Delegates are invited to partake in a walking foodie tour of Portland, at a highly discounted price (only US$10 per delegate!). If you are unable to walk, please inform us of your special needs to that we can make alternate arrangements for you. Food tours provided by Forktown Food Tours.
After our opening reception, enjoy some of the best that Portland has to offer. Portland has been called the “Disneyland for Foodies” and with good reason. If you need suggestions of places where to dine, please ask at the registration desk on Sunday afternoon, or contact us before you leave for Portland and we’ll make some suggestions. There will also be a sign-up list at the information desk for trade delegates looking for dining companions. We suggest that you choose a location within a 15-minute drive of the reception venue, which will be downtown. Many restaurants in Portland try to close by 9:00 or 10:00 PM nightly, but they will stay open if customers are there. Uber and Lyft are great ways to get around the city, with plentiful and affordable service, so please plan ahead to use these apps to get to your dining location.
If you did not check-in on Sunday, plan to check in in front of the Grand Ballroom on the 3rd floor of the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland, and pick up your materials now. The activities begin at 08:30 am sharp!
Our emcee BBC Newscaster Adnan Nawaz will kick off the day at 08:30 am SHARP! with a warm welcome to FoodTrekking World. Mr. Nawaz hosted the Association's 2015 Online Food Travel Summit. He is also a foodie and observes the food and beverage tourism industry from his own very unique perspective: that of newscasting from one of the world's best-respected media outlets, the BBC. Mr. Nawaz will get you ready for two days of fun, food and learning, and then he'll introduce our first speaker who will begin promptly at 08:40 AM.
World Food Travel Association Executive Director Erik Wolf will kick off the speaker series with an overview of the food travel industry today. Food tourism as a formal industry has been around almost 15 years. Our understanding of who food travelers has evolved, and our plans for product development and marketing in food and beverage tourism must change accordingly. Erik will share discoveries from recent research performed by the Association, and offer his insights into trends that will impact your food tourism plans for the next several years. He'll wrap things up with a presentation of the Food Tourism 2025 initiative.
Consult your pre-matched appointment schedule for your first meetings, which will start at 09:30 AM sharp. Each meeting lasts 10 (ten) minutes total, during which time both you and the person you are meeting with will have an opportunity to meet and get to know each other and your businesses. An announcement will be made to move to your next appointment when your time is up.
Lunch begins at 12:15 pm sharp. Our guest speaker Gabi Logan will begin at 12:45 pm to share Building Your Brand Story. How well are you controlling the story customers or journalists tell about you? Communicating your messaging is a feat for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, but food travel businesses face many unique challenges. Gabi Logan, a seasoned journalist and author focusing on cultural and culinary travel, will share the most common mistakes we make as business owners, organization leaders and destination marketers of case studies and branding tips for various business types: tour operators, attractions, lodging, tourism boards and more. Learn the best way to package your brand story for maximum absorption by your target audience, whether through your own stories, your customers’ social posts, or elsewhere. After Gabi Logan, our second keynote speaker will take the stage (see next session). Then business meetings resume at 1:30 pm sharp.
Right after Gabi Logan and still during lunch, Steven Shomler takes the stage. Steven's knowledge of social media and its use with food and beverage is prolific. He has worked with hundreds of food and beverage companies across the country, almost always on issues of strategy and marketing, with particular emphasis on the effective and even innovative use of social media. Seemingly out of nowhere, YouTube and Facebook took a strong hold on our world. Now businesses of every kind must have a presence on both. While YouTube remains one of the world's top search engines, Facebook's pull is actually starting to wane. Do you remember MySpace and FourSquare? They're not the powerhouses they once were. New players like SnapChat have emerged and are gaining tremendous traction. Since 72% of food travelers are either GenX or Millennials, our marketing tools need to appeal to an increasingly younger generation. What's next after SnapChat and Periscope? How will you be able to effectively leverage the next social media tools for food travelers? Steven definitely has his pulse on social media and how it's evolving. You won't want to miss his entertaining and insightful remarks. Business meetings resume promptly at 1:30 pm.
There is no doubt that food travel and tourism is on the rise. As food and beverage enthusiasts from around the world plan and book their next experience, most turn to the web and their mobile devices to search and book their holidays. Stephen Joyce, CEO of the Vancouver, BC-based Rezgo.com, will take a deeper look at the technologies that are playing an increasing role in influencing the behavior of these travelers and what might be in store in the future.
You have the night off to explore Portland's culinary scene. Ask at the information desk for suggestions, or if you're looking for dining companions, sign up on one of the sign-up sheets. Please be advised that some of the city's restaurants are closed on Mondays, so be sure to plan ahead.
"Content" has quickly risen to dominate the marketing landscape, allowing leaders across industries to grow their followings, while building trust at the same time. Attendees will learn key takeaways to quickly maximize their content strategy, from cross-channel messaging to virtual reality integration and everything in between. This speech will be led by content expert Benjamin Brown, who serves as Content Strategy Lead for Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation. Ben has developed and consulted on content for 300+ restaurants, tour operators, tourism boards and hospitality brands across 35 countries.
Benjamin Brown answers your hardest questions about content strategy and your own business needs during this intensive 1-hour workshop. This will be in-depth so bring a list of questions you need answers to!
Lunch begins at 12:15 pm and our guest speaker, Risa Meynarez, will begin at 12:15 pm sharp! Risa will be talking about millennials and Gen Z foodies, who bring something unique to our world: bold exploration and a driving need to be heard. In order to reach, connect and activate this next generation of travelers, your promotional tone needs to resonate with them and communicate visually the opportunities you offer that give them a sense of community. Risa will look at solid research that will allow you to take a quantifiable leap to gain your share of this valuable segment for the future health of your business, organization or destination.
Television actor and Food Network host Chase Ramsey and World Food Travel Association Executive Director Erik Wolf will discuss in talk-show style format about the Road Less Traveled in food tourism. Chase will talk about his work as a host on the Food Network and of California's Dream Eater Network, and draw on personal examples from other destinations to illustrate the point, namely that food travelers can find great food & drink experiences almost everywhere on Earth, not just in well-known cities or regions. Chase is the kind of traveler that gets off the beaten track, and that approach has served him well in his pursuit of the next tasty meal. It will be an action-packed, entertaining session not to be missed.
Money is the lifeblood of any company. Unfortunately, it’s the one area where most smaller businesses just don’t do well, and not for lack of trying. Carol is a seasoned venture capital consultant and social enterprise developer. In this lively session, Carol will touch on a variety of value propositions, including sustainability, equity, resource management, sociological and ethnographic factors and how to promote regional distinctiveness without selling out the historically, socially, and environmentally layered culinary traditions that are required to secure funds needed to distinguish your businesses and regions as worthwhile food travel destinations. Carol will integrate a discussion of how communities and businesses, located anywhere in the world, can identify new funding opportunities in these challenging economictimes. The workshop will be led by Carol Coren, Principal, Cornerstone Ventures.
Join our emcee Adnan Nawaz as he wraps up FoodTrekking World with his final remarks and observations. But that's not the end of the day! Be sure to stay for the 2017 FoodTrekking Awards ceremony next, followed by the closing reception.