The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association awarded the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority with the 2015 New Jersey Tourism Excellence Award at this year’s New Jersey Conference on Tourism.

“The Wildwoods are richly deserving of this prestigious award,” says Sharon Franz, president, NJTIA. “The Wildwoods’ innovative campaigns continue to draw millions of visitors, which, in turn, contributes greatly to the economic prosperity of the great state.”

The Signature Communications of Philadelphia, GWTIDA’s advertising agency, created the 2014 campaign “Can’t Stop This Feeling!” It was targeted to women between the ages of 25 and 54 and encouraged them to select the Wildwoods as their vacation destination.

“People are emotionally connected to the Wildwoods,” says John Siciliano, executive director, GWTIDA. “The ‘Can’t Stop This Feeling!” campaign captures that emotion and nostalgia. Whether you love the boardwalk, shopping, food, miles of free beaches or any other fun offerings in the Wildwoods, there is an emotional and generational connection unique to the Wildwoods that’s undeniable.”

The campaign stemmed from the 2012–2013 campaign that asked visitors what they love about the Wildwoods. It received a positive response, and the team decided to create something that showcased the love of the area.

“We received thousands of posts from actual visitors telling us what they love about the Wildwoods, and there was a consistent overall theme to their message—that the Wildwoods evoked a strong emotional connection and created lasting family memories for them,” says Ben Rose, GWTIDA, director of marketing and public relations. “It just seemed like a natural progression into this campaign that we felt truly resonated with our visitors.”

October is the month of fall color viewing, pumpkin picking, and pizza. Yes, October is National Pizza Month, and if you’re looking to commemorate the occasion, head to New Jersey.

Others may disagree—let’s make that, others will certainly disagree—but last year Food & Wine Magazine named New Jersey the best pizza state in America, followed by Connecticut and New York in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Pennsylvania landed in seventh place and Massachusetts nabbed 10th place. 


Atlantic City

Last year was the highest grossing ever for the United States commercial gaming industry.* Meeting planners who hold gatherings at casinos may just feel like they’ve hit the jackpot, too. Casino-based events provide one-stop convenience—the amenities of convention centers and bountiful hotel rooms, plus activities, dining, and nightlife. 


Doreen Guerin grew up an Air Force brat, living in Texas, Louisiana, and later England and France. When she was 13, her parents moved to Queens and, Guerin says, “I’m a New Yorker through and through.” That’s apparent from her accent as well as her dedication to the Javits Center, where, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, she oversees the booking and event-related operations for more than 170 events each year. 

M+E: What fueled your interest in working in the conventions industry?