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Hear it From Experts on the Ground


Learning something new is always a mix of figuring out the theory and grappling with the reality….and not always in that order.

In a perfect world, you go to school, you ask questions, you take some notes, you practice and then there’s that day when you need to take Stuff I Learned (“A”) and apply it to Stuff I Gotta Do (“B”.) More often, we’re tossed into situations to figure it out as we go along, and it helps to get tips and advice from people who’ve been there on the ground, mud-wrestling with tricky things like anyone else.

Their expertise comes from applying theory to reality, every day.

In the Thursday, October 14 Tourism track, we’re really excited to bring you four co-panelists who have real-world, practical application experience to share with you at BlogWorld.

** Ann Peavey saw the possibilities of social media – particularly Twitter – as a personable, friendly way to connect visitors with her beloved city of Seattle. She represents the Seattle CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) as @SeattleMaven and will share how she uses dashboard tools like TweetDeck and keywords to be a virtual concierge for her city.

** Jeff Hurt is a meetings expert at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting and he’s worked with businesses and tourism organizations large and small to show them how to use social media to make on- and off-line gatherings much more useful and enjoyable. He knows how to drill down and find helpful resources and people, and he’ll show you how.

** Mike Bersabal brings current crisis communications expertise from his work at the Pensacola, Florida CVB during the recent BP oil spill – follow him @Mike_VstPcola or @VisitPensacola. In response to the disaster, Florida tourism used social media to give visitors a more complete, up-to-the-minute view of beach conditions, and Mike will talk about that experience plus give tips about incorporating bloggers into your media outreach.

** Stephanie Molina and the Beaumont, Texas CVB regularly win awards for their imaginative and forward-leaning approach to destination marketing. They’re already experimenting with QR codes and are fearlessly curious about what will entice visitors to their part of Southeast Texas. Follow her as @Beaumartian and @BeaumontCVB and hear Stephanie share her recent experience with adding online video to her tourism “toolbag,” then dive in to hands-on video work with cameras generously provided by conference sponsor Kodak.

We don’t have all the answers, but we’ll do our best to show you how to find them, so you can get blogging and social media out of the theoretical cloud and down to using it well every day in your communications work.

Sheila Scarborough is a writer specializing in travel, tourism and social media. Along with Becky McCray, she is the co-founder of Tourism Currents, an online community focused on social media and technology training for tourism professionals. She’s at BlogWorld because she likes to go where the geeks are. You can follow her at Sheila’s Guide to the Good Stuff and on Twitter as @SheilaS and @TourismCurrents

Image Source: US Marine combat engineer digging out in Silico Creek, Panama (courtesy DVIDSHUB on Flickr)

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