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Destination On The Left

Destination On The Left is a podcast focused on the travel and tourism industry that explores successful collaborations, creative marketing ideas and best practices. Interviews are a mix of Destination Marketers, Industry Leaders, Consultants and businesses in the industry. We explore consumer marketing programs and travel trade marketing programs. This podcast provides an opportunity for professionals in the travel & tourism industry to share what they have learned and successes that they have achieved.
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Now displaying: May, 2021
May 26, 2021

Carol Lempert supercharges executive presence and careers with the performance secrets actors use to light up the screen. She is a sought-after leadership expert quoted in Forbes, Financial Post, National Post, The Reader’s Digest, and Thrive Global. Typically companies bring her in to help them fill their leadership pipelines. She teaches executives to tell better business stories, increase their executive presence, improve their personal brand and build more resilience. Carol’s clients include Google, Marriott, American Express, Travelers, and the Harvard Executive Education program (yes, THAT Harvard. Her Mom is too proud).

On this episode of Destination on the Left, Carol Lempert discusses how to better communicate and engage with others as part of a collaborative team. Carol shares her expertise as an actress with listeners and gives actionable tips and techniques on how to sound and look confident when pitching an idea and how to use high gain questions to make stronger connections and create better collaborations. We also do a live exercise that demonstrates how effective listening leads to a deeper understanding of what’s really important to others in your sphere.

What You Will Learn:

  • The performance secrets that Carol uses to supercharge executive presence
  • The four dimensions of executive presence
  • Carol’s insights as an actress, on communication, and how that supports effective teamwork and collaboration
  • How to effectively pitch ideas
  • The importance of asking open-ended questions to deepen understanding of a topic
  • How to break through roadblocks to positive collaboration

Essential Dimensions of Executive Presence

Many of us in the world of travel, tourism, and hospitality have experience with booking or promoting theatre and live performance. Still, we don’t often get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what we can learn from actors about collaboration. Carol Lempert guides us through the four dimensions of executive presence and how she works with business people to help them communicate and pitch their ideas, so audiences listen.

Collaborating Successfully

Carol shares her insights on effective communication skills and how they can impact both in-house teams and teams of collaborators across various organizations. Collaboration and communication are closely tethered and both are vital for creating and bringing a successful project to fruition. Carol explains why leading cross-industry projects need to be open and transparent with the expectations from the off and aware of how to break down any roadblocks by listening and communicating productively.

May 19, 2021

Michael is a native of the Finger Lakes region. He was born in Rochester, NY but enjoyed an early childhood upbringing in Newport, RI (“America’s First Tourism Town”) to which he attributes his passion for hospitality.

Over his thirty-five-year career, he has had the pleasure and honor to serve as a Convention Sales Manager, Director of both Convention Services and Visitor Services for Visit Rochester (twice), sell and market to domestic and international groups for the Corning Museum of Glass, Top of The Rock at Rockefeller Center and as a VP for Group Sales Box Office/Broadway.com (both in NY, NY). His earliest accomplishments as a Patient Unit Secretary at Strong Hospital, Front Office Supervisor for Stouffer Hotels, and Event Manager for Casa Larga Vineyards are where he believes his desire to serve, delight, and exceed expectations for guests, people, peers, and friends-alike was crafted.

Recently, Michael continued his two-decade-long consulting business offerings to museums, attractions, municipalities, artists, and other family-owned and corporate clients as a resident in Chicago, IL. Just last year, in 2019, he went back to complete his Bachelor’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology finishing on the Dean’s List with 10 A’s for 5 in-class subjects and 5 online, a feat he is extremely proud of and happy to have finished (as were his mom and RIT friends, favorite faculty members, and fellow alum).

Destination on the Left is joined by Michael Hardy, the Executive Director of Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. On our podcast, Michael shares the key takeaways from his experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He talks about how the “no-event events” helped his community draw attention and visitors during the holidays. Michael also dives into the concept of “return on involvement” and explains why that is the best measurement for success in any organization. No matter what we have experienced thus far, there are many silver linings, and our conversation highlights some of them.

What You Will Learn:

  • The insights Michael has gleaned from his experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry
  • Watkins Glen’s “no-event event” concept and how it drove visitor traffic during the holidays
  • Why “return on involvement” is the best measure of success in any organization
  • The silver linings that have come out of the pandemic thus far
  • How Watkins Glen has used creativity and collaboration to stand out from the crowd
  • What tourism businesses can do to put together a more impactful guest experience

Watkins Glen, NY

Michael Hardy is the Executive Director of Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. On our podcast, Michael shares the key takeaways from his experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He talks about how the “no-event events” helped his community draw attention and visitors during the holidays. Michael also dives into the concept of “return on involvement” and explains why that is the best measurement for success in any organization. No matter what we have experienced thus far, there are many silver linings, and our conversation highlights some of the victories and struggles in Watkins Glen, NY.

The Many Faces of ROI

Michael has built an exemplary career in the travel and hospitality industry. He used each experience as a springboard to another, picking up a vast array of different skills along the way. From marketing and event planning to operations and customer experience design, Michael gained exposure to all facets of the industry, leading him to develop the idea of return on involvement. This concept is about identifying what visitors are getting for their time and money, then figuring out what you can do to add even more value to that experience through your involvement. In doing so, you will have yet another tool to separate your destination from the pack.

No-Event Events

The pandemic is waning, consumer confidence is increasing, and the tourism industry is rebounding. This leaves us with a unique problem that we haven’t had in quite some time—too many destinations to choose from. For destinations to compete in such a high-stakes arena, they have to reach deep within their ranks to find a sense of creativity and collaboration. One of the ways Michael and his team achieved this was through their Holiday Happenings campaign. This was the birth of their “no-event event” concept where destinations can build an event framework and fill it in with an agenda that meets the CDC and local government restrictions at the time the event takes place. Through this type of modular event planning, DMOs can stay light on their feet and adapt in real-time as health guidelines change.

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

May 12, 2021

Lisa Berger, Director of Tourism for Ulster County, has more than twenty years of government experience, starting at Ulster County Tourism as the Director of Marketing and Group Sales. She was promoted to Deputy Director in four years, and from there, was asked to lead the county’s Office of Employment and Training and Workforce Development Board.

Over the next six years, Lisa worked with businesses, economic development, and education leaders to create policies and programs that help ensure that the labor force meets the needs of local businesses and industry. Berger became the Director of Ulster County’s Department of Economic Development in September 0f 2019, where she developed strategies that promote sustainable economic growth, which will help all Ulster County residents.

In November 2020, Lisa found herself back at the county’s Tourism Department, this time as the Director. She brings an innovative, creative flair for robust partnerships and original promotional campaigns. Berger is currently looking at reinventing the standard travel guide, making it a meaningful touchstone for the creation of authentic experiences.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Lisa Berger about transferable skills and why it’s so critical to spread the word about various routes into a successful career in the tourism industry. As Lisa explains, we need to show people the path to follow and where being a travel and tourism professional could lead them. We also dive deep into Lisa’s plans for Ulster County to lead recovery in the tourism sector – including expanding the visitor base, building partnerships, and helping travelers make a deeper connection with the experiences available in the area.

What You Will Learn:

  • How transferable skills and the ability to use previous experience and a passion for helping your community can lead to a successful career in tourism
  • Why the tourism industry needs to promote the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion
  • Some of the things that Lisa is working on to help Ulster County lead the way into recovery
  • Lisa’s new travel guide project with curated experiences that will help expand their visitor base
  • How Lisa is making partnerships work for businesses, communities, and visitors and why they are stronger together
  • Why building deeper connections through partnerships and with their visitors is driving Lisa’s approach to recovery

Making Deeper Connections

Lisa shares her passion for finding and fostering deeper connections between visitors and what Ulster County offers in terms of local activities, arts, and experiences. She shares the region’s plans for expanding their visitor base by shifting the focus onto the cultural heritage traveler and looking at their history as a center for art and music. The county’s plan to really speak to a diverse audience in a welcoming way, to let them know that they’re going to feel comfortable, is at the heart of Lisa’s plans for moving forward into the future.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Cooperation is also one of the key principles of Lisa’s roadmap to leading recovery in the tourist centers of her region. Integral to their plans to build partnerships and find ways for visitors to connect with the region is their carefully curated travel guide — complete with COVID-safe QR codes — which will showcase the unique partnerships that the county has built so they can offer visitors more recreation opportunities than ever before. Lisa also outlines her philosophy of creating connections by asking businesses in the tourism sector what they feel they need from her department, listening, and working to give them what will help them most.

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

 
May 5, 2021

Debra E. Ross is the founder, publisher, and CEO of Kids Out And About, LLC. The company publishes KidsOutAndAbout.com, launched in 2001, and BeyondTheNest.com, launched in 2016. The sites, which are presented under the umbrella of EntertainmentCalendar.com, provide comprehensive calendar and resource lists celebrating each of 45 local regions across the U.S. and Canada. Kids Out And About’s focus is on activities for kids, teens, and families; its readers are 85% parents and the remaining 15% are grandparents. Beyond The Nest focuses on arts, culture, and recreation for grownups. Originally founded in 2001 as a community website for parents in Rochester, NY, KidsOutAndAbout.com started expanding out of Western New York in late 2010. The combined sites currently attract 6 million unique visitors per year, and over 400,000 opt-in readers receive a weekly e-newsletter filled with things to do both in their local area and virtually. Deb’s weekly “Notes from Deb” column at the top of the KidsOutAndAbout.com newsletters is celebrating its 20th year of publication in 2021.

As publisher, Deb leads a team of content managers whose mission is to celebrate each local region’s best opportunities and thereby help sustain communities.

Destination on the Left is joined by Debra Ross, the founder, publisher, and CEO of Kids Out And About, LLC. On our podcast, Debra shares her passion for celebrating local regions across the U.S. and Canada. She talks about the importance of selling both the residents and outsiders on tourism in smaller communities. And she also discusses her experience with coopetition, as well as the big plans communities are working on to prepare for the 2024 eclipse.

What You Will Learn:

  • Debra’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • What Debra is doing to celebrate local regions across the U.S. and Canada
  • Debra’s role as the publisher and CEO of Kids Out and About, LLC.
  • The importance of selling both the residents and outsiders on tourism in smaller communities
  • Debra’s experience with the power of coopetition in local regions
  • The big plans communities are working on to prepare for the 2024 eclipse

Kids Out and About

Debra Ross is the founder, publisher, and CEO of Kids Out And About, LLC., a media network that provides a comprehensive calendar and resource lists celebrating each of 45 local regions across the U.S. and Canada. On our podcast, Debra shares her passion for celebrating local regions across the U.S. and Canada. She talks about the importance of selling both the residents and outsiders on tourism in smaller communities. And she also discusses her experience with coopetition, as well as the big plans communities are working on to prepare for the 2024 eclipse.

Connecting Travelers, Community Members, and Destinations

Kids Out and About generates almost all of its revenue through local advertising. It is a predominantly mission-based organization, meaning that its fundamental purpose is to celebrate and nurture the communities it serves. With Debra at the helm, Kids Out and About has taken an approach that enables local businesses, CVBs, and DMOs to be more themselves—thus standing out from the crowd. It is about highlighting all of the ways in which local community members and outsiders can connect with them on a deeper level. First, they match travelers with the activities they are seeking already, then they offer a broad spectrum of other opportunities the travelers may have never even considered.

Thriving Together

In order to create deeper connections on a regional level, coopetition must become an integral part of the process. We are seeing tourism businesses work together despite nominally competing for the same tourism dollars under normal circumstances. If you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, success is often measured collectively. Large CVBs and DMOs are only interested in how tourism is performing at scale. By determining what metrics to measure and providing support to other destinations in your region, communities can grow stronger than ever before. With collective action, everyone has a chance to thrive.

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

 
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