Bill Geist is the Chief Instigator at Zeitgeist Consulting, a firm specializing in strategic planning, governance, marketing and legislative issues for convention and visitor bureaus, tourism-focused chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and communities. Bill is the author of the acclaimed Destination Leadership for Boards and a contributor to Fundamentals in Destination Marketing.
He has provided consulting services to over 150 Destination Marketing Organizations since 1995 and is a popular speaker on marketing, trends and customer service across North America. He has also served as a guest lecturer on Internet Marketing at the University of Wisconsin's Small Business Development Center.
Prior to forming Zeitgeist Consulting, Bill served as the President/CEO of the Greater Madison (WI) Convention & Visitors Bureau from 1990-1995. During his tenure, he was the lead spokesperson and co-strategist for the successful public referendum fight to build the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Convention Center. He also succeeded in doubling the Bureau's sales and marketing budget and oversaw the launch of one of the Top 25 Marathons in the nation.
Before moving to the Madison CVB, Bill led the Kankakee County (IL) CVB and landed the first multi-year contract ever awarded for the American Power Boat Association's National Outboard Championships. Prior to his CVB work, he held various management and programming positions with broadcast media in the Chicago area.
Bill has served as the President of the Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Tourism Federation. Past associations have included stints as Vice-Chair of the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Tourism and the past Chair of the Wisconsin Professional Speakers Association.
Bill holds an Executive MBA from the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Kenyon College.