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Calendar of Events

12/31/17
Nebraska Tourism Serves Program

Receive the Nebraska Tourism Serves eNewsletter

Current Nebraska Tourism Serves Projects

Help Paint a Welcome Center

at Corps of Discovery Welcome Center

April 2018 - More details coming soon.


2017 Nebraska Tourism Serves Projects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Volunteers:

  1. Helped create a butterfly garden and cleaned the Visitor Center at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center in Wood River
    Media Stories: Kearney Hub

  2. Repainted the Platte Valley Barn at the Lincoln County Museum in North Platte
    Media Stories: 1011 News, The North Platte Telegraph

  3. Painted and landscaped to help the Wessels Living History Farm in York get ready to welcome summer visitors. 
    Media Stories: York News Times

2016 Nebraska Tourism Serves Projects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nebraska Tourism Serves program was launched in 2016 with four service projects. 105 individuals participated, including Nebraska tourism industry members, University of Nebraska classes, 4-H clubs, community members, out-of-state visitors and Nebraska Tourism Commission staff. These volunteers put in 615+ man hours, making a significant impact on the tourism potential in Nebraska.

Volunteers:

  1. Restored the historic Fort Robidoux Trading Post in Gering by making improvements to the exterior.

  2. Cleared old railroad ties along the Cowboy Trail near Chadron, preparing the 321 mile trail, which follows the old Chicago & Northwestern rail route, for completion in the future. When completed, the Cowboy Trail will be the world's longest rails-to-trails trail.

  3. Landscaped and cleaned educational signs along the Shannon Trail, which offers tourists an interactive journey through Lewis & Clark history. The trail runs through 16 communities in northeast Nebraska.

  4. Restored the Nebraska State Historical Society's Pavelka Farmstead in Bladen, which provided the setting for a large portion of Willa Cather's most famous work, My Antonia. Tasks included cleaning and repairing the home's interior and landscaping.


About Nebraska Tourism Serves

The purpose of Nebraska Tourism Serves is to:

  • Help preserve Nebraska’s tourism destinations

  • Rally tourism industry members to support each other and help each other complete restoration projects

  • Help tourism destinations build their local volunteer base

  • Help more Nebraskans and tourism industry members become more familar with Nebraska's tourism destinations

Details:

  • Nebraska Tourism Serves projects typically last one to two days

  • All Nebraska tourism destinations are invited to apply to be one of the service sites

  • Nebraska Tourism Serves is not a grant program and does not provide funds to any chosen service site - what makes Nebraska Tourism Serves valuable is the support given by the volunteers

Nebraska Tourism staff work with the selected service sites to:

  • Help gain tourism industry volunteers by marketing the event to the entire Nebraska tourism industry

  • Help gain local volunteers by sending out press releases to local and state media organizations

  • Help plan event logistics and complete any tasks that will ensure the project is a success

The responsibilities of the service site's leaders include:

  • Organizing supplies

  • Planning event logistics

  • Gaining local volunteers

How does Nebraska Tourism Serves benefit tourism destinations? Watch this video to see how Nebraska Tourism Serves impacted the Willa Cather Foundation.

Other Community Development Programs

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides Nebraskans with safe, affordable and accessible housing and infrastructure; quality jobs and investment through financing new and expanding businesses. Created under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, the CDBG program merged seven categorical programs into a pool of community development funds yearly distributed according to a formula weighing population and measures of distress (poverty, age of housing, housing overcrowding, and growth lag).

The purpose of the Tourism Development (TD) Category is to provide for investments in effective and affordable tourist attraction facilities to quality communities that are investing in long-term development.  This provides a sound basis for assisting tourist attraction projects that have attracted significant financial support and are likely to have long-term positive impacts on their local and regional economies.  Tourist attractions projects that service both a regional and a local economy of community need are a key element in satisfying the state objective.  The objective of Tourism Development is to assist tourism development projects that have already attracted significant financial support and are likely to have long-term positive impacts on the local and regional economics. 

  • Historic Restorations
  • Scientific and Educational Interpretive Educational Sites & Facilities
  • Participatory Sports Facilities
  • Convention Centers
  • Cultural and Heritage Recreational Sites and Facilities
  • Supporting activities that include removal of material and architectural barriers that restrict the mobility and accessibility to sites/facilities for the elderly and severely disabled individuals in support of eligible tourism activities. 

The maximum grant amount to be awarded is $350,000 of CDBG Tourism Development funds. All TD projects require a minimum 25% match.

Additional information: http://www.neded.org/files/crd/cdbg/2016/CDBG_Investments_Impacts_2016_web.pdf

10/24/17
2017 Conference Handouts/Presentations

Shared presentations from the 2017 Nebraska Tourism Conference are available as a download below. 

10/19/17
Accepting Tourism Award Nominations

Tourism Awards

Nebraska Tourism Commission recognizes outstanding contributions in tourism in the State of Nebraska.  Review the categories and guidelines below, download the nomination form and send in your nominations today!  


2017 AWARD CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

Industry Awards

1.   FRIEND OF TOURISM

The Friend of Tourism award is given to a person, business, organization, or media outlet that may not be directly involved in the tourism industry but which has been very supportive of local, regional and/or statewide efforts to promote and develop tourism. Freelance writers, corporations, organizations, newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and other businesses are eligible for this award. The nominee must demonstrate creative involvement in promotional efforts and provide leadership and resources to various projects. Describe the nominee’s business or association and their efforts to increase tourism revenue in the area. Explain the nominee’s contributions to tourism promotion and include examples of their efforts to partner with the local tourism industry.

2 & 3.  OUTSTANDING EVENT   (Two Awards) 

Only events that occurred between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017 are eligible.  

                Category 1: Population 9,999 or below

              Category 2: Population 10,000 or above

Nominees include events such as festivals, themed events, community celebrations, and holiday programs. The nominated event should show a high level of organization, event production, and community involvement. Provide a brief history of the event, including why it was started and how it has evolved. Factors that can influence selection include attendance growth, innovative marketing and special promotional efforts. Include its effect on the local economy and any changes to the event that have occurred. Be sure to include the community population where the event takes place and provide a summary of volunteerism, press coverage, and annual attendance. New events are eligible in this category.

4.   OUTSTANDING MARKETING CAMPAIGN

This award is given to a community, business, or organization that successfully conducted an advertising campaign or tourism awareness program. This may include a new brand campaign, a social media campaign, a new or updated website, or even a publication.  The nominees must show the various avenues used to promote tourism and the success of those projects. Describe how the tourism campaign increased revenue and/or local awareness about the importance and economic impact that tourism has on communities and areas. Be specific on how the nominee conducted its campaign, the targeted audiences, and how those audiences were chosen. Include budget information; samples of projects; and copies of photographs, advertisements, and other documentation about the history of the campaign and its tourism impact on the region. Judged on research, creativity, demographic target and strategy, nominations should have an explanation of how program was implemented and measurement of achievement and results originating from the targeting.

5.  OUTSTANDING TOURISM ATTRACTION

This award is given to Nebraska tourism attractions that have worked toward the continued success and growth of their communities and the state’s tourism industries. Attractions that have undergone significant improvements, changes, or additions to increase the number of visitors to the attraction, community, region, and state are encouraged. All Nebraska attractions are eligible for this award, such as museums, zoos, cultural and performance art centers, and historical sites and parks. Describe the attraction’s impact on the local, regional, and statewide tourism levels. Describe how the attraction has worked to increase the number of visitors to the community, region, and state. Describe how the attraction has partnered with other tourism entities in the community, region, and state.

6.  OUTSTANDING AGRITOURISM OR ECOTOURISM ENTITY

This award is given to an outstanding Agritourism and / or Ecotourism entity, such as outfitters, bird and wildlife watching facilities, working farms and ranches, farmers markets, wineries and vineyards, non-profit groups, and nature tourism-related businesses that have had a substantial impact on the local, regional, and state’s tourism economy. Describe how the entity has impacted the tourism industry, its history, future plans and projects to further better this industry, and the services/activities/events it offers. Include supporting materials, such as letters of support, customer testimonials, marketing materials, and plans and other information to demonstrate the entity’s overall economic and tourism impact.

Henry Fonda Award

HENRY FONDA AWARD

Named after a famous Nebraskan who never forgot his roots, the Henry Fonda Award recognizes an individual who has devoted many years of service to promoting Nebraska on a local, regional and statewide level. This person loves Nebraska and has made it their life’s work to support and promote education, tourism and the preservation of Nebraska’s precious historical treasures. Please include a brief bio of your nominee and why this person is deserving of this award. Please include greatest achievements, partnerships within projects, and tourism and economic development accomplishments.

**************************

Nomination Guidelines

In your nomination, please provide the requested information on the following pages for each Industry award category.  Please provide three copies (one original and two copies) of each nomination. Include letters of support and other supporting materials. (Please do not send letters of support and supporting materials separate from your nomination.)  Use no more than two typed pages for each Industry award nomination. Letters of support and other supporting materials do not count toward the two page maximum. Nominations must either be stapled or binder clipped. Nominations in notebooks or folders will not be accepted.  Please use the same nomination form for each award category. 

All award nominations were due Friday, September 8, 2017.


Winners Announcement

Award winners will be announced at the Celebrate Nebraska Awards Banquet on October 18, 2017.

Tourism conference award winners receive recognition in press releases following the event and will have their acceptance photos shared on the Tourism Commissions website and social media channels.

They also receive a FREE premium profile on the Tourism Commission’s website in 2018 (a $700 value). A premium profile allows for an enhanced photo gallery and the ability to include videos. It also allows the destination to have a longer description than the basic profile.


 

10/19/17
2017 Nebraska Tourism Awards

Now Accepting Tourism Award Nominations

Nebraska Tourism Commission recognizes outstanding contributions in tourism in the State of Nebraska.  Review the categories and guidelines below, download the nomination form and send in your nominiations today!  Download the nomination form here.


2017 AWARD CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

Industry Awards

1.   FRIEND OF TOURISM

The Friend of Tourism award is given to a person, business, organization, or media outlet that may not be directly involved in the tourism industry but which has been very supportive of local, regional and/or statewide efforts to promote and develop tourism. Freelance writers, corporations, organizations, newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and other businesses are eligible for this award. The nominee must demonstrate creative involvement in promotional efforts and provide leadership and resources to various projects. Describe the nominee’s business or association and their efforts to increase tourism revenue in the area. Explain the nominee’s contributions to tourism promotion and include examples of their efforts to partner with the local tourism industry.

2 & 3.  OUTSTANDING EVENT   (Two Awards) 

Only events that occurred between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017 are eligible.  

                Category 1: Population 9,999 or below

                Category 2: Population 10,000 or above

Nominees include events such as festivals, themed events, community celebrations, and holiday programs. The nominated event should show a high level of organization, event production, and community involvement. Provide a brief history of the event, including why it was started and how it has evolved. Factors that can influence selection include attendance growth, innovative marketing and special promotional efforts. Include its effect on the local economy and any changes to the event that have occurred. Be sure to include the community population where the event takes place and provide a summary of volunteerism, press coverage, and annual attendance. New events are eligible in this category.

4.   OUTSTANDING MARKETING CAMPAIGN

This award is given to a community, business, or organization that successfully conducted an advertising campaign or tourism awareness program. This may include a new brand campaign, a social media campaign, a new or updated website, or even a publication.  The nominees must show the various avenues used to promote tourism and the success of those projects. Describe how the tourism campaign increased revenue and/or local awareness about the importance and economic impact that tourism has on communities and areas. Be specific on how the nominee conducted its campaign, the targeted audiences, and how those audiences were chosen. Include budget information; samples of projects; and copies of photographs, advertisements, and other documentation about the history of the campaign and its tourism impact on the region. Judged on research, creativity, demographic target and strategy, nominations should have an explanation of how program was implemented and measurement of achievement and results originating from the targeting.

5.  OUTSTANDING TOURISM ATTRACTION

This award is given to Nebraska tourism attractions that have worked toward the continued success and growth of their communities and the state’s tourism industries. Attractions that have undergone significant improvements, changes, or additions to increase the number of visitors to the attraction, community, region, and state are encouraged. All Nebraska attractions are eligible for this award, such as museums, zoos, cultural and performance art centers, and historical sites and parks. Describe the attraction’s impact on the local, regional, and statewide tourism levels. Describe how the attraction has worked to increase the number of visitors to the community, region, and state. Describe how the attraction has partnered with other tourism entities in the community, region, and state.

6.  OUTSTANDING AGRITOURISM OR ECOTOURISM ENTITY

This award is given to an outstanding Agritourism and / or Ecotourism entity, such as outfitters, bird and wildlife watching facilities, working farms and ranches, farmers markets, wineries and vineyards, non-profit groups, and nature tourism related businesses that have had a substantial impact on the local, regional, and state’s tourism economy. Describe how the entity has impacted the tourism industry, its history, future plans and projects to further better this industry, and the services/activities/events it offers. Include supporting materials, such as letters of support, customer testimonials, marketing materials, and plans and other information to demonstrate the entity’s overall economic and tourism impact.

Henry Fonda Award

HENRY FONDA AWARD

Named after a famous Nebraskan who never forgot his roots, the Henry Fonda Award recognizes an individual who has devoted many years of service to promoting Nebraska on a local, regional and statewide level. This person loves Nebraska and has made it their life’s work to support and promote education, tourism and the preservation of Nebraska’s precious historical treasures. Please include a brief bio of your nominee and why this person is deserving of this award. Please include greatest achievements, partnerships within projects, and tourism and economic development accomplishments.

**************************

Nomination Guidelines

In your nomination, please provide the requested information on the following pages for each Industry award category.  Please provide three copies (one original and two copies) of each nomination. Include letters of support and other supporting materials. (Please do not send letters of support and supporting materials separate from your nomination.)  Use no more than two typed pages for each Industry award nomination. Letters of support and other supporting materials do not count toward the two page maximum. Nominations must either be stapled or binder clipped. Nominations in notebooks or folders will not be accepted.  Please use the same nomination form for each award category. 

All award nominations must be in the Lincoln office postmarked by Friday, September 8, 2017 for consideration.

Send nominations to:    
Jenn Gjerde, Nebraska Tourism Commission
301 Centennial Mall South, 1st Floor
PO Box 98907
Lincoln NE 68509


Winners Announcement

Award winners will be announced at the Celebrate Nebraska Awards Banquet on October 18, 2017.

Tourism conference award winners receive recognition in press releases following the event and will have their acceptance photos shared on the Tourism Commissions website and social media channels.

They also receive a FREE premium profile on the Tourism Commission’s website in 2018 (a $700 value). A premium profile allows for an enhanced photo gallery and the ability to include videos. It also allows the destination to have a longer description than the basic profile.


2017 AWARD NOMINATION FORM

Download and submit the nomination form as your cover page. Please check the category box for which you are submitting a nomination. Nominations may be submitted in more than one category. Include a separate cover page for each nomination.  To be included, please do not deviate from nomination guidelines. Nomination forms without cover pages will not be accepted. 

Postmark deadline:
Friday, September 8, 2017.

Please contact Jenn Gjerde, 402-471-3768, jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov if you have questions.

Download the award nomination form below.

10/10/17
Be a Nebraska Tourism Conference Sponsor...

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BECOME A SPONSOR OF THE 2017 NEBRASKA TOURISM CONFERENCE

The La Vista Conference Center, La Vista, NE -  October 17-19, 2017  

Tourism professionals from across the state representing convention and visitors bureau offices, chambers of commerce, tourism related state agencies, tourism attractions, lodging facilities, festivals and events, cultural arts, gaming, retail stores, golf courses, restaurants, taverns and associations attend the conference. Additionally, there are several support related organizations that participate, such as advertising agencies, marketing firms, print media, publishers and printing companies.  The goal at each tourism conference is to give delegates and sponsors plenty of opportunities to share ideas with each other, network with colleagues and partners, learn new and progressive ways to do business, and to create friendships and key partnerships that help instigate growth.

Approximately 200 attendees from across the state attended last year's conference where they learned new ideas and concepts and went home invigorated to implement them. 

With your valued sponsorship, we will be able to host a highly successful conference that provides quality information and additional resources for individuals interested in developing or expanding their business. Participants will come away with fresh marketing ideas, greater financial opportunity and numerous networking contacts!

2017 SPONSORSHIP BENEFITS AND LEVELS

Standard Benefits for All Sponsors

  • Company name, address and contact information printed in the Nebraska Tourism Program Book
  • Complimentary exhibit space/booth to include a table and two chairs
  • Sponsorship recognition on the NTC VisitNebraska.com website and in Conference Program Book
  • A contact list of conference attendees

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Voyager - $7,000

  • Standard Benefits for all sponsors as listed above
  • Sponsor your choice of evening banquet (1), banquet wine (1) or a keynote speaker (4). The first sponsor whose payment is received has first choice for what event they will sponsor.
  • Recognition signage displayed at your Sponsored Event
  • Five minute formal presentation time at general session
  • Full page advertisement in the Nebraska Tourism Conference Program Book. Back Cover, Inside Front Cover and Inside Back Cover are available to choose from. The first sponsor whose payment is received has first choice for advertisement placement.
  • Company logo featured as a Voyager Sponsor on VisitNebraska.com with a link to your website
  • Company logo featured in an email or fax blast to all potential attendees
  • Company logo on signage at the Conference site
  • Four (4) complimentary attendee full registrations (includes all materials, meals, workshops and events)
  • Two (2) $100 additional registrations for people from your company

   

Traveler - $4,000

  • Standard Benefits for all sponsors as listed above
  • Sponsor your choice of a conference lunch (2), banquet wine (1), or a keynote speaker (4). First preferences go to Voyager, and then the first sponsor whose payment is received has first choice for what event they will sponsor.
  • Recognition signage displayed at your Sponsored Event
  • Two minute formal presentation time at general session
  • 1/2 page ad in tourism conference notebook
  • Company logo featured as a Traveler Sponsor on VisitNebraska.com with a link to your website
  • Company logo featured in an email or fax blast to all potential attendees
  • Company logo on signage at the Conference site
  • Three (3) complimentary attendee full registrations (includes all materials, meals, workshops and events)
  • One (1) $100 additional registration for a person from your company

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   Explorer - $2,000

  • Standard Benefits for all sponsors as listed above
  • Sponsor your choice of registration refreshments (1), a continental breakfast (1) or a networking break (3). The first sponsor whose payment is received has first choice for what event they will sponsor.
  • Recognition signage displayed at your Sponsored Event
  • 1/4 page ad in tourism conference notebook
  • Company name featured as an Explorer Sponsor on VisitNebraska.com
  • Company name featured in an email or fax blast to all potential attendees
  • Company name on signage at the Conference site
  • Two (2) complimentary attendee full registrations (includes all materials, meals, workshops and events)
  • One (1) $100 additional registration for a person from your company

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  Hiker -  $750

  • Standard Benefits for all sponsors as listed above
  • Company name featured as a Hiker Sponsor on VisitNebraska.com
  • Company name featured in an email or fax blast to all potential attendees
  • Company name on signage at the Conference site
  • One (1) complimentary attendee full registration (includes all materials, meals, workshops and events)

Sponsorship Opportunities
_____________________________________________________________________________________
                       Tuesday, Oct. 17         Registration Refreshments            8:00 am to 11:00 am          Explorer                              
      Tuesday, Oct. 17         Lunch                                            11:30 am to 1:30 pm         Traveler             
               Tuesday, Oct. 17         Keynote Session                            11:30 am to 1:30 pm      Voyager, Traveler          
Wednesday, Oct. 18   Continental Breakfast                      7:30 am to 8:30 am           Explorer      
 Wednesday, Oct. 18   Lunch                                             11:40 am to 1:00 pm          Traveler      
          
Wednesday, Oct. 18   Keynote Session                            11:40 am to 1:00 pm       Voyager, Traveler     
          Wednesday, Oct. 18   Keynote Session                               8:30 am to 9:45 am      Voyager, Traveler    
           Wednesday, Oct. 18   Keynote Session                              4:00 pm to 5:15 pm       Voyager, Traveler     

Wednesday, Oct. 18   Celebrate Nebraska Banquet           7:00 pm to 9:00 pm            Voyager     
         Wednesday, Oct. 18   Banquet Wine                                 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm         Voyager, Traveler   

_______________________________________Breaks_________________________________________

Tuesday, Oct. 17        Networking Break                             3:15 pm - 3:45 pm        Explorer
Wednesday, Oct. 18   Networking Break                             9:45 am - 10:15 am      Explorer

_____________________________________________________________________________________
*Sponsor supplies own marketing materials/items and delivers to Tourism Commission staff at start of the conference. 

Sponsors/Exhibitors set up is available Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. with the main conference beginning at 11:30 a.m.


Downloadable forms below.  Please review the sponsorship form and indicate your commitment level for this year. We know you’ll find it to be one of the most valuable networking opportunities that you will experience in 2017. 

Thank you for your support! 
Nebraska Tourism Commission
Phone: 308-249-3220 * Fax: 402-471-3026

Email: karen.kollars@nebraska.gov

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