Adventure travel trade delegates will learn about the latest trends, business challenges, and best practices in the industry from esteemed speakers and in educational sessions at AdventureELEVATE, the North American-focused networking event held annually by Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). The organization has just released the full lineup of speakers and sessions for this year’s conference, which will be held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, April 12-13, 2017.
A focus on the role of technology in the industry, including proven ways of using new media and online influencers to garner online attention, support 2017’s educational theme of Future Together. Sessions will also address technology solutions that are helpful to adventure travel businesses.
The AdventureELEVATE agenda, released today, includes keynote conversations and breakout sessions with speakers who have deep adventure industry experience along with fresh perspectives from industries adjacent to travel. Adventure industry professionals from G Adventures, Trek Travel, Travel Leaders, Austin Adventures, Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures, National Parks Revealed, and The Clymb will be joined by experts from SocialBoost.com, IDEO, Desh International & Business Law, and more. Based on feedback from past events, the emphasis this year is on providing creative networking opportunities and workshop format sessions.
AdventureELEVATE will open with a dynamic and thoughtful session presented by Darvin Ayre called The Elements of Adventure: Charting Our Future Together. Ayre, an experienced outdoorsman and expert facilitator, will encourage audience interaction as he discusses the latest trends, business challenges, and goals in the industry.
Dené Sinclair and Quanah Matheson will follow Ayre’s presentation as they share perspectives and ideas in their keynote address, Indigenous Communities are Central to Adventure’s Future. As those working in successful adventure businesses know, the relationship between the adventure industry and the First Nations people of the destinations visited is symbiotic.
Delegates will learn how an experience of culture and nature available through connections with indigenous people can foster authenticity and connection to place for adventure travel products. Sinclair, representing the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, and Matheson, from the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, will address this topic while sharing insights including data from recent consumer research, and offer ideas for incorporating indigenous communities into adventure products.
In addition to the keynote discussions, AdventureELEVATE, delegates can choose from a set of repeating sessions covering practical topics in technology, marketing, and management. A quick look at the sessions are below; full descriptions are available on the AdventureELEVATE website.
- Tech Tools Rapid Fire – Get ready for some rapid-fire advice and information on technology tools your colleagues are using today that have transformed how they do business.
- Future Planning: Strategies for Growing, Transitioning, Exiting Your Business – Industry veterans and experts weigh the benefits of a range of succession plans including passing the business onto an employee, selling it to a friendly competitor, and agreeing to an acquisition by an outside party.
- Maximize Your Brand Exposure with Bloggers & Influencers – Eighty-one percent of marketing and communications professionals state that working with influencers is effective. Learn how to leverage your internal assets or “currency” to get the most bang for your buck.
- Marketing Workshop: The Growth Gears – A Foundation For the Future – Learn in a guided workshop from gear industry veteran Tom Fritz, with 18 years experience as the vice president of marketing and now with Chief Outsiders, how to evaluate your business from both the inside-out and the outside-in.
- Bottom Line Collaboration: The Future of Sales with Travel Advisors – What are the keys – on a nuts and bolts level – to incorporating travel advisors into the marketing and sales cycle? With plenty of time built in for Q&A, learn from tour providers who rely on travel advisors for a critical channel of current and future sales.
Delegates at AdventureELEVATE will also have the opportunity to make new business contacts over meaningful, fun conversations at the Disruptive Networking Adventure (DNA) Happy Hour, with drinks and prizes provided by Switzerland and ExOfficio. At the MediaExchange, delegates can meet with attending adventure media, who write for outlets such as AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast, Outside, Wall Street Journal, and more. And, new in 2017, the Destination Showcase Marketplace will allow buyers and media to make pre-arranged meetings with destination representatives to learn about itineraries, destination developments, and story ideas.
The event closes with an inspiring and participative session delivered by Clark Scheffy from award-winning design firm IDEO, Creative Leadership: Tackling Thorny Problems With the Designer’s Toolkit. Clark will share techniques and tools for creative leadership, guiding the audience through both the theory and practice of the designer’s approach to innovative problem solving. Delegates will be introduced to new perspectives and tools for thinking about business problems differently, allowing teams to generate unexpected, inspired, and winning solutions.
“We always take participant feedback on programming seriously,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell, “and past delegates to ELEVATE have let us know that a key reason they come to the event is for the high-quality and valuable networking opportunities they find here. In Coeur d’Alene, we’re keeping the focus on superior content and also facilitating more ways for delegates to interact and learn from one another during hands-on sessions.”