Smile Politely

Visit Champaign County hosting second annual Tourism Summit tomorrow

Visit Champaign County’s annual Tourism Summit has been condensed down to one day, and that day is tomorrow. 

The summit, which will offer a plethora of sessions, will run from 12:30 – 4 pm at The City Center in Champaign. Earlier this month, we spoke with keynote speaker Carrie Lannon.

For more information, check out the press release below:



Tourism Summit Condenses to One-Day Event

Champaign County—Visit Champaign County’s second annual Tourism Summit will be condensed from a two-day offering into one, with all sessions taking place on Tuesday, August 15 from 12:30–4:00 p.m. at the City Center.

The summit, Outside of Ordinary: Your Place Brand, will feature acclaimed Chicago-based public relations strategist, Carrie Lannon, as the keynote speaker. Carrie serves as Chief Brand Officer for public relations agency, Zapwater Communications. Lannon will speak on business branding for impact. “I look forward to sharing best branding practices from top international companies at Visit Champaign County’s Tourism Summit,” says keynote speaker Carrie Lannon. “Guests will learn how branding can empower a company, strengthen its business, and, in turn, support the appeal of the greater Champaign County area as a destination.”

Two panels will also be a part of the program. The first panel, Culture—Let’s Talk About It, will feature panelists Erin Schiller, University of Illinois International Student & Scholar Services; Jasmine Routon, The Up Center; Will Kyles, Champaign County Black Chamber of Commerce; and John Choi, Spicy Tribe.

The second panel, The Impact of Arts, will focus on enhancing your business through arts and culture. Panelists include Kelly White, 40 North | 88 West; Luke Boyce, Shatterglass Films; Bridget Lee-Calfas, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Kaya Tate, Hopscotch Bakery + Market.

“The goal of this summit is to bring together area businesses and advocates to not only learn how to better serve the community, but to network amongst each other,” explains Cody Dees, Community Relations Manager. “We must learn from each other and market the area collectively to grow as a destination.”

At the conclusion of each session, businesses are encouraged to network and learn about each other in order to tell a better story and work on potential partnerships that will ultimately draw in visitor traffic.

Community members, local businesses touched by tourism, media and more are encouraged to attend one of the two sessions. The cost to participate is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Registration as well as program information can be found at or by calling 217-351-4133.

More Articles