2023 Super Sessions

We have an exciting slate of session topics already locked in for the 2023 VA1 Governor’s Tourism Summit! Our team is hard at work securing additional programming, so check back often for updates.

Driving Value-Based Outcomes:
How VA is One Step Ahead

Jonathan Keslow, Lindsey Norment, Dan Roberts

Sponsored by:
Every destination has its unique set of goals and challenges. Destination organizations that struggle to attract the right visitors are causing many disruptions for their community, such as overcrowded communities, the strain on local resources, and understanding how to maintain a share of vacation by enticing past visitors to return more often.

Destination marketers are tasked with not only driving visitation but more importantly, driving the best values to fuel positive and sustainable growth in the local economy and culture. During this panel, we will share how Virginia created impactful value-based destination marketing strategies, attracted visitors that helped them support their destination goals, and showed stakeholders how their marketing program created community impact and economic growth.

Digital Marketing 201: Take Your Online Presence to the Next Level

Sponsored by:
Join a team of digital experts and learn how your destination can leverage first party data to create marketing strategies that maximize the performance metrics important to you. Attendees will learn how to use marketing extensions and advanced targeting techniques to identify the people most interested in your destination. From email clicks to physical visitation, this session provides the insights needed to step up your digital marketing game.

RVA Sports & Recreation Tourism Panel

Dennis Bickmeier, Jonathan Lugbill, Todd "Parney" Parnell, Lori Waran
Join us for an exciting panel discussion with key figures from Richmond sports and events tourism properties. Participating in the conversation is:

Dennis Bickmeier
Executive Director, Henrico Sports and Entertainment Authoriry
Dennis Bickmeier is the Executive Director of the newly-formed Henrico Sports and Entertainment Authority, leading the county’s mission of bringing sports and entertainment events to county facilities. Previously, he served as President of Richmond Raceway for more than a decade, guiding the Raceway’s motorsports, Amphitheater and facility rental efforts.

Jon Lugbill
Executive Director, Sports Backers
As Executive Director of Sports Backers, Jon inspires and motivates staff, volunteers, and donors to promote active living on a daily basis. Lugbill is widely considered to be one of the greatest canoe slalom racers in the history of the sport, winning five World Championship Gold medals and one Silver medal from 1979 to 1989. He’s also on the Board of Directors at SwimRVA and Richmond Region Tourism and serves on the Executives Roundtable at Chamber RVA.

Todd "Parney" Parnell
Vice President and COO, Richmond FLying Squirrels
A veteran of more than 30 years in Minor League Baseball, Todd "Parney" Parnell is one of the most recognizable names and faces in the baseball industry. Due to his exuberant nature and wealth of experience in professional sports, Parney has also become one of the most popular speakers and guest lecturers in the region.

Lori Waran
Track President, Richmond Raceway
Lori Collier Waran serves as Richmond Raceway’s first female track President. Lori launched her career in Washington D.C., entertaining government dignitaries, professional sports teams, and corporations with Sodexho Marriot. After 8 years, Lori and her family moved to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia where she joined Auto Trader and started her nearly 20-year career in the media and communications industry. In 2006, Landmark Media tapped Lori to take the helm of the Richmond-based media company, Style Weekly Media as Publisher where Lori led the team for nearly 15 years. She was the youngest Publisher in the United States for an alternative weekly at that time.

5 Steps to Building Data-Driven Video Strategies

Sponsored by:
This panel discussion will focus on the continuous evolution of multi-platform marketing, and developing marketing strategies that align with the ever-changing ad tech. Integrating customer data into your strategy helps marketers understand the entire buyer journey, not just one part of it, and improve overall marketing performance. We will discuss using video to drive awareness, consideration, and outcomes; as well as best practices for the use of first-party and third-party data to ensure efficient targeting. After this session, attendees will be able to:

- Understand what data sets can be used to inform your video strategy
- Build reach across a fragmented video ecosystem
- Make considerations for audiences, geography & creative
- Better measure success with video

This session is for anyone who wants to use data to inform their marketing strategy or is considering TV & video in their marketing mix and is looking for proven criteria to build data-driven video campaigns that deliver effective results.

How to Turn a Loss Into a Win For Your Organization

Sponsored by:
Advance Travel & Tourism
How to turn a failure in your organization to a true learning lesson. With real life examples from tourism organizations and how they learned, moved forward, and even progressed from the mistake made.

Using Data to Uncover True ROI and Proving Your Value

Sponsored by:
Utilizing data today is essential at every step of the destination marketing process. It helps you understand existing situations and conditions, who you should target as prospective visitors, who is coming to your destination, what they’re doing there, and how much are they spending. It also gives you the narrative of a great story that connects-the-dots for your stakeholders. In this data-packed session, a data company and a DMO will showcase how you and your DMO can utilize data to accomplish your mission and prove your worth in today’s data-rich and competitive landscape. You’ll learn:

How to use data to ensure success from the get-go
Measuring Your Campaigns with KPIs that Matter Most
Post-Campaign: Understanding the Value of What You Accomplished
Data: WIIFM “What’s In It For Me?”