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Ontario, CA Conference

In my last blog, I shared what happened with the Outdoor Writer’s Conference attended by Sandy Gordon of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau (TCVB).

While she was attending the OWAC event, I was attending the WACVB Conference in Ontario, CA. The WACVB is made up of convention and visitor bureaus from around the western US and provides a forum for education and networking with other tourism organizations.

The conference began with a get-acquainted reception at Ontario Mills Shopping Center (the largest outlet mall in California) followed by a day and half of workshops and networking sessions. There was also a trade show for businesses that provide services to convention and visitor bureaus ranging from software and database management programs to video services and tourism advertising organizations.

As a first time attendee at this event I was very impressed with how giving everyone was in terms of ideas and what works and what doesn’t work in attracting visitors. Despite the fact that we often compete with nearby bureaus for business, no one held back – a real indication of support for the notion that we all benefit from a growing tourism market.

There were a number of breakout sessions on various topics so I attended the marketing one which included people from other rural areas as well as people from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. I came back with pages of notes covering a variety of ideas to help expand tourism here.

Speaking of that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Amgen Tour of California. Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen deserves most of the credit for encouraging the organizers of this event look at the foothills and Sonora in particular. In coming blogs, I’ll have more to say about what’s going on with this event and what it means for us as a community. It has the potential to do an enormous amount of good for the entire foothills region.