CTC’s annual marketplace puts international media and broadcasters centre stage for Canada.
The banners are folded away, contact books are bulging with new info and attendees have long since flown back to their respective four corners of the globe. But this year’s GoMedia Canada Marketplace, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s top-of-the-bill international media event, has left an enduring legacy of top Canadian travel stories for the months ahead.
The annual invite-only marketplace is one of Canada’s hottest media tickets, where the Canadian travel industry gets some rare face time with international and local journalists to tell their stories. Media attendees came from a wide mix of broadcasters, bloggers, editors and freelance writers, with a much-enhanced international contingent (68 out of a total of 122). In total, 250 delegates came to the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB, Sept. 18-22.
“We always see a great mix of old and new faces at GoMedia, which helps attendees break the ice and share their stories,” says Elyse Mailhot, CTC Travel Media Officer. “It was especially pleasing to have so many international media attend this year, with reps from all of our key markets, very much in line with CTC’s global strategy.”
New for GoMedia 2011: a Discovery Zone that showcased the CTC Global Communications team’s best endeavours of the past year (including 3-D b-roll footage of Canada) and a chance to get the latest on CTC’s social-networking channels. Before the intense two-day round of speed-dating-style marketplace appointments began, media peeps made the most of local full- or half-day tours highlighting local outdoor, culinary, historic and urban travel experiences as well as professional development sessions. This year’s education tips came from an international panel on the changing face of the media as well as workshops for broadcast assets production and social-media strategy.
GoMedia sets its tone through informal networking. The opening reception, hosted by Edmonton Tourism and held at the Art Gallery of Alberta, highlighted historical and contemporary Canadian culture. The Calgary Stampede put on a stomping cowboy luncheon with all the fixin’s, while Travel Alberta hosted delegates for an evening at the Royal Alberta Museum.
The GoMedia Awards luncheon was themed “Eat like a local,” taking its cue from CTC’s new website Explore Canada Like a Local. The menu, devised by Executive Chef Simon Smotkowicz, brimmed over with Albertan ingredients, ranging from Slave Lake whitefish and Gull Valley tomatoes to Ardrossan turkey and Fairwinds Farms goat cheese.
“The media landscape has changed so much in the past few years, making it increasingly difficult to capture journalists’ and editors’ attention,” says Gloria Loree, CTC executive director Global Communications. “But we’re lucky that Canada has so many compelling travel experiences and related stories that the appetite for telling them just keeps increasing.”
Tourism Edmonton and Travel Alberta joined forces with CTC as 2011’s official hosts, while the Calgary Stampede was top sponsor. Next year, GoMedia Canada Marketplace heads north for the first time with Whitehorse, YT, playing host May 27-31. Look for more details later this year on CTC’s Media Centre or via @DestinationCAN.