Any company getting involved needs to recognize the significant ongoing commitment and resource which will be required to respond to opportunities and challenges as they crop up. Kind regards Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland

Impressive, knowledgeable presenters Intensive, aggressive program (feel I really got my money’s worth) Good social opportunities built into the program as well– (2) breakfasts, lunch, reception June Tice,Research Manager , Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau

Thank you so much for this email. It was my first time at the e-Tourism Summit. I am glad I did attend. Here are my impressions in a nutshell: 1- I met terrific people at the conference. 2- The e-Tourism Summit was engaging. 3- I enjoyed some speakers versus others who just threw in sale pitches. Overall, it was a good learning experience for me. We try to be cutting edge at Monaco, but there is always something new and/or something that can be done better. I will definitely try hard to put into practice some of the new online ideas my colleagues presented in these past two days. Maria G. Tuttocuore, Web & Technology Executive,Monaco Government Tourist Office I thought the conference overall was excellent! The hotel was in a great location and a small city in and of itself. The meeting space was comfortable and welcoming of interaction. The only thing that I would have changed was the order in which the speakers presented. I think that all online advertising, social media, and web site development should have been group together. There was a lot of jumping around between topics. Tiffany Turner-Grundy, Philadelphia CVB

*The summit once again provided some great insights into interesting and exciting emerging technologies and ideas on how best to investigate and/or utilize these deliverables *I believe the sessions should be much less about ppt decks and more about interaction between panelists and participants *With regard to some of the “new” players, those participants should be told to “tone down” the sales rhetoric and focus more on how and why they moved into the space and what void they plan to fill. Larry Dickerson, eBrains. What a great conference it was. I really loved the case studies on both days and the panel discussion on FaceBook and Twitter. -I thought the panel on the future visions for web sites was great and so was Jennifer Barbee’s presentation yesterday. The Bloomington CVB has a 2.0 web site and we are moving toward 3.0. -I would have liked to see more on Mobile Marketing, but I guess that can be next year as it has not gone into full swing with CVB’s. Maybe the BCVB can be on the panel next year as we are starting to do sms (text) campaigns with the hope to get a good opt in list by the middle of 2010. Not sure, the there seemed to be a lot more suppliers than CVB’s this year. Still the information was really good. NYC was a nice place, but I must say I prefer the West Cost for this conference.. Hope we can move it back to SF next year. Or what about Toronto? Thanks for putting it on. John Lambrecht, Marketing & Technology Manager, Destination Bloomington

Thanks for the excellent “curation” of presenters this year. As always, the Summit was thought provoking, interesting, balanced and informational. I’m sorry that my partner, Dave was not able to attend. You can be sure that HMG will reference your Summit in all of my take-aways to clients in the next few weeks. Thanks again for this opportunity…. it was time and money well spent, especially in this economic environment. Linda Davis Vice President ,Hotel Marketing Group

1) well-organized – you were everywhere and seemed calm, cool, collected 2) packed full of content – no downtime which is great, if you’re in a conference room, keep the information coming 3) location was terrific – comfortable rooms, many hotel staff on site to keep conference and rest rooms cleaned and stocked, many dining options within short walking distance Thanks for everything! Valerie Blackman ,Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau

1. Thank you for creating a hashtag on twitter for the event. It made it easy to connect with others who were attending and commenting as well. 2. Would it be possible to provide in the bios or in the spreadsheet w/ all the contact information the twitter handles and the websites that the presenters represent? It will make it easier to follow them, recognize them in tweets during the conference and to have a reference for looking at the websites & facebook pages that these people manage. 3. I also thought that the conference could have had a designated tweeter and actually use the twitter handle that was created for etourism summit to post announcements, room changes, lunch ideas, updates, key learnings, announce who is speaking and their twitter handle, suggestions for nighttime entertainment, any group dinners happening, photos of attendees, etc… Just a fun idea for next time! 4. I REALLY liked the location of this year’s conference. I’d vote to have it there again next year. 5. I think the reason the App creator presenter got such a bad wrap is because he was a bit technical and presenting to a group of big picture strategic thinkers. I would recommend someone who can speak to what kinds of apps are being created (or needed) and trends in iPhone apps for travel and what is working and not working. Rather than a “how to” create an app – we’ll save that for the technical people on our team. Overall a fabulous conference! AIMEE CHEEK, Corporate Marketing Manager, CSM Lodging

Thank you so much for organizing such a dynamic event and I found it empowering to learn and have a grasp of what’s out there in the market place. Panels are excellent choices. I especially like the best practices sessions, show and tell made great impressions. The networking opportunity is priceless. I am in discussion with the board members of a conference held in Feb to consider bringing in some of the speakers on the technology track. Thank you so much for the exceptional job! Best regards, Linda Ho, Hong Kong Tourism

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