(Banner graphic of PRSA 2018 Travel and Tourism Conference logo)

PRSA 2018 Travel and Tourism Conference

June 3–6 | New Orleans

The 2018 program is now available below.

Sunday, June 3

8 a.m.–6 p.m.Registration

Pre-Conference Events++

9 a.m.–3 p.m.

The Pitch - writing workshop++
Andrew Nelson, travel editor, National Geographic
Fee: $250

9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Social Media for PR++
Gathan D. Borden, vice president of marketing, Visit Lex
Fee: $250

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.

Newcomers Reception

6–8 p.m.

NOLA Opening Reception
Get reacquainted with colleagues from around the country and be inspired by all of this year’s conference attendees. Enjoy light bites, entertainment and cocktails.

Monday, June 4

7–8 a.m.

Morning Fitness

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration
8–9 a.m.


9–10 a.m.

Opening Keynote Presentation

10:15–11:45 a.m.


State Tourism
Hotels & Resorts
Agency/Individual Practitioner

Noon–1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote General Session

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set I

Steal This Idea! Five Minutes to Get Inspired

Spend Money to Make Money

Beyond AVE: Building a Measurement Program From the Ground Up
Kay M. Maghan, public relations manager, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

3–4 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set II

Crafting Content That Puts Heads in Beds 
Ashley Lowe,
principal, Betty Ashley Public Relations
Rachel Walker,
writer & editor

Survey Says: How To Leverage Research and Data To Strengthen Your Pitch
Chris Lightner,
vice president of client strategy, Trendkite
Michelle McCue, president, McCue Marketing Communications

Influencers: How To and Best Practices
Lindsey Guinn,
international PR manager, Visit California
Kristen Bonilla, public relations manager, Visit California
Bridget Baeth, principal, JayRay Ads & PR

4:15–5:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set III

Going Viral: How Digital Content Is Influencing Travel Trends
Caleigh Alleyne, freelance journalist, digital media consultant
Lindsey Campbell, audience engagement editor, Travel+Leisure
Erika Owen, head of audience development, Bon Appetit and Epicurious

Stigmas: How to Overcome Negative Perceptions
Kevin Kern, vice president of public relations, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fundamentals of a Crisis Plan
Todd Ragusa, principal, Ragusa Consulting

5:456:30 p.m.SATW Associates Meeting
7–10 p.m.Dine-Around in New Orleans*
       *Not included in the basic conference registration fee.

Tuesday, June 5

7-8 a.m.Morning Fitness – Fun Run
7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration
8-9 a.m.


9–10:30 a.m.

General Session
Travel Feud

10:45–11:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set IV

Morning Shows
Simone Swink, senior broadcast producer, Good Morning America

Podcasting Your Story
Gary Arndt blogger, photographer, author of the travel blog “Everything Everywhere
Beth Harpaz, travel editor, Associated Press

From the Page to the Screen (and Back Again!): How Media Outlets Are Embracing New & Old Platforms

Noon–1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote Session

2–3 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set V

What’s Cooking in Food Coverage: Tips and Insights From Top Culinary Journalists
Amber Gibson,
Ashley Day, food editor, USA Today
Richard Martin, editorial director, Food Republic

Bullseye! Hitting the Mark in Meeting, Convention & Group Travel Trade Publications
Jeff Heilman,
senior contributor, Meetings Today
Brian Jewell, executive editor, The Group Travel Leader

Minority Marketing: Missed Opportunities in the U.S.
Shontel Horne, Editor, Travel Noire

3:15–4:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set VI

#Winning: How to Work With Digital Publications That Are Winning the Millennial Travel Market
Annie Georgia Greenberg, fashion editor at large and host/producer of 60 Second Cities, Refinery29
Steven Lim, video producer and host of  “Worth It,” BuzzFeed
Matt Meltzer, travel editor, Thrillist

Oh Where, or Where Do My Pitches Go? Deep Dive Into the Editor and Freelancer Relationship
Jenn Rice
, freelancer for F & W, Vogue, Tasting Table, Domino; columnist: USA Today; contributor: National Geographic Traveler, Snow; publisher & editor-in-chief: Everett Potter’s Travel Report
David Duran, freelancer for T+L, NY Post, etc.
Derrik J. Lang, senior editor, American Way magazine

Press Trips: The Evolving Necessity
ll Robinson, freelance travel writer and editor
Michelle Winner, Lifestyle & Travel Editor, LuxeGetaways and LuxeGetaways.com
Tamra Bolton, contributor, Parade Magazine

4:30-5:30 p.m.Social Hour
7–9 p.m.

Media Mixer Reception  

The Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion|
The Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion is a beautiful example of Italianate style architecture, providing exquisite grandeur to St. Charles Avenue and the Garden District of New Orleans. A true window into New Orleans antebellum past. The historical Elms Mansion is complemented with period furnishings and surrounded by lovely gardens and patios.

Shuttles depart promptly at 6:45 p.m. from the lobby of the Royal Sonesta. Conference Badge required

Wednesday, June 6

7–8 a.m.Morning Fitness
8–9 a.m.Breakfast
8:30–9 a.m.

PRSA 101 Networking Breakfast
Chat with members of your PRSA Travel & Tourism Executive Committee and PRSA staff about how to get the most out of your membership. Whether you're interested in joining the board, hosting this conference or tapping into the tools of PRSA...this session is for you.

9–10 a.m.

Breakout Roundtables
Collaborate with your peers on the industry’s hottest topics and gather ideas and inspiration as a very meaningful way to start your day. Roundtables will be broken out by more than 10 different industry topics including Building a Better FAM Trip, Productivity Tools You Can Use, Improving Your Online Press Kit and Reporting: Making Metrics Matter.

10:15–11:30 a.m.General Session
Editors Roundtable

Andrew Nelson, travel editor, National Geographic
++ Pre-Conference Workshops require an additional fee. **Designated Master Track