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Calendar of Events

2017 Conference Handouts/Presentations

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

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!  


Industry Awards


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Be a Nebraska Tourism Conference Sponsor...

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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!


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 website and in Conference Program Book
  • A contact list of conference attendees


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 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 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
  • 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



  Hiker -  $750

  • Standard Benefits for all sponsors as listed above
  • Company name featured as a Hiker Sponsor on
  • 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   


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


...Back to conference home page

2017 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop

"Brewing Up Business"

February 21-23, 2017
Broken Bow, NE

Registration Now Open!
Click Here To Register

Alex Duryea: 402-471-3797 or
Karen Kollars: 308-249-3220 or

2017 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop Sponsors


Platinum Level Sponsor


Gold Level Sponsors

Silver Level Sponsors

Custer County Tourism Visitors Committee

GROW Nebraska

Ady Marketing

Maly Marketing

Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway


Thank you to all our sponsors for supporting the 2017 Agri/Ecotourism Workshop

Interested in being a Sponsor or Exhibitor?
Go to:


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

9:30AM - 10:30AM Registration for GROW Nebraska Session - One Box Convention Center

10:30AM - 12:00PM Work for Yourself @ 50+ Sponsored by GROW Nebraska

Are you over 50 and looking for ways to improve your current financial situation? Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? GROW Nebraska is hosting a free Work for Yourself @ 50+ workshop. Pre-registration is requested. Call toll-free 888-339-5617. There is NO cost for this session and a light lunch will be included.  All ages can attend.

12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch

1:00PM Gather in the lobby of your hotel for shuttle to Kinkaider Brewing Co.

*Note from Cody Schmick: “Kinkaider Brewing Co. is a farm craft brewing in the smack dab center of the United States of America. We are located 1 mile North of Broken Bow, NE on a beautiful farm facing the vast dunes & rolling green hills of the Sandhills!! Some may say we are in the middle of nowhere, but if you look at a map we are in the center of everything:)!! We at Kinkaider are so excited to show you what we are doing out on the farm. Our business has several different aspects that we hope you can learn from and we can share what we have learned and hopefully learn from you as well.  Kinkaider Brewing Co. is the fastest growing brewery in the state of Nebraska. We are distributing from Omaha to Scottsbluff, but this all starts by building your home base & home crowd. Looking forward to meeting you all and having a beer together.” 

12:30PM - 1:30PM Workshop Registration opens at Kinkaider Brewing Co.

1:30PM - 2:00PM Welcome and Overview

2:00PM - 4:00PM  Brewing Up Business” Team Panel

Dan Hodges- Brewmaster & Dan the Wiser / Barry Fox- Distribution & Overall Operations / Nate Bell- Procurement & Beer Guru / Cody Schmick- Global Brand Ambassador / Michelle Paris- Kitchen, Kinkaidering & Event Coordination / Jenny Fox- Pumpkin Patch & Family Activities

The Kinkaider Team will dive in with you on the set up / startup of their business and how they have managed steady growth since they launched. Topics will include but not limited to: Brewhouse/Brewing, Distribution and pushing business out further than the front door, Restaurant, Taproom, Special Events, Tours, Tourism, Solidarity with Locals, Funding the Business, Seasonality, Pumpkin Patch/Family Activities, Importance of Building A Team & Culture and the most important BEER TASTING!! Any volunteers?

 4:00PM - 6:00PM Tours of Brewery and Farm Led by 6 Panelists

6:00PM - 7:30PM Dinner & Networking

7:30PM - 10:00PM Networking Social

*Shuttles will be running every 30 min from 7:30PM - 10:00PM to take you back to your hotel.
Shuttle Service provided by: Premier Limousine LLC, Broken Bow, NE, 308-767-2090  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017     Location: One Box Convention Center

7:30AM Registration Opens / Visit with Sponsors

7:50AM – 8:00AM Welcome - Message from our Sponsors

8:00AM – 9:15AM 7 Wonders 7 Lessons – Dean Jacobs

A journey to challenge your perception of the world. Author, traveller, photographer and dreamer, Dean prompts audiences to get to the heart of what’s really important to them -- to find their own “why.” Armed with insights from lessons learned after leaving a successful corporate career and following his dream to travel the world, Dean’s keynote will leave you energized and empowered to take action.  Dean challenges the norm and provides a roadmap to effect change, letting go of the familiar to discover what’s possible, moving past fears to reach new heights.

​9:30AM – 10:45AM  Concurrent Sessions

1. What is Our Culture – Dean Jacobs  

A question rarely asked but critical to our success.  This workshop will help bring clarity how to market Nebraska's best resource, it's people.

2.  Pheasant Program – John Laux

John Laux, Upland Habitat and Access Program Manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), will be presenting on the NGPC's "Berggren Plan" - a comprehensive, science-based initiative aimed at improving the pheasant hunting experience in Nebraska.  He will also discuss the economic impacts of pheasant hunting and summarize recent findings from ongoing research on hunter use and preferences throughout Nebraska.  Find out what attracts hunters to particular areas of the state, where they are coming from, and how this information can be used to make your communities more hunter-friendly.

3.  What Spending Over $5 Million in Advertising Has Taught Us - Steve Maly

What has tracking ads and digging deep into the analytics from 20 different tourism entities in Nebraska over the past few years taught us?  Quite a bit and the numbers don’t lie. We will share with you some of the surprise findings from what people are actually searching for to what state outside of Nebraska shows the most interest in Nebraska.  We will also share what we have learned from testing 100’s of headlines, images and messaging across all mediums.  Some of these have been proven to be tried and true and you can apply them to your entity right away. This session will allow you to move past wondering and guessing if your ads will work to hitting the ground running with these data driven tactics.

10:45AM - 11:15AM Networking Break to Visit Sponsors

11:15AM - 11:50AM General Session - Legislative Update with Andy Pollock

12:00PM - 1:45PM  Lunch and Keynote

10 Things We Learned from our Goats - The Beekman Boys

    The Beekman Boys will share their interesting story, their struggles and celebrations, about how they worked to save their farm by developing an agritourism business.

2:00PM - 3:15PM Breakout Sessions

1. Masterminds – Dean Jacobs & Alex Duryea   

We can't do it all on our own. The mastermind concept and framework offers access to thinking and ideas that can help us be successful.

2. Nebraska: The Great Bicycle Adventure. - Vince Asta

Finding beauty in the landscape and the people, one country mile at a time. As experienced via one lens and two wheels.

3. Tips for Building a Successful Business -  The Beekman Boys

Beekman 1802 has proven that a farm can be much bigger than its fences.  The importance of having a strong web presence, creative marketing, developing partnerships, activities and events are just a few of the topics they will share with you.  Take advantage of this time to get your questions answered.

3:15PM - 3:45PM Networking Break to Visit Sponsors

3:45PM - 5:15PM Business Panel

5:30PM - 7:30PM Taste and Feel of Nebraska

Hosted by:



Thursday, February 23, 2017     Location: One Box Convention Center

7:30AM - 10:00AM Sponsor Booths Open

8:00AM - 9:45AM Tour of Broken Bow

Welcome 2017 Agri-Eco Nebraska Tourism Conference attendees to the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway!  We invite you to tour our beautiful visitors center and see our new interpretive kiosks telling the story of the Sandhills, view the awesome artwork, and enjoy a continental breakfast compliments of the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway.  Car pools available Thurs. 23rd, 8-9:45 a.m. Please RSVP

Also at the same time the Nebraska One Box Gun Club is inviting you to come check out the gun club and learn about the history of One Box. Please send an email to to RSVP for the gun club tour.

8:00AM - 9:45AM NETA Meeting

10:00AM - 11:30AM State Byway Meeting

10:00AM - 12:00PM Nebraska Tourism Commission

*Schedule may change without notice


A block of rooms is reserved at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites (this hotel is connected to the One Box Convention Center), for hotel reservations call 308-767-2060. The room rate is $ 83 + tax until January 31, 2017. Another block is reserved at The Arrow Hotel, located in downtown Broken Bow. For reservations call 308-872-6662 before January 21, 2017. When calling to book the rooms, make sure to clarify that you’re with the Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop. 

Nebraska Tourism Accepting Conference Bids

Nebraska Tourism Commission Accepting Conference Host Bids for 2018 and 2019

The Nebraska Tourism Commission is accepting bids from communities to host the Nebraska Tourism Conference for 2018 and 2019. Tourism professionals from across Nebraska attend the tourism conference each year to network with colleagues, attend educational workshops featuring regional and national speakers, and to reward outstanding tourism efforts at the Nebraska Tourism Industry Awards Banquet. The Nebraska Tourism Conference is the premier meeting opportunity for the state’s travel industry. The conference is held Tuesday through Thursday the third week in October.

Future Conference Dates:
            October 16-18, 2018
            October 15-17 or 22-24, 2019

Please review the downloadable sheet below for requirements for lodging, meeting space, host community responsibilities and facility needs. Work with your local lodging properties or conference center to submit one bid per community.

Send your proposal submission to:
            Nebraska Tourism Conference Bid
            Nebraska Tourism Commission
            PO Box 98907, Lincoln NE 68509-8907

Bid submissions must be emailed by the end of the day or postmarked by
March 31, 2017.
Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

Bid Timeline: 
           Proposal Submission Deadline
March 31, 2017
          Site Visit April-May 2017
          2018 & 2019 Nebraska Tourism Conference hosts notified June 2017

Karen Kollars at 308-249-3220 or