The 2019 Ontario’s Southwest Tourism Conference is a two-day event packed full of new experiences, expert speakers and inspirational moments.
Take a look at our agenda outline to see what’s in store for you. More details added as they become available.
9:30AM – Arrival & Welcome
9:40AM – Ontario's Southwest Regional Update/Industry updates
10:15AM - Exhibitor/Nutrition Break
10:45AM – Keynote Speaker - David Coletto
The Possible “Highs” and Lows for Cannabis and Tourism: Exploring the potential to make Canada and Southwestern Ontario a cannabis tourism hotspot.
In October 2019, Canada took a step that few countries on earth have done – it legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Five months on, the sky hasn’t fallen, consumption hasn’t skyrocketed, and Canadians seem to at least accept legalization. But what, if any, opportunities exist for tourism and hospitality operators? Could Canada, and southwestern Ontario specifically, become a cannabis tourism hotspot?
David Coletto, the CEO and founding partner of national public opinion and market research firm Abacus Data, will share his thoughts (and of course some data) on the potential for the industry by looking at trends in cannabis consumption, the coming role of edibles and beverages, as well as the regulatory hurdles preventing Canada from becoming a world leader in all things cannabis.
11:45AM – Buffet Lunch
1:30PM – 4:30pm – Offsite Learning Tours
4:30PM – Back at Hotel
5:15PM – Buses depart hotel for Welcome Reception
5:30PM – 8:30pm: Reception
7:30AM – 9:00AM – Breakfast
9:00AM – Plenary Speaker
10:15AM – Exhibitor Break
10:45AM – Concurrent Sessions
1A - Live Streaming 3.0: Go Live and Thrive!
Melissa Schenk is no stranger to Ontario's Southwest. Join her and 4 business owners that took the plunge, going live with her during her Road Tour. Learn about the ULTIMATE power behind storytelling and just want it takes to become your own social media influencer. The numbers don't lie! These business owners will give you a first-hand account of the results they had and what it's like to go live and thrive! You'll be LIVE STREAMING before the end of the session once you hear what they have to say!
1B - Crafting Tourism Story Narratives with Celes Davar
What’s your story? How are you crafting your tourism story’s narrative? We’re pleased to have Celes Davar joining us once again to share insights and provide tips into the art of storytelling that will help you to craft your tourism story. He’ll share how you can tease out elements of your business or experience story, so you can stand out, attracting the right customers for the right reasons. Celes will share inspirational examples, take you through a learning activity, and help you shape your unique visitor experience positioning during this breakout session.
1C - Leadership Training with ZingTrain
Strong leadership and innovative management practices have been key to Zingerman’s success. In an era of increased competition and a tighter labor market, a positive company culture and identity, together with an inspiring vision for the future, can have an enormous impact on customer and staff loyalty.
In this breakout session, Joanie Hales will present Zingerman’s unique management philosophy, based on the concepts of Servant Leadership and Stewardship. In addition to being a central piece of Zingerman’s internal management training, these concepts have been enthusiastically received by a number of outside clients, representing libraries, manufacturers, non-profit organizations, health-care providers, and more.
11:45AM – 1:15PM – Lunch & Innovation Awards
1:15PM – Concurrent Sessions
2A - Facebook Advertising for Beginners: Beyond the Boost with Gregg McLachlan
So, you’re boosting posts all the time on Facebook and thinking “WOW!” Seriously, you’re only realizing a half-WOW. You just may not know it. There’s a far more powerful and cost-effective world of Facebook advertising you’re missing by not creating your ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager tool. Don’t let the name scare you. In this beginner session, you’ll get a simplified view into this tool and learn why it’s the better and smarter way to advertise vs clicking those Boost A Post buttons you see all the time on your page. You’ll get a step-by-step walk through on the big screen for how to choose a smart objective, how to create an ad, and get easy tips for a real (yes, we mean real!) WOW ad. You may never go back to Boosting Posts again after this session!
2B - Happy Employees = Happy Customers = HIGHER PROFITS!
Join Meghan from Snyders Farm & Fear Farm as she divulges a few secrets as to how she keeps her 180 seasonal employees, engaged year after year, having fun, and why they’re known as an employer for building incredible team spirit!
2C - Experience Development: Lessons Along the Way
Programs and people are the heart of experiential travel. Hear from some of the champions leading the charge in experiential travel in Ontario’s Southwest, connect with them and hear about what they’re learning along the way!
2:15PM – Exhibitor Break
2:45PM – Plenary Speaker
3:45PM – Closing remarks
4:00PM – Safe travels home