Travel industry encouraged to pre-register by Jan. 31 to take advantage of early-bird discount

MADISON, Wis. (Jan. 11, 2012) — Online registration is now open for the 2012 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the premier educational and networking event for the Wisconsin tourism industry. This year the conference returns to Green Bay and the KI Convention Center March 4-6. Actor and Green Bay native Tony Shalhoub created an online video to extend a special invitation to the state’s travel and hospitality industry to attend this year’s conference.

Participants who register for the conference prior to Jan. 31 receive a $50 discount toward their registration fee.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Gov. Walker again to offer a high quality conference that gives our tourism industry the tools to keep growing the tourism economy for Wisconsin,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “We’re building on last year’s successful conference by bringing in quality speakers who will provide tools and trends that can immediately be implemented by our industry partners. And with the right blend of business and pleasure, we create a networking event that attendees can continue to use to grow their businesses.”

Event details, including a full agenda, information on accommodations and online registration can be found at

Gov. Walker and Tourism Secretary Klett will launch the conference with an opening address highlighting significant events and achievements of the previous year and their vision for the industry and its role in Wisconsin’s economy going forward.

Monday’s keynote speaker, Peter Shankman, will offer a general session presentation on customer service, social media and public relations entitled, “The New PR is Spelled ‘Customer Service.’” On Mondayafternoon attendees will have the opportunity to tour the popular Marketplace tradeshow. This year’s Marketplace is Packers-themed, featuring an appearance from a surprise Green Bay Packers player, giveaways for premium Packers gear, as well as more than 80 information-packed booths.

Tuesday, March 6 opens with travel journalist and keynote speaker Peter Greenberg, who will provide insight on tourism and the international economy. Workshops that day feature Bob Brown who will talk about implementing excellent customer service practices, delivering outstanding presentations and coaching methods.

Gov. Walker will also present The Governor’s Tourism Awards at Tuesday evening’s closing dinner. Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin’s tourism industry. The five award categories include: Legacy, Rising Star, Service Excellence, Stewardship, and new this year, Arts, Culture & Heritage.

Online nominations for the Governor’s Tourism Awards will be accepted through Jan. 20.

The Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism is an annual three-day education and networking event for Wisconsin innkeepers, restaurateurs, community tourism officials, tourism attraction operators, state agency officials, tourism educators and other representatives of the hospitality industry.