KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 2014 Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism will be held Oct. 8-10 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The conference theme is “Many Partners – One Voice.”  

This year, for the first time in Tennessee’s history, the event combines the former Tennessee Hospitality Association’s annual conference with the former Tennessee Tourism Roundtable’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism into one event, bringing the entire industry together. Gov. Bill Haslam will address tourism industry partners 11:30 a.m. EDT during Friday’s luncheon. The “State of the Industry” address will be delivered by Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, during Thursday’s breakfast.

The conference will kick off with Teri Yanovitch’s Super Seminar “Unleashing Excellence: How to Deliver World Class Service!” 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Yanovitch is a former Disney Institute keynote speaker and seminar leader. Her book “Excellence – The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service” is a guidebook to organizations dedicated to providing high-quality service. Friday morning the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” Mitch Joel will present his keynote presentation, “A Morning with Mitch Joel.” Industry partners will learn how creating engagement renders staggering results as consumers have more power than ever before.

The research-driven initiative of Travel Effect by U.S. Travel Association will be presented by Gary Oster Friday afternoon. Oster is in charge of this multi-million dollar, multi-year initiative and will share the research, media and public relations efforts of the travel industry. Rounding out the speakers for the conference is Inquoris “Inky” Johnson, former University of Tennessee athlete and this year’s inspirational speaker.

The conference is open to all tourism industry partners. For information about the schedule of events, visit

The Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association is the advocacy voice and key resource for information and education for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry in Tennessee.