North Carolina Well Represented at Marketing Outlook Forum

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The NC State Tourism Extension team was well represented at the Travel and Tourism Research Association‘s Marketing Outlook Forum at the end of January. North Carolina had a fantastic group of alumni and current faculty, staff, and students at the conference, many of whom were also on the agenda for the event.

Participants in front of conference background, hold up wolfpack hand sign.

From left to right: Thomas Ridley, Jr., Marlise Taylor, Ann Savage, Whitney Knollenberg, and Sara Brune.

The meeting started with a discussion-based session led by Visit NC‘s Marlise Taylor for destination marketing organizations. Ann Savage and Whitney Knollenberg presented on working with universities for research during this session. Audience members learned about the advantages and disadvantages of these partnerships, when these partnerships work best, and how to start establishing a relationship with a potential university partner.

Woman winning award posing on stage with award between man and woman presenting the award.

NC State Tourism Extension (center) being awarded by Elyse Kirby, STR (right) and Cree Lawson, Arrivalist (left).

On the second day of the conference, NC State celebrated twice at the awards session. TTRA recognized Tourism Extension’s own Ann Savage with the Emerging Leader Rising Star Award. The committee also selected NC State PRT student Thomas Ridley Jr as the 2024 John and Joan Markham Tourism Marketing Award Winner.

Man holding award between man and woman in front of conference background

Thomas Ridley Jr, NC State Student (center) being awarded by Anna Blount, Longwoods International (right) and Cree Lawson, Arrivalist (left).

After the awards luncheon, Dr. Whitney Knollenberg led a panel to discuss the future of data in marketing decisions. Panelists were:

Each panelist provided their view of the range of data available to destination marketing organizations now and how this will evolve and need to be considered by DMOs. This session highlighted the TTRA Think Tank Initiative that recently launched the first in the Data Toolbox White Paper Series.