Five Ways to Make the Most of Your AITC Experience

As the tourism industry slowly returns to “normal,” hospitality providers are asking, “what’s next.” There is no master roadmap for recovery, especially when it comes to indigenous tourism providers. 

Attending this year’s American Indian Tourism Conference might be the best way to move forward with your own programming.. The connections you make, especially with people who are facing the same hurdles as you, could provide the very answers you are looking for. 

Ready to join us? Here are a few things to keep in mind before, during and after AITC, so you can get the most out of your conference experience. 

Build Stronger Relationships
Ready to make new connections and say hello to old friends? Be sure to start using the AITC Conference App (powered by Whova) to let people know you’ll be in attendance. Set up a time to meet, say hello to old friends and be sure to visit our artisan and supplier exhibitors. Don’t forget to say hello in the “Break the Ice” board on Whova. 

Choose the Right Sessions to Attend
This year’s AITC has more than 20 break out sessions, all led by experts in their field. Whether you’re looking to build your relationship with international tour operators, learn more about working with state, regional and national parks, or hoping to build a tribal artisan program, there’s sure to be a session for you. (Dare we say, you might not be able to do everything you want?) Check out each session in your conference app to plan accordingly. 

Business of Art
Designed specifically for artists and tribal arts administrators, the Business of Art Seminar will share tips on building tribal arts programs, working with galleries and museums, organizing local arts markets, developing art trails and building partnerships to promote the arts. You do not want to miss this seminar if you are working on developing or growing any program focused on the arts. 

Social Events
Conferences can be A LOT of work, but they can also be a lot of fun. The networking and social events at AITC include the opening reception (sponsored by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation & We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort) and the Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards, and you should definitely attend them. This is a great time to connect with people in a more relaxed, personal setting. During the evening gala we celebrate the best of the indigenous tourism industry and it is only fitting that we celebrate Southwestern culture and all come in turquoise and denim. We also want to start the conference with a bang and are asking everyone to come in their traditional regalia for the opening session, don’t be shy, go all out on this. It is a great conversation starter.

During the conference, you will most likely collect many business cards as you plan the next steps in your own tourism programming. When you get home, it will be time to put your plans in action. Don’t let all your learning go to waste. Within a week of the conference send a friendly follow-up email to your new connections letting them know you enjoyed meeting them. Keep them (and AIANTA) updated on your progress. It is especially important to email those you are interested in partnering with and set up a follow up meeting to begin your new business relationship. 

We look forward to seeing you at AITC 2021!