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updated: 2/12/2013 11:36 AM

New Schedule and Educational Opportunities Highlight the 2013 Illinois Governor's Conference On Tourism

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Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism

Chicago, IL -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Office of Tourism (DCEO/IOT) and the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus will host the 2013 Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism Wednesday, February 27th through Friday, March 1st.

The Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism has several exciting new changes this year:

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• On the evening of February 27th, the achievements and innovation among industry partners in a variety of categories will be honored with the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards Ceremony & Dinner.

• The conference will end with an emphasis on education this year with 11 fun and informative tracks: Arts/Culture/Heritage, Culinary, CVB's, Destination Best Practices, Hotel, Integrating Website Search & Social Media, International, Marketing, Media, Sales and Special Markets.

More than 500 tourism industry professionals from around the state will attend the conference that features a remarkable assortment of speakers and panelists showcasing leading edge ideas for moving the Illinois tourism industry forward. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will help kick-off the 2013 Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism with an appearance on Wednesday, February 27, at the Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

IOT Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle will present the annual State of the State of Tourism Address on Thursday, February 28th at 12:00 p.m. Hoelzle will announce the latest statewide tourism initiatives, accomplishments and economic impact numbers and discuss the industry's changing landscape and its vital role in statewide economic development.

Session highlights include:

• The Power of Partnership with Chris Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA

• Crossing the Generational Divide: Leveraging the Power of Generations for Your Strategic Advantage with Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer for The Center for Generational Kinetics

• Marketing to Changing Demographics and How Changing Demographics Affect Your Business with Kelly McDonald, President of McDonald Marketing

• Youtility: How Smart Organizations Sell More by Selling Less with Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert

For a complete conference schedule and list of speakers or to register for the 2013 Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism, visit www.ilgovconference.com.

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