Our 1st Takeover @ #OTS17


There’s a first time for everything and our first time doing a ‘Social Media Takeover’ was on Nov 6-7 at the annual Ontario Tourism Summit (#OTS17) hosted by Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).  The Summit was held in our favourite and most-often visited destination….Niagara Falls!!!  It was a 2 day event that brought together industry professionals from across Ontario including keynote speakers, sponsors and tourism student volunteers from Niagara College.

Take a look at all the fun we had, this video is also posted on our YouTube Channel:

If you liked this video then remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to view all our videos!

When the folks from TIAO had suggested that we do this ‘takeover’, we immediately wanted to participate and learn more about it.  For two days, we had control over TIAO’s accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  You can see some of the pics that we were posting right here in this blog post, or you can watch the video that we compiled for YouTube.


The Summit & Gala Dinner were held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre
and the Welcome Reception, hosted by Niagara Parks, was held at the Table Rock Welcome Centre.  We were treated to gourmet local food, wine & beer in addition to access to Journey Behind The Falls or Niagara’s Fury.  The Hornblower Cruise was not operational however if you’ve never been on it then you’ll just have to make another trip to Niagara.  Here’s a preview of what you can expect.

Our Experience

It was FANTASTIC!  We reconnected with connections we had not seen in months as well as made new ones.  We also learned about new and awesome places and can’t wait to visit all the next & exciting places we learned about.

The Summit was extremely well planned and organized.  We could easily tell that the TIAO Staff spent countless hours on the details.

For the social media takeover, we wanted to do something different.  Anyone can do pics or short videos of the summit which is pretty much expected.  But Tony had come up with the idea of the ‘World’s Fastest Gameshow’.  He created TIAO branded cue cards, got a bell, and even wrangled some TIAO swag to give away as prizes.  Since it was being done for TIAO’s Instagram Stories, which has a time limit of 15 seconds, it all had to move very quick.  It consisted of 3 or 4 rapid fire questions, where the last question being the most ridiculous.

We’re glad that people like Kevin Forget from Ontario Travel and Sarah Franklin from Perth County Tourism were great sports and played along.  You know what, it’s hard to describe it all really, you’re just gonna have to watch the supercut of all our Instagram Stories that we did in our YouTube video.

If you’re in tourism, economic development, an operator or simply have a passion for promoting travel in Ontario like we do then you just have to reserve your ticket to the 2018 Summit.  Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence

The 2 day event ended off with a Gala Dinner hosted by Heather Hiscox from the CBC.  She was one funny lady, a great hostess and presenter.  The Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence were distributed throughout the evening.  Awards were given out in a variety of categories such as Culinary Tourism, Tourism Attraction of the Year, Tourism Marketing & Travel Media Awards.  Congrats to all the winners! So happy to say that we know a few of the winners and visited a couple of winning attractions.

While at the summit, we and all the other delegates had the chance to hear directly from captains in the industry like Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport – Eleanor McMahon.  It was during this summit that she announced that the OTMPC (the parent organization of Ontario Travel) will be officially rebranding to ‘Destination Ontario’.  We even heard directly from Lisa Lavecchia, the President & CEO of OTMPC about the work done by her team and new efforts moving forward.

2018 Summit

The dates and location for the 2018 Summit were announced and it will be held from October 23-24, 2018, in our second-most favourite city in Ontario…Windsor!

TIAO-ontario-tourism-summit-2 OTS18 in Windsor ON
The 2018 edition of the TIAO Ontario Tourism Summit will be in Windsor, ON.

Our takeover was sponsored by TIAO however all opinions, recommendations & reviews are our own.

Special thanks to Christine Clark Hess Photography for the cover photo of this blog post.

Let us know what you thought of our first ‘Social Media Takeover’, contact us at  @LetsDiscoverON.

Thanks for reading & watching.  Remember to subscribe to our Blog & YouTube Channel and follow us along as we Discover ON!


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