The Go East of Edmonton Regional Tourism Organization (Go East of Edmonton) held their 10th Anniversary Annual General Meeting on November 2, 2022, at Métis Crossing in Smoky Lake County, Alberta. Metis Crossing and Smoky Lake Region also assisted in sponsoring this event which was the largest ever tourism meeting in the region.
Even with the unexpected snow and icy road conditions, over 70 people of the 90 that registered for the event were in attendance. Attendees were provided a delicious full course Bison meal from Metis Crossing. Mayors, Councillors, Economic Development/ Tourism Staff plus Businesses and Non Profit Organizations were all in attendance.
The meeting was an opportunity for Go East to review their past years and plans for continuing success in the future.
Go East Chair, Jennifer Filip, led the meeting and stated, “We will continue to be supporting our members as we go forward. We will continue to develop strong partnerships with key media players and government organizations, and we will continue to build a strong network as we encourage tourism growth throughout the Go East region.”
Key Takeaways from this meeting included:
Go East of Edmonton is the most successful Tourism Organization (DMO) that has ever existed in the region. Proven successful in promoting the 3 key areas of Northeast, East and Southeast of Edmonton. Now reaching over 500,000 active users of its marketing, while over a million see advertising content about the region annually. After a decade of effective marketing and development, over 1 Million Dollars in Grants and contributions have been received to support the region delivering an ROI of 3 to 1 for its Tourism Partners.
The following resolutions were adopted at the meeting:
- Minutes of 2021 Annual General Meeting were approved and a Financial report was accepted as presented
- Election of board members – Jennifer Filip, Downtown Camrose (Chair), Jerrold Lemko, Town of Vegreville (Vice Chair), Kevin Kisilevich, (Managing Director), Alexa Prodaniuk, MD of Bonnyville (Director), Yvonne Brown, Tofield (Treasurer), Robin Brown (Recording Secretary), Lina Petkeviciene, Camrose County (Director), and John Anderson, Lac La Biche County (Director).
During the meeting, members were given a detailed presentation by Kevin Kisilevich about past, current, and future initiatives to expand the reach of tourism marketing in the region. Highlights included:
- Brief history with how and why the Go East Tourism organization was started
- Persevering through the pandemic
- The great success of the printed and online Travel Guide
- Collaboration with communities and Travel Alberta to produce content for tourism marketing
- Results of the highly successful Roadtrip Game Adventure
- Statistics about success and growth of the Website
- Substantial increases in reach for Social Media and all areas of marketing
Juanita Marois, CEO of Métis Crossing, also presented information about the facility and upcoming initiatives for the area, which include a solar field to be energized in 2023 that will power the facility and a vertical garden to provide food for the restaurant.
Chris Down, Area Manager – Destination Development, from Travel Alberta also gave a presentation to attendees. He outlined how Travel Alberta’s role has switched to destination development (instead of marketing), timelines for their initiatives, and tools that can be accessed to help develop tourism in the area.
Go East of Edmonton is looking forward to continuing these partnerships and continued growth expected for 2023. Any questions or details about the presentations or Regional Destination Marketing can be directed to Kevin Kisilevich, email@example.com 780-632-6191.