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January 2013  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

Arts Board  | Conference & Education | Customer Service & Technology |
Grant News  | Industry Services  | Marketing and Tourism News   | Travel Green Wisconsin
Wisconsin in the News

Secretary Message

Welcome to the New Year!

Welcome Center 2013 has certainly arrived with plenty of excitement starting with Governor Walker highlighting the Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers in his State of the State Address Tuesday evening at the State Capitol. Not only did he talk about the positive results of the private-public partnership model, he invited staff from centers in Beloit, Kenosha and the Menomonie Area to come out on the floor, so he could introduce them! To get this kind of recognition at a State of the State address, with a live television broadcast and web streaming is unprecedented!.

Follow that up with the donation of more than 17,000 items during this year's Big Bundle Up. Donations were up five times what we collected last year! Thank you for your enthusiasm, creativity and support of this important initiative.

Be sure to watch next week's new Travel Channel show "Hotel Impossible." Telemark Resort & Convention Center in Cable is the featured property in the episode airing Monday, Jan. 21 and I was thrilled to be a part of the filming. The show is a good reminder to anyone who works in the hospitality industry about what it takes to provide travelers with the best possible experience.

We're not far away from unveiling redesigned websites for, meetings & conventions, sports and our site for the tourism industry, as well as debuting our summer advertising campaign, which will knock your socks off. We can't wait to share all of it with you at the March Governor's Conference on Tourism.

Conference registration is now live and we have a terrific line-up of speakers that will share their knowledge and experience in a way that's both educational and entertaining. We are also using the conference's location in Madison to engage with our state's legislators, starting with a personal invitation from me and Deputy Dave during our meetings with them this winter. I also encourage you to consider submitting a nomination for the Governor's Tourism Awards. Deadline for nominations is only 2 weeks away.

The change to my photo this month is in honor of this last weekend's Miss America pageant. I attended the event in Las Vegas to support Kenosha's own Laura Kaeppeler as she passed on her title and to cheer on the new Miss Wisconsin, Kate Gorman, who was competing. It was also my 20th anniversary of participating in Miss America, which made it all the more special.


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Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

Sweaters Warm-Up Winter Ad Campaign Sweater App
Fun and crazy sweaters are the theme for a number of winter campaign elements that launched this month. The popular winter knitwear is the topic of discussion in "Sweater Talk," a fun 15-second parody of NPR that is currently running as pre-roll video. A Facebook sweater app lets followers showcase their winter style when they create a personal sweater using their own photo. And of course, since it's Facebook, you can post your sweater photo and share it with all of your friends. The sweater theme is also woven throughout the print, radio and out-of-home campaign assets. See the entire campaign on the Marketing Overview page.

Faces of Freedom Gala Wraps up Year of the Veteran
First Lady Tonette Walker and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos will host the Faces of Freedom gala, March 3 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. The event benefits programs at the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum. The evening's entertainment will be provided by comedian Fred Klett. You've seen him on HBO, Showtime, A&E and he's performed with Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. And yes, he's one of Stephanie's brothers. Ticket information is available at

Wisconsin Cheese Showcased at ABA Sweater App
Deputy Fantle joined Circle Wisconsin and other tourism partners at the American Bus Association Marketplace 2013 in Charlotte, NC this month. Cheese samples helped promote Wisconsin tourism and bring people to booth. The conference attracts more than 3,500 tour operators, suppliers and exhibitors to kick off the year with sales appointments, networking and seminars. ABA represents approximately 1,000 motorcoach and tour companies in the United States and Canada.

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

Top of the page
Conference & Education

A private breakfast with David Zucker and Robert Hays … surely, you aren't serious? Sweater App
We are serious … just don't call us Shirley. Register online at and you will be entered to win a private breakfast with the native Wisconsinite and comedic mastermind David Zucker who directed his "Airplane!" star Robert Hays in our summer 2013 TV spot. Register by Feb. 22 to take advantage of the $50 early-bird discount on registration.

General Session Line-Up
While we strive to bring fun to the conference, it's also our mission to provide really great programming and information that will help our industry develop and grow. Here is a brief look at our four general session presenters:

Scott Christopher - Scott addresses how fun and humor lead to successful people and businesses and how these attitudes can shape an organizational culture and create results.

Doug Lansky - Doug is a speaker and travel writer who will present an eye-opening look at some of the world's largest collection of travel-related marketing mistakes and how to prevent them with tools like awareness and expectation management.

Kelly McDonald - A recognized expert on diversity marketing and business trends, Kelly will kick off the conference on Monday with a look at leveraging these market segments. Kelly was a presenter at this year's US Travel Association ESTO conference.

Connie Podesta– Connie kicks off Tuesday with a presentation filled with laughter and a collection of true stories about what it takes to develop a fearless attitude, adapt quickly and achieve results.

Only Two Weeks Left for Governor's Tourism Awards Nominations
Be sure to get your nominations in for the 2013 Governor's Tourism Awards, the deadline is Friday, Feb. 1. Use this link to fill out the online form. The awards recognize individuals and businesses in Wisconsin's tourism industry for their achievements, dedication, leadership, and commitment to excellence.
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Joellyn Merz  
Technology & Customer Service   
Top of the page
Customer Service & Technology

Spring-Summer Events Guide and 2013 State Highway Map Hits the Stands
Happy Happy Joy Over 500 events from April through September are highlighted in the 2013 edition of the Spring-Summer Events guide, which is now in print and available for distribution. Visitor and welcome centers interested in stocking the guides, which come 136 per case, can contact Will Kuehn. Tourism had a big design role in the brand new state highway map that Wisconsin DOT just printed. The map now has a whimsical design theme reflecting the state's tourism brand of fun. It's also interactive, offering a variety of fun games and activities to be played on those long car rides. Need a box for your center? Call DOT directly at 608-246-3265.

Notable December Metrics
December year over year visits increased by 39% to 238,449, topping the increased traffic generated by last year's "Mittengate." A spike in web traffic (16,617 visits) occurred on Dec. 19, the day of the state's first major snow storm of the season, making it the second highest traffic day behind September 27 (19,165). In comparison, "Mittengate" caused a spike in 14,496 visits on Dec. 7, 2011. In addition, clicks to partner websites were up 19%. See all of the Department's customer service metrics online.

Happy Happy Joy Joy Begins at Team Tourism
Please join us in welcoming new staffer Joy Martell to the Department of Tourism. Joy started with us this week as a writer and editor. She will be generating and editing content used for our publications, website and public relations efforts.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
Top of the page
Wisconsin in the News

Big Bundle Up
Wisconsin in the News Thank you to all who helped "bundle up" our state this season! Together we collected 17,155 warm winter items for those in need, more than five times the amount from last year, which is simply incredible. The initiative succeeded in generating publicity and getting people inside our many tourism visitor and welcome centers during the slow travel season. Here are just a few of the clips from the campaign. We look forward to continuing this new tradition next year!

Media Opportunities and Leads
Send your calendar of events, new attractions, seasonal activities and culinary offerings to Nina Kokotas Hahn. She is editing Chicago Magazine's new weekly e-newsletter "Escape Artist." Follow her at and find her contact information on her site

Free promotion for your coupons and discounts is available on the website: Send an email to for guidelines on how to submit your coupon.

In the News This Month
The Big Bundle Up continues to gain attention and garner media coverage following its wrap up release. And we've been busy with other media outreach, as well. Stephanie and Fred Klett, her brother, promoted the Faces of Freedom gala in a number of radio interviews including one on Wisconsin Radio Network. Dave was quoted in a recent Milwaukee Business Journal article about winter tourism. Winter travel stories have recently appeared in AAA Journeys and Group Tour Magazine. Droppin' of the Carp was featured in the nationally distributed American Profile magazine. For a sampling of recent media clips, please visit our Media Room.

George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

Applications Due for Community Arts Grant
The Wisconsin Arts Board's Fiscal Year 2014 Creative Communities grant program Phase 1 application is now available. Click here to find the Phase 1 guidelines that are due Feb. 1, 2013 at 3 p.m. The Creative Communities grants program (CCP) encourages arts education and community arts development in Wisconsin. Examples of projects funded in Fiscal Year 2013 include:
  • Phantom galleries, in which empty storefronts are transformed into community art galleries and event spaces.
  • Artist residencies in which a teaching artist engages with a school on a project of importance to the local community.
  • Special art events that are integrated with existing community festivals.
  • Instruction in particular art forms such as music composition or traditional folk arts.
  • Summer art camps that feature a community's cultural heritage.
  • Art projects that address social or medical issues such as teen suicide.
The Creative Communities application process is conducted in two phases. A review panel selects applications that will advance to the next phase. The Phase 2 applications will be submitted via the Arts Board's eGrant system by March 15, 2013. Please note that the applicant to this particular grant program must be the organization, not the individual who is writing the grant..

We welcome your questions about the Creative Communities program questions. Please contact Karen Goeschko at 608-267-2026 or Anne Pryor at 608-266-8106.


Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
Top of the page
Industry Services

Praise for Customer Service Program
Sarah recently received positive feedback on a Customer Service Training Program she conducted last spring. During a recent check-in at a Marshfield hotel, she ran into Jeanie Klinke, a former front desk clerk who took the training class. Jeanie was recently promoted to the position of Senior Sales Manager of the property and remarked that the skills she gained from the training helped her win the promotion. She added that she handed off her workbook to the new Front Desk Supervisor who promptly requested that she be approved to take the training. To learn more about the training or schedule a session, please contact your Regional Tourism Specialist.

NEW Free ATV Weekend
The Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association is inviting everyone to explore the state's ATV trails with a registration free weekend, June 1-2, 2013. During this one weekend, visitors will not be required to purchase trail passes. This is the same weekend as free fishing and state park open house, making it a trifecta of Wisconsin outdoor recreation!

2013 NATOW Conference & Golf Outing: Save the Date!
The annual Native American Tourism of Wisconsin conference and golf outing will be held in beautiful Red Cliff this year June 10-13 at Legendary Waters Resort and Casino, a Travel Green Wisconsin certified location. For more information on this event and other tribal activities check out the NATOW Facebook page,

Industry Accolades
  • Milwaukee joined New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami on a list of America's top 12 "ArtPlaces" developed by ArtPlace, a public-private coalition of major foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Max Garland of Eau Claire has been selected as the Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2013–2014. Garland will make appearances during the next two years, acting as a statewide emissary for poetry and creativity.

Shelly Allness   
Program Manger & Liaision   
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

NEW Travel Green Wisconsin B2B Brochure
We are excited to announce that the newly created TGW brochure is complete and ready for distribution. This 'green' brochure was created to be a tool for recruiting new members and informing the industry about the many benefits of Travel Green Wisconsin certification. We will be posting it to our industry site and our Regional Tourism Specialists will also have copies.

Travel Green Logo


Ho-Chunk Gaming, Wittenberg
Ho-Chunk Gaming, Nekoosa
Frog Bay Tribal National Park, Red Cliff
Gaslight Square, Minocqua
H.H. Bennett Studio, Wisconsin Dells
Reed School Historic Site, Neillsville
Pendarvis Historical Site, Mineral Point
Stonefield Historic Site, Cassville
Beckman Mill, Beloit
Hampton Inn, Beloit


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
Top of the page
Grant News

Grant Tip of the Month
When beginning your Joint Effort Marketing grant application process, think about your project as if you will execute it regardless of whether or not you get the funding. Why? By approaching the project in a methodical step-by-step fashion and applying the best integrated marketing practices, the result will be a plan that fits your overall strategy and exhibits the essential element of project self-sufficiency.


Joint Effort Marketing– February 1
Destination Marketing – April 1
Meetings Mean Business – April 1
Ready, Set, Go! – May 1
Tourist Information Center – July 1


Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin.
See how on:
Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703
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