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August 2013  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

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

 Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

The debut of our new fall tourism commercial starring Jordy Nelson and directed by Jerry Zucker was a smashing success! The video is closing in on 75,000 views – that's nearly the same amount of seats as Lambeau Stadium! The views are still climbing since the August 1 debut and it hasn't even aired on TV. It's funny, touching, sweet and not to mention, it really shows off Wisconsin's gorgeous color during the fall.

If you haven't seen it, we encourage you to check out the 90-second version on Help us by sharing it through your own social media channels because this spot has the potential to go viral, especially with football season just around the corner. I want to also point out that just below the ad is a short behind-the-scenes video that features some fun facts about the filming and the stars behind it. The ad will officially begin running the week of Sept. 3 along with our entire fall campaign.

I'd like to thank Brad Toll, the "Tower of Tourism", and his team at the Greater Green Bay CVB for doing a beautiful job hosting the red-carpet event at the Meyer Theatre. Many in our tourism industry made the trek to Green Bay including WACVB and council members as well as several legislators, and we sure appreciate your support! This commercial was definitely a touchdown for Wisconsin tourism, so thanks to everyone!

Congratulations to George Tzougros and the entire Wisconsin Arts Board team as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary! On August 2, 1973 WAB came to be. For the last four decades, one thing has remained consistent and that is their commitment to improve the quality of life for people in this state and beyond. So we thank you for that and toast you as you head into another four decades. For a little piece of WAB history, check out this fun evolution of the Arts Board logo!

I'd like to give a warm welcome to team tourism's newest member, Amy Bayer, Executive Staff Assistant. Amy comes to the office with a bright personality and hard working attitude and we're thrilled to have her on board. I'd also like to give a well-deserved shout out to Sarah Klavas, who was appointed last week to lead the Great Lakes USA marketing committee. Our international marketing committee, led by Sarah and Dave, also had a very productive meeting in Milwaukee this month as we continue to position Wisconsin in the international marketplace.

Looking ahead, several of us are heading to Richmond, VA, for ESTO, Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations, which is put on by the US Travel Association. This is always a terrific educational opportunity for our staff. It's also a good reminder that we have some great conferences for Wisconsin's tourism industry coming up right here at home. Keep reading for dates and agenda highlights from events hosted by WH&LA and WACVB.

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Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
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Marketing Update

Fall Campaign Officially Begins September 3
Forget Lions and Tigers and Bears! Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson is the star of the new Wisconsin Tourism fall TV commercial, which pays homage to "The Wizard of Oz" with the message that "there's no place like Wisconsin in the fall." A 60-second version of the TV ad will air throughout the state of Wisconsin starting on September 3 on "Inside the Huddle" and beginning September 8 in the Twin Cities and Chicago. In the Milwaukee market, both the 90-second and a 60-second version will run. The 90-second ad will run during NFL games on CBS and Fox in Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities. The spot will run in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota movie theaters during the 75th anniversary re-release of "The Wizard of Oz" in IMAX 3-D.

In addition to the TV spot, Nelson will write a monthly blog during the football season for and make a personal appearance during marketplace at this year's Governor's Conference on Tourism in March 2014.

Grow Your Facebook Fans with Our Social Media Co-Op Program
Our first featured Facebook advertiser post was a huge success, receiving 35 comments, 503 likes, 199 shares and 2,294 clicks. This equated to a nearly 6% engagement rate – double the average engagement rate for that week. The advertiser, Door County Coffee & Tea Company, noted they had 280 new Facebook likes on the day of the post, followed by 139 the day after! Contact Sarah Keller to learn how our new social media co-op can benefit you. Information on all of our co-op programs can be found here.

Walk with Walker
Mark your calendars and join First Lady Tonette Walker for her next Walk with Walker event on August 30 at 9:30 a.m. She'll be exploring the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, a 185-acre sanctuary along Lake Michigan and just 15 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. Next on deck is a guided stroll through Horicon Marsh, the nation's largest freshwater cattail marsh, on September 13, more details to come!

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education
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Connect Marketplace, August 21-23
This week, over 500 meeting planners and sports events rights holders will be in Milwaukee for Connect Marketplace and Connect Sports Marketplace, an education and networking conference for association meeting professionals and sports rights holders. Many in the industry are attending this fantastic event. Dawn along with the new Sports Marketing Committee Chair James Bolen have a full schedule of booked appointments at both Connect Marketplace and Connect Sports.

Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show, November 3-5
Save the date for the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association annual conference and trade show, November 3-5 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva. A representative from AH&LA among others will cover federal and state issues, interpretations of Wisconsin's latest STR data, and changes at the national organization level. Other topics on the agenda include sessions on the Affordable Care Act, customer service, human resources and technology.

Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, November 7-8
The Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus invites you to a "harvest of knowledge" at the 18th Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, November 7-8 at Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids. Best-selling author and motivational speaker, Ross Bernstein, has been tapped to present a keynote presentation on the "Champion's Code." In addition, attendees enjoy top-notch educational sessions and outstanding networking opportunities.

Northwoods Economic Development Summit, December 5-6
Save the dates for the Governor's Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit now scheduled for December 5-6. The location is yet to be determined.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
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Wisconsin in the News

Recent Headlines
We've been busy working with media on a number of topics and projects! The Jordy Nelson/Jerry Zucker ad has resulted in a number of clips including Bloomberg Business Week, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay Press Gazette, and Milwaukee Business Journal. In travel news, the L.A. Times featured the Apostle Islands, the Dallas Morning News ran a front page story on Madison and the Great River Road was treated to a three-page food section spread in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Wisconsin resorts were called out in the Chicago Daily Herald and our annual fall events release was picked up by Check our media room for more clips!

The Kringle – Wisconsin's State Pastry goes National
With the Kringle designated the Official State Pastry on June 30, we’ve been working to share this delicious oval-shaped, flaky Danish treat with the rest of the country! We’ve sent information, noteworthy facts and, of course, samples to national media outlets resulting in a few leads. Stay tuned to see if we get pick up!

Tourism Partners Getting Their Share of National TV Coverage
The PR team at Tourism doesn't do it alone. We have many tourism partners who garner national media buzz and coverage all on their own. And we've seen a lot of it in the last few weeks. Great job and congratulations!

Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
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Industry Services

Rustic Roads Celebrates 40 Years
The Rustic Roads program celebrates 40 years this October! With 111 roads criss-crossing 639 miles in 58 counties, they provide travelers a beautiful and naturally scenic route off the beaten path. Lift up this fantastic program this fall in your area, it is, after all, a perfect way to view fall color!

News and Accolades from Our Tourism Partners
  • River Falls Bacon Bash, a festival celebrating all things bacon, was named as the automatic qualifier for the Bacon World Championship in Las Vegas. The festival is September 8.
  • The Osthoff Resort made its debut on the Travel+Leisure List of America's Best Resorts. The 2013 World's Best Awards readers' survey results are in the magazine's August issue.
  • Schreiner's Restaurant is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Congratulations to Council Member Paul Cunningham, owner of this landmark Fond du Lac business.
  • The Geneva Inn's Grandview Restaurant and Lounge in Lake Geneva and Harbor House in Milwaukee made the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in an OpenTable Diner's Choice Award.
  • Freshwater surfing in Sheboygan made the USA Today slideshow featuring the World's Most Suprising Surfing Spots.
  • Wormfarm Institute, City of Madison and City of La Crosse each received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Our Town" grants. Read more in the Arts Board section.
  • Congratulations to the Wisconsin State Fair, which had record attendance this year!
    Thank you to our many partners who made the Wisconsin Tourism booth such a great success.

Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   

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Customer Service & Technology

Fall on
The Fall Color Report page is the most visited page on year after year. A steady number of users have already been visiting the Fall Color Report since June, which means travelers are thinking now about making plans for fall getaways. We are making a few enhancements to the report including allowing users to share individual reports and photos through social and email. The report will also now be responsive for tablet and mobile devices. Watch for to change colors like our forests! Our fall "look and feel" and the launch of the first Fall Color Report newsletter will go out the week of September 2 right after Labor Day.

We Want to Send You Some Traffic
In July 2013 traffic to was up 53% over July of 2012. How can you take advantage of all those eyes looking through the site? Updating your records may help increase views and click-thrus to your websites. Here are three tips to consider:
  • Add images! Uploading quality photos (minimum size of 800 x 400 pixels) are incredibly effective in grabbing users' attention and inspiring them to learn more.
  • Adding links for social and direct lodging reservation may also increase click-thrus to your site.
  • Make sure the description for your travel item is interesting and accurate and that all contact information and links are correct.
Motorcycling in Wisconsin on in time for H-D 110th
Wigcot Logo Motorcyclists making plans to attend the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary in Milwaukee can now find statewide travel opportunities tailored just for them on Since all Wisconsin roads will be leading to Milwaukee August 29-September 1, we've created a new Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary page covering other H.O.G. events and rallies throughout the state, popular scenic drives, statewide dealer locations, a map of Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers and a twitter feed for the 110th celebration. We'll keep the page up after the event to encourage bikers to visit Wisconsin for a great place to ride.

George Tzougros  
Executive Director   
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Arts Board

WAB Celebrates 40 Years!
On August 2, 1973, then Governor Patrick Lucey signed legislation that brought the Wisconsin Arts Board into existence. On our 40th anniversary we look back with thanks to all that made this work possible. The Wisconsin Arts Board wishes to thank the art community, staff, elected representatives, those that served on the board, as well as many individuals and organizations for their continued support.

The WAB will continue to celebrate its 40th Anniversary throughout the fiscal year. Watch for events to be scheduled and new pieces to be added to the anniversary section of our website. We encourage you to share your favorite Arts Board-related stories with us via email, Facebook, and Twitter (or the next time you see us in person!). Here's to the next 40 years!

Three from Wisconsin Receive NEA "Our Town" Grants
Congratulations to the Wormfarm Institute and the cities of Madison and La Crosse for being among the 59 organizations awarded an NEA "Our Town" grant. Wormfarm Institute received $100,000 to produce art along the 50-mile self-guided Farm/Art DTour in Sauk County. Madison and La Crosse each received $25,000 for their local partnerships to build community art and education programs. NEA Our Town grants fund educational projects to transform communities through the arts. Projects encourage creative activity, community identity, and the revitalization of local economies.


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
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Grant News

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

Destination Marketing – September 1
Ready, Set, Go! – September 1
Joint Effort Marketing – November 1
Meetings Mean Business – December 1
Tourist Information Center – January 1

Jason Zarling   
Program Manager    
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Travel Green Wisconsin

Welcome New Travel Green Wisconsin Certified Businesses
  • Beloit Snappers
  • First Capitol Historic Site
  • The Big Green - Sustainable Music Festival
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Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin.
See how on:
  Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703