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From Amish Farms to Bison Feeding: The Unexpected Adventures Awaiting Travel Influencers in Shipshewana

The small town of Shipshewana, Indiana, with a population of just 800 people, is hosting the Midwest Travel Network’s Annual Conference this week from June 15-17. Goshen News reports that approximately 100 destination representatives, bloggers, journalists, travel writers, and influencers attend.

Shipshewana LaGrange County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sonya Nash told Goshen News that the conference provides an opportunity to promote the area’s people, businesses, and stories to seasoned travelers, writers, and online influencers. Among the attendees is Brandy Gleason, CEO of Gleason Media, with over 1 million followers.

The conference agenda includes touring local Amish farms, feeding bison, and attending sessions on using AI, drone operation, social video creation, and partnership building for the travel journalism industry. Lisa Trudell, co-owner of Midwest Travel Network, noted for Goshen News that their mission is to connect content creators with destinations to promote Midwestern tourism.

Event activities incorporate Shipshewana’s culture, such as a haystack dinner, an auction, and a Bee Gees Gold tribute show at the Blue Gate Theatre. Attendees experience local attractions like the Farmstead Inn and Conference Center and Blue Gate Garden Inn, where most events occur.

Trudell explained that Shipshewana’s small size belies its breadth of offerings, showcasing what communities under 1,000 residents can offer visitors. The conference aims to highlight the area as “not just flyover country” through content created by influencers who have experienced Shipshewana firsthand.

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Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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