Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Economic Gardening Conference & Heritage Tourism Webinar Series

More opportunities to help your communities prosper!



To get more information and register ($35), go to


North Central Regional Center for Rural Development


Heritage Tourism Initiative Webinar Series


Seven, one-hour Heritage Tourism webinars will present resources developed to aid communities in moving into tourism planning for themselves. The webinars are designed to each focus on 1 of the 7 learning and sharing resource modules developed by the Heritage Tourism Initiative team. These modules can all be taken in order or participants can choose to attend those that they feel are appropriate for where their community is in the tourism development process. These are designed to provide a venue for sharing and building the resources and information to help communities use heritage tourism as a viable community economic development strategy. Modules and resources will be also available through a website.


Each session will include approximately 30 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes for question / answer and participant sharing. The team hopes that others will identify and share resources and processes that they have used.


Session 1: Introduction - Heritage Tourism for the North Central Region (September 20, 2012)
J. Avery (Michigan State University), F. Boggus, Community Planning & Development, (Iowa), and L. Dickerson          To access Recorded presentation              To view PowerPoint







Session 2: October 4, 2012 Is Heritage Tourism A fit for your Community? (Larry Dickerson)

Session 2 of the series will look at assessing the readiness of your community to pursue heritage tourism as an economic development strategy. We will discuss how well heritage tourism fits within your community vision and health, and determine your community’s assets, resources and capacities in developing tourism as a viable strategy for your community. It is important for a community to take a good look at itself to determine if heritage tourism is a good fit. This session will initiate a discussion on that issue.


Session 3: October 11, 2012 - Initiating Heritage Tourism in your Community (Connie Mefford and Kathy Dothage)

Session 3 will look at how to assess your potential for heritage tourism, conduct an asset inventory of your community, create local interest and engagement, and how to get started in the process of developing and implementing heritage tourism efforts in your community. Tools such as community mapping, focus groups, local surveys, and appreciative inquiry will be identified. Participants will be encouraged to share their success stories in initiating heritage tourism efforts in their community.


Session 4: October 18, 2012 – Organizing for Heritage Tourism (Francis Boggus and Larry Dickerson)

The 4th session will help you determine who must be involved and how to get organized for a successful heritage tourism effort in your community. It is critical that key organizations and individuals be involved from the beginning to build successful, partnerships and a community wide organizational approach that works in your community. This webinar will discuss ways to do that and look at the governance needed to build this effort in your community.


Session 5: October 25, 2012 – Planning for Heritage (Julie Avery, Francis Boggus, Larry Dickerson and Connie Mefford)

The 5th session will look at how to develop a strategic plan for your community and heritage tourism efforts, design processes that fit your community, and develop doable action plans. This module focuses on creating plans that all in the community can support, build on the partnerships, use the community assets available, and yet make sure the important aspects of your community are protected and saved. Having a good plan is essential to success, and sharing plans that have worked well and provided guidance to your heritage tourism efforts is encouraged.


Session 6: November 1, 2012 - Implementing Heritage Tourism (Julie Avery, Francis Boggus and Jonathan Day)

Possibly the most important component is actually doing it. This session will look at product development services within your community, the process and techniques for marketing your community, the importance and tools for hospitality, resources to help your community move forward in its efforts, and provide an overall look at implementing your efforts. Implementation is the actual doing of heritage tourism and making it a viable economic effort for your community and this session will promote a discussion on how that has been accomplished in communities.


Session 7: November 15, 2012 – Evaluating and Renewing Heritage Tourism (Julie Avery and Eric Thompson)

How will you know if heritage tourism is a success for your community? How will you know how best to adapt and continue your efforts to keep it a viable economic generator for your community. Evaluation is a tool to use in the formulation and the assessment of your efforts. This session will look at the life cycle of heritage tourism efforts and products, how to conduct effective evaluations and determine the impacts of heritage tourism efforts on your community, as well  as looking at evaluation and impact tools you can use. Knowing what is working and what is not helps in making future efforts successful.


Heritage Tourism for the North Central Region Team:

Julie Avery, Ph.D., Michigan State University Museum Curator and MSU Extension Cultural Economic Development Specialist (

Francis Boggus, Francis Boggus & Associates, LLC Community Planning & Development Des Moines, Iowa, (

Jonathon Day, Ph.D., MBA Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, (

Larry Dickerson Community Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, Boone County, (

Kathy Dothage, Osage County Program Director, University of Missouri Extension (

Connie Mefford, Community Development Specialist and Benton County Program Director, University of Missouri Extension (

Eric Thompson, Ph.D. Associate Director and Professor, Bureau of Business Research, Department of Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (


Contact Julie Avery ( or Larry Dickerson ( with questions regarding the modules above.



Rosa Soliz

Communications & Logistics Associate

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

Agriculture Hall

446 W. Circle Drive, Room 66

East Lansing, MI 48824


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