Last month, Kate and I had the opportunity to travel to Whitehorse, YT to attend the annual Canadian Tourism Commission Go Media
As Senior Communications Specialist, this was my first media marketplace, and I couldn't have been more excited, in addition to being somewhat nervous. I had so many questions for Kate, who we consider to be the guru of media marketplace
shows. What should I wear? What if I say something wrong? Is there really midnight sun? Will you sit next to me on the plane? Where are we going again?
Kate’s short answer to all my questions was, “don’t worry. It’s going to be a lot of fun and you’re going to absolutely amazing.” Well, at least that’s what I heard her say; I’m paraphrasing.
The concept of a media marketplace is fairly straightforward: ‘Partners’, i.e. Tartan Group, set up appointments with journalists that are 15 minutes in length, every 15 minutes, for two, 2-hour periods over two days. A different explanation is that it’s ‘speed dating with the media’.
During the marketplace, Kate and I each met with 32 different journalists. In these sessions we were able to share stories of tourism PR clients
, learn more about the journalist’s interests, and hopefully make a lasting impression; much like my 32 appointments, each journalist had their own set of meetings.
Combined with these appointments, we were also warmly welcomed at amazing partner events, including lunches and evening receptions. The Yukon has amazing hospitality!
Overall, this experience was fantastic. I learned a lot (especially from Kate), met some amazing journalists and partners, walked in the footsteps of some literary greats like Pierre Berton and Robert Service, and created memories that will last a lifetime.
Some of my favourite memories from Whitehorse include:
- Finding out that Kate ate my warm chocolate chip cookie while I was napping during our Air North flight to Whitehorse. You snooze, you lose!
- Realizing that, unlike the parks in Nanaimo and Victoria, the WildPlay Yukon park means the harder the course, the lower the trees. The view was amazing above the boreal forest.
- Being informed, somewhat politely by various partners, that no one wears a suit to their appointments. This resulted in a number of jokes made at my expense.
- Loving that it can look like it is 3 p.m. when it’s actually 11 p.m. I was never up early (or late) enough to see the sun rise.
- Discovering that the mountain biking skills I had when I was a teenager are not as easy to execute at age 31. A full front flip tumble makes for a sore thigh and a good story.
- Loving that as a group, the people of Whitehorse are some of the nicest people I have ever met. From baristas to bartenders and flight attendants to lift operators, their warm welcome would be tough to beat.
Brian Cant is the Senior Communications Specialist for the Tartan Group, a public relations company in Victoria, BC.