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September 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 Tourism Friends,

Milwaukee hit the trifecta last month with several huge national and international events. These high profile events help raise awareness of the entire state and everything it has to offer. The first event was the National Governor's Association annual meeting. After the meeting, Governor Walker sent a personal follow-up letter to over 800 attendees, which included leaders at the nation's largest corporations and prestigious think-tanks, inviting them to consider Wisconsin as a future meeting destination.

Even though Milwaukee was the host city for the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary, it was actually a global event. I attended the anniversary and had the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all around the world as well as Willie G. Davidson himself, the man behind the design of the Super Glide and Low Rider motorcycles.

Connect Marketplace was another significant event that Wisconsin had the good fortune of hosting. Visit Milwaukee did an incredible job of rolling out the welcome mat and blew away everyone's expectations and then some. They were a role model for how to make guests feel special, from cheering on busloads of attendees as they walked a red carpet, to inviting the Klement's sausages to race and hug everyone. The entire event was pure class, and the Greater Madison CVB hosted an amazing dessert bar complete with an ice sculpture of the State Capitol. Many other Wisconsin destinations as well as WACVB were represented at Connect throughout the week, and the word is that meeting planners were impressed!

Coincidentally, I had the honor of meeting Connect keynote speaker Magic Johnson. As this year's AIDS Walk Wisconsin Honorary Chair, it was so great to meet a former chair of this important event. This year's AIDS Walk and 5K Run is Saturday, October 5 at Summerfest Grounds. I'm inviting everyone to join "Team Klett" at the event! Your participation translates into life saving services for thousands of Wisconsinites battling HIV and AIDS.

One final note, Deputy Dave and I are headed to Los Angeles this coming week where we will make pop culture history with an exciting announcement about our next series of TV commercials. More information to come soon!

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Paul Upchurch   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

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Council Perspectives

Dear Industry Partners,

With the Packers on the field and the leaves changing color, we know the fall travel season is definitely here, and for most of Wisconsin it's like summer never ended. Other states are envious of our year round tourism season, attractions, festivals, and especially our fall color, which rivals anything you might find in New England.

Fall is also a good time to start thinking about the coming year and making strategic plans for your business or organization. There are four different industry conferences and economic development summits taking place this fall that I encourage you to take advantage of. These events are great opportunities to learn more about the latest marketing trends and collaborate with other sectors of state government to help grow the tourism economy and the small businesses that support it. More information on these opportunities can be found in the Conference & Education section below.

In the same networking vein, I invite you to join us at the next Governor's Council on Tourism meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 17 at 10 a.m. at the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Offices in Madison. We have a full agenda planned including a discussion on the WIGCOT conference next March and the introduction of new Tourism Council members Scott Krause and Allyson Gommer. I hope to see you there!

Best of luck with the fall season,


Thursday, October 17
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Department of Tourism Offices, Madison

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

View the Entire Fall Campaign
All the fall campaign assets such as radio spots, online banners, digital and social elements and out-of-home placements are now available to view online. The campaign continues the themes and elements of our summer ads and spins it for fall. The popular Packers Dream Draft Sweepstakes is back and includes four club seat tickets, sideline passes, autographed helmet, and an overnight stay in Green Bay. The sweepstakes runs through October 27. We've also had fantastic response to the Jordy Nelson fall TV commercial. As of Sept. 13, the commercial has received 150,000+ views online – an unprecedented number of views for any of our TV ads!

The "Fun Times" Continues with Journal-Sentinel Co-Op Opportunity
We're excited to announce that our partnership with Wisconsin Trails continues and we have seven more issues of "The Fun Times" scheduled. These six-page inserts wrap around the Sunday Cue section of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and features top-quality travel articles and content. The next issue is dropping Sunday, September 29. Limited ad space is open to the industry in each issue at extremely reduced rates, so please contact Sarah Keller ASAP for more information and to place an ad.

Walk with Walker
Explore Wisconsin's natural beauty with First Lady Tonette Walker at her upcoming Walk with Walker events. Mrs. Walker most recently toured and hiked the Horicon Marsh, the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States, and will follow that with a walk in beautiful Trempealeau. More details to come.

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education

Redesigned Websites for Meetings and Sports
Last month, the Department launched new websites to serve two important niche markets. The sites, and, provide meeting planners and sports events rights holders with destination information, directories of facilities and hotels, and an online system to submit a RFP. If you would like to make changes to your business or facility listing on these sites, please contact your local convention and visitor bureau.

Small Business Summit, September 25
Join Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch for a small business summit on Wednesday, September 25 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. This summit will bring together state government agencies invested in job creation with small business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators to discuss topics of interest. A detailed agenda and online registration are now available.

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.

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."

Northwoods Economic Development Summit, December 5-6
Save the dates for the Governor's Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit, December 5-6. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Four Seasons Island Resort in Pembine, about 90 miles north of Green Bay.

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

Bedazzled Ruby Shoes Create Media Buzz
The new fall ad starring #87 Jordy Nelson gained even more attention from a recent public relations initiative. A dozen regional and national TV personalities received their own pair of bedazzled red ruby shoes similar to the pair Jordy wears in the commercial. The reaction has been positive! Fox Chicago "Good Day" anchor Anna Davlantes wore them on air, showed the entire ad and tweeted about it.

Be Mindful of Copyright Laws When Sharing Photos
If you provide photos to the Department for use in our publications, website, social or media relations, be sure that you have permission from the photographer to share it with us. When you upload a photo to, we assume that you have full rights to use it. If you send our PR team images for use in media relations, we will double-check via email that you have permission to provide the photo for promotional purposes and media use. For best practices, make sure you have a written agreement with photographers about how you can use their work and how they would like to receive photo credit.

Recent Headlines
The Fall Color Report has made a colorful splash with numerous clips across the region. A couple highlights include pick up from AP and a recent interview with Stephanie on WMTV TV in Madison. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran two great articles on the H.H Bennett Studio in Wisconsin Dells and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in Baraboo following last month's press tour. Madison was highlighted as a foodie destination on, as well. As always, check our media room for more recent clips!

Wisconsin Tourism Partners Make National News

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

Welcome New NATOW Director
Welcome Ernie Stevens III, the new Executive Director for Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW). Stephanie and other Department staff had the pleasure of meeting him at the annual Tribal Consultation in Baraboo last month.

OPPORTUNITY: Midwest Living's Dream-It Do-It Community Challenge
Could your community use $5,000 for a project that could transform your town? Check out Midwest Living's Dream-It Do-It Community Challenge. Residents of 12 Midwest states can nominate a community project through October 1. The magazine will choose five finalists, and the public will be invited to vote online until November 15. The top vote-getter will receive $5,000 to carry out the project, and the person who made the nomination receives a $200 gift card.

Joellyn Merz  
Technology & Customer Service   

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Customer Service & Technology

Training Videos for CMS Now Available
A number of handy training videos designed to help you navigate the CMS are now available. The videos include step-by-step instructions for common questions from how to log in to editing your record. Find the videos on the Travel Wisconsin Extranet YouTube channel.

Harley Riders Visit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers
During the 110th Harley-Davidson Anniversary, the Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center reported that they served 815 bikers and distributed over 4,000 publications and maps. Most notable was a group of 170 riders that traveled to Wisconsin from Brazil. They flew into Orlando, rented 88 bikes and rode to Wisconsin.

Fall Color Report is Live on
The Fall Color Report, our most popular page on during the fall season, is now live. The report is a fantastic tool to help you promote your area. Visitors to the site can submit photos, which can be shared by you through your own social channels. Travelers submitted fabulous photos last year, so there is great likelihood images will generate "likes" and "re-pins" for your destination. As a reminder, if your office is one of our 100 official reporters, be sure to update the report at a minimum of every week or more often as conditions change.

Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
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Grant News

Annual JEM Grant Report Shows $36 Million in ROI
The Department just released its FY 2013 grant report detailing the estimated economic impact for all its grant programs. In the last fiscal year, Tourism funded 56 JEM projects totaling nearly $1.2 million. Visitor expenditures driven by these projects are estimated to exceed $36 million.

Grant Tip of the Month
As a reminder, please send ALL grant applications (JEM, Meetings Mean Business, Tourism Information Center, Ready, Set, Go) directly to Abbie Hill who now coordinates all aspects of the Department's grant programs. Reach her at or 608-261-6272.

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

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

Jason Zarling   
Program Manager    
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

New Opportunity for City and County Park Systems
Travel Green Wisconsin is committed to developing creative partnerships with organizations that manage multiple eligible locations in order to grow the certification program. To that end, we have recently streamlined the process of certifying multiple parks managed by a single entity, such as a city or county parks department. The new policy allows a city or county to certify multiple parks with a single application, provided that all parks are functionally similar. Only one application fee will be collected for all the parks and each park receives individual TGW certification status plus marketing benefits. For more detailed information about this new program, contact Jason Zarling or your Regional Tourism Specialist.

Welcome New Travel Green Wisconsin Certified Businesses
  • Creekside Place Inc
  • True North Real Estate, LLC
Travel Green Logo

George Tzougros  
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

Wisconsin Science Festival Broadens to 20 Cities
Now in its third year, the Wisconsin Science Festival (September 26-29) continues to expand as it becomes a truly a statewide event. This year's event will be hosted in nearly 20 cities across the state to include Madison, Rhinelander, Wausau, Fond du Lac, Baraboo, Sauk City, Kenosha, Horicon, Eau Claire, La Crosse, La Pointe, Milwaukee, Blue Mounds, Greenbush, Janesville, Evansville, Marshall, Whitewater, Wisconsin Dells, Pewaukee and Eagle. The Department of Tourism is proud to have supported this fantastic event with JEM funding.

The Wisconsin Science Festival incorporates the UW-System, Wisconsin State Historic Sites, libraries, children's museums, nature centers, and others to inspire and engage people of all ages in science and discovery. We encourage you to attend an event in your local area and consider how your community can participate in 2014.


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