What you missed at Mountain Travel Symposium

What you missed at Mountain Travel Symposium

Mountain Travel Symposium at Squaw Valley, North Lake Tahoe this year was an event not to be missed. If you attended, you know what I’m talking about. And if you didn’t make it, below is a quick recap  as well as a few videos from the event. Mark your calendars for MTS next next year, Snowmass, Colorado, April 7-13, 2013 and make sure you go to it. The networking opportunities alone will pay for the trip.

Who best to give us a recap of the event than Ralf Garrison himself. Here’s a short video interview with Ralf.


1. The ski industry can learn and borrow a lot from other industries and needs to quickly adapt technology and new media to stay in the game. Competition with other destinations, attractions and activities is strong and the customer experience is ultimately the driving factor in whether people choose to go on a ski vacation or the beach. Learn how to best use technology to create an unforgettable experience for your guests, an experience they will talk about for years.

2. On the social media marketing side of things a few tips from the pros stood out: hire the right person for the job or outsource your activities; provide relevant content, use flash deals wisely, and figure out what you want to measure before you get bombarded with useless data that is not actionable. Social media is not really free when you take into consideration the tools, social advertising and time it takes to create content, engage and measure your activities. VisitFlorida is dedicating 30-40% of their $160 mil. budget to digital marketing with a big portion of that going to social.

Check out this interview with Christian Knapp, VP of Marketing and Sales for Aspen/Snowmass and his takeaways from Mountain Travel Symposium and social media ROI:


3. Garbage in, garbage out as they say when it comes to data. Know where your revenue is coming from and concentrate your efforts on the things that matter and work.

4. Regardless of the way  you got a customer to walk into your door (Liftopia, Groupon, Living Social Escapes), they are your customer to  convert and upsell and make sure they come back to your property. Game on – train your staff, capture their data on site and do everything possible to keep them as a customer.

5. Alison Levine, the team captain for the first U.S women team to climb Everest strongly urged people in the room not to get complacent. “Fear is OK, it’s OK to try new things, but complacency kills”.

And a few more personal observations:

Person to person communication still rules.

QR codes are not all that.

Business cards are still a physical object and widely used.

Twitter was not as popular as one would have expected.

Sometimes, the best place to be is in the hallway.

Presenters are looking younger and younger each year.

The MTS mobile app can be improved for next year to eliminate the 12+ hour delay in push messages.

Mark your calendars for next year MTS in Snowmass, Colorado – April 7 – 13, 2013.

And remember that MTS is a long event – pace yourself. With parties like the Welcome Party at High Camp, you need a lot of Red Bull to get you through the next day.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Mountain Travel Symposium for making this happen.

To see all of the video interviews and panel discussions from MTS, please, visit our special MTS YouTube playlist.


What are your thoughts from the event? Is there a need for MTS with summer focus?

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About Milena Regos

Marketer, Consultant and Creator of the Simple Marketing Blueprint online marketing course for busy professionals.