Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep up with current industry trends, network with your peers, get pointers to help you do your job more effectively, and make time for a little fun? With the busy summer season behind us, the People’s Coast Summit might be for you.

Scheduled for Oct. 9-10 in Waldport, the People’s Coast Summit is an annual conference hosted by the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) offering professional development and networking opportunities for people working in the Coast’s tourism industry. Bringing people from various backgrounds together, the conference places a big focus on networking and industry alignment — plus, there will be time to go for a walk, paddle or run.

“Not everyone can afford to take the time or pay the money to go to the annual Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism,” says Marcus Hinz, OCVA executive director. “So we’re bringing some of the quality and content of the Governor’s Conference to Waldport and making sure it’s an inviting, affordable event for all participants.”

Topics of this year’s conference include funding tourism-focused projects, how to get noticed by the media, Guest Service Gold customer service training opportunities, and how to develop outdoor recreation experiences that boost the local economy. More than 15 tourism industry professionals will facilitate workshops throughout the conference, sharing their expertise and inviting participants to engage in interactive discussions and hands-on workshops.

One of the breakout sessions, the Waldport Charette, invites local stakeholders and others to participate in a creative session aimed at helping local leaders prioritize tourism-related projects. The charette will be moderated by Waldport mayor, Susan Woodruff and facilitated by Katera Woodbridge, OCVA sales and marketing coordinator, and Jesse Dolin, OCVA Central Coast Destination Developer.

“As a third-generation Waldport resident, I’m super excited to bring stakeholders together to identify possible projects that can enhance the community’s amenities for both tourists and locals alike,” Dolin says.

With a population of about 2,050 people, Waldport will utilize numerous venues to accommodate conference attendees. The Moose Lodge will serve as the conference’s central hub, with numerous buildings throughout Waldport hosting individual sessions. Evening festivities will take place at Alsi Resort. “We’re excited to showcase the many great meeting spaces, trails and parks in Waldport and connect with others along the Coast who are facing many of the same challenges,” said Mayor Woodruff.

This year’s keynote speakers are Cristen Don, Marine Reserves Program leader with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Tim Palmer, an award-winning author of 25 books about rivers, conservation and adventure travel. Both speakers will inspire conference attendees to become more knowledgeable about the Coast’s natural resources — and provide tips for how to spread that knowledge and passion to visitors and other residents.

The People’s Coast Summit will include ample opportunities to stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities in the area. Participants can choose from walking tours, fat tire biking, kayaking or exploring the Alsea Bay on a tour boat.

Go here to learn more about the 2018 People’s Coast Summit and to register.

Photo of Waldport by Dennis Frates