We all know how great Northwest Indiana, but spreading the message to potential tourists takes a total team effort. On May 4, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority hosted a luncheon for our region’s leaders in the tourism industry.
Keynote speaker, Joe Veneto, spoke to the audience about what kind of experiences we can create to keep our tourists thinking about us.
Veneto is known Nationwide as “The Opportunity Guy” for his expertise in tourism, business, and hospitality. Throughout his 20 years of experience he has learned that the best way to reach a client’s wallet is through their emotional bank account.
“In today’s tourism environment if you want to be successful you need to create an unforgettable experience. When we look at a destination, I like to look at the EQ: the experience quotient. Today’s consumers are driving the trend of experience.”
Veneto’s experience formula has three steps: Create the Connect, Nurture the Narrative, and Find the Feelings. The concept is based on the fact that we all have a story that other people are more willing to listen to if it connects to their own story.
“In everyday life, it’s a key ingredient of what we do to get to know people,” said Pam Rhodes, an attendee at the event and Account Executive. “Even if I wasn’t in sales, just as a person, this was a good source of info.”
Veneto’s marketing methods immerse visitors into the attractions of their host cities. He teaches people how to make memories, not just exhibits. Tourists will tell their friends and family about their favorite vacation moments, and those people will want to see for themselves. That is how you keep people coming to your city.
“Tourism creates jobs; jobs that create more jobs,” said Katie Holderby, Vice President of South Shore CVA, “And it has a significant economic impact on the community. [Tourism] is about the attractions, parks, events, and festivals that are important to residents.”
People from all over the region attended the annual luncheon. For more than twenty years South Shore CVA has celebrated National Travel and Tourism week by uniting companies all around the region.
“We are all in this together,” said Cathy Svetanoff, Chief Financial Officer of South Shore CVA. “The various aspects of hospitality are here. We all play a role and need to be working together to bring people to Northwest Indiana, and to engage the community already here.”