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March 2013  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

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

  Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

The conference is just days away! We have a terrific line-up of speakers and exciting events in store for you. Keep reading this newsletter for more last minute information before you make your way to Madison.

Our big conference news is that at last count 70 state legislators have registered to join us at the Tourism Partnership Breakfast on Tuesday. That's more than half of the entire legislature and an all-time first for WIGCOT! Each legislator will have their own table so get to breakfast early if you would like to sit with yours. On Monday morning, we'll hear from the Governor, debut our new summer TV ad and present our annual Tourism Showcase during lunch.

We picked the winners of the VIP breakfast with David Zucker, Robert Hays and me. The two lucky winners are Anna Koplin from the Heidel House Resort & Spa and Caren Ehret from Tribune Media Group. Congratulations!

This month we said "bon voyage" to the old The project included a complete reboot of our Content Management System to make it easier for Extranet partners to enter travel items. If you haven't explored the site yet, stop by our booth at the WIGCOT Marketplace/Taste of Wisconsin to learn about the changes and get tips to enhance your presence.

Last month we had a phenomenal trip to Washington, D.C. to promote Milwaukee, which is hosting the National Governor's Association summer meeting. The Racine Kringles, Wisconsin cheese, Sprecher Root Beer and frozen custard were huge hits in the Wisconsin booth. The Governor wore a Brewers jersey and a Harley-Davidson jacket for his speech. First Lady Tonette Walker and I had the opportunity to speak with all the First Spouses to promote the Milwaukee meeting and other destinations around the state. Several spouses already let us know they are extending their stay with their families in Wisconsin.

I look forward to seeing you at WIGCOT and don't forget to pack something green to wear to Sunday's opening reception in honor of St. Paddy's Day!

Safe travels to Madison

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Lola Roeh   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

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Council Perspectives

Dear Industry Partners,

I would personally like to invite you to see the Tourism Council in action at the Governor's Council on Tourism Meeting this Sunday at WIGCOT. The meeting is 3-5 p.m. in the Hall of Ideas at the Monona Terrace Convention Center. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions or make comments as we move through the agenda. In addition, we'll be holding our annual council elections, distributing the 2012 Annual Report, recapping last year's accomplishments and providing updates on marketing, sports marketing, meetings and conventions, Travel Green and the Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers. This is your front row seat to see how this group of professionals representing you, the tourism industry, works with the Department to move Wisconsin Tourism forward.

In other news, we are thrilled to announce that 70 legislators have registered to attend the Tuesday morning Partnership Breakfast. This is a record! At most we’ve only seen a handful at previous conferences. It speaks volumes about our state legislators and their understanding of the Power of Tourism, their interest in our industry and how it impacts their districts and the entire state! Thank you for doing your part in inviting your legislator to the Partnership breakfast.

As always, it is an honor and a pleasure to serve as the Council Chair and to be part of everything our industry and the Department of Tourism has accomplished together over the past year. I look forward to seeing you at Conference–reconnecting with old friends, meeting new Tourism partners, and coming away with new, cutting edge ideas and strategies to grow your Tourism business in Wisconsin!




Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education

Tourism Partnership Breakfast
We have 70 legislators registered for Tuesday's Tourism Partnership Breakfast! This event is an important opportunity for your local legislators to learn more about the impact tourism has in their district. We've provided a list of registered legislators so you know if yours has registered. If not, it's not too late to encourage them to attend. Remember, if you would like to be seated at a table with your legislator, please arrive early as seating will be first come, first served.

Wigcot Logo Two Reasons Not to Miss Marketplace: Celebs and Prizes
Make your first stop at the Marketplace/Taste of Wisconsin the Department of Tourism booth. Former Green Bay Packer Bill Schroeder is making an exclusive WIGCOT appearance to greet attendees, sign autographs and pose for photos. While you are there, learn how to stretch your marketing dollars through the Department's Co-op Program.

Just across the aisle, learn more about the changes to We'll be sharing five tips that partners can use to enhance their travel item listings and increase traffic to their own site. Stay for a brief presentation and you will be entered to win a month-long landing page promo for your business or destination, giving you a front row seat to our 200,000+ average monthly visitors. The presentation will be offered every 15 minutes.

Opening Reception at the Madison Children's Museum
Let your inner child out to play at the Madison Children's Museum during our opening reception. Add a bit of charm to the evening and come dressed as your favorite leprechaun or Irish lass to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy delicious food and treats from Madison's own Roman Candle Pizzeria, tasty AJ Bombers, and Wisconsin-made Chocolate Shoppe ice cream.

Southwest Airlines Giveaway
We are thrilled to announce that WIGCOT sponsor Southwest Airlines will do a drawing for a special giveaway at WIGCOT. In addition, everyone will leave with a souvenir gift from the airline!.

Hotel Accommodations Still Available
WIGCOT hotel accommodations are still available at the Best WesternThe Inn on the Park and The Madison Concourse Hotel. To book rooms, call or email using the contact info below:

Best Western – The Inn on the Park
Call (800) 279-8811

The Madison Concourse Hotel
Email Sara Markley at

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

Summer Campaign Preview at WIGCOT
Get a sneak peak at the Department's summer ad campaign at WIGCOT. During Monday's lunch, Dave will present this summer's ad campaign and also take a look back at campaign highlights from 2012.

Mark the Date for 2013 National Tourism Week
National Tourism Week, our annual salute to tourism's impact on the state and nation, is May 4-12. We will be releasing our annual economic impact research. We have a statewide media tour planned for Stephanie to promote the power of tourism as well as the state's hidden travel gems. Dave and Sarah will also be on the road speaking at tourism events around the state. If you would like to book Dave or Sarah for your Tourism Week breakfast, dinner or event, contact Molly Delaney at 608-266-2345. Joins "Major League" Partnership with Brewers Radio Network
Starting in April, will be the presenting sponsor of the Brewers Radio Network post-game show following every regular season game. Totaling 162 games, the post game show broadcasts statewide and will be branded the " Post Game Show." The sponsorship offers co-branding value with the Brewers and provides with a longer statewide presence through the peak summer and fall travel season.

  LInk to Metrics

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
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Wisconsin in the News

Network with Travel Media at WIGCOT
We have a number of media representatives registered to attend the conference to learn more about what's new in Wisconsin's tourism industry. Mary Bergin, Kit Bernardi (Midwest Living), Brian Clark (Journal-Sentinel), Manya Kaczkowski, Gary Knowles, Melanie McManus, Barb Sanford and Edith Wagner (Reunions Magazine) will be there, so be sure to introduce yourself and pitch them what's new in your destination or business.

May 3rd Embargo for Economic Impact Research
The Department will be using a FRIDAY, MAY 3 EMBARGO on the release of the economic impact research. The Governor is tentatively scheduled to share the news at media stops on his way to the Governor's Fishing Opener similar to last year. Our goal is to provide the tourism industry with the research and a toolkit around April 23-26 to give you time to prepare for your own media outreach. More information will be available in the April Travel Wisconsin News. If you have any questions about the embargo or the release of the research, please contact Lisa Marshall.

In the News This Month
Department programs have made headlines recently, including a new sponsorship with Milwaukee Brewers Radio Network, a profile of Stephanie and an overview of the Travel Green Wisconsin program, as well as promoting the First Lady's Gala event, Faces of Freedom. We anticipate more headlines after the conference! As always, please check our media room for all recent clips.


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

Grant Toolkit
We are excited to announce a new toolkit available for RSG, MMB, and TIC grant recipients through your RTS. Our field reps are available to advise you on how to leverage your grant to garner additional media attention and let your community know about your great project.

Vote for the Rhinelander Hodag
Rhinelander's infamous Hodag is in the running to be USA Today's "Best Mascot." It's in the regional competition and needs your vote to get to the finals! Voting for this round ends March 14 and you can vote as many times as you have time for!

Consumer Show Recap
Staff and industry partners across the state recently participated in four consumer trade shows in key markets around the Midwest. Department staff and partners engaged show-goers in conversation about travel and tourism in Wisconsin and distributed our newest publications at the Chicago Adventure Travel Show, Chicago Golf Show, Minneapolis Home and Garden Show, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Sport Show. Approximately 207,000 consumers attended the four shows, with increased attendance reported for every event. In fact, The Milwaukee Sports Show broke a 73 year attendance streak with 30,000 in attendance on Saturday!

We wish to thank our partners who attended the shows with us this year. For more information about the consumer show program, please contact David Spiegelberg at or 262/515-2806.


Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   
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Customer Service & Technology

Bon Voyage Old Wigcot Logo
After months of hard work, long hours and lots of coffee, we're pleased to announce that on Feb 27th we did a soft launch for the redesigned site. You'll notice that every destination has its own landing page, related content is pulled together to make planning easier, and our industry Extranet partners will experience a smoother design when they update their listings in the new Content Management System.

2012 Mobile Performance Metrics, Responsive design
In 2012, visits to all sites, which includes desktop, mobile and TW App, was up 26% over 2011. While mobile still accounts for a small percentage of overall traffic to the site, we are seeing a lot of growth with traffic up 337% over 2011. To accommodate this, our new website is responsive, meaning that it was designed to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, including mobile phone and tablets. This helps the growing number of mobile visitors easily get information they need from

George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

WAB Office Hours: Rhinelander
Friday, March 22, 2013, 11:00 am – 1 pm
Coffee Beans Etc., 1022 Lincoln Street, Rhinelander

WAB Staff invite you to the WAB Office Hours in Rhinelander, on Friday, March 22, from 11:00 am to 1 pm. Come talk about your work, project ideas, grant questions, policy issues, and the state of the arts in WI and beyond… Because it's wintertime in Wisconsin, please check our homepage for news of a weather-related postponement:

Not in Rhinelander? Don't despair! We will soon be posting dates and times on our website for WAB Office Hours near you!


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
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Grant News

Last JEM Review for the Fiscal Year
There's only one JEM review date left this fiscal year and it is April 1. Please remember that we no longer review JEM grants in May. This means that if you're applying yet this fiscal year, be sure to have all materials to Abbie by April 1. All JEM categories will be reviewed at this time, not just Destination Marketing, so get your applications in!

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


Jason Zarling   
Program Manger    
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Travel Green Wisconsin

NEW Event TGW Policy
We've developed an exciting new opportunity that allows certified destination marketing organizations in good standing the opportunity to certify one of their owned and managed events for a reduced fee of $25 and low recertification cost of $25. This provides a nice incentive for DMO's who are producing their own events and helps us continue growing our membership.
Travel Green Logo
Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds
Timberland Hills Orchard Gardens LLC
Visit Beloit - Beloit Green Tour
Oconto County Economic Development Corporation
Janesville Performing Arts Center
The Iron Horse Hotel
The Ridges Sanctuary, Inc.


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