We’ve reached the end of another Victorian Visitor Information Services Summit, and enjoyed three days being hosted by the wonderful Bendigo region.
On Wednesday, attendees joined Regional Study Tours, with three taking place across Bendigo. Heritage Evolution visited key attractions such as the Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo Blues Tram, Bendigo Pottery and Golden Dragon Museum whilst enjoying morning tea at Percy & Percy and lunch at The Woodhouse. Local Legends visited Bendigo Art Gallery, La Trobe Art Institute, Living Arts Space, Post Office Gallery and undertook an Artist Walking Tour. The Group enjoyed feasting at The Gallery Cafe and Rocks on Rosalind for lunch. Attendees on the Grand Architecture and Produce study tour visited the Historic Post Office, Town Hall and Ulumbarra Theatre whilst also visiting local food stores. The group lunched at the award-winning Mason’s of Bendigo. The groups then came back together at Bendigo Art Gallery for the welcome networking function, and to enjoy a tour of the Bendigo Art Gallery.
On day one, Mayor of Bendigo, Councillor Maragaret O’Rourke welcomed delegates to Bendigo along with VTIC Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani, kicking off two-days of insights,
learning and sharing.
Sharon Baird spoke about our behaviours, attitudes, and communication with a focus on customer care, customer focus and customer service. Sharon shared how to manage our belief systems, and the importance of making sure we communicate the right messages.
Volunteer management was explored through a panel session with Scott Miller, Volunteering Victoria, Susan
McLaine, State Library Victoria, Sharon Walsh, Bendigo Health and Mandy Burns, Be Collective. The panel highlighted the importance of making volunteers the lifeblood of your organisation, making sure you ‘engage’ volunteers, not ‘use’ volunteers.
Each region outlined what they have been up to in their own PechaKucha.
Paul Matthews, Visit Victoria and Paul Albone, DEDJTR outlined the key elements that make up the state visitor servicing review, which will inspire, convert, advocate and service visitors in a consistent way across Victoria.
On both days, delegates had the choice to attend breakouts covering; the 2018 Local Government Tourism Health Check by Paul Albone, DEDJTR and Kate Rickwood, VTIC; Rethinking Funding Sources by Peter Abbott, Bendigo Heritage Attractions; and VIS in-centre and post-visit surveys by Grace Maynard, VTIC.
Andrew James from Parks Victoria gave an update on the digital focus of Parks Victoria, including how they are providing a more personalised experience to visitors through customer segmentation and using powerful content to drive awareness and visitation.
Rob Kelly, City of Melbourne spoke on transforming visitor services whilst facing much change in the CBD. Rob took the group on the journey the City of Melbourne took in setting up the new Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall.
The Great Gatsby came to the magnificent Fortuna Villa on Thursday night as the Summit dinner kicked off. Three best dressed prizes were awarded to Lisa Healey, Wendy McPherson and Bronwyn Parker and many enjoyed the celebrations and networking.
Peter Turner, CUSTOMER FRAME and Karen Oliver, Murray Regional Tourism provided a progress update on the Murray Region Visitor Strategy, the challenges of working in a region that covers 13 local Councils, and how they are stepping into the shoes of customers with customer profile research.
Kaye Tuddenham from Transport for Victoria gave an industry update on their Explore the Night campaign and shared that the UITP Global Public Transport Summit will be held in Melbourne in 2021, the first time the event has been held in the Southern Hemisphere in 28 years.
Nicole Pretty presented the highlights of the Reference Group’s achievements over the year. Delegates workshopped key takeaways from the Summit, key action pieces for the Reference Group for next year, and wrote a pledge to themselves that will be posted out in six months’ time.
A big thank you to the Presenting, Host Region and Program partners of the 2018 Victorian Visitor Information Services Summit. To the team at City of Greater Bendigo, Capital Theatre and Fortuna Villa, thank you for your hospitality and for providing exceptional venues for this year’s Summit. Thank you to our attendees and all speakers for ensuring a valuable and thought-provoking Summit.