HUNTSVILLE, Ont. — Back by popular demand, Roger Brooks helped Resorts of Ontario delegates map out their tourism strategies at the association's conference and trade show held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ont., last month.
Brooks began his career providing concert tour management services for international recording artists including The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, and others, culminating in the famous Saturday Night Fever Tour with the Bee Gees.
His adventure working with communities and travel-related organizations began in 1981, and he spent the first ten years assisting in the development and marketing of acclaimed destination resorts including Whistler Resort in British Columbia; Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon, and several others, before working with local, state, and national governments and non-profit agencies.
His passion is to make a difference in people’s lives by helping their communities become better places for people to live, work and visit.
“He's not just a motivational speaker,” said ROO managing director Grace Sammut. “There's so much depth, with road maps, tools, tips and real-life examples.”
The journey with Brooks started a year ago with the conference theme, Reimagine, Reinvest and Reinvent, said Sammut. “So we reinvested for two half-day sessions this year. Roger provided some incredible insights, personalized for the resort industry.”
This year's theme was Reimagine… Mapping Your Success. “The audience really took to him,” said Sammut. “He gave them working information for their properties and one-on-one advice during the break, as well as questions and answers.”
Another highlight of the conference was the President's Evening and Reception, where delegates celebrated their Canadian spirit by wearing the lumberjack look, affectionately known as Buffalo Plaid. “The energy in the room was relaxed, refreshed and confident,” Sammut said.
Round table sessions included: How to measure your marketing effectively; The China market and how e-commerce can help you grow business; the benefits and value of content marketing; and resort business expansion and growth.
The session on the Chinese market talked about Alipay and WeChat, and how that ecosystem can help with social media and commerce. Another session dealt with ROO's new corporate agreement with the Canadian Federation for Independent Business, addressing the benefits around advocacy and credit card savings.
The executive board for 2018-19 was announced at the conference as well. Mark Downing of Fern Resort is chair; Dianne Hounsome of Bayview Wildwood Resort is president; Jerry Feltis of Rocky Crest Resort is vice-president; Heather Ford of Green Acres Inn is treasurer and Jo-anne Snyder of Beachwood Resort is secretary.