The annual Visit North Carolina 365 Conference is the state’s premier travel industry event. Bringing together more than 500 of the state’s tourism industry leaders, the conference provides opportunities to catch up on the latest trends and issues facing the travel industry, hear insights from industry experts and network with other travel and tourism professionals.
Sunday, March 31
- Noon – 7:00 p.m.Registration Open
- Noon – 6:00 p.m.Exhibitor & Silent Auction SetupEXHIBIT HALL
- 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.Meet and Greet with Visit NC teamCONCOURSE
Are you new to Visit NC 365? Stop by on Sunday afternoon to meet our team and see how to get the most out of Visit NC and the annual tourism conference.
- 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.PR RoundtablesMEETING ROOMS 106 - 108
- 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.Party on the Pier: Opening ReceptionPIER 33
Join the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau as host of the opening reception to be held at Pier 33 Entertainment Venue at the Port City Marina. Located on the award-winning riverfront, this brand-new waterfront event venue is the perfect setting to enjoy coastal tastings, beverages and one of the area’s hottest bands performing a variety of classic rock, country, R&B, pop, soul, and funk. See you on the pier!
Monday, April 1
- 6:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.Registration Open
- 7:30 a.m.Exhibitor Marketplace & Silent Auction openEXHIBIT HALL
- 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Facilitated Networking Breakfast with ExhibitorsEXHIBIT HALL ROUNDTABLES
Grab your breakfast and head over to the networking area for regional discussions.
- 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Networking Breakfast with ExhibitorsEXHIBIT HALL
- 8:45 – 10:15 a.m.Opening Keynote: Ingrid Fetell Lee, The Aesthetics of JoyGRAND BALLROOM
An emerging body of research shows that there is a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health. Yet nearly all the advice on how to find happiness ignores this fact. Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee founded The Aesthetics of Joy in 2009 to shed light on the relationship between our environment and our emotions and shares inspiration for living a more joyful life through design. She has been featured as an expert on design and joy by outlets such as the New York Times, Wired, PRI's Studio 360, CBC's Spark, and Fast Company, and her 2018 TED talk received a standing ovation. Lee was formerly Design Director at global innovation firm IDEO and was a founding faculty member in the Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She holds a Master's in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor's in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University.
- 10:30 – 11:45 a.mCo-Op PresentationEXHIBIT HALL
Join Visit NC and its marketing agency, LGA, as they unveil the cooperative marketing opportunities planned for 2019-2020. Learn about all the programs available, how to extend your limited marketing dollars in collaboration with Visit NC, and have time to follow up with Visit NC staff, agencies and media partners for more details or to sign-up for your 2019-2020 co-op programs.
- 11:55 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.Winners Circle Awards Luncheon
Sponsored by Meredith Publishing, Inc.GRAND BALLROOM
Celebrate industry achievements with the presentation of the annual Tourism Winners Circle Awards and Esse Quam Videri Award. These awards recognize communities, organizations, events and people that have enhanced the North Carolina tourism industry.
- 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.Concurrent SessionsMEETING ROOMS 105-108Insider tips from Visitor Services: How to best work with the Welcome and Inquiry/Call Centers
North Carolina’s nine Welcome Centers hosted 9,424,239 visitors in 2017 and booked about 19,200 room nights for visitors. The Inquiry and Call Center received roughly 3.9 million inquires and mailed 190,486 NC Travel Guides to potential visitors. While attending this session, you’ll learn the best way to interact and utilize these valuable front-line resources.
Moderator: Wally Wazan or Bryan, NC Department of Commerce Visitors Services
Presenters: Kat and Vicki Sealock, Welcome Center Managers; Teresa Smith
Visit NC Host: Heidi WaltersFestival for the Restival: Maximizing Festivals
Moderator: Lynn Fuhler
Presenters: Stephanie, NC Festivals Association; Lorrie Love, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau; Alison Baringer English, Azalea Festival
Visit NC Host: Amanda BakerAirBnB to Commercial Lodging: A look inside the big forces shaping the NC lodging industry
Learn more about current trends in the lodging industry, both in the commercial lodging sector and shared economy sector. Hear from STR and AirDNA on recent trends in statewide lodging and an outlook for 2019 and beyond.
Visit NC Host/Moderator: Marlise Taylor
- 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.Concurrent SessionsMEETING ROOMS 105-108Festinomics: Event Impact Studies
Events continue to be an important economic driver, but just how much impact does your annual festival contribute to tourism? Learn how to conduct an event impact survey and what the results mean for event promotion.
Visit NC Host and Moderator: Marlise TaylorGeneral Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Info and Impacts
Customers care about their privacy and expect businesses to respect that. It is the responsibility of every business to protect customer privacy and build rules into their organization to adhere to GDPR. Learn how to manage your data more effectively, internally and externally, in this ever-changing environment.
Visit NC Host/Moderator: Heidi Walters
Presenters: Lena Kleininger, Lieb Management; Joe Dickinson, Smith AndersonSo You Want to Be Famous
Location Managers talk about site selection.
Visit NC Host/Moderator: Guy Gaster
- 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.Executive Track for CEOsEMBASSY SUITES SALON 1
New this year, we’ve designed a concurrent session just for executives. If you run a DMO, this one’s for you. Economic and workforce consultant, Ted Abernathy is the managing partner of Economic Leadership, LLC, a consultancy that is currently working in more than a dozen states. They are experienced practitioners collaborating with data-geeks and leadership gurus to create realistic and personalized strategies for you. You must sign up in advance to attend. This session will repeat.
- 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.Legislative UpdateGRAND BALLROOM
- 5:15 – 6:15 p.m.Reception with Exhibitors & Silent AuctionEXHIBIT HALL
Open night to explore Wilmington & Beaches.
Tuesday, April 2
- 6:45 a.m. – NoonRegistration
- 7:30 a.m.Exhibitor Marketplace & Silent Auction openEXHIBIT HALL
- 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Facilitated Networking Breakfast with Exhibitors
Sponsored by: Asheville CVBEXHIBIT HALL ROUNDTABLES
Grab your breakfast and head over to the networking area for budget discussions.
- 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Networking Breakfast with Exhibitors
Sponsored by: Asheville CVBEXHIBIT HALL
- 8:45 – 9:45 a.m.Keynote: Dustin GarisGRAND BALLROOM
Throughout his disruptive career at some of the world’s most respected companies, The Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble and others, Dustin Garis has become known as “Chief Troublemaker” and "The Indiana Jones of Marketing" for his innovative approach to brand-building and corporate entrepreneurship. Dustin shares his world-renowned futurist perspective unlike any other, because he practices what he preaches. He didn't just field the most extensive futurist research expedition of its kind, he embarked on the journey himself, spanning 45 countries across six continents. From this, he uncovered the most powerful global trends that will impact the future of travel for both leisure and business. This includes discovering the "Life Profit" concept, which redefines the way people measure their lives...not in dollars, but rather by richness of memorable experiences. It's the single greatest determining factor for where people travel and how those destinations become sensational.
- 9:45 – 10:15 a.m.Break with Exhibitors & Silent AuctionEXHIBIT HALL
- 10:15 – 11:30 a.m.Visit North Carolina Update: Going ForwardGRAND BALLROOM
- 11:30 – 11:45 a.m.Break with Exhibitors
- 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.2020 Host LuncheonGRAND BALLROOM