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Convention Schedule

 

Sunday


Sunday, March 9
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Registration
Business Center – North Entrance
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Arkansas – The Natural State Gift Shop
Located next to Registration

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Hospitality Suite
Salon C-E
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Sponsored by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Opening Reception
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
(Buses will transport delegates to/from the museum starting at 6:00 p.m. with the last bus departing the museum at 9:00 p.m. Gather in the lobby of the Embassy Suites. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. A list of restaurants will be available for those who plan to have dinner after the reception.)

8:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Hospitality Suite
Salon C-E
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Sponsored by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association

Monday


Monday, March 10
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Registration
Business Center – North Entrance
John Q. Hammons Convention Center

Arkansas – The Natural State Gift Shop
Located next to Registration

8:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremony
North Rotunda
John Q. Hammons Convention Center

9:00 a.m.
General Session
“The Transformative Power of Travel” – Featuring Andrew McCarthy, actor, director and award-winning travel writer.
Grand Ballroom V

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Refreshment Break
Grand Foyer
Sponsored by Visit Rogers

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

a. “The Art of Storytelling” Andrew McCarthy, actor, director and travel writer
Grand I & II

b. “Social Media for Tourism Sales” – Featuring social media expert, Crystal Washington.
Grand III

c. “I Drive Arkansas” Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett will share information about the new highway campaign and website.
Grand IV

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Arkansas, Incorporated
Create Partnerships. Build Business.
Featuring Richard W. Davies, Chairman of the Board

Join us for the first ever, stockholders meeting and luncheon. Learn how you can reap even bigger rewards as a major stakeholder in one of The Natural State’s largest industries – tourism.
Grand Ballroom VI

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

a. “Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism: Who, What, When, Why and How.”
Meet the members of the Department’s tourism team and learn how they can help you build your business.
Grand I & II

b. “The Art of Viral Social Media” – Featuring Crystal Washington, a nationally recognized social media expert.
Grand III

c. “I Drive Arkansas” Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett will share information about the new highway campaign and website.
Grand IV

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Refreshment Break
Grand Foyer

3:20 – 4:45 p.m.
Arkansas, Incorporated
Create Partnerships. Build Business.
Featuring Joe David Rice, CEO, and the 3-A marketing team. Learn insider information that will make your stock in Arkansas, Incorporated even more valuable.
Grand Ballroom V

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
ARKANSAS TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING AUCTION, Plus … Tips for Ta-tas
Bid on hundreds of valuable silent and live auction items, including trips, spa treatments, handmade merchandise, restaurant gift certificates, print advertising and online marketing packages, weekend getaways, jewelry, artwork, and more. Proceeds from the auction benefit the ATDF scholarship program and help defray costs associated with the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

In addition, all tips collected at the beverage stations during the auction will be donated to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute/Breast Cancer Research Project. Honorary bartenders will be a few familiar tourism faces, who also happen to be breast cancer survivors or survivor family members.
Ambassador C-E

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Hospitality Suite
Salon C-E
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Sponsored by the Arkansas Hospitality Association

Tuesday


Tuesday, March 11
7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Registration
Business Center – North Entrance
John Q. Hammons Convention Center

Arkansas – The Natural State Gift Shop
Located Next to Registration

7:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast – Sponsored by the Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation
Featuring Lynette Xanders, CEO of Wild Alchemy, a non-traditional branding and research company, who will share how travelers plan trips and other interesting tidbits learned from focus groups.
Grand Ballroom VI

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

a. “Wayfinding for the Directionally Challenged” – Featuring Jan Carpman, a wayfinding expert who co-authored the book, Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around. The Associated Press, US News and World Report, Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Interiors, Hospitals, Health Facilities Management, Reader’s Digest, and other publications, have published articles based on the book. Can visitors easily find their way around your attraction, park, museum, hotel or agency?
Grand I & II

b. “How Can We Simplify the Vacation Planning Process?” – Featuring Lynette Xanders, CEO of Wild Alchemy, a non-traditional branding and research company.
Grand III

c. “Historic Preservation and Storytelling: The Keys to Increased Tourism and Community Pride.” – Featuring Dr. Ruth Hawkins, executive director of Arkansas State University’s Arkansas Heritage Sites program; Cathy Cunningham, community development consultant, Southern Bancorp Community Partners; Claude Legris, executive director, Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau; and, Steve Arrison, CEO, Visit Hot Springs.
Grand IV

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break
Grand Foyer

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions
a. “Wayfinding for the Directionally Challenged”– Featuring wayfinding expert Jan Carpman.
Grand I & II

b. “Is Your Community Camera-Ready? Is Arkansas?”– Featuring Christopher Crane, Arkansas Film Commissioner
Grand III

c. “Historic Preservation and Storytelling: The Keys to Increased Tourism and Community Pride.” – Featuring Dr. Ruth Hawkins, executive director of Arkansas State University’s Arkansas Heritage Sites program; Cathy Cunningham, community development consultant, Southern Bancorp Community Partners; Claude Legris, executive director, Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau; and, Steve Arrison, CEO, Visit Hot Springs.
Grand IV

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. LUNCH … THAT ROCKS
Presiding: Richard W. Davies, Executive Director
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Address: The Honorable Mike Beebe
Governor of Arkansas
Presentation: “Service That Rocks”
Featuring Jim Knight, former senior director of training and development at Hard Rock International, who will share insights on culture, guest service, employee branding and philanthropy.

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

a. “Culture That Rocks” – Featuring Jim Knight, former senior director of training and development at Hard Rock International.
Grand I & II

b. “Is Your Community Camera-Ready? Is Arkansas?” – Featuring Christopher Crane, Arkansas Film Commissioner
Grand III

c. “Planning and Implementing a Regional Signage System” – Featuring Mike Malone, president of the Northwest Arkansas Council
Grand IV

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Refreshment Break
Sponsored by the Texarkana A & P Commission, host of the 2015 Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Grand Foyer

3:20 – 4:00 p.m.
General Session
Keynote Address: “A Newcomer’s View of The Natural State”
Featuring U of A Head Football Coach, Brett Bielema
Grand Ballroom V

4:05 – 4:15 p.m.
Q&A with Coach Bielema

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Conference Wrap-Up
(There will be a door prize drawing. Must be present to win. Details coming soon.)

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Hospitality Suite
Salon C-E
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Sponsored by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association

6:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Henry Awards Reception
Grand Foyer

7:15 p.m.
Henry Awards Banquet
Grand Ballroom VI

8:45 – 10:30 p.m.
Hospitality Suite
Salon C-E
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
Sponsored by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association