From August 17-20, 110 travel bloggers, broadcasters, editors, photographers and writers descended on Manitoba for the 2014 GoMedia Canada Marketplace. The annual conference organized by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) brings together travel media and industry representatives. And this year their gathering in Winnipeg provided an opportunity for Travel Manitoba, Tourism Winnipeg and our industry partners to show off the diversity of our tourism offerings.
"GoMedia's core strength is its ability to get compelling new stories and experiences into the hands of influential journalists, broadcasters and bloggers," said Ernst Flach, CTC executive director, Global Communications. "Canada is one of the world's most recommended destinations and the stories that media produce inspire international travellers to pack their bags and visit our great country."
Held at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre and Delta Winnipeg, GoMedia centered around the one-on-one appointments between the 110 media and 126 industry representatives from destinations and attractions. Media are invited to the annual marketplace and industry partners buy in for the opportunity to give their pitches. Travel Manitoba's media relations team of Cathy Senecal (Manager, Global Media Relations), Jillian Recksiedler (Communications Specialist), and Julia Adams (Media Relations Specialist) held 30 appointments with media and CTC in-market media relations representatives from Canada, Germany, the U.K., France, and Australia.
In addition to the appointments, media and industry experienced Manitoba and Winnipeg through pre- and post-conference trips as well as evening events during the four-day event. Read more about how Travel Manitoba and our partners dazzled delegates.The delegates also got a chance to see two Manitoba, Canada's Heart...Beats commercials during a lunch that included an address by both Colin Ferguson and Tourism Winnipeg's Chantal Sturk-Nadeau.
In addition to the estimated $307,000 in delegate spending on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions, it is expected that Canada's tourism industry will reap an estimated $34 million worth of media exposure over the next year due to this year's GoMedia, and a portion of that will
feature Manitoba. Local coverage of the event included stories by the Winnipeg Free Press ,CBC and Global News.
"To come to Manitoba and experience what Manitoba has to offer, then go back and write it in their magazines, post it in their blogs, tweet out the messages - these kinds of things create incredible awareness for the province," said Colin Ferguson.
And as media and industry made their way to Manitoba, the tweets and Instagram posts starting flying and continued at a furious pace throughout the event. There were over 3,600 Tweets and over 700 Instagram posts. A social media contest run by Travel Manitoba encouraging media to take selfies throughout their time in Manitoba resulted in over 150 selfies taken on Twitter and Instagram.
"After months of hard work and collaborating with ourpartners, GoMedia 2014 was a massive success," said Travel Manitoba's Cathy, who led the Manitoba GoMedia team. "Media and industry delegates were wowed by everything from our welcome, day trips, events, flavours display and travels around Manitoba. Social media channels were abuzz with all things Manitoba, from dancing bears to public art, from duck prosciutto to soaring architecture. Articles on Manitoba's experiences have already appeared in major dailies and online portals and hundreds more will appear. Coverage by local news media of the event itself was also superb. It is clear--Manitobans have a passion for this place and they know how to showcase it."
The final day of the event featured the GoMedia Canada Marketplace Awards, which celebrated the year's best Canadian travel stories in print, blogs, photos and videos. Taking the top honour in the "Keep Exploring Award of Excellence" was Birgit-Cathrin Duval, for her piece on Churchill in a German publication.
"I was so honoured to have won with that story," said Birgit-Cathrin. "Polar bear stories are my best sellers."
The marketplace returns next year in Penticton, B.C. from September 27 to October 1, 2015.