Schedule

Here is a sneak peek of the activities planned for the NATJA Conference in Syracuse! As more details are confirmed, we will be updating the schedule.

Quick Links: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

Tuesday, May 14

Move-In Day!

1:00pm to 6:00pm – Registration Open
Location:
First Floor Lobby, Sheraton Syracuse Hotel
If you get into town early, come say “Hi!” and pick-up your conference badge, program book, and bag.

2:00pm to 6:00pm – Advisory Board Meeting
Location: Comstock B, Sheraton Syracuse Hotel

6:00pm to 8pm – Advisory Board Dinner
Location: TBD

Pre-conference press trips begin to arrive. Attendees can begin to check-in to their rooms at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center.

Wednesday, May 15

Core Curriculum

9:00am to 5:00pm – Registration Open
Location:
Upper Lobby, Sheraton Syracuse Hotel
If you didn’t register on Tuesday, please make sure to stop by the registration table to get you checked in.

10:00am to 11:00am – New Member Meet and Greet
Location: Upper Lobby, Sheraton Syracuse Hotel
Come have coffee with NATJA Advisory Board members and staff. All members are welcome!

11:00am to 11:30am – NATJA 360 Photo Shoot
Location: Upper Lobby, Sheraton Syracuse Hotel
Join us for a NATJA Photo Shoot! We’ll gather immediately after the Meet & Greet to have a group photo captured in 360, courtesy of Professor Dan Pacheco from the Newhouse School of Public Communications.

11:30am to 1:30pm – Welcome Luncheon & General Session

Location: Comstock Ballroom
NATJA and Visit Syracuse welcome attendees to the 17th Annual Conference & Marketplace. Plus, get the inside scoop on Syracuse from our special guest, Sean Kirst.

A Uniquely Upstate New York Welcome

Speaker: Sean Kirst, Metropolitan Columnist, The Buffalo News

Your visit to Syracuse would not be complete without the chance to hear about exactly what it is that makes this place so unique and special, not only to those who call it home, but to those who visit as well. A deeply-rooted, distinctively welcoming community will be presented to you by Upstate New York’s own nationally-acclaimed columnist and storyteller, Sean Kirst.

1:30pm to 2:30pm

The Editors Panel

Location: Comstock Ballroom
Moderator: Bennett Root, Jr., Executive Vice President & General Counsel, NATJA
Panelists: Amy Alipio, Senior Editor, National Geographic Traveler; Jennifer Bain, Freelance Writer & former Travel Editor, Toronto Star; Andrew Elkin, Managing Editor, Air Canada enRoute; Dana Laverty, Travel/Copy Editor, AAA Northeast; and Karen Leiva, Editor, Ensemble Vacations

2:30pm to 2:45pm – Break

2:45pm to 4:00pm
Professional Development, Session 1

All professional development sessions take place on the second floor of the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel.

Crisis Communication: How to Recover Good Publicity When Disaster Strikes

Location: Regency A

Moderator: Maria Russell, Professor, Public Relations and Director, Newhouse Executive Education Programs, Syracuse University
Panelists: Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau; Francesca Donlan, Communications Director, The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel; and Xiomara Rodriguez, Publicity and Industry Communications Director, Discover Puerto Rico

Seasoned panelists will share insights and discuss tactics on how to mitigate bad publicity after a local tragic event or natural disaster. Panelists will discuss their professional experiences dealing with post crisis press, along with what they did to recover their location’s image.


Using 360 Video in Your Stories

Location: Regency B

Presenter: Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation, Magazine, News and Digital Journalism, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Get practical tips on using the latest generation of 360 cameras to take your audience on the road with you. Covers how to shoot, edit and distribute immersive 360 video on YouTube, Facebook and leading consumer VR headsets.


The Art & Science of Story Telling

Location: Regency C

Presenter: Bruce Strong, Chair, Visual Communications & Associate Professor, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Why is it that we remember some stories for a lifetime? Whether you shoot video or stills, this workshop could change the way you tell stories.  Join Bruce Strong, as we explore both the art and the science of producing powerful stories that stick, you might also find yourself wondering … if this makes a good story, would it also make an interesting life?

4:00pm to 4:15pm – Break

4:15pm to 5:30pm
Professional Development, Session 2

All professional development sessions take place on the second floor of the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel.

Crisis Communication: How to Recover Good Publicity When Disaster Strikes

Location: Regency A

Moderator: Maria Russell, Director, Executive Education, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University
Panelists: Lynn Berry, Director of Communications, Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau; Francesca Donlan, Communications Director, The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel; and Xiomara Rodriguez, Publicity and Industry Communications Director, Discover Puerto Rico

Seasoned panelists will share insights and discuss tactics on how to mitigate bad publicity after a local tragic event or natural disaster. Panelists will discuss their professional experiences dealing with post crisis press, along with what they did to recover their location’s image.


Using 360 Video in Your Stories

Location: Regency B

Presenter: Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation, Magazine, News and Digital Journalism, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Get practical tips on using the latest generation of 360 cameras to take your audience on the road with you. Covers how to shoot, edit and distribute immersive 360 video on YouTube, Facebook and leading consumer VR headsets.


The Art & Science of Story Telling

Location: Regency C

Presenter: Bruce Strong, Chair, Visual Communications & Associate Professor, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Why is it that we remember some stories for a lifetime? Whether you shoot video or stills, this workshop could change the way you tell stories.  Join Bruce Strong, as we explore both the art and the science of producing powerful stories that stick, you might also find yourself wondering … if this makes a good story, would it also make an interesting life?


5:30pm – Downtime
Sessions are over for the day! Take a break and we will see you later for dinner.

6:20pm – Depart for the Culinary Experience
Departure Location: Lobby

6:30pm
Culinary Experience: Syracuse Chef Challenge

Location: Sky Armory
Local chefs will come together to serve up a true farm-to-table experience based solely on what crops and products are ready for harvest in the region at the time. Enjoy a thoughtfully innovative six-course meal while learning about local agriculture and the Syracuse culinary scene all in a beautiful, modern venue. There’s an air of mystery to this event and the chefs are being challenged with creating delicious dishes based on sustainability and only the freshest of ingredients.

Please note that the evening includes a one-hour open bar. We encourage anyone that would like an alcoholic beverage after this one hour to please bring cash.

9:30pm – Return to Sheraton
Visit Syracuse staff will be on-site to coordinate shuttling. Pick-up point located directly outside SKY Armory.

Extracurricular Spots
Looking for local watering holes? Skip the shuttle and visit some of these suggested spots. Grab an Uber or Lyft for your way back to the hotel. We’ve included a few nightlife suggestions but look for even more in your Welcome bag! Suggestions: Al’s Wine and Whiskey, Wolffs Biergarten, Kitty Hoynes

Thursday, May 16

Core Curriculum

7:30am – 8:45am – Breakfast Buffet
Location: Comstock Ballroom
Join us for breakfast and special remarks from Gregg Tripoli, who will bring some of Syracuse’s history to life!

Syracuse & Central New York

Speaker: Gregg Tripoli, Executive Director, Onondaga Historical Association
History well told is beautiful, enabling us to understand how our world worked then, and now, encouraging us to gain insight into the figures and personalities that changed the scenarios of our cultural landscape. Join Gregg Tripoli, Executive Director of the Onondaga Historical Association, as he passionately shares the rich history of Central New York.

8:45am to 9:00am – Break

9:00am to 10:15am
Professional Development, Session 3

So, What’s The Big Idea?

Location: Regency A

Facilitator: Kayla Leska, Director of Public Relations, Development Counsellors International

Challenged with increasingly smaller budgets than your advertising counterparts, yet still tasked with driving awareness and visitation? Then attend this session designed to help PR practitioners at travel destinations find your next BIG IDEA!

This series of brief TedTalk-style presentations is peer-led. We’ll highlight the challenges faced by destinations and the “buzz” building ideas that made all the difference.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the role of public relations in generating and executing big ideas
  • Learn how destinations have overcome challenges to implement big ideas
  • Understand the metrics that justify success

Digital Content is Influencing Travel Trends

Location: Regency B

Presenter: Sean Branagan, Director, Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Digitization changed the media industry, and now it’s changing other industries. Digitization causes disruption for established companies, but it opens up new opportunities for nimble, creative, and curious people and organizations. In this session, you will get a different view of Digital Disruption, learn about new and emerging trends in digital content, and hear about companies in the travel industry who are trying new approaches and creating new kinds of digital storytelling.


How to Shoot a Successful One-Minute Video

Location: Regency C

Presenter: Jason Kohlbrenner, Supervisor of Production Operations & Adjunct Faculty, Television, Radio & Film, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

In this session, we will cover the basic components of a video story, and how we can use a combination of video, photo and audio to create an appealing one-minute video.  Participants will go over structuring their idea, learn the basic fundamentals of shooting video and photos, and some tips and tricks to capture audio.  We will also discuss editing software and the nuances of creating video for social media.   


10:15am to 10:30am – Break

10:30am to 11:45am
Professional Development, Session 4

So, What’s The Big Idea?

Location: Regency A

Facilitator: Kayla Leska, Director of Public Relations, Development Counsellors International

Challenged with increasingly smaller budgets than your advertising counterparts, yet still tasked with driving awareness and visitation? Then attend this session designed to help PR practitioners at travel destinations find your next BIG IDEA!

This series of brief TedTalk-style presentations is peer-led. We’ll highlight the challenges faced by destinations and the “buzz” building ideas that made all the difference.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the role of public relations in generating and executing big ideas
  • Learn how destinations have overcome challenges to implement big ideas
  • Understand the metrics that justify success

Digital Content is Influencing Travel Trends

Location: Regency B

Presenter: Sean Branagan, Director, Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Digitization changed the media industry, and now it’s changing other industries. Digitization causes disruption for established companies, but it opens up new opportunities for nimble, creative, and curious people and organizations. In this session, you will get a different view of Digital Disruption, learn about new and emerging trends in digital content, and hear about companies in the travel industry who are trying new approaches and creating new kinds of digital storytelling.


How to Shoot a Successful One-Minute Video

Location: Regency C

Presenter: Jason Kohlbrenner, Supervisor of Production Operations & Adjunct Faculty, Television, Radio & Film, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

In this session, we will cover the basic components of a video story, and how we can use a combination of video, photo and audio to create an appealing one-minute video.  Participants will go over structuring their idea, learn the basic fundamentals of shooting video and photos, and some tips and tricks to capture audio.  We will also discuss editing software and the nuances of creating video for social media.   


11:45am – Sessions End
Sessions are over for the day! You have a short break before we head out for our afternoon tours.

12:20pm – Pick-Up Boxed Lunch and Depart for Afternoon Tours
Departure Location: Lobby
Please make sure to pick up your boxed lunch at Sitrus on the Hill, the restaurant located in the lobby area of the hotel!

Make sure you have picked up your boxed lunch before boarding your bus!

12:30pm to 5:00pm
Afternoon Tours with Lunch

Suggested Attire for all Tours: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Dressing in layers, especially for any outdoor activities, is strongly recommended.

Your tour leader will have a sign with the name of your tour. Not sure which you are on? Check the back of your badge!

Visit Syracuse is providing three unique experiences in and around Syracuse. There are story ideas for everyone!

  • Option 1: Wine + Wellness 
  • Option 2: Brews + Views
  • Option 3: History + Culture

Click here to see the descriptions for each tour.

5:00pm – Return to Sheraton
Buses begin to take attendees back to the hotel

5:30pm – Arrive back at Hotel
You will have the opportunity to return to your hotel room and freshen up before the evening’s Reception & Dine-Around.

5:30pm to 6:00pm – Downtime
You will have the opportunity to return to your hotel room and freshen up before the evening’s Reception & Dine-Around.

6:00pm – Depart for Cocktail Reception & Dine-Around
Departure Location: Lobby

6:15pm to 7:00pm – Cocktail Reception
Location: The Fitz
The Fitz is a spiffy, modern day speakeasy with a 1920s flare. Experience a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, thoughtfully crafted cocktails and a guest appearance from local celebrity chef, Julie Taboulie.

7:00pm Dine-Around

Click here to see the exciting list of restaurants participating in the Dine-Around!

Check the back of your badge for the restaurant you selected as your Dine-Around option. Your group leader will have a sign with your restaurant name on it – make sure to follow your leader to the right bus!

9:30pm – Return to Sheraton
Group leaders will direct all guests to their pick-up point. For attendees dining in the Armory Square area there will be a singular pick-up point.

Extracurricular Spots
Want to stick around town and check out the local scene? Skip the shuttle and visit some of these suggested spots. Grab an Uber or Lyft for your way back to the hotel. We’ve included a few nightlife suggestions but look for even more in your Welcome bag! Suggestions: Kitty Hoynes, The York, Colemans

Friday, May 17

Electives

8:00am to 10:00am – Breakfast Buffet
Location: Comstock Ballroom

8:00am to 9:00am – Marketplace Setup for Exhibitors
Location: Regency Ballroom
Look for the table with your organization’s name or find a NATJA Staff member to assist you to your table.

9am to 12pm

Marketplace

Location: Regency Ballroom

Media and destination marketing organizations meet for one-on-one chats. Make sure to bring your business cards!

12pm to 12:45pm – Downtime/Marketplace Breakdown
You will have the opportunity to return to your room and prepare for your Afternoon Tour.

12:45pm – Pick-Up Boxed Lunch and Depart for Afternoon Tours
Departure Location: Lobby
Please make sure to pick up your boxed lunch at Sitrus on the Hill, the restaurant located in the lobby area of the hotel, before boarding your bus!

Make sure you have picked up your boxed lunch before boarding your bus!

1:00pm to 5:00pm
Afternoon Tours

Suggested Attire for all Tours: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Dressing in layers, especially for any outdoor activities, is strongly recommended.

Your tour leader will have a sign with the name of your tour. Not sure which you are on? Check the back of your badge!

  • Option 1: Action + Adventure
  • Option 2: Family Fun
  • Option 3: Agritourism

Click here to see the descriptions for each tour.

5:00pm – Return to Sheraton
Buses begin to take attendees back to the hotel

5:30pm to 6:30pm – Downtime
You will have the opportunity to return to your hotel room and freshen up before the Closing Reception & Dinner.

6:30pm – Depart for Closing Night Dinner
Departure Location: Lobby

7:00pm
Closing Reception & Dinner at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

All good things come to an end, but goodbyes are sweeter with award-winning BBQ and a celebration. We will say farewell to Syracuse and learn where the 2020 NATJA Conference & Marketplace will take place!

9:30pm – Return to Hotel
Visit Syracuse staff will be on-site to direct. Pick-up point located directly outside Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Saturday, May 18

Farewell

Breakfast at Your Leisure

Location: Rachel’s Restaurant (in the Hotel)
You can grab breakfast at Rachel’s at your leisure. The voucher for breakfast will be located inside your badgeholder.

Check-Out by 12:00pm
Please make sure to check-out of your room before departing for home or heading out on your post-press trip.