2024 Lakes Area Summer Kickoff

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 (7:30 AM - 12:00 PM) (CDT)


There’s an excitement in the air as we look forward to warmer weather and a busy tourism season! Now is the perfect time to come together with other local businesses and get ready for the influx of summer travel. Hosted in partnership with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, Crosslake Chamber, Pequot Lakes Chamber, Nisswa Chamber, and Cuyuna Lakes Chamber, we’re excited to announce the 3rd Annual Lakes Area Summer Kickoff tourism event at Grand View Lodge!

This is a must-attend event for owners and staff of lodging properties, restaurants, attractions, and event planners. Get the latest scoop on tourism legislation from Hospitality Minnesota, learn marketing strategies, hear Explore Minnesota's traveler research, and network with your hospitality peers.


  • Hear important legislative updates from Hospitality Minnesota. 
  • Discover more about the profile of Minnesota's travelers from Explore Minnesota.
  • Listen to a panel discuss social media tips for every budget. 
  • Discuss issues that affect tourism during our peer discussion session.
  • Network with the local hospitality industry. 
  • Learn how your peers are gearing up their summer marketing.


Check In & Registration
Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. with the event starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Gull Lake Center at Grand View Lodge.

The Minnesota Traveler
Nicole Lalum, Explore Minnesota
Minnesota’s Leisure & Hospitality industry has grown despite economic pressures. Learn about the importance of tourism for our communities and our state. Discover more about the profile of Minnesota travelers and their travel motivations and trip activities, providing a deep dive into Explore Minnesota’s recent research to inform your marketing efforts.

From First Impression to Lasting Loyalty
Erin Perry, Dayta Marketing
Erin will bring an enlightening session to the Brainerd Lakes Area. Discover innovative marketing strategies that not only attract guests and customers, but also turn them into lifelong advocates for your brand. Learn how to seamlessly integrate your marketing efforts to elevate guest and visitor experiences, drive bookings and repeat customers, and enhance loyalty in today’s competitive landscape.

Tourism Industry Legislative Update
Angie Whitcomb, Hospitality Minnesota
The legislative biennium has brought unprecedented changes to the tourism industry. Hear what these changes are and how they impact our industry. You’ll come away informed, armed with facts and data, and have the tools to navigate the new legislative rules for your business.  

Peer Panel: Marketing Advice You Can Put into Action Now 
Keeping up with marketing trends and prioritizing how you should spend your marketing dollars can be overwhelming. Hear from local experts on a variety of marketing topics, including AI, photography, social media, engagement, and maximizing your time and your budget. 

Group Discussion: Table Talk  
Network with your peers and get updates from your peers, hear issues facing local tourism businesses and practical takeaways on how to deal with these issues to promote and grow your business.

Special Guest Speakers

Nicole Lalum is the Industry Relations Manager of the regional outreach team at Explore Minnesota. She is a direct connection for partners at all levels of the hospitality industry to the agency and its programs and initiatives and elevates community stories within the work Explore Minnesota does. 

Erin Perry, Chief Strategy Officer at Dayta Marketing, is a strategist and technology consultant with over 18 years of experience in digital and marketing. With a keen eye for new possibilities and a deep love of innovation, she has become a trusted guide for businesses navigating the complex terrain of new technologies. She has a proven track record in marketing consulting, brand development, and digital growth, always with a focus on alignment with overarching business objectives.
Angie Whitcomb is the President & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota. She provides strategic direction, vision, and management for the state's leading hospitality trade association. She has over 25 years of experience in non-profit and corporate environments.

Peer Panel: Marketing Advice You Can Put into Action Now
Frank Soukup is the Director of Marketing for Cote Family Destinations (Grand View Lodge). He also serves on the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Board of Directors, Hospitality MN Board of Directors, Hospitality MN Education Foundation, and the Explore MN Tourism Council. Frank's area of expertise include advertising, marketing, web direction, videography, photography, SEO, and social media.
Natalia Maher is a brand designer, art director, and owner of 
This & That Creative Co. She has a passion for bringing to life small business brands and designing creative solutions to set stand-out companies up for success. She has expertise in marketing and design including branding, print marketing, social media, event materials, signage, web work, and marketing campaigns.
Lori Scharenbroich is the owner of 
West Shore Marketing. She uses her marketing strategy and creative content expertise to helps small businesses and nonprofits with their marketing strategy, social media management, website design and support, and business communication development. Lori also serves on the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Board of Directors.


$60 Per Person

Grand View Lodge
23521 Nokomis Avenue
Nisswa, MN 56468 United States

Event will be held in the Gull Lake Center.

Event Contact
Trisha Reilley
(218) 829-8199
Send Email
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 (7:30 AM - 12:00 PM) (CDT)
Brainerd Lakes Chamber Event
Area Events
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