(Banner graphic of PRSA 2020 Travel and Tourism Section Conference logo)

PRSA 2020 Travel and Tourism Section Conference

June 7–9 | Spokane, Wash.

We are currently planning the 2020 program. The program from the 2019 event appears below for reference.

2019 Program

Download Session Handouts

Sunday, June 16

8 a.m.–3 p.m.Pre-Conference and Early Registration
Room: Congress Foyer, 4th Floor
4-6 p.m.Registration
Room: Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor

Pre-Conference Events

9 a.m.–3 p.m.The Pitch: Writing Workshop ++   
Room: Congress B, 4th Floor
Speaker:
Andrew Nelson, director of editorial projects, National Geographic Traveler
Fee: $300
9 a.m.–3 p.m.

“Setting Up for Success: Building a Successful Measurement Framework” ++
Room: Congress A, 4th Floor
Speaker:
Nicole Moreo, senior vice president, Ketchum Analytics and North American chair of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)
Fee: $300

Powered by:
 
AMEC
 


9 a.m.–3 p.m.

“When a Crisis Strikes: What Do We Do Now?” ++  
Room: Congress C, 4th Floor 
Speakers:
Natalie Kay, senior vice president, Karma Agency
Kate Allison, chief executive officer, Karma Agency
Fee: $300


9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
“Insta-Engagement Workshop & Philly Photowalk” ++
Meet in Congress Foyer, 4th Floor
Featured Influencers: 
Kyle Huff
(@kylehuff), Philadelphia-based photographer and social media influencer
Conrad Benner (@streetsdept), photographer, podcaster, curator, influencer and founder, StreetsDept.com,
Fee: $300
++ Pre-Conference Workshops (These events are an additional fee. They are not included in the basic conference registration fee. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Fee includes workshop, breakfast, lunch and transportation from the conference hotel, if needed.)

5–6 p.m.

PRSA First-Timers: What You Need To Know
Room: Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor
Is this your first time at the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference? Feeling lost and don’t know anyone yet? You’re not alone. Join PRSA leadership and the Travel and Tourism Executive Committee for an exclusive orientation designed with first-time conference attendees in mind. Get the lowdown on what to expect from the conference and meet fellow newcomers, industry peers, and your soon-to-be new friends.
 

6–8 p.m.

Philadelphia Opening Reception: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Welcome to Philadelphia, fondly known as the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection as we celebrate the beginning of 2019 PRSA Travel & Tourism conference. Starting with a bit of history, we gather at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). The academy was founded in 1805 and the current historic museum building opened in 1876. Today, PAFA maintains its strong collecting tradition with the inclusion of works by modern and contemporary American artists balanced between historical and contemporary art.

Located within walking distance from the hotel at:

118-128 N. Broad St, Philadelphia, Penn. 19102

Sponsored by:
 
Delta Vacations

Monday, June 17

7–7:45 a.m.

Morning Fitness: All Levels Yoga
Room: Congress C, 4th Floor
(Space is limited, sign-up required at conference registration desk)

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration
Room: Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor
8:45–10 a.m.

Opening Keynote Presentation and Breakfast
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

"Stop Wasting Your Time with Fake Productivity"
Speaker: Jocelyn K. Glei,
author of Unsubscribe, host of the Hurry Slowly podcast and creator of the online course Reset

Sponsored by:
 
Cision

10:15–11:45 a.m.

Roundtables

Share ideas and best practices with your peers from around the country.

CVB -- Small Budget (<$10 Million)
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

CVB -- Large Budget (>$10 Million)
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor

State Tourism
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor

Agency/Individual Practitioner
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor

Hotels/Resorts
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor

Attractions
Room: Congress A, 4th Floor

Transportation
Room: Congress B, 4th Floor

Wildcard
Room: Congress C, 4th Floor

Noon–1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote General Session
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

"Philly Who?: Live Taping"
Philly Who? is the podcast telling the stories of the doers, thinkers, and performers of Philadelphia. In this special live recording of the podcast, host Kevin Chemidlin will sit down with Sarah Schwab, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Philadelphia Flyers. Sarah will share the story behind the Flyers' new mascot, Gritty, who was introduced in September of 2018 and immediately became a pop-culture sensation. In less than a year, Gritty has transcended sports and become a Philly icon, garnering mainstream press and internet fame well outside of the sports arena. In this session, you'll hear the firsthand account of how a big orange mascot became the international viral sensation, an anti-hero that defines the voice of one America’s most interesting cities.

Host: Kevin Chemidlin, managing producer, Cue 9 Creative
Speaker: Sarah Schwab, director of marketing and communications, Philadelphia Flyers

Sponsored by:
 
 
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
 
Visit Philadelphia

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set I

"Creating Content That Matters"
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Kristina Jenkins, digital content director, Visit Philly
Kevin Chemidlin, managing producer, Cue 9 Creative

“Beyond Media Tracking: Using all the Tools in Your Toolbox” (Master Track**)
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speaker:
Nicole Moreo,
vice president, group manager, Ketchum Global Research & Analytic; North American chair, International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)

“Media Training: Working on Your PR Fitness”
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speakers: 
Kate Allison, chief executive officer, Karma Agency
Natalie Kay, senior vice president, Karma Agency

“Marketing a Mid-Level Town With a Mecca Next Door”
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Kate Hudson,
public relations manager, Visit Spokane
Whitney Riggs, communications manager, Visit Hamilton County
Stafford Wood, APR, principal, Covalent Logic

3–4 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set II

Managing Your Reputation in Today's Evolving PR Climate” (Master Track**)
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Lyndsey Estin,
partner, Kekst CNC
Anntal Silver, principal, Kekst CNC

“Steal This Idea! Five Minutes to Get Inspired - Culinary Edition!”
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Nate Swick, communications manager, Visit Indy
Nick Urig,
communications manager, Destination Cleveland
Kayla Leska, account director, DCI
Jillian Manning, public relations manager, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Maren Franciosi, digital communications manager, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation

“Hack Your Stress”
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speaker:
Mike Schneider,
vice president of Marketing, Muck Rack

“Be Intentional. Make Sure Your Messages Thrive by Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion"
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor
Speakers: 
Greg C. DeShields
, PHLCVB diversity chair, Philadelphia CVB
David W. Brown, diversity advisor, Temple University, Klein College of Media and Communication
Nysha King, head of public relations, MRINetwork 

4:15–5:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set III

“Beyond the Search Bar: Maximizing Google Analytics for Your PR Strategy” (Master Track**)
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speaker:
Casey Barks,
director of communications, Fairmont Austin
Marcus Hibdon,
director of communications and PR, Travel Portland

“Ultimate Brand Engagement: Leveraging Travel Social Influencers Into Brand Ambassadors”
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speaker:
Bon Horn, 
local curator, Lululemon

“Limited Funds? Branded Partnerships for the Win”
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Jen Fruzzetti
, vice president of PR, NJF 
Jaclyn Randolph, area public relations director, mid-atlantic hotels, Kimpton Hotels
Allison Ferre, senior PR manager, Kimpton Hotels

"Reaching Overseas"
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Anne Madison,
chief strategy and communications officer, Brand USA
Rajan Datar, correspondent, BBC News Travel

5:456:30 p.m.

SATW Associates Meeting 
Room: Congress A, 4th Floor

6:30–10 p.m.

Dine-Around in Philadelphia*
Your chance to explore the diversity of the Philly dining scene, and make new friends. Sign ups will be available at the check-in desk at a first-come,first-serve basis. All dine arounds leave from the hotel at 6:30 pm unless otherwise stated. Attendees are responsible for the cost of their own meals.


*Not included in the basic conference registration fee.

Tuesday, June 18

6:30–7:45 a.m.

Morning FitnessMorning Run Like Rocky
Meet in Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor
Join fellow conference attendees for a 3.75 mile run while taking in many of Philly's iconic landmarks including City Hall/Dilworth Plaza, LOVE Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and its numerous museums, Philadelphia Museum of Art/Rocky Steps, Schuylkill River, Rittenhouse Square, Broad Street/Avenue of the Arts. Meet in the lobby at 6:30 a.m. Members of the Visit Philly team will lead this run and city tour. All levels welcome.
(space is limited, sign-up required at conference registration desk)

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration 
Room: Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor
8:30–9:30 a.m.

Breakfast
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

9:30–10:30 a.m.

General Session
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

“Travel Trends Throwdown”
PRSA's Family Feud-inspired throwdown, running four teams of PR pros through a gauntlet of Tourism PR trivia. Answers have been surveyed from the industry’s top travel journalists. Our fearless host will see that one final team takes home the coveted “Travel Throwdown” trophy. Survey says this will be one fast-paced, hilarious and insightful competition that attendees won’t want to miss.

Sponsored by:
 
TravMedia

10:45–11:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set IV

“Storytelling at Its Best: When Travel Stories Transcend to Lifestyle Media”
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Ryan Krogh, 
senior editor, Men's Journal
Craig Waxman, senior creative producer, CNN Digital Labs
Rachel Gallaher, senior editor, GRAY Magazine

“Boost Revenue Through Meetings and Conventions Publications“
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Alex Palmer,
deputy editor, Northstar Meetings Group
Morgan Halaska, managing editor, Meetings + Events Media; editor, Minnesota Meetings + Events
Cynthia Dial, freelancer, Corporate & Incentive Travel, Insurance & Financial Meetings Mag, Meeting News

“East Coast Connections”
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
DeMarco Williams, managing editor, Forbes Travel Guide
Tracey Minkin, senior editor, travel + features, Coastal Living Magazine
Shayla Martin, freelance travel and food journalist

“The Pitch Redux: Workshop Your News with Top Travel Media”
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Andrew Nelson, director of editorial projects, National Geographic Traveler
Lilit Marcus, editor, CNN Travel
Peter Terzian, articles editor, Travel + Leisure

Noon–1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote Session: Rajan Datar
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

Discover the ingredients of a compelling travel show segment from the host of the world’s biggest travel program. Rajan Datar will offer insight gained from a decade as the host of The Travel Show on the BBC, which reaches a 70 million+ weekly global audience. He’ll deliver firsthand accounts of which topics translate successfully to TV and discuss the types of stories that resonate with the BBC audience. Rajan will reveal how the ever-changing world of travel influences what gets precious air time.

Sponsored by:

TravMedia

2–3 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set V

“Write This Down: The Best Outlets You’re Not Reading Yet”
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
John Capone
, editor, Whalebone Media
Sommer Mathis, editor in chief, Atlas Obscura
Emily Saladino, editor-in-chief, VinePair
Lauren Vespoli, senior editor, The National

(Repeat) “Storytelling at Its Best: When Travel Stories Transcend to Lifestyle Media”
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Ryan Krogh, 
senior editor, Men’s Journal
Craig Waxman, senior creative producer, CNN Digital Labs
Rachel Gallagher, senior editor, GRAY Magazine

“Midwest Is Best”
Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Kristine Hansen
, freelancer, contributor to regional publications, Midwest Living, Experience Wisconsin and Milwaukee Magazine, and covers the Midwest for national outlets, ArchitecturalDigest.com, Fodors.com and TravelandLeisure.com
Timothy Meinch, travel editor, Midwest Living Magazine
Amy Bertrand, features editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(Repeat) “The Pitch Redux: Workshop Your News with Top Travel Media”
Room: Commonwealth D, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Elaine Glusac, freelance, New York Times, National Geographic and Chicago Tribune; contributing editor, Virtuoso Life
Bree Sposato, editor-in-chief, Endless Vacations
Felicia Feaster, managing editor, Travel Channel + HGTV

3:15–4:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set VI

“Broadcast Basics...and Then Some!”
Room: Commonwealth A, 2nd Floor
Speaker:
Oneika Raymond,
travel blogger, Oneika the Traveller

"The Audacity of AuthentiCity
Room: Commonwealth B, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Regan Stephens,
managing editor, Philadelphia Magazine
Abigail Abesamis, freelance travel/food writer and editor
Nneka M. Okona, freelance travel/food writer and editor

“West Coast Connections”

Room: Commonwealth C, 2nd Floor
Speakers:
Elizabeth Harryman,
Westways Magazine
Andrew Waite, associate editor, Alaska Airlines Beyond Magazine
Alex Schechter, freelancer, Travel + Leisure, Sunset Magazine, AFAR, Food & Wine, Bloomberg News, New York Times

4:30 p.m.

Phil-It-Up Happy Hour
Room: Commonwealth Foyer, 2nd Floor

Join fellow PRSA T&T attendees and Expedia Group for a selection of local favorites including hot pretzels, Tastykakes and water ice martinis to toast the second full day of the conference!

Sponsored by:
 
Expedia Group

7–9 p.m.

Media Mixer Reception:

Shuttles will depart promptly at 6:45 p.m. from the lobby of the Loews Hotel. Conference Badge required.

Shuttles will transport attendees to the AfterPaRty at the Pier, sponsored by Cision, or back to the Loews Hotel at 9 p.m.

Sponsored by:
 
 Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
 
Visit Philadelphia

9 p.m.

AfterPaRty at the Pier

Join us at Morgan’s Pier after the Media Mixer to celebrate our last night in Philly! We'll turn the music up, give you a chance to relax and cheers to a great conference full of new connections. Drinks and light food will be provided among a few other surprises. See you there!

Address: 221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19123

Hosted by:
 
Cision

Wednesday, June 19

7:30NoonRegistration
Room: Millennium Foyer, 2nd Floor
8–9a.m.Breakfast
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor
9–10 a.m.

Roundtables
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

"Hot Topic Roundtable Discussions"

Collaborate with your peers on the industry’s hottest topics through meaningful discussions, brainstorming and networking led by some of the most popular service providers and vendors. The sponsor-led roundtables will be broken out by different topics including crisis, pitching, smartphone photography, online newsrooms and more. Participants will be signaled to switch to a new table every 12-15 minutes.

  • Moneyball PR: Backing up Your Decisions with Data Analysis & Tech-powered Measurement
  • Working with Influencers from Beginning to End
  • In Data We Trust: How To Effectively Use Data to Elevate Your PR Pitch
  • Using Seasonal Trends & Promotions to Grab Media Headlines
  • Managing a Crisis in a Fast-Moving News Cycle
  • The Truth About Folders: Rethinking Your Digital Media Organization with Tags
  • Smartphone Photography Techniques
  • The Importance of Online Newsrooms in Travel & Tourism PR
  • Measurement: What Does ROI Mean To Your Organization?
  • Content Integration: Owned and Earned Media Working Together
  • Site Visits & FAMS: A Discussion of What Works
  • Getting the Most Out of Your PRSA Membership
10:15 a.m.2020 Conference Destination Announcement
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor
10:15–11:30 a.m.

General Session
Room: Millennium Ballroom, 2nd Floor

“Editors Roundtable”  

Speakers:
Amy Virshup,
travel editor, New York Times
Julie Cosgrove, editor-in-chief, AFAR
Mariel Clark, vice president, Editorial and Programming, Travel Channel and HGTV
Moderator: George Stone, editor-in-chief, National Geographic Traveler

 
++ Pre-Conference Workshops require an additional fee. **Designated Master Track