Hey, I'm live-blogging via free wi-fi from the 23rd annual Vermont Travel Industry Conference at the uber-swank Equinox Resort in Manchester Vermont. Theme — "From Yesterday to Tomorrow: Marketing the Vermont Brand." This conference draws folks from Vermont's hospitality industry, as well as representatives from media ad departments, state government, educational institutions, etc. Needless to say, it's a well-heeled affair.
There's a lot of talk here about using the internet. There are sessions called "Websites that work for Vermont," and "Marketing your website to capture real business, though I didn't get to either one. There are also a bunch of web-related sponsors, like NoWirz, which implements wi-fi systems, and websites like ExploreNewEngland.com and VisitNewEngland.com. Oddly, though, nobody here seems to have a laptop. They're all filtering into the hotel's business center to check their email. Or maybe they've just left their laptops in their rooms.
I stopped in Rutland on the way down here, to see a nun. I saw a couple houses on Baxter Street that had peace-related displays out front, and snapped some pictures for posterity's sake. This is what comes to mind when I think of the Vermont brand — outspoken, stubborn, creative, resourceful.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the story I wrote about the conference in Manchester.