MADISON, Wis. – Members of Wisconsin’s tourism industry will gather in the Wisconsin Dells for this year’s Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT), March 17-19. The annual premier educational networking event for the tourism industry will be held at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions located at 1305 Kalahari Drive in the Wisconsin Dells.

Secretary-designee Sara Meaney will provide the opening address for this year’s conference that features keynote remarks from author and business speaker Kaplan Mobray, a former Deloitte executive whose resume includes working with NFL players and sharing his message at the Super Bowl.

Registration for the conference is now open. Innkeepers, restaurateurs, tourism marketers and educators, attraction operators, state and local officials, media and other representatives of the hospitality industry are encouraged to attend.

"We're excited to work with Governor Evers to share our plan on how we will take Wisconsin's tourism industry forward with purpose," said Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. "I look forward to celebrating Wisconsin’s vibrant tourism industry and collaborating with our dedicated and passionate industry partners from across the state."

Tourism had a $20.6 billion impact on the state's economy in 2017, up $631 million or 3.2% from $20 billion in 2016. The industry supports 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin. Event details, including a full agenda, information on accommodations and online registration can be found at

Monday, March 18 Conference Highlights

Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney will kick off the conference with an opening address highlighting the Department's vision for the future of the industry.

Kaplan Mobray, one of the nation's top business speakers and an award-winning author of the book "The 10Ks of Personal Branding," will talk about how diversity is an asset to an organization's growth and innovation.

Andrew Davis, bestselling author, former television producer and marketing agency executive, will teach attendees how daring destinations turn serendipity into success. Davis will explore the five secrets to leveraging the power of the online world to create content that inspires.

Tuesday, March 19 Conference Highlights

Judi Holler, professionally trained improviser and alumni of The Second City Conservatory in Chicago, will use the experimental principles of improv theatre to teach attendees how to transform fear into a secret weapon.

Governor Evers will close out the conference by presenting The Governor's Tourism Awards at Tuesday evening's closing dinner. Sponsored by the Governor's Council on Tourism, the awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on Wisconsin's tourism industry. The five award categories include: Legacy, Rising Star, Service Excellence, Stewardship, and Arts, Culture & Heritage.

The Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism is an annual three-day education and networking event for Wisconsin innkeepers, restaurateurs, community tourism officials, tourism attraction operators, state agency officials, tourism educators and other representatives of the hospitality industry.