CARSON CITY, Nev. — The annual gathering of rural tourism partners throughout Nevada returns to Winnemucca for its 20th anniversary this week with an impressive lineup of compelling and informative sessions, Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki announced today.

“Rural Roundup started in Winnemucca 20 years ago, and while many of the faces and issues have changed over the years, the conference continues to be a vital tool for our rural areas,” Krolicki, Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) chair, said. “For many who attend, this conference is the one time each year they can learn new tactics to market their areas or events, and enjoy the camaraderie of their colleagues throughout the state.”

The conference starts Wednesday, March 24, with an optional golf tournament, skeet shoot and wine walk, all designed to introduce attendees to what Winnemucca has to offer. The opening reception is being called the “Fun-a-Mucca” Carnival and will showcase a variety of carnival games, live music and local food.

After the fun and games, the work begins Thursday with a much-anticipated presentation by Google travel expert Ryan Denny. He will share some “quick and easy” tricks to make the most of online marketing. Other morning sessions include “evaluating your Web site”; a workshop on how to apply for NCOT rural-marketing grants; a session on how to build itineraries; and a presentation by NCOT’s public relations representative in Germany on marketing to international visitors.

Thursday afternoon will be filled with sessions about social media and online searches; maximizing marketing budgets; developing a visitor profile; and building relationships with tour operators. The day’s educational program caps off with a presentation by Roger Brooks of Destination Development. Brooks has evaluated many Nevada towns and is a perennial favorite at Rural Roundup.

“Thursday is a full day of intense workshops and presentations that our rural partners can apply to their own regions,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. “We work very hard to make this conference fun but also pack it with pertinent and current information.”

The annual VolunTourism awards will be presented at dinner Thursday night when the recipient of the June Stannard Memorial Scholarship will be also announced. Friday morning is a roundtable discussion with NCOT managers on what’s new in state tourism. The conference will conclude Friday morning with the regular quarterly meeting of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.