Sharing Your Destination with the World: Lessons Learned Using Flickr

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Last week I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the presenters at the 2011 Social Media Tourism Symposium.  As cool an experience as this was for me, it was made even better by getting to present with my friend Katie Cook, Interactive Marketing Manager with the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Our topic was “Sharing Your Destination with the World: Lessons Learned Using Flickr.”  Katie and I both have Flickr groups for our destinations, and use them extensively as a source for user-generated content.

Check out the Colorado River Trail Flickr group and the Visit Austin Texas Flickr group to see the amazing material we have to work with. Continue reading

How To Treat Conference Speakers Like Rock Stars – #SoMeT Style

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]There’s a lot to like about the Social Media Tourism Symposium.  Like a whole lot.  As a practitioner in the industry, it’s hands down the best education out there.  We get to learn from the best and brightest in the field, and go home with ideas that we can put to work in our own destinations right away.  As a self-proclaimed Tourism Geek, I get to spend 3 days with my people.  We understand each other, both professionally and personally.  I’m home.  Continue reading

West Texas’ Social Media Rock Star – Shanna Smith Snyder

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]West Texas is known for a lot of things.  Big skies, ranching, oil, rugged terrain …  One thing it hasn’t always been known for is being a hotbed of social media activity.  Until now.  Enter Shanna Smith Snyder with the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB).

Shanna and I first got acquainted on Twitter, where I became an instant fan of her work with the CVB in Abilene.  After building our online relationship for a while, we finally got to meet at a Texas Travel Industry Association function.  Shanna impressed me so much that I asked her to speak at a seminar series my organization hosted called “Social Media for Economic Development and Community Marketing”.  As I expected, she did a fantastic job getting our attendees to realize that social media marketing was not out of reach.

I think her story will really resonate with a lot you out there.  ACVB is a small- to mid-sized bureau that does all their social media marketing in-house.  Yes, it’s possible and yes, it can be done.  Shanna is living proof.

So here’s my one-on-one interview with Shanna Smith Snyder.

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#SoMeT Wrap Up

[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I’m back home from one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended.  I’ve even had a few days to digest all the great information, but honestly, my head is still swimming.  There was just so much to learn.  Some of the information served as a refresher, or even a kick in the pants to get started on things I should already be doing.

Other presentations shared information that was new to me, and my mental wheels are seriously turning.  In addition to all the great content, probably what excited me the most was the opportunity to meet people IRL that I had only known online previously.  What a fantastic group of smart and creative people!

So what conference had such an impact on me?  The Social Media Tourism Symposium – or #SoMeT – held in Loudoun, VA from November 17-19, 2010.  Kudos to Dave Serino of Gammet Interactive for putting together the conference of the year – regardless of the industry you’re in.

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